Why Won't My Barbecue Heat Up?

The groundhog has come and gone, the snow is slowly melting, and your brushing off that cover to start up your grilling season again. You turn on your gas, light up your grill and let it work it's magic to get up to heat. One problem, you come back after about 5-10 minutes, and your grill is stuck at 150°F-250°.

What happened? I had no problems the last time I used my grill.

Well, there's a few things that could cause a temperature issue on your grill, and the issue can vary depending on which gas you have.


There's a few reasons your propane grill can fail to get up to temperature. The biggest issue actually lies with your propane tank and regulator, and not your barbecue burners or manifold. All propane tanks now feature a bypass valve and when there is a quick change in pressure, it can cause the valve to "trip" thinking there's a leak, causing it to drastically limit the amount of propane.

THE ISSUE: So what causes the change in pressure? Typically one of two things

  • Opening the valve too quickly - We all get excited when we grill, and we quickly open that propane tank to get the gases flowin'. Well, turns out, this causes the valve to trip and limit gasflow.
  • Quick changes in temperature can also cause the bypass valve to detect a leak, also drastically limiting gas flow.

THE FIX: Turn off all your burners, turn off and disconnect your propane tank. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, reconnect and for the first quarter to half turn, you want to open it as slowly as possible. After that, you can let it rip and open up the tank, and you're good to start the barbecue.

Propane & Natural Gas

This issue is prevalent in both propane and natural gas barbecue's. It's another extremely common issue, and it seems so improbable, we often receive chuckles from customers when we bring it up. 

THE ISSUE: Spiders - Yeah, seriously.

Essentially, both propane and natural gas in their natural state don't have any odors. A chemical called mercaptan is actually added to these gases to create an odor in the gas. The plus - if you have a leak in your gas line or barbecue, you can smell it before it becomes an issue. The con - spiders absolutely love this stuff. They throw parties like they just found a watering hole in the Sahara.

This can cause blockages throughout your barbecue, most commonly in the burner venturi ports, manifolds, and occasionally in the hose as well.

THE FIX: For your burners, we recommend a venturi tube cleaner - as well as making burner cleanings part of your regular barbecue maintenance routine. Backed up burners are a common cause of "backfires" where the flame shoots out of the control panel, rather than the burners.

A clogged hose or manifold is a little more tricky. What works really well, if you (or your local handyman friend) has an air compressor, you can blow out the hose and manifold to clear out any debris that may reside within. If your out of luck on the air compressor, a new replacement hose can do the trick as well.

Still having issues getting your barbecue up to temperature? Not to worry, our team of barbecue experts can help dive a little deeper into your barbecue with you to determine what potential issues could be arising, and what can be done. We have 5 locations throughout Canada, 2 in Alberta with our Calgary North and Calgary South locations, as well as 3 stores throughout the GTA: Burlington, Oakville & Etobicoke, Ontario.


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