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Interesting modification for a Weber Q-series grill


docj

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Over the years there have been numerous threads about barbecue grills and I know that lots of people here have Weber Q's, both the 100 and 200. Most of the discussions have been related to switching to larger portable tanks and/or connecting directly to an RV's propane system.

 

I have a Q100 and had never gotten around to modifying it to take a larger tank; I had learned to live with the small propane cylinders, but my biggest gripe was that the heat output was marginal at best and degraded in windy conditions to practically useless. One night recently, I was trying to grill Redfish on the half shell in 10-15 mph winds and it seemed like forever before it was cooked through.

 

However, a couple of weeks ago I noticed that our "new" neighbor had used a rather different approach to connecting his Weber to a portable tank and the more he explained it the more it seemed like a neat thing to do. What he had done was replace the Weber fixed regulator with a 0-30 psi high pressure regulator that connects directly to a standard portable tank. Here's a link to the regulator: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007PS0938?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00 All it required were two small brass fittings to adapt its 3/8" flare fitting to the Weber.

 

The result of this conversion is a powerhouse of a grill that definitely eliminates the "not hot enough" complaint. In fact, I'll caution anyone thinking of buying such a regulator that it says on the packaging that it is not recommended for barbecue grills because it provides too fast a flow and could be dangerous. However, with the Weber's control valve still in the loop it's quite easy to keep the flame at a safe level, but one should be careful to start the burner with the regulator set close to the minimum flow rate.

 

I think this is going to be a great mod when trying to use the full grill surface of a Q-grill. Previously, when cooking things like multiple chickens, lots of burgers, etc, there simply wasn't enough heat. I found a nice little 2-gallon tank at Acehardware.com that was about the same price as a 1-gallon one on Amazon and only slightly fatter. Running the grill hotter will probably erode the burner faster, but they're pretty inexpensive.

 

I just assembled everything this afternoon. Now all that remains is to thaw some steaks and try it out!

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I converted mine about a year ago. Had been using an adapter on a 20# bottle with a hose to the grill before. Seemed like only 1/2 of the bottle was usable. Went to Lowes and got the fittings and hose with regulator after watching a youtube video. Here is the hose and regulator. http://www.lowes.com/pd_83559-82210-5184667_1z0wejj__?productId=50330337&pl=1 Now the whole bottle is usable and the grill works a lot better.

 

Jeff :)

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Joel,

 

So lets see if I understand clearly what you did. You did the normal removal of the Weber internal regulator and left it set up so that external regulation is required. Then you got a high output regulator like you use on (lets say) fish cooking setups.....that simply pushes more gas at the grill. Correct?

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Something not stressed in any documentation I found: First open the propane tank valve and then wait for at least 60 seconds before opening the main valve on the WeberQ. If you open the tank and then immediately open the grill valve the grill goes into bypass mode and never heats up sufficiently.

 

I got this from Weber directly. If you watch some of the Weber videos they will say to wait but do not explain why. Easy to miss but apparently pretty important.

 

I was experiencing some instances of the grill not warming up sufficiently. After waiting now it seems to work better.

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First open the propane tank valve and then wait for at least 60 seconds before opening the main valve on the WeberQ. If you open the tank and then immediately open the grill valve the grill goes into bypass mode and never heats up sufficiently.

 

X2. Very common issue. The pressure between the regulator and bypass safety device must equalize before opening any burner valve (also ensuring that all valves are fully closed prior to turning on the LP supply or you'll immediately go into bypass and have to reset). A good rule of thumb is 10 seconds per foot of hose. Ambient temperatures will also play a part, but 10sec/ft will generally getcha goin.

 

I am not AT ALL a fan of the high pressure reg mod's.

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Joel,

 

So lets see if I understand clearly what you did. You did the normal removal of the Weber internal regulator and left it set up so that external regulation is required. Then you got a high output regulator like you use on (lets say) fish cooking setups.....that simply pushes more gas at the grill. Correct?

 

Jack,

 

Right, more gas gets to the grill. Sure, I could have used a 0-3 psi regulator as someone has suggested, but I didn't see an adjustable with that kind of range on Amazon. What I plan to do is mark the "safe" position of the adjustment knob and will probably put a piece of duct tape on it to keep it in position. The tank's valve and the Weber's control knob provide more than enough safety with respect to making sure it is off when not in use. With the new regulator set a bit "above" the Weber's normal settings, I now have a grill that can adjusted over a full range of temperature settings using the Weber's own control knob.

 

Essentially, all I've done is turbocharge it!

 

As for those who say to wait before lighting the Weber to avoid bypass mode, all winter long I leave mine setup with the cylinder attached. Time between connecting and opening the Weber valve is irrelevant because the propane source is always present. That definitely wasn't my problem.

 

Joel

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I don't get this really. Mine runs fine on a 10 gallon tank using the Weber adapter hose. It gets well over 400 degrees quite quickly. Would thisbe better?

 

I can't say since I didn't try the Weber adapter. My experience has been that the Q100 is weak when I'm trying to do something like sear a piece of Albacore or even for an inch thick steak. For the first time since I bought the grill I was able to get it hot enough to really clean stuff off the cooking grate. In the past it would char but wouldn't really clean.

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Yea Doc I checked last night and my temp was 475 although I did not have it turned up all the way as I baking salmon in tin foil. I am not expert griller so maybe I am just satisfied with less. Still it seems to me that these grill units vary amongst themselves. I had read comments like yor before I bought my grill and was all prepared to make modifications but I hooked up the Weber accessory hose and thought 'Hey this works just fine'.

 

Not sure what is going on because I have been impatient with grills before in my life.

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