My gas bbq grill is a few years old and the flames are uneven and orange: how do I bring it back like new?

Too rich fuel/air ratio
Too rich fuel/air ratio
Perfectly adjusted
Perfectly adjusted

Flame colour and what it means

Fire !

The result of fuel, air and sufficient heat to ignite the fuel.

In the specific case as a BBQ, the fire is ignited propane or natural gas and air that has been released into the "mantle",a "U " or "H" shaped chamber that by design allows the mix to escape through a series of very small holes around it's edges.

The objective of the design is to provide even heat from the bottom of the firebox, and as we all know some designs are better than others.

In a new system, the components are optimized.The adjustments are set to obtain the maximum heat from the fuel.

That is represented by a blue flame, an indication of the most efficient combination of fuel and air- the hottest !

With propane, that is 21,000 BTU/LB. The amount of heat to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit would be 1 BTU.

The equivalent is 23,000 BTU/LB for natural gas, but I digress...

The yellow flame is the result of too much gas relative to the amount of air.

As the BBQ is only a few years old,it is unlikely the mantle is the problem (with more holes in it than originally designed), but it could be.

Disconnect the gas supply, lift off the cooking grate, and remove the grid that keeps the coals off the mantle ,remove the mantle, and clean out the holes with an old toothbrush.

If all looks good,replace the stages of equipment and test.

If the flame is still yellow, from outside the BBQ, follow the gas line from the gas supply to what conceptually looks like a funnel with an adjustable "door".

That unit is a regulator for the fuel air mixture.

Carefully adjust the "door" by shutting it down until the flame turns to the more efficient blue color.

That should solve the problem.

If it turns out the mantle didn't pass inspection, take it to your friendly hardware store and replace it with an equivalent.

Comments 4 comments

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California

This is awesome. Just a dang tooth brush eh? Can't wait to try this.

millsea profile image

millsea 7 years ago Author

If more friendly persuasion is required - a"tender"use of a wire brush might do the trick.

Brad 7 years ago

you contradicted yourself; the photo with yellow flame says, "Too rich fuel/air ratio" (meaning too much fuel compared to air); then you go on to say, "The yellow flame is the result of too much air relative to the amount of gas"; so which is it?

millsea 7 years ago


Thanks for picking up the contradiction. I will eliminate the error , namely yellow flame is too high an air to fuel ratio.

The caption under the picture of the yellow flame is the correct statement.

Thank you again.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article