As soon as you convert your Blackstone griddle over to natural gas your days of worrying if you will have enough propane in the tank are over. You also get to stop wasting time running around town, and spending extra cash, to fill up propane tanks. This guide will walk you through 5 tips of how to easily convert your Blackstone griddle to natural gas.
Please note that you can only convert the following griddles:
- 36 inch, four burner
- Rangetop Combo with Bonus Deep Fryer
- 28 inch, two burner
You cannot convert the following griddles to natural gas.
- Air Fryer Combo
- 22 inch, two burner griddle
- 17 inch single burner portable griddle
Installation of the conversion kit components is pretty simple and Blackstone has made a very useful video.
Here are five tips for making the transition from propane to natural gas easy and painless!
Tip #1: Buy The Conversion Kit
You might think this is obvious but a lot of folks have tried to avoid buying the kit and really screwed up their griddles. People are trying the DIY approach for two reasons:
- The Conversion Kits are really popular and sell out fast. If you see one in stock then buy it now.
- The conversion kit costs $59 which some people think is too much money for what you get.
The reason the kit is so expensive is because it comes with the orifices that are needed for the 36 inch, 28 inch and Tailgater griddles. Each of these griddles have different BTU ratings so each requires their own orifices.
People try the DIY approach by drilling out the existing orifice on their own. If you drill the orifice yourself then you have to use the EXACT right sized drill bit. If the bit is a little too small then your griddle won’t get hot enough. If the bit is too large then the griddle top can get too hot and warp.
If you want to try the DIY route then here is a Reddit thread where they think they have the right drill bit sizes figured out.
But seriously, just buy the conversion kit.
Tip #2: Buy A Reducer and Pipe Glue
The conversion kit comes with a 3/8 inch quick connect fitting that hooks up to your gas line.
Most homes have a 1/2 inch supply line so chances are that you are going to need to go down to the hardware store and buy a 1/2 inch to 3/8 inch reducer.
As long as you are at the hardware store go ahead and pick up some pipe glue to help make sure the connection stays sealed.
Tip #3: Schedule Plenty of Time to Complete the Job
Installing the new orifices is pretty simple and you can be finished with the standard 4 burner or two burner griddles in 15 minutes. The side burners on the Range Top Combo are a bit of a bugger to deal with so you are probably going to spend 30 minutes if you are working on that griddle.
Where you are going to end up spending more than 30 minutes is attaching the quick connect fitting to your home’s natural gas supply line. If you already have a natural gas line running to an existing grill then tapping into that is pretty simple. However, if this is your first time setting up an outdoor cooker with natural gas then chances are that you are going to need to run some pipe as the hose that comes with the kit is only 10 feet long.
If you are in the situation where you need to run some pipe then you will need to shut off the gas supply and then will have to relight any pilot lights in your hot water heaters, etc later.
Tip #4 Do Not Force The Orifice
Blackstone calls this out in the video above but it is worth repeating to not over tighten the new orifices when installing.
There are several reviews on the Blackstone website from people who over tightened the orifices and snapped them off. The orifices are made of brass and will break easier than you think.
Also pay careful attention to the “fit and feel” of the orifice. There are several different sizes of orifice and they have different threading. If you are trying to screw it in and it just doesn’t feel right then do not force it to fit. Go back and look at the orifice you took out and see if it matches the treads on the one you are trying to install.
Tip #5 Be Careful
While the conversion process is simple you do need to pay attention to what you are doing.
Check all of the new connections with soapy water to see if you can spot, or smell, any gas leaks.
You are also going to need to be hyper vigilant about turning off the burners and shutting off the gas supply when you are done cooking.
There have been many evenings when I was using a propane fueled gas grill, especially after having a beer ow two, where I have left the burners on and drained a tank of propane. While leaving the burning grill unattended was stupid the risks were mitigated because once the tank went empty the fire went out Once you convert over to natural gas you will not have this safety feature as the supply of natural gas is going to keep on coming.