How to Turn Off a Gas Grill Properly and Safely

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When it comes to grill safety, turning off your gas grill properly is near the top of the list of things you should be doing the right way.  No matter whether you’re working with a high end gas grill or a cheap one, safety should always come first.

It’s an exciting moment when your food has been cooked and you’re just thinking about how delicious it’s going to taste.  But after the food comes off of your grill grates, it’s important to remember the quick steps to safely turn off your gas grill.

In this article, we’ve written a quick guide for how to turn off a gas grill the right way.  By the end you should have a quick checklist and know exactly what to do with your gas grill after you’re done cooking your food.

How to Turn Off a Gas Grill

The term gas grill could be referring to a couple of different types of grills.  Gas grills are fueled by either propane gas or by natural gas.  The process for turning off each is similar for the most part, but there are a few differences to be aware of.

How to Turn Off a Propane Grill

If you have a propane grill, the first step is to turn off your burner control knobs to the off position.  You should be able to hear the flow of gas stop at this point, and you shouldn’t have flames coming out of your burners.  After you’ve made sure that your knobs are off, shut the valve on the top of your propane tank.

Even though you turn off the burners, it’s incredibly important to make sure you shut your propane tank’s valve completely off.  Leaving the valve open and the fuel line open can potentially fill your grill and be incredibly dangerous when somebody goes to light it next or if a spark goes off nearby the grill.

In addition to a potentially dangerous situation, leaving a propane tank on can lead to a situation known as bypass, where flow is reduced significantly in your line.  When this happens, it will be hard to get your temperature above 250°F.

It’s also important to note that you should never store a propane tank indoors, even if the valve is shut.  Most propane grills will have a cabinet or a space designed to house your propane tank.

How to Turn Off a Natural Gas Grill

photo courtesy of Weber

To turn off a natural gas grill, first turn off all of your burner control knobs to the off position (not the above photo is in the ON position, which means natural gas IS flowing to the grill).  Make sure you don’t hear gas flowing any more and there also aren’t any flames coming out of your burners.

From there, you should go to your natural gas supply line and turn the knob there to the off position too.

Similar to a propane grill, leaving the natural gas supply line open can be dangerous for a lot of reasons.  In addition to the scenario outlined above, this could become a big problem if you live in an area with outdoor rodents.

Wildlife has chewed on folks hoses before, and if your line is open this could lead to a situation where a lot of gas is spewing out of a broken line.  Not good.

Should I Turn Off My Burners or My Fuel First?

Many grilling forums are pretty split as to whether you should turn off the burners or fuel source first.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t really make much of a practical difference whether you turn your burners or fuel source off first.  You should be turning them both off right after one another, and regardless of which comes first there will be a small amount of gas in the line leftover.

The big thing is just to make sure that you ensure that your fuel source (propane tank or natural gas connection) has been turned off.

Safety First

At the end of the day, the purpose of this article is to make sure your grilling environment is as safe as possible!  Dealing with gas and fire is serious stuff and while accidents are uncommon, the last thing you want to happen is a major accident to happen because of negligence.

While you’re here, check out our other grilling safety related posts next:

Final Thoughts

In addition to cleaning your grill and covering your grill, turning off your fuel source is a key component of safety and long term care of your grill.  There’s really no reason or excuse to not turn off your fuel source properly – not doing so can damage your grill, or worse, cause a dangerous situation.