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Propane Tank Tips
It's spring, and almost time to haul out that grill and
enjoy some barbecue. Barbecued foods can be a very healthy
choice, particularly if you include grilled veggies, side dishes of nutritious
salads such as coleslaw or mixed greens with tomatoes, plenty of real juice or
iced tea, (are you salivating yet?), and especially when you season and marinate
your meats. Most seasonings and sauces contain antioxidants and
other healthful properties, while marinating adds flavors, tenderizes, and
according to research, makes grilled meats healthier to eat..
Maybe you still use charcoal, but I see more and more
people changing to propane, especially those who grill frequently or need to get
it done quickly. Each has its advantages and risks. Have you ever
gotten halfway through grilling a great meal, and-- poof-- no more propane??
Here's a helpful hint on avoiding this disaster from
newsletter (you can subscribe right on their front page):
week I received an email from a concerned barbecuer (we'll call him Drew)
who wrote, "I was going to grill some beef then 'Poof!' I ran
out of propane. How do you know when you're low on fuel?" I
thought to myself, "That's a very good question. Why,
there's your next Tip of the Week, Matt."
Why every propane tank doesn't come with a fuel gauge is a mystery to me,
but fortunately somebody much smarter than I am has figured out a way to
figure out how much liquid propane is in a tank. Here's what you do:
Before you turn the gas on, pour about a quart of very hot water over the
edge of the tank (but be very careful not to contact the valve/hose
mechanism). Because the propane is under pressure, as the hot water
runs down the side, it will quickly chill - and may even frost - the area of
the tank that contains the liquid propane (don't ask me why, I was an
English major). When the tank cools down a bit you can feel the temperature
variation with your hand. Now you can tell if it's half-full, a
quarter-full, or headed for empty. Note: Only do this trick outdoors,
and be careful not to burn yourself with the hot water."
Here's another hint from
BBG.com . Don't
take this one lightly; play it safe:
"More propane tank
advice: If you're replacing your rusty old gas grill with a shiny new
one, buy a new tank rather than trying to get by with the old one.
Tanks that have been used for several years and subjected to normal wear and
tear tend to get small chips in the paint, allowing rust to develop.
New tanks also have advanced safety features -- including a quick
disconnect-- that make them far easier and safer to use than old tanks.
A gas cylinder exchange program, which lets you simply exchange your empty
tank for a new full one rather than refilling it, is also becoming more
You see why, if you grill or barbecue, you'd benefit from
subscribing to BBQ.com's
useful email newsletter! (Thanks to
BBQ.com for allowing the reprint: Hints - Copyright 2000 BBQ.COM, Inc.)
So get your barbecue supplies lined up, check or replace
your equipment and dig out those recipes. Be sure and provide plenty of
healthy finger foods for the kids, and enjoy!
your favorite healthy barbecue recipes.