Can You Use A Small Propane Tank On A Grill?

Propane gas tank for grilling

Are you looking forward to making some grilled patty burgers this weekend with your family? Wondering if you could use a small propane tank on a grill? Well, you can stop wondering because the answer is yes! A small propane tank can be used for your grill on a Sunday morning grilled breakfast. 

Although you have the option to use charcoal for your grills, it can produce a lot of smoke which you may not find comfortable. Small propane tanks are relatively hassle-free and will make your task a lot easier. 

Will a propane tank be all you need for the grill?

Along with your small propane tank, you’ll also need a propane tank adapter for the disposable throwaway cylinder. There are various adapters available on online stores like Amazon and your local supermarkets. One of the most popular ones is KIBOW Propane Adapter which can also be used with a 1lb propane tank and costs around USD 10.99.

How small of a propane tank can you use for your grill?

A 1lb (16oz) propane tank is the smallest you will find in the market, and it is usually ideal for grilling in your backyard. If you are going camping and taking your grill outdoors, then you can also choose a 5lb propane tank as these are pretty portable as well. You can also re-use some of these propane tanks (usually the 5lb ones) by getting them refilled at your local U-Haul. You can also refill them at home if you have a standard propane tank. 

What are the different propane tanks you can use with your grill? 

Since we are specifically looking for smaller propane tanks, you can find out more below about which small propane tank you can use with your grill. 

1. Coleman 1lb Propane Cylinder

The Coleman Propane Camping Gas Cylinder will provide you with 1lb (16oz) of fuel. Due to its small size, it is also portable thus you can take it along with you on a camping trip as well.

This is a lightweight and compact tank that can fit all standard portable propane appliances. You can use it for your tabletop grills, and propane torches can be used to cook, grill, or heat. The cylinder is made with durable steel that is safe and easy to store. You can find this cylinder at Target for USD 3.99 apiece. 

2. Flame King 5 Pound Propane Tank Cylinder

The cylinder has rugged, high-grade steel welded construction, thus you can take it for camping with ease after storing it properly. You’ll also find this cylinder to be extremely portable and thus ideal for longer camping trips. You can expect the gas in this cylinder to last for around 12.5 hours. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about running out of gas on your camping or ice-fishing trips. These are also Pre-Purged cylinders and are ready to fill. 

3. Flame King Refillable 1 lb Cylinder Tank

This is the only refillable 1lb propane tank that is certified by the DOT for lawful refilling and transport. It also comes along with a refill kit so you won’t have to purchase any extra items to refill propane when it runs out of gas. As they are refillable, you can save some money on gas by using this product. 

How long does a 1lb propane tank last?

A 1lb propane tank will easily last you around 1.5 hours or more on a large grill. On a small grill, you can get an hour extra. 

How long does a 5lb propane tank last? 

A 5lb propane tank holds around 1.2 gallons of gas and will easily last around 8 hours on medium heat.

It is advisable to take a 5lb propane tank to a camping trip as it can last for multiple days, and most of them are also refillable. 

How much does a small propane tank cost?

Small propane tanks are usually on the cheaper side. A 1lb propane tank will cost you around USD 3.99 apiece and is easily available. However, a 5lb propane tank can go up to USD 49.99 apiece, however, these come in the relatively safer casing and can be refilled easily. Also, they are more useful and will take up less space on your camping trips as you would only need one of them. 

Can you store a propane tank in your shed? 

You must avoid storing Propane tanks in garages and sheds. If the cylinder valve is not be closed properly, it can cause leakage and your shed or garage will be concentrated with the gas. This can be dangerous because the electrical switches generate sparks while being switched on and off.

Propane tanks should always be stored in outdoor areas, out of the way of any direct sunlight. 

Can a propane tank sit under the sun?

It is not usually dangerous for propane tanks to sit under the sun as most of them come with pressure-relieving valve systems. As temperature increases, pressure increases inside the cylinder. This variation in pressure can result in the cylinder exploding. Thus it is important to keep the tanks away from sunlight as a precaution.

Can you keep propane tanks in a car?

Unless you are taking a propane tank with you for camping, you must avoid storing a propane tank in your car. While taking the tank with you on a camping trip, make sure the inside of the boot space gets no direct sunlight to avoid of change of pressure inside the tank.

How to connect a propane tank with your grill? 

Contrary to popular belief, it is actually easy to hook up your propane tank with a grill. All you’ll need would be a propane tank adapter or a hose. 

  • Remove the seal. If you are using a 1lb propane tank, remove the cap of the tank. If you are using the 5lb tank, simply remove the seal before you proceed. 
  • Now attach the adapter to your propane tank. Simply rotate the adapter where the cap was, and tighten it up. If you are using a 1lb propane tank, then you can just use an adapter as most grills come with an inbuilt holder for a 1lb propane tank. However, if you are using a 5lb propane tank, then you’ll need an adapter with a hose to connect the tank. Make sure it is in the position according to the user manual as any other position may cause the gas to leak. 
  • Open the cover of the grill and turn it on. Make sure to not turn the grill on before opening the lid. 

Precautions to be taken while using a propane tank

To check for leakages, spray some soapy water near the valve. If you see bubbles forming, then that means there is leakage. 

Use the grill outdoors in a well-ventilated area.


Small propane tanks are great for your grill. If you are grilling in your backyard then you can get a 1lb propane tank which will only cost you around USD 3.99. You’ll also need an adapter to make your propane tank compatible with your grill. If possible, get a hose adapter. And always make sure that you are not grilling in your garage and shed as even the slightest leakage can be extremely dangerous. 

Anand Srinivasan
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