Tag Archives: LPG gas tank for BBQ

Buying your first Gas Grill

Gas grills, as with most things in Singapore, don’t come cheap. We don’t manufacture many things here because labour is expensive and so is land for factories. So when you’re looking for a gas grill, you’ll want to make sure you can get the most bang for your buck.

Here is a check list of things to look out for when purchasing your first gas grill:

  1. What does the BBQ come with? What are you REALLY paying for?
    The price tag can be quite deceiving at times. Why does one 2 burner BBQ cost so much less than the other? Before deciding, find out if the BBQ comes with some essentials like a gas hose and regulator, and a rain cover (which is very necessary in Singapore weather!). Sometimes you’ll be getting a motorized rotisserie – it’s good to check on this one, especially if your BBQ comes with a back burner. Also, don’t forget to check on the local warranty period and what the warranty covers. Some local companies cover transport, service as well as replacement parts under their warranty.

  2. Why buy a grill in Singapore when it’s so much cheaper overseas?
    It’s not always the case that it’s cheaper overseas – take one of Napoleon’s more popular models, the Triumph T325SB. It’s USD499 (SGD698) on amazon, and after adding the standard amazon shipping charges and import fees, you’re looking at about USD840, which equates to SGD1174. It costs SGD999 to get it locally (or SGD1199 with the rain cover and rotisserie unit). For this amount, you will be getting your BBQ with a gas hose and regulator suitable for use in Singapore, 1-2 day delivery straight to your door, free assembly, and a local warranty which covers repairs, transport and replacement part costs.
  3. Materials!
    A BBQ grill can be made out of different materials so you have to know if the materials you’re paying for are justifiable. Standard materials for the bulk of the BBQ are usually stainless steel or powder-coated steel, but can also come in die-cast aluminum (usually for the fire box), chrome-plated steel (for the warming rack), and of course, cast iron (for the cooking grids and griddles). 304 stainless steel is probably the highest grade of stainless steel you can get for a standard gas grill, but most will be made of 430 or a mix of both materials. Why does it matter? Singapore’s humidity and rainy weather means lots of moisture everywhere, and moisture is bad for metal, especially when the grade of stainless steel is low. You’ll find corrosion and rust are a common sight.

    How do you know what kind of steel you’re getting? Do the magnet test. Magnets don’t stick to 304 stainless steel, but they do to 430 and powder-coated steel. Sometimes a BBQ will have a double-skinned hood, which means two layers of metal – the magnet test can be tricky here, because the hood could have a layer of 304 on the outside, and 430 on the inside. It’s designed this way to protect the more moisture-exposed areas of the BBQ.

    If you’re looking at a BBQ, and it has a steep price tag, check if the materials are 304 stainless steel or die-cast aluminum. That might be what you’re paying for.

  4. Other features – Burners, side burners, foldable side tables…
    Other parts you could be paying extra for are the burner power, so compare the BTU/kW with other similar BBQs. Some BBQs come with a side burner or back burner, and some will even be infrared types which are more expensive. Check if the side tables are foldable (if you have a space problem) and if the LPG tank can fit in the cabinet (not necessary, but helpful if you want a sleek integrated look). Other little features such as condiments racks, chopping boards, lights, hooks… these could be small little extras that make the BBQ special.

  5. Lastly, where is it made?
    Where the BBQ is made can contribute to the final price point just because it’s cheaper to ship from China than North America. Some brands will have factories in both locations producing different model ranges. For example, you might have Weber manufacturing their lower end range in China, and their higher end range in the USA, while Napoleon manufactures their entry-level range in both Canada and China, while their high-end Prestige and Rogue R425SIB models are all made in Canada.
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Grills, Gas & Regulators: 101

I did a post about getting gas for your BBQ a while back (I mean, years back!) – so if any of you are looking for the 411 on gas tanks and canisters in Singapore, this would be the most updated info you can get.

WHICH WORKS WITH WHAT?
BRAND: Can I use any gas regulator for any brand of gas tank? The answer is no. Some gas tanks work with different gas regulators, while others do not. Always check with the company that supplied the gas regulator to you (whether it’s the BBQ company or the gas supplier) which brand of gas tank will be suitable for the regulator you’re using. Even if the regulator fits the tank, it doesn’t mean it will work.

TANK SIZE: Larger grills need different sized gas tanks from smaller grills – yes, this means different gas regulators too. For example, any BBQ with 4 burners or less would need a regulator for a 12.7kg gas tank, whereas any BBQ with more than 4 burners would need a regulator for a 11.3kg gas tank (I know, it is weird that the larger BBQ needs a smaller gas tank). This information is specific to Esso and Mobil LPG tanks.

HOW SMALL CAN I GO?
It’s really hard to get a small gas tank in Singapore – but for those of you who are looking – you can actually still find the 4.5kg ones here, but they are very pricey and you have to get a special regulator from the gas supplier too. Users only want the 4.5kg tank because they can store it in their BBQ cabinets, but really, it’s not practical or worth the buck because it runs out so fast and it’s about 2.5 times the price of a large tank. Furthermore, it’s not compatible with larger grills because there’s just not enough pressure in the tank to keep a large BBQ running.

Some BBQs like the TravelQ TQ285X and the TQ285 table top grill, have the option of regulators that work with camping gas. No, camping gas is not the same as the gas you use for steamboats. These run out really fast, but they’re bought more for the convenience of being able to take them around – especially if you intend to go camping somewhere or have a small picnic in the great outdoors.

If a large gas tank stored outside your BBQ cabinet really irks you because it’s too ugly, perhaps consider an LPG tank cover that comes in different colours.

orange &  black

“Tacky no more!” Exclaimed the LPG tank.

CAN I GET PIPED IN?
TOWN GAS: If you’re looking to connect your BBQ to town gas (or piped gas), it’s definitely possible. You will have to check with your BBQ supplier if they are able to do this for you. Do not do it yourself, as you risk forfeiting the grill warranty.

SAFETY FIRST!
My gas supplier offered me an adjustable regulator – should I use it?
I wouldn’t recommend using it because if the pressure has been adjusted incorrectly, you could be looking at a flaming disaster as sometimes too much gas is released (believe me, hand-to-heart, this has happened!). Instead, check with the BBQ supplier for their recommendation first.

Here are some tips from Union Energy on how to store your LPG tank safely.

 

 

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New Grills this Season!

A couple of new barbecues just hit our shores and I’m going to tell you about them. Maybe you’ll find something quite suitable for your budget and lifestyle!

Firstly, I’m going to introduce the Ultra Chef line of grills by Canadian brand, Napoleon. They’re definitely cheaper than the existing lines from Napoleon here in Singapore, such as the Triumph, Lex and LE.

Napoleon Ultra Chef UC430

Full stainless steel UC430

What’s to love?

Price. The UC430 and UC500 are SGD1177 and SGD1498 respectively. The prices include GST, delivery & assembly costs, rain cover, gas regulator and hose, 1 year warranty (includes replacement parts, repairs, transport costs). Given that these are full stainless steel barbecues, this range is pretty affordable compared to similar models in the market.

The UC500 also comes with a motorised rotisserie kit. You can get an additional motorised rotisserie kit for the UC430 for an additional SGD120. Also available is the reversible hotplate for the UC500 – it also comes with the classic Napoleon “Wave” pattern.

UC430

Comes with the classic Napoleon “wave” grills.

UC side burner

UC side burner to complete that outdoor kitchen

Space. For those of you worried about not being about to fit the 12.7kg gas tanks in your BBQs, the UC line has a pretty tall cabinet so you can store your tanks inside.

Napoleon Ultra chef cabinet

Ample space in bottom cabinet to store your 12.7kg gas tank

Function. Both grills on the range come with side burners which turn your barbecue into an outdoor kitchen. Heat up sauces and grill at the same time without moving back and forth between your garden/balcony and kitchen. The UC500 also comes with a back burner and rotisserie.

Napoleon UC500 cooking area

UC500 has a slightly wider cooking surface than the UC430

Napoleon Ultra Chef UC500 hotplate

Optional Reversible Hotplate for the UC500

Napoleon Ultra Chef Back Burner

UC500 back burner

Moving on….

For the charcoal lovers, local brand Liberty Grills has a new addition to their barbecue family – the Liberty Spitfire Pro!

It’s really the new and improved successor to the original Spitfire 22″ kettle as they will be phasing it out soon (get ’em while in stock~ haha)

In terms of size, the two have the same cooking area, so no changes there. But the new Spitfire Pro does have a rounder, fuller fire bowl and lid combination compared to the first Spitfire which is definitely more aesthetically pleasing (especially with a smooth, glossy finish). It also stands on 3 thicker legs, as opposed to 4 thinner legs. Together with the slightly heavier fire bowl, the barbecue is much sturdier (no rocking about when you shake it) with a solid feel.

The new Liberty Spitfire Pro is available for $321 (price includes GST). They don’t come with rain covers, but those are easily attainable online or from some hardware/DIY stores like Handy House over at 120 Upper East Coast Road (next to Bodytec) or Decofix at Serene Centre. Those stores also sell other barbecue accessories too if you ever need charcoal or fire starters on the weekend.

Liberty Spitfire Pro 22"

Liberty Spitfire Pro 22″ Charcoal BBQ

Liberty Spitfire Pro 22"

Vent on Lid

Liberty Spitfire Pro 22"

Temperature gauge on lid

Liberty Spitfire Pro 22"

chrome-plate steel grills

Liberty Spitfire Pro 22"

Cooking Grid lifter

Liberty Spitfire Pro 22"

Ash Catcher

Liberty Spitfire Pro 22"

Ash Catcher

All barbecues are available online from Liberty Patio.

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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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