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Derrick Riches

Yellow Flame in your Gas Grill

By May 30, 2014

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Is the flame on your gas grill yellow? Are you having problems with uneven heating? Is there a sooty flavor on your grilled foods? Could be that your burners are out of adjustment. Yes, a in a few minutes you can tune up your gas grill and get it back to perfect working order with just a screwdriver. When the flame on your gas grill is yellow it means that the gas/air mixture is not right. By yellow, I mean that the flame is mostly or entirely yellow. It can be caused by a dirty or clogged burner, a worn out burner, or by a badly adjusted burner. Since adjusting the burners is typically an easy thing to do we will start there. Of course you might not have adjustable burners but most full sized gas grills do have this "feature". A quick inspection of the base of the burner will tell you if your burner can be adjusted.

To adjust the burners on your gas grill you are probably going to have to get under or inside the grill. The adjustment point is where the burner connects to the grill manifold (usually right behind the control valves). Gas grills come in a number of configurations and you may need to consult your manual to find the adjustment screw. This screw holds a sleeve in place. This metal sleeve is slotted and when the screw is loosened you should be able to rotate it. So that you can clearly see the flame remove the cooking grates and barrier over the burners.

With the grill off and cool, loosen the screw and rotate the adjustment sleeve. Tighten the screw and relight the grill. Wait a minute for the flame to settle in and see if you still have yellow flame. If you do, repeat the process until the yellow is almost eliminated. Good flame is predominately blue but may have yellow tips. Once you have that burner burning mostly blue repeat for the other burners.

If no amount of adjustment fixes your yellow flame problem try removing the burners entirely and cleaning them out. Debris or dust inside the burner can cause yellow flame. If the burner is damages, rusted, or has holes in it, it will need to be replaced. See my article on Gas Grill Repair for help.

Photo 2014 Regarding BBQ Inc., licensed to About.com, Inc.


August 5, 2011 at 6:15 pm
(1) roger says:

Thanks for the tip on adjusting the burner. I was not aware of the need to assess the flame color.

I recently had my grill converted from propane to natural gas and ever since i can not control the flame very well. Any Ideas?

I just published BBQ Rib-Eye with Avocado Salsa recipe on my blog http:www.easyrecipesandstuff.com check it out you may enjoy it.

August 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm
(2) Gary House says:

Great advice to a very common problem, explained extremely well!

Those photos really help also.

One point to make -wait until the burners have cooled down before you go in and adjust again. Those buggers are hot!

August 13, 2012 at 8:27 am
(3) barbecue grill accessories says:

I have a problem with my hot dog cart burners, it burns yellow and soots the pans and firebox badly.
I thought I knew how to adjust the air flow to improve the flame but I am not having much luck. Could you give me a few pointers

August 15, 2012 at 8:43 pm
(4) Ron says:

Propane gas burns at a high BTU rating so you have to remove the restrictor just like you do with a gas stove, dryer or water. Most grills are ordered as either propane or natural gas and you can’t change them

August 15, 2012 at 8:53 pm
(5) Ron says:

Replace your regulator or if it has one replace the gas valve. Our gas stove oven had the same problem. Fixed it

June 16, 2013 at 11:49 am
(6) Frank Zaino says:

The air mixture adjustments on my grille dual burner is full open and the flame is full yellow except when on extreme low setting….The side burner which has no air/gas adjuistment is also full yellow…The burner is new with replacement in the past month so there could be no dirt in the burners.

What should be done as the side burner is not part of the grill flame adjustment.

Could the problem be with the regulator or the type of gas they are supplying in refill of my small tanks???

I am short of buying a new grille however the only problem with my CharmGlo grille is this yellow flame in both the grille burners and the side burner as well for the first time in years.


Frank N. Zaino

June 17, 2013 at 2:53 pm
(7) Frank says:

I have the same issue!! Just purchased 2 new burners but I’m pretty sure its not going to make a difference.

Since the flame is too high and has bits of yellow I’m wondering if the gas pressure is too high. I’m debating on turning down the regulator but not sure what to do.

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