Cooking with a gas BBQ can be safe and very rewarding and you can really rustle up some of the most delicious meals in the great outdoors. There’s nothing quite like the convenience of a gas grill. It makes grilling super simple and meal-time friendly, meaning there’s more time for you to relax and enjoy spending time with your family.

If you’re considering a portable gas BBQ for your next campervan trip, for a day at the beach or even for a tasty meal in your garden, then we’ve put together a few common questions and answers along with some handy hints, tips and safety guidelines along the way. 

How do I use a gas barbecue safely?

A clean grill is a well-functioning, well-performing grill. It’s always advisable to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning the grill, and this will also depend on how much you use your grill.  An unsafe build up of grease can cause a scary flare up so cleaning it is essential so that the gas can flow freely and to avoid a dangerous grease fire. Check the burners to make sure that the port holes where the flames come out are clear.  If they’re clogged, use a thin wire or pipe clean to remove the obstruction. Blocked parts on BBQ’s can cause an uneven flame, hence uneven cooking, and can cause the burners to fail. 

What type of barbecue gas do I need?

Which should you choose… a gas bottle (LP) or disposable gas cartridges (HP)...a very common question indeed.  

Image: HP Gas Pressure Regulator

A HP BBQ uses gas cartridges which screw into the base of your BBQ, whereas a LP BBQ uses refillable gas bottles. 

LP gas bottles naturally contain more gas and therefore last a lot longer than disposable gas cartridges, but on the other hand they are quite large and heavy...not always ideal when you go camping or away in your campervan conversion. Not only will it take up extra valuable space in your van, but there’s also the added weight to consider. This doesn’t pose a problem for many people, but if you dream of BBQ’s on the beach then gas cartridges are lighter and portable and more suited for this.

With LP gas you have the choice between a universal gas bottle or a Campingaz bottle. Universal gas bottles come in various shapes and sizes; made of metal or lightweight fibre, from various brands, and in a variety of colours.

So, if space and weight is a potential issue, you can opt for a more compact, lighter alternative like a BBQ that runs off disposable gas cartridges. 

Our range of camping barbecues can all be used in combination with gas cartridges. CADAC gas cartridges fitted with standard type EN417 threaded self-sealing safety valve. You can unscrew them after use, even if they are not yet empty. If you want to barbecue again, simply screw the cartridge back to your pressure regulator.

How long does a gas cartridge or gas bottle last?

Well this depends on a number of factors. The type of gas cartridge or gas bottle that you use; the size and design of barbecue that you use (a large BBQ will use more gas than a smaller design since they often will have a larger gas burner with a more powerful flame); weather conditions can also affect gas (in colder climates, more gas is used than in warmer weather and therefore you will use more gas if it’s cold); and finally, the variable heat setting (grill on full gas, medium or low and the gas will get used accordingly).

  • Typically a 500g gas cartridge will last between 2-4 hours.
  • A 5kg universal gas bottle can last between 20-40 hours.
  • A 10kg universal gas bottle can last between 37-77 hours.

These timings are estimates and will depend on the size and design of the barbecue and also taking into account the additional factors like weather and heat setting. 

What if my gas cartridge freezes?

Because there is liquified gas in cartridges, in really cold weather or when gas consumption is really high, the gas can freeze. This is completely normal. Liquid gas needs heat to become gaseous and this heat is extracted from the environment. Sometimes, moisture can form on the outside, which can then freeze. If your gas cartridge is frozen, all you need to do is turn off your barbecue/gas until the cartridge warms up again. Then turn your barbecue and the gas supply back on and you’ll be grilling again in no time at all :). Generally, gas cartridges work well with an outside temperature of between 10-15 °C. 

Kiravans BBQ Hints & Tricks

  • Make sure your gas bottle / gas cartridge is always stored and used upright.
  • Make sure you have plenty of fuel.  Not a great idea to run out of gas when you have a group of hungry guests waiting for their bangers and burgers :)
  • Just because your BBQ has a high setting, it doesn’t  mean that everything needs to be cooked on high. Thinner cuts of meat like lamb, pork or beef (including burgers) should be cooked hot and fast. Fish, vegetables and chicken are best cooked on medium heat. Roasts, whole chickens and thicker, large cuts of meat need to be cooked at slow and low...so lower temperature and also next to the heat (not above the heat).
  • If you need to, oil your food, not the grill. Oil burns away at high temperatures so it is pointless to oil the cooking grate.
  • Gas appliances require ventilation so you must only use your BBQ outdoors.
  • Always try and do a gas leak test before using your BBQ. The soapy water test is really quick and simple to do....just spread or spray some soapy water all over the gas hose, valve and regulator...brush, wipe or sponge the soapy solution all over. Then, turn on your gas without turning on your BBQ.  If there’s a leak you’ll see bubbles start arise or a nasty smell of rotten eggs that is put in gas for safety purposes. Obviously, if there’s a leak, switch off your gas immediately and don’t use your BBQ until you have replaced the damaged parts.  
  • To be on the safe side, it’s always a good guideline to replace your gas pressure regulator every 5 years and the gas hose every 2 years as this is prone to either perish or get cuts and grazes.
  • Keep your grill away from anything flammable like lighter fluid, fences, your house, tent or campervan!
  • Finally, give yourself plenty of time and heat your grill up before cooking. 

If you share our passion for outdoor cooking, not only in the Summer but all year round…you really can cook a huge variety of foods on your BBQ and the results will be delicious! 

If you're not sure which BBQ is right for you, watch our Kiravans CADAC BBQ video which discusses our BBQ collection along with product features and general hints and tips...

Here at Kiravans we only sell products that we love which is why we choose CADAC’s range of BBQ’s and accessories. They’ve even got some mouth watering recipes over on their website, so you can cater for the crowd come rain or shine with their sizzling selection of barbecue recipes https://www.cadacinternational.com/uk/recipes/.

So..as the phrase goes... may you always be surrounded by good friends and family and a great barbecue :)