Empty propane tanks are heavy, so it can be tough to figure out if you have enough propane to last a cookout. Try some of these tips to see how much propane you have left in your tank.
Get a Gauge
There are all sorts of devices available. At the inexpensive end of the scale are paste on strips that will display the temperature change at the surface where the liquid propane is. On the other end of the scale are hand held ultrasonic tools that detect where there is liquid or gas inside the tank. In the middle range are mechanical or electronic tank scales that may be built-in or separate from the grill and can be calibrated to tell you how much propane you have left with an analog or digital display.
Most propane tanks weigh around 18.5 pounds when they are empty. Place your tank on a household scale and subtract 18.5 from that number and you can determine how much you have left. An average size (500 sq in) grill will use about a pound and a half of propane an hour cooking medium to high so you can have a sense of how much longer you can cook from that.
Pour Water on It
Turn off the valve on your tank and disconnect it from your grill. Put a small bucket of warm water and pour it from top to bottom on the side of the tank. Then feel the tank — it will feel cooler where there is propane and stay warm where there’s no fuel. This method is not the most accurate, but it can give you an idea if you need to get more propane.
Tip: 1 1/2 pounds of propane = 1 hour of cooking time.