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  • Last Updated: 27 July 2021

Gas for a BBQ:  What Type of Gas for BBQ – BBQ Gas Bottle – Barbecue Gas Bottle

The gas for a BBQ grill is LPG, and would include propane gas, butane gas and mixtures of these fuel gases. This is also referred to as BBQ gas or barbecue gas.


The type of gas for a BBQ grill is either propane (LPG) or natural gas. LPG is what type of gas for a BBQ (barbecue) gas bottle and is composed of the flammable hydrocarbon gases propane and butane. A barbecue gas bottle (BBQ gas bottle) is the same as an LPG gas bottle.

A gas BBQ heats up instantly, without a lot of preparation, and require no ash clean up. Gas BBQ grills are manufactured for propane use but can be easily converted to natural gas.

Gas for a BBQ is also referred to as BBQ gas or patio gas (propane gas or butane gas). Both propane and butane are sold as gas for a BBQ (gas for a barbecue) and both work equally well. In Australia, a BBQ gas bottle contains propane.

Gas BBQ grills are the most popular kind of home BBQ. They are fuelled by LPG BBQ gas bottles or a natural gas connection from the house.

The vast majority of BBQs are built for LPG and require conversion for natural gas.

A barbecue gas bottle (BBQ gas bottle) is the same as an LPG gas bottles and is also referred to as “patio gas bottle”.

What Gas for BBQ

Gas for BBQ is LPG – Liquefied Petroleum Gas – meaning either propane, butane or a mixture of the two. Gas for BBQ can also be natural gas, if hooked up to the home’s natural gas supply.


Which Gas for a BBQ Gas Bottle – What Gas is in BBQ Gas Bottles

A BBQ gas bottle contains propane gas. It is a great choice for year round cooking, as propane works at a lower temperature than butane – another common gas for a BBQ. Available in 9kg and 4kg BBQ gas bottle sizes, there’s gas for every size barbecue.

Gas for a BBQ gas bottle can be supplied as pure propane, pure butane or a mixture of the two types for gas for a BBQ gas bottle (patio gas bottle).

Assuming summer gas BBQ weather, which of these LPG gases for a BBQ would make virtually no difference in your gas grilling experience.  So, which gas for a BBQ gas bottle is a moot point.

LPG gas for a BBQ fuel (gas for barbecues) is liquefied through pressurisation and distributed in small portable gas bottles or disposable cartridges.

Gas for a BBQ gas bottle (patio gas bottle) is also used for various outdoor gas appliances including outdoor heaters, smokers, fire pits and pizza ovens, as well as a gas for grilling.

What is Patio Gas – Patio Gas vs Propane – Patio Gas Bottle – Patio Gas Cylinder

Patio gas can be either propane or butane and supplied in a patio gas bottle or patio gas cylinders. Both propane and butane are sold as patio gas for BBQ (gas for a BBQ) and both work equally well, although propane is preferred in cold weather.

Patio gas is supplied in a patio gas bottle (BBQ gas bottle), which requires a patio gas regulator. Patio gas refill is available for virtually all patio gas bottles (patio gas cylinder).

Patio gas bottle sizes include 13kg patio gas and 5kg patio gas in the UK whilst Australia has 9kg and 4kg patio gas bottles (BBQ gas bottles).

In addition to using patio gas for BBQ, it can also be used in a gas patio heater.

Regarding patio gas vs propane, they are essentially the same thing.

9 Fast Facts About Gas for a BBQ Gas Bottle – What Type of Gas for a BBQ Fuel

Most BBQs – barbecues – can use either propane, butane or a propane-butane mix. In countries where propane and butane use different gas regulators, the gas regulator determines what gas to use for BBQ. Both gases will work equally well unless the temperature drops below freezing, when butane stops vaporising.

In cold weather situations, propane is the gas of choice, as a butane bottle stops providing usable gas below freezing.

1. LPG is the acronym for Liquefied Petroleum Gas, which is gas for barbecues.

2. LPG gas for barbecues fuel is flammable hydrocarbon gas that is liquefied through pressurisation.

3. Gas for a BBQ gas bottle (patio gas bottle) comes from natural gas processing and petroleum refining.

4. The gases that fall under the “BBQ gas” label include either propane or butane, as well as mixtures of these two types for fuel gas for BBQ grilling.

5. Gas for a BBQ (gas for a barbecue) is compressed into liquid at relatively low pressures.

6. Fuel gas for a BBQ gas bottle (patio gas bottle) is frequently used for outdoor gas appliances, like gas BBQ and patio heaters, hence the name patio gas bottle.

7. Gas for a BBQ (gas for a barbecue) is stored, as a liquid, in small BBQ gas bottles.

8. Gas for a BBQ grill is the same as LPG

9. LPG gas for a BBQ (gas for barbecues) is also called BBQ gas or patio gas.

Physical Properties of Gas for a BBQ Gas Bottle (Gas for a Barbecue)

Gas for a BBQ Gas Bottle Properties Chart

BBQ Gas Properties

Properties BBQ Gas
Chemical Formula C3H8
Energy Content: MJ/m3 95.8
Energy Content: MJ/kg 49.58
Energy Content: MJ/L 25.3
Boiling Temp: Cº -42
Pressure @ 21ºC: kPa 858.7
Flame Temp: Cº 1967
Expansion: m3/L 0.270
Gas Volume: m3/kg 0.540
Relative Density: H2O 0.51
Relative Density: air 1.53
kg per L 14.96
L per kg 0.51
Specific Gravity @ 25ºC 1.55
Density @ 15ºC: kg/m3 1.899

Note: Some numbers have been rounded

Which Type of Gas for a BBQ – Composition Gas for a BBQ (Gas for a Barbecue)

Which type of gas is in BBQ gas bottles varies in different countries. What is supplied can be propane, butane or propane-butane blends (gas for barbecues).

Type of gas for a BBQ (gas for barbecues) is just propane in Australia and the USA.

In NZ, gas for a BBQ is a propane-butane blend.

In the UK, you can purchase patio gas as either propane or butane gas for a BBQ.

Can You Use Butane Gas Instead of Propane as Gas for a BBQ Grill

You can use butane instead of propane as type of gas for a BBQ (gas for barbecues) as long as the ambient temperature is above freezing. If the temperature drops below freezing the butane will stop vaporising and you will have no usable gas.

Gas for a BBQ Goes by Other Names – What is Patio Gas?

In the UK, the gas is in BBQ gas bottles can also be referred to as “Patio Gas”. Patio gas is propane, but they also sell butane gas in BBQ gas bottles sizes.

BBQ gas goes by a number of names and this can sometimes be confusing.

In Australia, it is called BBQ gas or LPG gas.

It is also called Camping Gas.

In the USA they just refer to the vessel instead of the gas, so it is a “Propane Tank”.

When they use it, they also usually call it grilling, instead of barbecuing.

BBQ Gas Bottles

BBQ gas bottles vary in size depending on the country you are in.

For example, the most common BBQ gas bottles in Australia and the US are 9kg (20lbs).

There are also smaller bottles, like the 4kg BBQ gas bottles, that are popular with campers.

Some backpack sized camping appliances use even smaller 220g (8oz) disposable butane cartridges.

Coleman also makes a 454g (16oz) propane camping bottles, as well as a 250g propane-butane low profile cartridge.

In the UK, 13kg and 5kg are the most common sizes of patio gas, in addition to a large choice of other gas bottle sizes.

Worldwide, the list of sizes and content combinations is extensive.

What is BBQ Gas Used For?

Gas for a BBQ (patio gas) is utilised in numerous different applications, including many that are far from barbecuing and the patio. The common factor is the need for a small and/or portable fuel source.

Common residential uses include gas BBQ, patio heaters, pizza ovens, smokers, spit roasters, outdoor fire pits, gas lights, and mosquito traps, as well as caravans.

There are also some that are a bit more exotic, like outboard motors, lawn mowers, bird scaring canons, and more.

The small gas bottles can have commercial uses, including portable generators, floor polishers, blow torches, soldering, industrial burners, jewellery melting and moulding, small kilns, flame weeders, floor sanitisers for livestock enclosures and various other applications.

In major emergencies, like floods, cyclones, earthquakes and other natural disasters, people use BBQ gas (patio gas) for generators, cooking, hot water, heating and more.

LPG Gas Hot Water Systems for Camping

There are also LPG gas hot water systems for camping. These are fuelled by 9kg camping gas bottles. They are self-contained units that you just hang outside near a water source.

Where Does Gas for a BBQ Come From?

There are two types of gas for BBQ: propane and butane. Gas for a BBQ (patio gas) is produced during natural gas processing and oil refining. This BBQ gas can be used as is or separated into its three primary parts: propane, butane and isobutane.


Gas for a BBQ (LPG) comes from drilling oil and gas wells.


It is liquefied through pressurisation and stored in BBQ gas bottles.

How Does Gas for a BBQ Work?

Gas for a BBQ (patio gas) is stored under pressure, as liquid gas is in BBQ gas bottles. Almost all of the uses for BBQ gas involve the use of the gas vapour, not the liquefied gas.

It turns back into gas vapour when you release some of the pressure in the gas bottle by turning on your gas appliance.

But first it must go through a gas regulator.

What are BBQ Gas Regulators?

BBQ gas regulators regulate the pressure at which the gas is delivered from the gas bottle to the BBQ or other appliance.  BBQ gas regulators typically come equipped with an attached gas hose that connects to the BBQ.

The regulator screws directly into the gas bottle whilst the gas hose screws into the appliance.

The standard BBQ regulator type in Australia is a ‘POL’ regulator which has a male connector (reverse or left-handed thread) that fits into a ‘POL’ valve on the gas bottle.

Other countries use other valve and regulator types.

What is BBQ Gas Bottle Testing?

BBQ gas bottles must be inspected periodically for safety and re-certification. In Australia, the testing period is 10 years and the test date is permanently marked or stamped on the bottle, however, the testing period can vary by country.

The gas bottles are subject to internal and external inspection for rust and any other damage.

Physical testing, including pressure tests, may be required depending on the type of gas bottle and the country where tested.

Only approved testing facilities are authorised to test and re-certify gas bottles, cylinders and tanks.

Renewable vs Climate Friendly Gas for a BBQ

Most people would think that a renewable fuel, like charcoal, is more eco-friendly than gas for a BBQ. However, when it comes to charcoal versus Gas for a BBQ (patio gas), the climate friendly choice is not what you may think.

Biofuels do not always result in a smaller carbon footprint than the fossil fuel alternatives.

The problem with charcoal is that it emits almost 3X the amount of CO2 that is produced when you use gas for a BBQ.

This is harmful because CO2 is a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.

To produce charcoal, you heat wood in a kiln.

However, the usable output of charcoal is only around 20-35% of the original input.

The remainder of the wood turns into gas and is emitted into the atmosphere.

In contrast, BBQ gas energy yields are greater than 90%.

The fact that you cannot simply turn a charcoal grill ON and OFF increases the problem.

Charcoal fires need to be started ahead of time and then take time to burn themselves out.

Gas for a BBQ (patio gas) is just a much more efficient fuel for cooking.

The following chart shows the comparison:

Source: Eric Johnson, Atlantic Consulting

Gas BBQ Coals

Does a gas BBQ need coals?

No, a gas BBQ is fueled by the BBQ gas alone.

Final Thoughts on Which Gas for a BBQ

Which gas is in BBQ gas bottles is BBQ gas (patio gas) is a safe, versatile and portable energy source. It is also easy to use, transport and refill. But most of all, gas for a BBQ (patio gas) helps make outdoor activities more enjoyable.




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The information in this article is derived from various sources and is believed to be correct at the time of publication. However, the information may not be error free and may not be applicable in all circumstances.