How Long Will Your Grill's Propane Tank Last?

Whether you’re showing off your new propane grill or trying an unusual recipe with the family, the last thing you want to do is run out of gas. The possibility of a fuel shortage is one of the main differences between propane and natural gas grills, but you can still avoid it if you know about how much usage you’ll get from a standard, 20-pound propane tank. That’s why we’ve put together the chart below to show approximately what you can expect from a propane tank in terms of BTUs, pounds used per hour, and total number of hours. While this guide can save you from rushing to the store mid-cookout as your food gets cold, we also strongly recommend you keep a spare propane tank stored a safe distance away from the grill. After all, the grill must go on!

Below is a chart indicating the BTU's per hour and the usage on a 20 lb (5 gal) PROPANE TANK.

No. of BTUs

Lb Usage per Hour

No. of Hours


0.5 lbs



0.9 lbs



1.4 lbs


*Values are not intended as absolutes, but rather approximate guides.

If you’re building or upgrading your outdoor kitchen, adding a propane tank storage bin to the space will give you a secure location for your gas while the grill is in use.