Monthly Archives: April 2012

A Gassy Problem

Picture Credit: http://www.exxonmobil.com.sg

“Grrrrr! Why doesn’t my gas tank fit into my barbecue cabinet?!”

I’ve heard that complaint a few times from my customers. I know it seems like an obvious thing, that the gas tank should be able to fit into the cabinet of your portable grill. Unfortunately, barbecues aren’t always made to fit tanks approved under Singapore regulations because they’re not from here.

What I’ve picked up from gas companies is that Singapore approved gas tanks come in the following sizes: 4.5kg, 11.3kg and 12.7kg. The 9kg gas tank which is used in Australia and New Zealand are not approved here (don’t ask me why, I don’t know). I think some companies still offer them, but I doubt insurance would cover you if there were to be an accident.

We get lots of gas related questions, so here’s what I can tell you just based on experience:

1. Your gas tank isn’t going to explode if you leave it outdoors. I’ve left my gas tank outside with my barbecue for years and nothing weird has happened. It’s still there. The barbecue is still in tact. And my house has not burnt down in the process. We leave it under the side table of our barbecue and pull the vinyl cover over to cover both grill and gas tank.

2. I know it looks unsightly to have your gas tank on the side of your barbecue instead of inside the cabinet, but in actual fact, it’s not advisable for one to have their gas tank inside their barbecue when they’re using it as you don’t want the tank too close to the burner flames. All other times, you would have your vinyl cover over the gas tank.

3. How long does a gas tank last for? On a 2 burner barbecue, a 4.5kg tank would last approximately 8 hours of non-stop barbecuing. So, I guess if you do the math, a 12.7kg tank would last about 20 hours on a 2 burner barbecue and 10 hours on a 4 burner. We usually just advise our customers to get the large tanks because they’re cheaper and last longer. You get more bang for your buck! Seriously, a 4.5kg gas tank costs about $190 whereas a 12.7kg tanks costs about $70 (it’s a $40 deposit for the tank and $30 for the gas itself).

It’s funny that the large tanks are cheaper than the small ones, but there’s less demand for the small ones, so they’re pricier. Also, large barbecues with at least 4 burners can’t take the 4.5kg gas tanks as your burners will cut off when you turn all of them on at same time.

4. Gas regulators. One thing to note about gas regulators is that they don’t all fit the same brands of gas tanks. Some gas regulators only fit Esso Mobil tanks, while others fit Shell tanks. So if your BBQ supplier has given you a regulator, make sure to ask which brand of tanks their suitable for or you might end up having to buy a new regulator.

Alright, that’s all the questions I can think of so far. If you have a question, just shoot it over and I’ll see what I can do about getting you your answer! Till next time!

For more information, you can check our the exxonmobil site:  http://www.exxonmobil.com.sg/AP-English/about_who_profile_lpg_safety.aspx

Order Gas from Tan Brothers Gas.

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It’s a Material World!

Madonna was right to say it’s a material world. Just like diamonds, barbecues have different pricings according to the materials they are made of.

You can find barbecue parts made out of all sorts of materials. For example, a barbecue could be made out of stainless steel. But there are so many different grades of stainless steel. The most commonly used for barbecues are 430, 202 and 304. 430 is the cheapest, followed by 202, with 304 being the most expensive.

A little chemisty lesson for those of you who aren’t scientifcally inclined (like me!), what makes stainless steel different from regular steel is the presence of chromium which gives it that anti-rust protection. So, 304, having the most chromium out of the three grades, is the most expensive because it’s the most rust resistant. So, don’t be shocked when you see a huge jump in prices between and 430 SS grill and a 304 SS grill.

As for the grill plates, there’s cast iron, and then there’s enamelled cast iron. I know most of our customers prefer the raw cast iron grills, but enamelled cast iron still costs more because it still has a porcelain coating over it.

So, when considering which barbecue to purchase, take into account the materials that go into it. That way, you’ll know if you’re really paying for quality.