Hey, propane grill owners — tired of lugging around propane tanks and dealing with refills? Or, despite your best efforts, have you recently run out of fuel in the middle of a barbecue?
If so, natural gas can be the solution you’re looking for — and you may not even have to buy a new grill!
For many grills, you do have the option to convert a propane grill to natural gas. But this isn’t as easy as simply connecting a hose to a new fuel source.
This process requires research, professional help, and a specific kit and tools to make sure you do it right (and safely).
That’s where we come in! We’re here to guide you through the process of converting your propane grill to natural gas without damaging your grill or putting yourself and your guests at risk of injury from a gas leak, fire, or explosion.
While the conversion process is relatively straightforward, things can go seriously wrong if done incorrectly, so we suggest doing plenty of research and following our advice.
In this guide, we’ll cover all of the pros and cons of switching between propane and natural gas, how to get started with the conversion process, and the steps you’ll need to take to make sure your efforts are successful.
We’ll wrap it all up with some answers to your burning gas conversion questions and send you on your way to make the switch and enjoy the benefits of grilling with natural gas!
Table of Contents
Click a topic below to be taken directly to that section.
Why You Can’t Attach an LP Grill to a Natural Gas Line Without Modifications
If you take one piece of advice away from this guide, let it be this. You should not ever connect a liquid propane grill to a natural gas line without modifications because propane has a higher pressure than natural gas.
Hooking a propane grill to a natural gas line without modifying it properly with a kit first will allow way too much gas to flow into your grill, creating a potentially dangerous and explosive situation.
Why Should You Convert to Natural Gas?
There are several benefits to converting your propane grill to natural gas.
First, if you have a natural gas line, you’ll have a consistent supply of fuel and won’t have to worry about monitoring your fuel levels or running out mid-barbecue.
It’s also safer, easier to use, more economical, and more environmentally friendly since natural gas is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel.
Some people also claim natural gas creates better-tasting food than propane, but we’ll leave that up to you to decide.
Things to Consider Before Converting to Natural Gas
So you’re sold on converting your propane grill to natural gas — great!
But there are a few crucial things you’ll want to consider first to make sure the process goes smoothly and safely. These include whether or not you have access to a natural gas supply, and confirming your propane gas grill model supports a conversion to natural gas.
Let’s start with the first question to ask before converting a propane grill to natural gas.
Have You Got, or Can You Get a Natural Gas Supply?
Converting your grill to natural gas won’t do you much good if you don’t have a natural gas line to connect it to.
Before making the switch, make sure your home has a natural gas line that’s accessible outdoors (or can be extended outdoors), or check with local contractors to see if you can install one.
If you don’t have a line already, installing one can be costly but well worth it if you’re set on using natural gas for your grill.
So, how much does it cost to install a natural gas supply to your outdoor patio? The average gas line installation cost is $653.55 per line, including labor and materials. This of course varies depending on location so be sure to check with a professional in your area first.
Find Out if Your Grill Can Be Converted
Of course, none of the advice in this guide is useful if your propane grill can’t be converted to natural gas! Take a look in your grill’s manual or the manufacturer’s website to see if conversion is possible.
Your grill may also have markings or labels that designate it as “dual fuel” compatible, so give it a close inspection before making the call. If you do have a dual-fuel grill, you’ll likely be able to purchase a conversion kit directly from the manufacturer and make the swap pretty easily.
If Unsure, Speak to an Expert
Still not sure if your grill can be converted from propane to natural gas? Give the manufacturer a call!
We also suggest checking in with a plumbing inspection to make sure the local regulations in your area allow you to switch fuel types and run a flexible natural gas line out of your home if you don’t have a permanent outdoor gas hookup. If not, they might recommend other alternatives.
How to Convert Your Grill From Propane to Natural Gas
Invest in a Conversion Kit | Turn Off Your Gas Supply | Remove the Top Layer & Burners | Replace the Orifices | Switch Control Knob Bezels | Reinsert the Burners | Remove the LP Regulator Hose Assembly
You’ve checked with your grill manufacturer and local experts, and you’re ready to make the leap from propane to natural gas. So where should you start?
The first thing to do is invest in the proper conversion kit. More on that below. Once you have the exact conversion kit specified for your grill, you can follow our instructions below.
Invest in a Conversion Kit That Is Right for Your Grill
The first thing you’ll need to convert fuel type is a conversion kit that fits your grill. You should purchase this right from the grill’s manufacturer if possible, and depending on your model, you might already have a kit with your accessories.
The conversion kit will come with new gas jets, which are commonly referred to as orifices. The new jets will have larger holes for the natural gas to flow through than your propane jets did since natural gas flows at a lower pressure.
Your kit will also come with a flexible hose to connect your grill to the supply valve and might even include new control knobs to reflect your grill’s new gas flow rates.
Turn Off Your Gas on the Control Knobs and at the LP Tank
Before you do anything, make sure both your natural gas and propane sources are turned off. Turn off your outdoor gas line at the main, then disconnect your propane bottle from your grill and safely (i.e., NOT in your garage) store it away.
You can then open the control knob valves on your grill to let any residual gas flow out before shutting all the valves off again.
Remove the Top Layer and Burners
Next, take off your warming rack, cooking grates, and flame tamers so you have clear access to the burners below.
To take out your burners, find the hitch pins that secure them to the brackets and remove those along with the carryover or crossover tubes. Then you should be able to gently slide the burners out and disconnect them from the gas valves.
Of course, there will be some differences in construction depending on your type of grill, so we suggest consulting your owner’s manual or online guides for specific instructions on how to take these parts out.
This is also a great time to do a thorough cleaning of your burners and grill gates. You can see a great guide here: The Ultimate Guide on How to Clean Grill Grates
Pro Tip: It’s a smart move to take a photo of the burners and top layer before you remove them, so you remember what goes where.
Replace the Orifices
Your next move will be to replace the orifices, or gas jets, themselves. There should be a hex key included with your conversion kit, and now is the time to use it to unscrew the orifices.
If you think you’ll convert your grill back to propane at any point, be sure to store these away somewhere safe.
Once the original propane orifices are removed, you can reverse the process of installing your new natural gas orifices.
Here is a handy video showing you how to replace the orifice on a gas grill.
Switch Out Your Control Knob Bezels
Now swap your current control knob bezels with the ones included in your kit, if included — since these control the flow of gas, they’ll most likely need to change to account for the new pressure of natural gas. This is not always the case, so make sure to follow the instructions included in the conversion kit.
Be sure to align the lines on the bezels before you tighten up the screws. Once you have them tightened, you can pop the knobs right back on!
Reinsert the Burners
Next, we’ll work in reverse and put our burners, crossover tubes, hitch pins, flame tamers, cooking grates, and warming rack back into the grill.
Remember, if you snapped a photo before you took all of these parts out, you can use that as a guide as you reinsert them!
Remove and Replace the LP Regulator Hose Assembly
Finally, we’ll be removing the propane regulator hose from the grill’s manifold connection since it won’t be needed with natural gas. This hose is usually located on the side of the grill, underneath the side rack, if you have one.
You can use a wrench to unscrew this hose, then secure the new hose and regulator that came with your conversion kit. If you think you’ll switch back to propane someday, we recommend holding on to this hose and your propane orifices.
Examples of Conversion Kits and Brands That Use Them
When buying a conversion kit, you’ll need to find one that matches the brand and model of your grill. We recommend going with a kit sold by your manufacturer over a third-party-made kit whenever possible.
Thankfully, many brands offer conversion kits, including Alfresco, Lynx, Char Broil, NexGrill, Universal, Camp Chef, Delta Heat, MHP, Solaire, TEC, Twin Eagles, and Viking. Some brands, such as Summerset, will offer orifices for sale but not full conversion kits.
And some manufacturers, like Weber and Napoleon, do not offer conversion kits to avoid liability issues that can crop up with gas conversions. If you have one of these grills and opt to go with a conversion kit made by a third party, be prepared for your warranty to be voided.
Why You Should Always Use a Conversion Kit Instead of DYI’ing It
While researching conversion kits, you may find some tutorials online that show you how to convert from propane to natural gas by boring out the propane valves and burners.
Simply put, this is a bad idea.
Gas fuel is incredibly flammable and requires a specific system to flow safely and effectively. When you decide to DIY a new gas system for your grill, you’re increasing the risk of a gas leak or other failure that could have catastrophic results.
Play it safe, and stick with a kit made by the pros, or hire one.
Tools and Equipment You’ll Need
So you have your conversion kit in hand — what other tools will you need to make this process a success?
Your most helpful partner here will be an adjustable or pipe wrench for loosening and then securing the connections.
You may also need a jet wrench or hex key, although these are often included in your kit.
Propane Grill to Natural Gas Conversion FAQ
Still have some burning questions about converting your propane grill to natural gas?
We have answers.
Below you’ll get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to propane to natural gas grill conversion.
If you don’t find what you’re looking for, leave your question in the comments below or send me an email and I will get back to you.
Who knows, I might even add your question to this guide.
For a more in-depth frequently asked question guide, you check out this article: The Ultimate Gas Grill FAQ
Can I Convert My Weber to Natural Gas?
Yes, you can convert a Weber grill to natural gas, but as we mentioned above Weber recommends against it and will void your warranty if you damage your grill in the process. Weber is one of a handful of brands that advise against converting their grills.
What Is Valve Orifice Size Mean?
Valve orifice size refers to the size of the hole in the center of the orifice, measured by the drill used to create it. You’ll typically see this measurement marked on the valve. The size of the orifice hole determines how much gas is allowed to flow.
Which Is Better to Cook With, Propane or Natural Gas?
There isn’t really a “better” fuel to cook with — both propane and natural gas offer similar cooking capabilities, although some people say they prefer one vs. the other in terms of taste.
Does the Drill and Bore Method Work for Converting LP to Natural Gas?
No! The drill and bore method is hazardous, and while some people online may claim that it worked for them, it can lead to serious accidents and should be avoided. I highly recommend staying away from this method at all costs. It is best to consult a professional.
Can You Convert Any Propane Grill to Natural Gas?
No, there are some grills that you simply cannot convert from propane to natural gas, despite what online “hacks” may tell you. There are also a handful of brands that will void their warranty if you convert one of their grills to natural gas, so it’s best to check beforehand.
Do You Need a Regulator for Natural Gas Grill?
Yes, you definitely need a regulator for your natural gas grill since it regulates the flow of gas and helps keep things safe and controlled while you’re grilling. Propane and natural gas regulators serve the same function but are not interchangeable.
Are Natural Gas and Propane Regulators the Same?
Technically no, natural gas and propane regulars are not the same — they serve a similar function but are not interchangeable, so you must use the right kind of regulator for your type of grill and gas source. Always check with your grill manufacturer first.
What Happens if You Don’t Use a Gas Regulator?
If you don’t use a regulator, the gas will flow into your grill at too high a pressure. This can cause damage to your grill and raise the risk of leaks or even fire and explosion. I don’t think I need to state that explosions are BAD!
Final Thoughts on Our Propane Grill to Natural Gas Conversion Guide
Converting your propane gas grill to natural gas can be a game-changer for your grilling experience.
Not only does it provide a convenient and cost-effective fuel source, but it also offers environmental benefits by reducing carbon emissions. While the process may seem daunting at first, with the right tools and guidance (and a proper conversion kit — no DIYs!) it can be a relatively straightforward project.
By making the switch, you’ll no longer have to worry about running out of propane in the middle of a cookout or dealing with the hassle of replacing heavy propane tanks. Plus, it eliminates the need for storing and transporting bulky propane tanks, freeing up space and reducing safety concerns.
If you do decide to make the switch from propane to natural gas, remember that safety is the top priority. Get a proper conversion kit that matches your grill’s brand and model, and carefully follow the instructions. Always reach out to a local pro if you have any questions.
And whatever you do, do not follow the DIY “drill and bore” tutorials you find online.
Before you know it, you’ll be cooking with natural gas!
If you’ve had any experiences with converting propane grills to natural gas, positive or negative, don’t hesitate to share them in the comments below. Let’s keep the conversation going!
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A backyard warrior, certified carnivore, lover of good whiskey, grill master and I’m Living The Grilling Life!
I have a passion for cooking with live fire and smoke, no matter the weather. I’m a real person just like you, who loves outdoor cooking and BBQ. Food, fun, and time spent with family and friends are what it’s all about! It is my mission to take my passion and knowledge for outdoor cooking and all things BBQ and share this expertise in techniques and grilling equipment with you. In other words, Living The Grilling Life!
I have personally tested over 150+ Grills and Smokers and hundreds of grilling thermometers, temperature controllers, grill brushes, grilling tools, fire starters, and other BBQ products.