Converting a Propane Grill to Natural Gas

If you own a dual-fuel grill, converting it from propane to natural gas can save you money and time, and maybe even enhance the flavor of your food

D.P. Taylor
Written by D.P. Taylor
Updated June 15, 2022
Gas grill
Photo: kieferpix / Adobe Stock
Difficulty

Intermediate

Perfect for handy homeowners.

Time to complete

1 hour, 30 minutes

Not including time to hire a professional to extend your gas line.

Cost

$50–$100

May be worth the DIY if your budget is tight.

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What you'll need:

TOOLS

  • Propane to natural gas conversion kit
  • Adjustable or pipe wrench
  • Jet wrench or hex key (often included in the kit)

For typically less than $100, you may be able to replace the valves and burners on a propane grill and adapt it to burning natural gas. However, these conversion kits are often after-market products made by third-party manufacturers, and some grill manufacturers expressly warn against conversion.

Can You Convert Any Propane to Natural Gas?

Not all grills can make the leap from propane to natural gas. Take a look at the inside door of your grill or your manufacturer's manual for a note about its dual-fuel capability. When in doubt, always call the brand directly with questions.

If you own a dual-fuel grill, converting it from propane to natural gas can save you money and time, and maybe even enhance the flavor of your food. 

Getting Started: Safety First

All DIY experts know that projects involving flammable materials require extra care. Before considering converting a propane grill yourself, be sure you know the risks of propane and natural gas.

That being said, grill manufacturers have made it easy for home grillers to make the switch themselves with conversion kits. If you're even in doubt about whether you can convert your grill if you've completed the project correctly, call a local gas grill installer for an extra pair of trained eyes.

While each conversion kit and grill instructions will vary slightly—and you should always refer to those for specific details—we've included the general steps to expect when switching the system yourself.

  1. Buy the Right Grill Conversion Kit

    Every grill requires a unique conversion kit. You can find these kits online, at your local major grilling or hardware store, or from the manufacturer. Be sure the number of your grill model pairs with the compatibility of your kit. Quite often, you can locate this info in your manual.

    Kits typically include a natural gas hose, regulator, gas jets, and a range of small wrenches or hex keys to get the job done. They will usually run you between $50 and $100.

    Another safety note: Never hook up your natural gas line to your grill without converting it beforehand. The two fuels burn differently, and not only will this grill your steaks incorrectly, but it can be dangerous as well.

  2. Contact Your Gas Company

    Find the best gas line contractor or plumber to run a line from home to your grill for just $20 to $25 per linear foot. Let them know that you're converting your propane grill, in case they have any tips for an ideal setup.

  3. Turn Off Your Gas Line

    Before you send the plumber on their merry way, inquire about accessing your home's gas shutoff line. You'll need to turn the gas line off before connecting the grill, and of course, turn it back on when you're ready to get cooking.

    If you have a street-side gas line valve, you may need a professional to adjust it for you.

  4. Prep Your Grill

    Large BBQ grill
    Photo: tab62 / Adobe Stock

    Now that there isn’t any natural gas flowing, it's time to shut down the old system. Be sure the grill knobs are all set to the off position and the propane tank removed. Make sure to close the LP tank valve as well.

  5. Remove Top Layer and Burners

    Open up your grill and remove the:

    • Cooking grates

    • Warming racks

    • Flame tamers

    Now, you'll find the burners revealed below. Depending on the size of the grill, you'll typically see between two and six burners. These will look like long metal tubs with a line of portholes across the top for the flame to escape.

    To remove the burners, slip out the hitch pins on either side of each burner. You should be able to do this by hand. Remove any carryover tubes connecting the burners and then delicately remove the burners themselves. We should note that every grill differs slightly, so always check your manual for details.

    You'll need to put these back later, so we recommend snapping a photo before removing them.

  6. Replace Orifices

    Your propane grill includes several small gas jets—also known as orifices or spuds—that send gas between the hose and the burners. Use the hex key or provided tool to reach into the grill and delicately unscrew these small, brass pieces. You can keep these if you intend to switch your grill back later, but do not use them for natural gas.

    If your kit includes natural gas orifices, replace them at this time.

  7. Switch Out Your Bezels

    Remove the knobs on the front of your grill—you should be able to pull them directly off toward you—and look at the metal panels below. These bezels acted as a control for the flow of propane, so you can slow cook veggies or get a sear on a burger. Unscrew the old bezels and replace them with the natural gas varieties in the kit.

    Make sure you properly align the lines before tightening the screws. Once they are secure, pop the knobs back on.

  8. Reinstall Burners

    Here's where that photo from earlier comes in handy. Working backward, place the burners, carryover bars, and hitch pins back in the right place. Be sure it looks exactly as it did before removing them, or your grill will not heat correctly.

  9. Switch Your Hose

    Use a wrench to unscrew the propane regulator hose from the manifold connection. This hose is typically located off the side of the grill underneath the side wrack. You can save this with your propane orifices if you ever choose to convert back. Secure the new hose that came with your conversion kit to the same spot.

  10. Get Ready to Grill

    Once your hose and all remaining parts are back on the grill, you're ready to switch on your gas line and get cooking. Again, if you're concerned at all about your handiwork, have a pro take a quick look. If this all sounds way outside your comfort zone, you can also hire a natural gas grill installer for between $140 and $430, depending on your grill and setup.

    No matter the path you choose, the skies are the limit once you have a gas line directly connected to your grill. From there, all that’s left to do is start planning all the foods you’ll be grilling up soon.

FAQs

Can I convert my propane-only grill to natural gas?

Many propane grills can be converted to natural gas, but not all of them. Some grills aren't set up for conversion at all, while others don't have a compatible conversion kit. Usually, in order to convert a propane grill, the company that manufactured the grill also needs to sell a conversion kit (which is why older propane grills generally can't be converted). 

Sometimes, a manufacturer won't produce a conversion kit because it can create safety hazards. Keep in mind converting your grill may violate the warranty.

Which is better to cook with, propane or natural gas?

You won't notice any difference in terms of the cooking capabilities of either propane or natural gas. The advantage that natural gas has is that it doesn't run out, unlike propane. If you don't like the hassle of monitoring your propane levels and keeping extra tanks around, natural gas is a good option. Natural gas is also less expensive over the long term (although it may cost more upfront).

What happens if you use natural gas on a propane stove?

If you tried to connect natural gas to a grill set up for propane, the grill would malfunction and possibly explode. You must convert the grill to use natural gas because natural gas is at a lower pressure than propane, meaning it could dangerously build up around the grill if it is not converted to account for this.

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Get quotes from top-rated pros.