Quick, how much propane is in your grill’s propane tank? If you’re not sure, it’s completely understandable. Most of us have been caught in the predicament of our tanks hitting empty without any alternative propane fuel.

Hungry friends and family have to wait a little longer for what’s cookin’ while you head out for a propane refill. Our propane shortage moments always occur at the most inopportune time.

No need to worry, because there a number of ways to confront this dilemma. We already know to never hook up our grill to the propane tank. So let’s discuss some other tips to sidestep any possibilities of running out of propane.

Know how long your grill tank will last

Standard barbeque grill tanks are 20lbs. They hold about 4.7 gallons of propane. The standard 20lb grill provides about least 14 hours of usage time. What does this mean? You will be able to cook about once a day for one month on a full tank.

Keep an extra tank available

If you want to play it safe, buy yourself an extra propane tank. That way you will have a full spare to back up when your tank runs out of gas. Make sure that the valve at the top of your spare tank is securely avoid any unnecessary leakage.

In addition, make sure your propane is located outside of your home in a “cool, well-ventilated” area. If by any chance the propane cylinder becomes affected by the weather or any other outside elements, it’s important to replace the canister.

Weigh your grill tank to know the propane amount

An empty 20 lb tank will weigh in the range of 18-20lbs. After your refill, it should weigh between 38-40 lbs. Weigh your grill on a either a floor or hanging scale to get an accurate number. After you find out how much your tank weighs, subtract the tare weight. For example, your tank weighs 34 pounds and the tare weight (located on the collar) is 15.

34 (tank weight) – 15 (tare weight) = 19

You would have 19 remaining pounds which is predominantly full.

Buy a propane gauge

To avoid running out of propane at the worst possible time, use a gauge (most cost between $15-$20) to know exactly when to replenish your tank. If you have a 250 gallon tank and it reads 20%—don’t panic. You still have plenty of time to refill.

This conversion chart provides a easy to use visual of your specific tank size and capacity percentage. Whenever you have some downtime, head over to your local hardware store and pick up a gauge.

Share these tips to make sure the barbeque goes on!

If you have a friend that always seems to have that “I’m out of propane again” look, pass along these tips. They‘ll thank you for it and hopefully it will be the end of the dreaded shortage conversation. Happy grilling!