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BBQ conversion to Gas


by jonsarriugarte on July 20, 2010

Table of Contents

License: Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike (by-nc-sa) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Intro: BBQ conversion to Gas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

step 1: Parts Needed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

step 2: Make a hole . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

step 3: Add the plumbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

step 4: Natural Gas hook up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

step 5: Propane hookup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

step 6: Time to Cook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Related Instructables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

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Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

http://www.instructables.com/id/BBQ-conversion-to-Gas/
License: Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike (by-nc-sa)

Intro: BBQ conversion to Gas


I built a charcoal BBQ some years ago and I hate how long it takes to fire up. I looked at new gas grills and thought I could just make one myself for a lot less. Here is the
basics of how to convert one yourself. This could be applied to any charcoal grill, with a round fire ring a Webber could be converted as well.

Image Notes
1. House plumbing
2. Needle valve
3. Bulkhead fitting

Image Notes
1. Propane Regulator

http://www.instructables.com/id/BBQ-conversion-to-Gas/
http://www.instructables.com/id/BBQ-conversion-to-Gas/
http://www.instructables.com/id/BBQ-conversion-to-Gas/
http://www.instructables.com/id/BBQ-conversion-to-Gas/
http://www.instructables.com/id/BBQ-conversion-to-Gas/
http://www.instructables.com/id/BBQ-conversion-to-Gas/
step 1: Parts Needed
For Natural Gas:
1) 3/8 NG hose and a needle valve to adjust the flame size. I use brass 45deg flair fitting for the hose ends and the attachments at the BBQ and house.
2) Fire ring/bar. This is the distribution system that is below the grill for your gas. If you have the ability to weld and make rings you can make your own using a 1/2
weldable (not cast iron) coupler in the center, 5/8 thin wall tubing for the ring and drilling 3/32 holes every 1 1/2". The ring should 1/2 - 1/3 the size of your BBQ container
diameter.
Stainless steel will prolong the life of the ring especially during the winter when you forget to cover your BBQ in the first rain. I've heard of people using copper too.
3) BBQ Fittings: A 1/2 NPT brass bulkhead coupler and 1 1/8 lock nut, or a 1/2 weldable steel coupler, Brass1/2 to 1/4 reducer, 1/4 street 90, neddle valve, 45 deg flare
(for attaching the hose to)(not used in this build), brass 1/2 NPT nipple (to attach the the ring to the coupler welded to the container)(not used in this build).
4) House Fittings: all brass; 3/4 to 3/8 reducer, 3/8 street 90, 3/8 nipple, 3/8 ball valve, 3/8 to 45 deg flare for attaching hose to BBQ.

For Propane:
1) Regulator/hose 1-30 PSI (not a BBQ regulator, too small) and a needle valve to adjust the flame size. I use brass 45deg flair fitting for the hose ends and the
attachment at the BBQ. BBQ propane tank. You will need a venturi if the propane flame is too smoky.

Alt.: Home Depot sells replacement BBQ parts. Buy the reg, hose, burner and install in your charcoal grill.

I've put together an affordable kit of the basic plumbing supplies you'll need to build a fire pit. This kit could be used to build a BBQ as well.
I offer several sizes of rings, stainless upgrades and fully auto systems for high end remote controlled fire pits.
Fire Pit Kit link

http://www.instructables.com/id/BBQ-conversion-to-Gas/
Image Notes Image Notes
1. House plumbing 1. Propane Regulator
2. Needle valve
3. Bulkhead fitting

step 2: Make a hole


1) The fire ring/bar should be 4-8 from the grill. Closer will give you hot spots and farther will even out the heat. I chose 5 so I could have hot spots for the meat and
veggies could cook slower on the sides.
2) Locate and mark the hole for the bulkhead fitting on the BBQ, then center punch. Make sure you are center punching with a hard object backing up the other side. if
you don't your mark will be too light and you risk just making a big dent. Now using a hole saw on a drill, make a 1 1/8 hole. if you find the bit wandering off center go
back and make a better center punch. Stainless steel is very hard and lots of pressure is need to get it started.

http://www.instructables.com/id/BBQ-conversion-to-Gas/
step 3: Add the plumbing
For this build I use a brass Bulkhead fitting & set nut. It fits snug in the hole and needed no additional sealant or welding. Use a wrench to make sure it's tight. Now thread
the fire ring on one side and the 1/2 to 1/4 reducer, 1/4 street 90, needle valve, and 45 deg flare on the other. I used Teflon tape to seal.

Alternates methods of plumbing the gas though the container for thicker materials:
Bolt on flange - great for thick material. Make sure to use a high temp silicon sealer to make sure there are no leaks. see attached photo
Weldable couple r- The best solution, but you must be able to weld.

Now attach the hose/regulator using the 45 deg flare fitting on the end of your hose.

http://www.instructables.com/id/BBQ-conversion-to-Gas/
http://www.instructables.com/id/BBQ-conversion-to-Gas/
step 4: Natural Gas hook up
When I built my house I made sure to leave a t so I could hook up "other things" later.
!st shut down your gas. Next I removed the plug and replaced it with a ball valve and a 3/8 45 deg flare fitting to attach to the hose.

Now hook up the hose.

http://www.instructables.com/id/BBQ-conversion-to-Gas/
step 5: Propane hookup
Propane (not used in this build)

Follow the instructions in steps 1-3. In step 3 complete the connection of the bulk head fitting to the fire ring/bar, then attach the Venturi shown below to the bulkhead
fitting. A 1/2 F npt to 45 deg flare threads on to the venturi to attach the hose to. The 30 psi Regulator has the needle valve attached to it, but this could also be placed at
the BBQ for easy reach to adjust the flame size.
The venturi introduces air to the gas and takes the soot away. The one I sell has an adjustment nut to fine tune to your BBQ.

I used Teflon tape to seal all the NPT fittings.

Image Notes
1. New kit now available on my website for $95

http://www.instructables.com/id/BBQ-conversion-to-Gas/
http://www.instructables.com/id/BBQ-conversion-to-Gas/
step 6: Time to Cook
Zolie suggested we get out the fire hat in case we didn't do it right.
This is a match light set up and a long BBQ lighter is a must. It worked pretty good and is much easier then lighting briquet's.

Additions I might add are:


Push button lighter
thin sheet metal over the flame to spread out the heat more.
Meat to eat.

Have fun

Link to my Fire kit site.


http://www.formandreform.com/wordpress/?page_id=2568

http://www.instructables.com/id/BBQ-conversion-to-Gas/
http://www.instructables.com/id/BBQ-conversion-to-Gas/
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Comments
9 comments Add Comment

irongus says: Jul 29, 2010. 10:02 AM REPLY


It takes 20 minutes from deciding to have a BBQ to having the coals ready...and that includes getting the beer out of the fridge...how can that be too long?

anyheck says: Jul 29, 2010. 9:30 AM REPLY


You may want to consider a quick disconnect (which is self-closing) on there so that it's not trivial to just open the valve and have gas venting if you have
your grill moved out of the way for some reason. Makes moving the grill easier too. Something like this: http://www.bar-b-
que.com/store/item.asp?ITEM_ID=391

http://www.instructables.com/id/BBQ-conversion-to-Gas/
fungus amungus says: Jul 27, 2010. 11:36 AM REPLY
Nice project. Zolie looks like she makes a great helper, too.

carpespasm says: Jul 29, 2010. 8:10 AM REPLY


More kids should be using power tools. Makes for good memories, smart kids, and cute photos.

jonsarriugarte says: Jul 27, 2010. 6:31 PM REPLY


she is a great helper! Daddy is very proud. Jon

ELF says: Jul 28, 2010. 10:29 AM REPLY


My parents' new BBQ grill has a gas STARTER, but is still charcoal based. If one prefers charcoal, I wonder how much different the grill would have to be to
be used as a quick-start-charcoal-grill... Anyone tried making one?

dragonvpm says: Jul 28, 2010. 6:54 AM REPLY


This looks like a very nice project, but I was a bit concerned about the hose. You didn't really mention anything about it. What kind is it and is it approved for
use with NG? For any folks reading this who aren't familiar with working with fuel gasses, not all hoses are created equal and using a hose that is not
actually intended for use with NG could create a significant insurance liability if there was ever a fire etc... That's not to say you can't do this sort of project,
just that it's important to make sure that everything used is approved for use outdoors, with NG etc... Also did you happen to check if there were any local
restrictions on what kinds of materials are approved for NG use? I know of some cities where the gas company might shut down your gas service if they saw
this sort of setup (and depending on where it was in relation to your gas meter that could be more or less likely). Again not a deal breaker but no one wants
to come home to find their gas shut off (and if you live someplace like my home town if your gas is shut off for some sort of installation issue you can't get it
turned back on until you have the whole thing inspected by the city). Anyways, good job on the Instructable and the project itself.

jonsarriugarte says: Jul 28, 2010. 7:36 AM REPLY


Good point, make sure your hose is rated for Natural Gas and/or propane. This is usually printed on the hose. BBQ retail stores are a great place to find
both, or contact me for parts.

SinAmos says: Jul 27, 2010. 1:22 PM REPLY


I love that you did this, because is exactly what I was going to do, but it was far down on my list.

http://www.instructables.com/id/BBQ-conversion-to-Gas/