What Is The Chain For On A Gas Grill? It’s used To Light Grill

What’s the purpose of the chain hanging on your gas grill? This is a question many BBQ grill owners have in mind to understand the use of this addition. If this is something you also ask yourself, look no further. The purpose of the chain or stick hanging on your grill’s side is to light up your grill manually. This chain comes in handy if there’s an issue with your grill’s electronic ignition system. 

Continue reading to learn more about the chain or stick that came hanging on your grill’s side. Knowing this will help you when you decide to light up your grill manually. Without further ado, let’s get started. 

What Is the Chain That Comes With My Grill?

Most full-sized electric grills have a small chain hanging by the side. This is used to manually switch on the grill if the electric ignition system stops working. The chain is also referred to as the matchstick holder and comprises two parts, a long chain, and a tiny metal stick. A matchstick holder is either placed on the grill’s left or right side. 

There are several different types of chains, and these include:

  • Alloy or steel matchstick holders 
  • Titanium matchstick holders 

Whichever type of chain you get is ideal and gives you better control as you grill your meals, be it hot dogs or fish.  

The process of making the matchstick holder is often fairly complicated. At the start, the steel gets hammered into small strips. After that, the strips, through heat treatment, get transformed into round bars. These bars are then again heated and dipped into cold water to make them harder. 

Once the chain is as robust as desired, it’s cut into the wanted length and heated once more. They’re then placed in water and crafted to their last shape. Later tempering of the chains is later done to lower hardness. 

We recommend you use an air fryer grill combo if you don’t want to use a product that won’t light up sometimes.

How To Use Chains on the Grill Safely?

When using the chains on your grill, you need to observe a few safety measures. And to help you better understand this, here are a few safety tips to follow: 

  • Make sure to turn off all the burners before doing anything else. 
  • Place the matchstick on the holder before lighting it up. This helps avoid any incidence, as putting on the holder while it’s already switched on can lead to burns. 
  • Tie up the matchstick holder well to ensure it isn’t too close to the ground to ensure it doesn’t trip someone.
  • Switch off the gas knob before you try to light them up to avoid an incidence of gas leakage. Don’t hesitate to recheck all the knobs for your well-being.
  • First, decide whether to pass your matchstick holder through a hole or grates. You must do this before attempting to switch on your gas grill burners.  

How To Use the Chain To Light a Gas Grill in 8 Steps

Before using the chain to light up your grill, there are steps you need to follow, and here’s a look at them: 

Step 1: Make Sure the Grill Is Properly Assembled and All the Burners Are Securely in Place

Safety should be your number one priority before lighting up your gas grill. And the best way you can guarantee this is by ensuring your grill is well assembled. This way, you’ll make sure all the burners are in place to prevent unpredicted issues such as an explosion. 

Step 2: Check That the Propane Tank Is Properly Connected to the Grill, Turn Off All Burners

The next step before lighting up your grill is to ensure it’s connected to your propane tank. You should follow this safety measure to avoid gas leaking when manually turning on the grill. And to confirm all the burners aren’t switched on, you need to check and recheck the knob positions. This is important because you can never be too sure that the knobs are in a closed or open position.    

Step 3: Open the Hood of the Grill and Locate the Ignition System

You must always open your grill’s lid before lighting it up. This is vital as switching on the control knob while the lead is still closed can cause fast gas buildup inside. If this happens and you add a flame, there might be an explosion. Knowing this, you must first open your grill’s lid before placing a match inside to light it up. 

If you forget and turn on the gas without opening the lid, switch it off and give it a couple of minutes to dissipate. There are grills designed such that they can’t be lit up manually if the lid is still closed. This helps avoid situations of human error to avoid forgetting this crucial step. 

After opening the grill’s hood, go ahead and locate its ignition system. This system is close to the burners and comprises a set of electrodes and a spark generator. This system is what you’ll use when electronically lighting up your grill. 

Step 4: Hold the Matchstick Chain at One End and Light the Other End Using a Lighter or a Match

Once you’re done setting up the grill, the next thing is to light up the matchstick. But before doing this, you first need to place the matchstick in the loop end of the long match holder. To do this, you need to place the match’s butt end into the loop. Doing this will give you the freedom to light up your grill as if it’s a regular kitchen match. 

After making sure the matchstick is in place of the match holder, go ahead and light it up. You can then proceed to use it to safely light up your grill.

Step 5: Hold the Burning Matchstick Chain Near the Spark Generator and Slowly Move It Toward the Electrodes. The Spark Generator Should Produce a Spark That Ignites the Gas

With the match on the matchstick chain now lit, you should pass it close to the spark generation. To ensure that the burner does ignite, move the matchstick holder slowly. Doing this will create a spark to ignite the gas. 

Step 6: Once the Gas Has Been Ignited, Turn the Gas Valve to the “On” Position and Adjust the Burners to the Desired Heat Setting

After igniting the gas, you should now go ahead and switch on the burner knobs. To do this, you’ll need to move the gas valve to the “On” position and change the burners to your preferred heat setting. You should do this for all the burners on your grill by following one after another. You don’t need to follow this process for modern grills, as they can be cross-lit. This means all you need to do is switch on the gas adjacent to the burner, and it’ll light. 

If a burner doesn’t ignite when lighting it up, switch off the burner control knob. The waiting period for the lighting process should be five seconds at most. After that, wait for five minutes and then switch the burner control back on to try once more. 

Step 7:Close the Hood of the Grill and Allow the Grill To Preheat for About 10–15 Minutes Before Placing Food on It

 After all the gas burners you want are lit, it’s time to close the lid. Closing the lid allows for preheating of the grill, and you should allow this to happen between 10 to 15 minutes. It’s always advised to preheat your grill before you start cooking the meal you want. This kills all the residue and germs present from your previous grilling session. Another advantage of preheating your gas grill is it prepares the grates for cooking.  

Step 8:When You Are Finished Cooking, Turn Off the Gas Valve and Close the Hood of the Grill To Extinguish the Flame.

An often overlooked yet critical step is switching off the gas valve after cooking. After this, you should proceed to close the grill to turn off the flame completely. This prevents any accidental fires due to the grill lighting up because of a fire nearby. 

How To Store Matchstick Holder Weber Grill

Once you’re done lighting up the burners of your gas grill, the next thing is to store the matchstick holder. If you own a Weber gas grill, this shouldn’t be a problem, as it’s pretty straightforward. 

You first need to switch off the matchstick and remove it from the matchstick holder. After that, let go of the matchstick holder and give it some time to cool down if you think it’s hot. Once it has cooled down, you can go ahead and hang it on a hook located in the inner part of the Weber grill. If you feel the matchstick holder is hanging too close to the ground, tie it up.  

10 Reasons Why Doesn’t Your Gas Grill Light Up Automatically?

The last thing you want when preparing your rack of ribs is to realize your gas grill isn’t lighting up. When this happens, your hope of enjoying well-grilled meat will quickly go out of the window. But what exactly causes such issues when trying to light up your grill? Here’s a look at some potential reasons: 

1. Clogged Burners

 Your gas grill might not be lighting up because of a destroyed or blocked burner. This may happen if grime, dirt, or insects enter burner ports and tubes. As a result, this restricts airflow and prevents the gas grill from igniting well. 

So if you suspect your grill isn’t working because of a blocked burner, take time to inspect it. But before you do this, make sure to disconnect it from the fuel source. After that, you can inspect the area below the burner to check out for debris or dirt causing blockages. If you find debris, clear it out, and this may restore your grill back to perfect working condition.

2. Dirty or Broken Ignition System

The rust or dust in the igniter electrodes is another reason your gas grill doesn’t light up. This is no surprise considering that a gas grill depends on electrodes to create a spark to ignite it. First, disconnect the electrodes to find out if dirt or rust is causing the ignition issue. After that, detach the flame tamer and cooking grate. Once you do this, take off the igniter mounting screw to check the electrodes of your gas grill. 

After inspection, you can know if the buildup of rust or dust is what’s causing the ignition issue. You can then clean the electrode using a bleach-free cleaner or toothpick. After that, use a paper towel to dry the electrode before lighting up your grill. 

3. Incorrect Burner Settings

 You must set the burner to the desired settings for it to work correctly as expected. When this happens, there won’t be an adequate flow of air passing into the burner to aid the ignition process. So you need to check the burner settings to confirm they’re correct before lighting up the grill. 

4. Leaks in the Gas Line

If the gas line is leaking, there isn’t enough gas getting to the burners. As a result, there’s little propane gas needed for the combustion process. These leaks also place you at risk of fires as propane gas is highly flammable.

5. Bad Battery

The ignition systems in some grills need batteries to create the spark to light them up. What this means is your gas grill won’t work if the batteries run out of charge. Knowing this, you must take your time to inspect the igniter batteries of your grill. All you need to do is to unscrew the generator’s cap and examine its condition. 

To gauge if the battery has an issue, you need to reposition it correctly. This way, you can be certain the electrodes aren’t corroded, wet, or oxidized. For a depleted igniter battery, you need to replace it with something you can do on your own. Once you replace or restore the battery, you’ll have restored your grill function. 

6. Obstructed Airflow

Your gas grill can stop working even when there’s more than enough propane inside a tank. This can happen if there’s a blockage in your propane tank that’s restricting airflow. The limited flow of air hinders air from moving as it should. And because of this, lighting up your grill and ensuring it remains on becomes a challenge. This issue occurs many times if the valve grill has been left idle for a long time. 

You need to open your gas grill’s propane tank to resolve this problem. You’ll then get the chance to switch the counterclockwise and allow for the free flow of propane to the grill. 

Gas grills come with regulators to prevent excess propane from getting to the burner. This helps prevent an explosion or fire which compromises your safety. But if enough propane doesn’t get to the regulator, there’s a chance your grill won’t light up. This restricted airflow can be due to a stuck regulator that blocks the flow of propane into the grill.  

7. Incorrect Gas Regulator

A bad regulator is also responsible for your gas grill not working as expected. This issue often arises if your gas grill’s regulator is in bypass mode. A regulator will go into bypass mode when you don’t adhere to the correct startup procedure. The bypass mode helps prevent propane gas from leaking out to compromise your safety.  

Knowing this, you must first confirm that you’re using the correct gas regulator. This means resetting the bypass safety feature to disable it. Doing this will restore your regulator’s normal functioning. This means you avoid issues of your grill producing a low flame or not lighting up altogether. 

8. Incorrect Use of Starter Fluid

The starter fluid helps to light up your grill, but using it incorrectly can have the opposite effect. This happens when you don’t pour this starter fluid at the most appropriate time. This is immediately after pouring it over the coal, which will have a glossy look. Don’t let the coal soak in the starter fluid before you light it up immediately, or else the grill won’t work. 

9. Failed Thermostat

The grill’s thermostat helps you to regulate your grill’s cooking temperatures. But when it’s defective, it won’t work well, making it hard to light up your grill automatically. You’ll also struggle to get your grill to reach temperatures over 250° to 400°F. 

10. Weather Problems  

The perfect weather for outdoor grilling should be sunny, with no rain or wind. But it’s hard to control outdoor conditions. And if you’re like most people, you most likely don’t have the patience to wait for the perfect weather. This means you’ll most likely start outdoor grilling regardless of the weather conditions. 

Nonetheless, weather problems such as strong winds or damp weather can hinder everything. For one, the presence of moisture in the air inhibits your grill from creating a spark and starting. Freezing temperatures also prevent the grill from lighting up. This happens as the moisture can freeze in the gas lines in the process and block or destroy it altogether. 

The wind is another culprit that prevents your grill from lighting up as it causes the flame to go out. You can deal with strong winds by using a windscreen made out of a material such as aluminum. This helps prevent direct winds from striking the flame and lighting it out. 

Wrap Up 

It’s easy to overlook certain components of your grill, including the metal chain on its sides. This isn’t a mistake you want to make, especially on a gas grill, as all parts perform a specific role. Knowing this, the chain on your gas grill isn’t a useless addition but is meant to do its particular job. 

So if you have yet to learn the metal chain’s role on your gas grill, this guide has explained all you need to know. With this in-depth explanation, you’re now well-enlightened on the gas grill and know how to use it best.

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