Can you use propane grill in winter? This is one question that people ask quite often. Unfortunately, there are lots of untruths surrounding this topic. In fact, quite a number will claim to have never experienced any problems while on the other hand some users will complain of not being able to light up the grill. Limited knowledge about the gas leads to many people not enjoying a grill or barbecue during winter.
Propane gas is preferred over butane gas due its lower freezing point (butane -23.3ºC, propane -42.2ºC). In many places, it is combined with butane while in other regions it has totally replaced butane as the preferred gas for grilling. Propane is a flammable or ignitable gas that turns into liquid when stored under high pressure. It will maintain its physical and chemical characteristics up to -42.2ºC. If the temperature drops below this then the chances of your propane grill lighting up are minimal or even nil.
Many people view a propane cylinder as only a storage unit. This may be true; however, it also acts as a vaporizer (turns liquid to vapor). The cylinder which is made from metal absorbs heat from the surrounding and warms the liquefied gas inside the cylinder. Warmth makes it easy for the liquid propane to boil and turn to vapor which is more flammable compared to liquid. However, at below -42.2ºC it will still remain in liquid state affecting vaporization.
Lack of warmth means no vapor will come out from the barbecue hence no fire. Many-a-times, people leave the barbecue an attended. During this period some liquid will vaporize due to temperature change. Attempting to light the grill may lead to a fire explosion which is quite dangerous. It can not only burn the user but also cause a fire. This is why people are advised against attempting to light the grill in the cold season.
A barbecue is a very simple appliance that basically consists of pipes that direct the gas to the burner. It doesn’t feature sophisticated systems such as insulation that may improve operations especially in the cold winter season. Furthermore, most grills don’t come with safety features found in water heaters or furnaces that stop a game from bursting or going out. It is therefore important to be extra vigilant when operating propane grill in winter.