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Did you know the cost to fill you propane bottle is the same regardless how much propane it takes to fill it? Sometimes it is hard to tell if a bottle is full, half full, or empty. A bottle should have its empty weight on the side, it should be in the neighborhood of 17 lbs. for a small BBQ or fryer sized bottle. A full tank weighs 38 lbs.
I found this out today when I took a bottle to be filled. They charge over $26 to fill a bottle. They asked me if I was sure, I told them to "top it off". That is when they told me it wasn't like buying gas, you pay the full price if it takes a little or if it is totally empty.
I saved myself $26 plus tax. Next time, I will weigh the bottle before I take it to see if it really needs to be filled or not.
Source: The guy at Orschelons. I called some other propane places around, and they verified what he told me as being correct.
Anhydrous ammonia and propane cylinders
For those of you who like to grill it up during the summer, here's a safety announcement you should be aware of. Please put this information out to ALL. For those of you who exchange your propane tanks, this is something you definitely need to be aware of. Meth cooks are getting propane tanks from exchanges at Wal-Mart, Kroger, etc. and emptying them of the propane. Then, they are filling them with anhydrous ammonia (which they now have a recipe for by the way). After they are finished with them, they return them to the store. They are then refilled with propane and sent back for you and me to buy. Anhydrous ammonia is very corrosive and weakens the structure of the tank. It can be very dangerous when mixed with propane and hooked up to our grills, etc. You should inspect the propane tank for any blue or greenish residue around the valve areas. If it is present, refuse to purchase that tank.
Thanks to Terri from Nevada for this information.
There's nothing worse than running out of fuel halfway through grilling. If your grill doesn't have a gas gauge, use this technique to estimate how much gas is left in the tank. Start by bringing a cup or so of water to a boil in a small saucepan or glass measuring cup (if using a microwave). Pour the water over the side of the tank. Next, feel the metal with your hand. Where the water has succeeded in warming the tank, it is empty; where the tank remains cool to the touch, there is still propane inside.
Source: America's Test Kitchen
By Laurie from Nevada
We used to return our empty gas tanks for our BBQ grill to the local retail store and exchange for a new filled tank. Now, we just take out "empty" tank to the local propane company or to a local store that sells propane to fill our tank for us.
Use this tip for your safety and that of your loved ones. Do not store propane tanks in your garage. They may explode when it gets very hot.