Barbecue with propane for fast, economical cooking on an outdoor gas grill. The delicious taste of meats, fish and vegetables cooked on a grill is one of the benefits of warm weather everyone looks forward to. Cooking on a gas grill avoids the mess and smoke you get from charcoal briquettes, and clean-burning propane adds minimal taste to the food that you barbecue.
Inspect the tank, gas line, line connector and burners. Replace the tank if it is dented or corroded. Cracked lines need replacement, and the connector and burners should be clean and rust free. See BBQ grill safety tips from the Sound Beach Fire Department, Homeowner Net and Detrick.Army.Mil in the References section for advice on checking gas grill components.
Turn on the gas. Open the valve on the propane cylinder by turning the crank at the top of the tank to its full, clockwise position. Turn the gas burners on high with the dials on the front panel of the grill.
Light the grill with the push-button switch. Turn off the gas flow to the burners if the switch is not working. Use a candle lighter with an extended nozzle to reach the burner ports. Have the lighter burning in front of the port before turning the gas on.
Position the lava rocks on either side of the drip shield. Use grill tongs or a poker to shove the rocks into position. Leave the gas on high until the lava rocks turn a slightly different color with the glow of heat. An efficient grill will get lava rocks ready for cooking in less than 15 minutes.
Lay the grill rack on the supports at the desired height before the grill heats up. Chicken and thick cuts of steak should cook closer to the rocks than fish, hot dogs and hamburgers.
Turn off the burners when the lava rocks are glowing hot. Cook food over the hot rocks with no flame from the burners.
Close the valve on the propane tank when you are finished cooking. Turn the crank counterclockwise until it tightens. The tank will safely contain pressurized gas much better than the gas line or burners.