FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

All the answers to all your questions about safely operating a GrillGun or a Su-VGun: a high power torch for charcoal starting or searing meat

The #1 most frequently asked question:
Q – When I am trying to use my GrillGun or Su-VGun I only get a small flame. Neither the knob nor the squeeze handle have any effect on the fuel flow.  Why does it sometimes work fine and other times just sort of turn way down and just have a small orange flame?
A – There is a safety “Check” valve built into the handle of the GrillGun and Su-VGun that when set will block most of the flow of propane into the torch.  In the event that it falls over, is dropped to the ground, is moved quickly or erratically (as in running), or is pointed in a manner that would let liquid propane from the attached bottle or hose into the torch, it will shut it down.  You will then need to turn off the torch, disconnect the fuel source, release the pressure in the torch (buy turning the knob or squeezing the handle) and then reconnect the fuel while holding the GrillGun and propane bottles, upright and vertical (so that liquid propane in the bottle cannot enter the GrillGun).  Read more in the instruction manual on page 16 and watch the supplemental videos to really understand this very important safety feature. grillblazer.com/supplemental-videos/

The #2 most frequently asked question:
Q – When I am trying to use my GrillGun or Su-VGun and I point it down into my charcoal grill it shuts off and I only get a small flame.
A – Read the #1 most frequently asked question above, the problem is the same.  When you are using a very full bottle of propane attached to the GrillGun or Su-VGun, you need to think of it as full of a liquid (liquid propane).  Just like when holding and moving about a full glass of water, it is easy to slosh or spill the water out of the glass.  The same is true for a very full canister propane.  Until the liquid propane level in the bottle has dropped about a half an inch inside the bottle, it can easily get into the connector and up into the torch where the safety check valve will close to prevent it from blowing through to the output.  When the fuel level in the bottle has dropped a little bit, you should be able to point the gun up or down to about a 60-70 degree angle.  The lower the level the steeper the angle.

The #3 most frequently asked question:
Q – How do I get to your videos so you can teach me to use this cool tool?
A – I’ve created a series of supplemental videos that will always be updated as new questions arise and people want to know new things.  See it them all at grillblazer.com/supplemental-videos/

GrillGun Specific Questions

Q – What is the heat output of the GrillGun in BTUs?
A – Up to 400,000 BTUs for the GrillGun. The completely blue flame indicates that the fuel is being completely consumed and every BTU of propane energy is being utilized.

Q – I see in your video on your website, how you just light the charcoal through the grill grates.  Is that how you recommend doing it?
A – Only if you have heavy steel grill wires or cast metal grill grates like I have in my video. Small chrome plated wire grates look good when new, but in use the finish will quickly burn off due to the heat of the charcoal fire. The GrillGun will make this happen faster. If you are concerned about keeping your chrome finish in good condition as long as possible, then you should remove the wire grill grate from covering the charcoal before lighting the charcoal.  After you’ve lit the charcoal, then put the grate back on and then briefly blaze it with the GrillGun to sterilize it and burn off the grease and excess food from your last grilling.  Scrape it clean with a  wire brush, and then throw on the food and commence cooking.

Q – Why can’t I use a regular weed torch to light my grill instead of buying your fancy GrillGun?
A – You can. I did that for more than a decade of outdoor grilling before I had the bright idea of making something that really looks cool and is ergonomically balanced and easy to use. Some weed torches put out the same heat (or more)  but are not as focused or as efficient with fuel as the GrillGun. Our air-fuel mixture is very lean, using approximately 40% less fuel than a comparable weed torch, which is why you are able use the GrillGun with a 1-lb propane bottle and get so much use out it before you exhaust the fuel.

Q – With the GrillGun, when I’m lighting my charcoal, my charcoal glows red but doesn’t turn gray, like I’m used to seeing?
A – The gray color you see is burned charcoal. While burning, the charcoal gets a coating of ash on the surface all around it from the charcoal that has already burned.  While lighting the charcoal, the GrillGun blows away the ash, which exposes the red, glowing charcoal wherever it is lit. Once the coals are all lit (that is, red and glowing)  you can stop using the torch and the charcoal will turn gray as it continues to burn.

Q – How many times can I light my grill or sear steaks before I use up a new 1-lb bottle of fuel?
A – You should get 4 to 8 full “two minute” burns depending upon the temperature outdoors at the time. You can light your small charcoal grill much faster than that, so count on averaging 6 lightings per bottle. Here’s the deal though: it’s time to get a little technical. The propane in the 1-lb bottle expands so fast coming out at such a high velocity, that it cools down the canister (bottle) and causes it to lose pressure, thereby reducing the velocity of fuel flow. Around 2 minutes into the burn, you will see a noticeable fall off in pressure and the bottle will be freezing cold. As soon as you quit letting gas out, and take the bottle back inside the house, the bottle will slowly warm back up to the ambient temperature and you’re off and running again for another 2 minute burn. So if you need prolonged burns with the GrillGun, swap out propane bottles allowing the used cans to warm up and be usable again.

Q – So if cold canisters don’t have much pressure, can I use the GrillGun in the winter?
A – Yes, but for shorter spurts, Keep your propane bottles in a safe warm indoors location at room temperature and you’ll have no problems.

Q – Can I change the fitting on the adapter hose and run the GrillGun on the natural gas that I have at my house? 
A – No.  Not that natural gas won’t burn the same way that propane will, but rather that the pressure of the natural gas lines in your house it too low to create a high velocity fuel stream out of the gas nozzle of GrillGun.

Q – Are there any government regulations keeping me from using my GrillGun at home or at campgrounds?
A – You’ll have to obey your local and state government restrictions on outdoor burning. The GrillGun is not a flamethrower, so is not regulated. We have had high-powered weed torches around for decades and the lobbyist haven’t shut them down yet, so these won’t be any different.   (Pssst! GrillGuns are not guns… they just look like them, just like paintball guns, Airsoft guns, Nerf gun, water guns, cap guns, etc.)

Q – If you keep your GrillGun by your grill, what do you do to light your fireplaces, chimineas, campfires, bonfires, trash burner, camping grill or campfire?
A – I have 2 GrillGuns – one by the grill and another (a Su-VGun) for the kitchen and other uses – because I use them both a lot. However, it’s simple to disconnect the GrillGun that I keep by the grill and use it elsewhere.  I just like to have two torches so I don’t ever have to go looking for one when I need it.

Q – Will the GrillGun work with my MAPP gas fuel canisters?
A – Yes, and your Bottle Stand can hold those kinds of bottles too.

Q – Safety is very important to me. What safety features are built into the GrillGun and stand?
A – When using a torch, you can’t be too careful. The GrillGun is a powerful torch, and you are wise to have concern for its safe use.  The GrillGun features a Handle Trigger Lock, a Check Valve, and a Bottle Stand – all safety features explained on page 16.  The most important thing you can do to use the GrillGun safely is to understand thoroughly how it operates, use it safely, and be very vigilant about keeping it out of the hands of children and others who might not use it safely or responsibly.  Safety warnings and tips are covered extensively in this manual.  Read this manual thoroughly.

Q – Do I have to disconnect the propane bottle when my GrillGun is not in use?
A – The GrillGun is designed to be easy to disconnect from and reconnect to its fuel source. If you disconnect it, and store the fuel and torch separately, you discourage its accidental use by a child or unknowledgeable person.

Q – Can I refill disposable propane bottles or do I need to just pitch them in the trash?
A – There are a large number of disposable and refillable bottle refill kits and adapters for 20-lb propane tanks on the Internet for sale. Read about the available refill options and kits, then make your own mind up about whether or not you want to take the time to refill 1-lb bottles and concern yourself with the safety risks.

Q – What about using the GrillGun on campground grills or backyard fireplaces?
A – The GrillGun will be your best friend in the future when you go camping or picnicking , especially if you need to use those nasty park freestanding grills or grates over open fire pits. Who knows what has been on those grills that you are about to put your food on. You need to bring them up to high temperature to burn off and scrape off all that debris before putting your food on them, so the GrillGun is perfect for the task. With the GrillGun, all you do is put your charcoal or wood in the grill-stand and then light the charcoal and sterilize the grill all at the same time. Besides its portability and sanitary benefits, you will be cooking in minutes instead of tens of minutes.

Q – Is there any special advice when trying to light either wood, briquettes or lump charcoal in a grill or fireplace?
A – Yes, be careful. They all have different starting needs: small kindling wood lights quicker and takes less heat to get started; briquettes light quickly and do fine with high heat; lump charcoal and some kinds of wood emit lots of sparks when lighting with a torch, so be careful not to be too close to the fire when the sparks jump off.

Q – How can I keep from getting burned when lighting my grill with a GrillGun?
A – Be sure not to aim the gun straight into a curved surface where the heat will blow back and burn you. Always stand back from the fire that you are trying to start and move in slowly, getting a feel for what the GrillGun will do to what you are trying to catch on fire.  You just need to approach your grilling or fire-starting with a sense of caution. Better safe than sorry.  Fire is always something to respect.

Q – Why does my GrillGun blow out when I move it inside my Egg cooker or other deep dish grill
A – The GrillGun is a torch and it needs oxygen to burn. When you burn up all the air inside a cooker and starve it of oxygen to mix and burn with the fuel, the torch will go out. Keep the GrillGun pulled back away from the fire enough to let it get some fresh air and you will be successful.

Q – How long before the spark igniter burns up like it does in most torches?
A – It will never burn up if you use it correctly. The unique design of the GrillGun’s sparker is the rotating spark igniter in the Fire Bell. When you pull the trigger, a gas diverter rotates into the air-fuel mixture and peels off enough gas to light easily with low gas flow. The spark ignites the gas without being in the flame itself, so it never gets hot and burns up by being exposed directly to the flame. When you release the trigger, the diverter rotates back out of the fuel flow so it doesn’t remain in the fire or obscure the high velocity fuel flow.  This is a unique GrillBlazer torch design feature that separates it from every other torch on the market.  In addition, the piezoelectric spark igniter is rated for 28,000 sparks which will take you awhile if you sit there just pulling the trigger.

Q – Are there any user serviceable parts or do I have to send it in for repair?
A – The entire sparking mechanism is designed never to fail, so the only thing that might go wrong is that you could get debris in the nozzle from not keeping the Gas Connector out of the dirt when it is disconnected from its fuel source. If this happens, the gas nozzle is replaceable with a servicing kit available at GrillBlazer.com   The GrillGun is shipped with a vinyl cover for the Gas Connector.

Q Can I light my Chiminea with the GrillGun?
A – Yes, of course!  Just be careful with new clay Chimineas to not put too much heat in them before they have been properly seasoned.  You should light several fires, starting with small fires and increasingly getting them hotter, before you go all out and light one with high heat. New clay Chimineas that have not yet been seasoned are prone to cracking, so you need to be careful and not get them blazing hot right away. Once it is seasoned, you can just throw your logs in there and hose it down with the GrillGun. And it makes quick work of that difficult-to-light pinon wood.

Q – When I pull the Handle Trigger, the fuel flows from the GrillGun even though the valve is shut off. Is this normal?
A – Yes. The Handle Trigger bypasses the Gas Valve to get instant high velocity fuel flow when you want it. When using the GrillGun, you will either light it and use the Gas Valve to adjust the fuel flow to be what you want, or you will leave the valve flow rate low and use the Handle Trigger to pulse the torch to get a burst of fire when you want it.

Q – How do I use the GrillGun for searing meat?
A – You put your sous vide meat on the charcoal grill grate and fog it with fire.  Pretty simple.  It just throws out a lot of fire and if your meat is in the flame, it’s going to be seared.  Unlike the Su-VGun that is specifically designed to be a powerful culinary kitchen torch, you don’t control the direction of the flame much;  you just stop when you’ve decided you like the way the meat looks.

Q – How do I know when I have finished my sear?
A – Searing is both an art and a science.  The science part involves exposing flame directly to the meat where it will cauterize the capillaries in just a few seconds of direct exposure to the flame.  When seared in this way, a rare piece of meat will retain its juices as it relaxes on the plate, until you cut it open with your dinner knife.  The art part of the sear is in getting the color you want.  The torch provides the heat and you provide finesse.  There are hundreds of “How-To” sous vide searing resources available online, both in websites and YouTube videos, that offer recommendations for technique, seasonings, rubs, oils, etc. to help you develop your craft.  I prefer to just dry off the meat, add my seasonings (if any), lightly coat it with a duck-fat spray and flame with intense fire for several seconds.  This will be a trial and error process that you will go through with your new torch as you learn to use it.

Q – How do I keep from drying out the meat when I am searing it?
A – Quick sear with your favorite spray-on cooking oil.  I prefer duck-fat sprayed or rubbed onto both sides of the meat just before searing.  Then I use a full-bore flame bath for 5 seconds on each side for a quick sear and pleasant color.

Q – Can I sear it on my granite counter top without a baking stone?
A – The GrillGun has no business in the kitchen.  Use it outside on the grill.

Q – Will the propane from my GrillGun flavor my meat?
A – No, not if you turn the flame intensity up past the low yellow flame you get when it’s on very low.  When the flame is entirely blue, the fuel is being entirely consumed. The only thing that comes out of the torch and hits your meat is heat, water, and carbon dioxide (the same stuff that you exhale when you breath.) You won’t be able to see the water, because the heat evaporates it instantaneously, but trust me on this… it was present.

Su-VGun Specific questions

Q – What is the heat output of the Su-VGun in BTUs?
A – Up to 240,000 BTUs (not quite two thirds of the GrillGun’s output). The completely blue flame indicates that the fuel is being completely consumed and every BTU of propane energy is being utilized.

Q – Can I sear it on my granite countertop without a baking stone?
A – NEVER sear meat or anything else directly on your kitchen counter even if it is non-flammable stone or stainless steel.  Stone is porous and will permanently discolor as you cook the meat juices directly into the surface of the stone with intense heat.  Stainless steel counters will discolor and could even deform under intense heat. Use a large baking stone, ceramic tile, granite slab or cast iron pan, large enough to shield your counters and backsplashes from all the flame from the torch.

Q – How do I know when I have finished my sear?
A – Searing is both an art and a science.  The science part involves exposing flame directly to the meat where it will cauterize the capillaries in just a few seconds of direct exposure to the flame.  When seared in this way, a rare piece of meat will retain its juices as it relaxes on the plate, until you cut it open with your dinner knife.  The art part of the sear is in getting the color you want.  The torch provides the heat and you provide finesse.  There are hundreds of “How-To” sous vide searing resources available online, both in websites and YouTube videos, that offer recommendations for technique, seasonings, rubs, oils, etc. to help you develop your craft.  I prefer to just dry off the meat, add my seasonings (if any), lightly coat it with a duck-fat spray and flame with intense fire for several seconds.  This will be a trial and error process that you will go through with your new torch as you learn to use it.

Q – How do I keep from drying out the meat when I am searing it?
A – Quick sear with your favorite spray-on cooking oil.  I prefer duck-fat sprayed or rubbed onto both sides of the meat just before searing.  Then I use a full-bore flame bath for 5 seconds on each side for a quick sear and pleasant color.

Q – Will it hurt a glass dish if I want to use it to flame a dessert or do I have to use cast iron?
A – Flaming a dessert is quite a bit different than searing meat.  Lightly flaming desserts can easily be done in their glass dishes just as you would with any torch.  Use a low flame and caramelize the dessert lightly and quickly.  The Su-VGun on low flame is perfect for this.

Q – Will the propane flavor my meat?
A – No.  The fuel is entirely consumed.  The only thing that comes out of the Su-VGun and hits your meat is heat, water, and carbon dioxide (the same stuff that you exhale when you breath.) You won’t be able to see the water because the heat evaporates it instantaneously, but trust me on this… it was present.

Q – How many times can I light my grill or sear steaks before I use up a new 1-lb bottle of fuel?
A – You should get 6 to 10 full “two minute” burns depending upon the ambient temperature at the time. You can light your charcoal grill much faster than that, so count on averaging 8 lightings per bottle. Here’s the deal though: it’s time to get a little technical. The propane in the 1-lb bottle expands so fast coming out at such a high velocity, that it cools down the canister (bottle) and causes it to lose pressure, thereby reducing the velocity of fuel flow. Around 2 minutes into the burn, you will see a noticeable fall off in pressure and the bottle will be freezing cold. As soon as you quit letting gas out, and take the bottle back inside the house, the bottle will slowly warm back up to the ambient temperature and you’re off and running again for another 2 minute burn. So if you need prolonged burns with the Su-VGun, swap out propane bottles allowing the used cans to warm up and be usable again.

Q – So if cold canisters don’t have much pressure, can I use the Su-VGun in the winter?
A – Yes, but for shorter spurts, Keep your propane bottles in a safe warm indoors location at room temperature and you’ll have no problems.

Q – Why does the Su-VGun have that disk with the hole in it in the front of the fire bell and the GrillGun doesn’t?
A – It’s called a Fire Bell Reducer (or focusing plate) and it is designed to do two things: 1) to sustain a lean-fuel fire that otherwise would blow out and 2) to focus the flame for better searing control.  Side benefit – It also looks kind of cool!

Q – Will the Su-VGun work with my MAPP gas fuel canisters?
A – Yes, and your Bottle Stand can hold those kinds of bottles too.

Q – Can I change the fitting on the adapter hose and run the Su-VGun on the natural gas that I have at my house? 
A – No.  Not that natural gas won’t burn the same way that propane will, but rather that the pressure of the natural gas lines in your house it too low to create a high velocity fuel stream out of the gas nozzle of Su-VGun.

Q – Safety is very important to me. What safety features are built into the Su-VGun?
A – When using a torch, you can’t be too careful. The Su-VGun is a powerful torch, and you are wise to have concern for its safe use.  The Su-VGun features a Handle Trigger Lock, a Check Valve, and a Bottle Stand – all safety features explained on page 16.  The most important thing you can do to use the Su-VGun safely is to understand thoroughly how it operates, use it safely, and be very vigilant about keeping it out of the hands of children and others who might not use it safely or responsibly.  Safety warnings and tips are covered extensively in this manual.  Read this manual thoroughly.

Q – Do I have to disconnect the propane bottle when my Su-VGun is not in use?
A – The Su-VGun is designed to be easy to disconnect from and reconnect to its fuel source. If you disconnect it, and store the fuel and torch separately, you discourage its accidental use by a child or unknowledgeable person.

Q – Are there any government regulations keeping me from using my Su-VGun at home or at campgrounds?
A – You’ll have to obey your local and state government restrictions on outdoor burning. The Su-VGun is not a flamethrower, so is not regulated. We have had high-powered weed torches around for decades and the lobbyist haven’t shut them down yet, so these won’t be any different. (Pssst! Su-VGuns are not guns… they just look like them, just like paintball guns, Airsoft guns, Nerf gun, water guns, cap guns, etc.)

Q – How can I keep from getting burned when lighting my grill with a Su-VGun?
A – Be sure not to aim the gun straight into a curved surface where the heat will blow back and burn you. Always stand back from the fire that you are trying to start and move in slowly, getting a feel for what the Su-VGun will do to what you are trying to catch on fire.  You just need to approach your grilling or fire-starting with a sense of caution. Better safe than sorry.  Fire is always something to respect.

Q – I see in your video on your website, how you just light the charcoal through the grill grates.  Is that how you recommend doing it?
A – Only if you have heavy steel grill wires or cast metal grill grates like I have in my video. Small chrome plated wire grates look good when new, but in use the finish will quickly burn off due to the heat of the charcoal fire. The Su-VGun will make this happen faster. If you are concerned about keeping your chrome finish in good condition as long as possible, then you should remove the wire grill grate from covering the charcoal before lighting the charcoal.  After you’ve lit the charcoal, then put the grate back on and then briefly blaze it with the Su-VGun to sterilize it and burn off the grease and excess food from your last grilling.  Scrape it clean with a  wire brush, and then throw on the food and commence cooking.

Q – Why can’t I use a regular weed torch to light my grill instead of buying your fancy Su-VGun?
A – You can. I did that for more than a decade of outdoor grilling before I had the bright idea of making something that really looks cool and is ergonomically balanced and easy to use. Some weed torches put out the same heat (or more)  but not as focused or as efficient with fuel as the Su-VGun will. Our air-fuel mixture is very lean, using approximately 50% less fuel than a comparable weed torch, which is why you are able use the Su-VGun with a 1-lb propane bottle and get so much use out it before you exhaust the fuel.

Q – With the Su-VGun, when I’m lighting my charcoal, my charcoal glows red but doesn’t turn gray, like I’m used to seeing?
A – The gray color you see is burned charcoal. While burning, the charcoal gets a coating of ash on the surface all around it from the charcoal that has already burned.  While lighting the charcoal, the Su-VGun blows away the ash, which exposes the red, glowing charcoal wherever it is lit. Once the coals are all lit (that is, red and glowing)  you can stop using the torch and the charcoal will turn gray as it continues to burn.

Q – If you keep your Su-VGun by your grill, what do you do to light your fireplaces, chimineas, campfires, bonfires, trash burner, camping grill or campfire?
A – I have a GrillGun by the grill and a Su-VGun in the kitchen, because I use them both a lot. However, it’s simple to disconnect the GrillGun that I keep by the grill and use it elsewhere.  I just like to have two torches so I don’t ever have to go looking for one when I need it.

Q – Can I refill disposable propane bottles or do I need to just pitch them in the trash?
A – There are a large number of disposable and refillable bottle refill kits and adapters for 20-lb propane tanks on the Internet for sale. Read about the available refill options and kits, then make your own mind up about whether or not you want to take the time to refill 1-lb bottles and concern yourself with the safety risks.

Q – What about using the Su-VGun on campground grills or backyard fireplaces?
A – The Su-VGun will be your best friend in the future when you go camping or picnicking , especially if you need to use those nasty park freestanding grills or grates over open fire pits. Who knows what has been on those grills that you are about to put your food onto. You need to bring them up to high temperature to burn off and scrape off all that debris before putting your food on them, so the Su-VGun is perfect for the task. With the Su-VGun, all you do is put your charcoal or wood in the grill-stand and then light the charcoal and sterilize the grill all at the same time. Besides its portability and sanitary benefits, you will be cooking in minutes instead of tens of  minutes.

Q – Is there any special advice when trying to light either wood, briquettes or lump charcoal in a grill or fireplace?
A – Yes, be careful. They all have different starting needs: small kindling wood lights quicker and takes less heat to get started; briquettes light quickly and do fine with high heat; lump charcoal and some kinds of wood emit lots of sparks when lighting with a torch, so be careful not to be too close to the fire when the sparks jump off.

Q – Why does my Su-VGun blow out when I move it inside my Egg cooker or other deep dish grill?
A – The Su-VGun is a torch and it needs oxygen to burn, When you burn up all the air inside a cooker and starve it of oxygen to mix and burn with the fuel, the torch will go out. Keep the Su-VGun pulled back away from the fire enough to let it get some fresh air and you will be successful.

Q – How long before the spark igniter burns up like it does in most torches?
A – It will never burn up if you use it correctly. The unique design of the Su-VGun’s sparker is the rotating spark igniter in the Fire Bell. When you pull the trigger, a gas diverter rotates into the air-fuel mixture and peels off enough gas to light easily with low gas flow. The spark ignites the gas without being in the flame itself, so it never gets hot and burns up by being exposed directly to the flame. When you release the trigger, the diverter rotates back out of the fuel flow so it doesn’t remain in the fire or obscure the high velocity fuel flow.  This is a unique GrillBlazer torch design feature that separates it from every other torch on the market.  In addition, the piezoelectric spark igniter is rated for 28,000 sparks which will take you awhile if you sit there just pulling the trigger.

Q – Are there any user serviceable parts or do I have to send it in for repair?
A – The entire sparking mechanism is designed never to fail, so the only thing that might go wrong is that you could get debris in the nozzle from not keeping the Gas Connector out of the dirt when it is disconnected from its fuel source. If this happens, the gas nozzle is replaceable with a servicing kit available at GrillBlazer.com   The Su-VGun is shipped with a vinyl cover for the Gas Connector.

Q Can I light my Chiminea with the Su-VGun?
A Yes, of course!  Just be careful with new clay Chimineas to not put too much heat in them before they have been properly seasoned.  You should light several fires, starting with small fires and increasingly getting them hotter, before you go all out and light one with high heat. New clay Chimineas that have not yet been seasoned are prone to cracking, so you need to be careful and not get them blazing hot right away. Once it is seasoned, you can just throw your logs in there and hose it down with the Su-VGun. And it makes quick work of that difficult-to-light pinon wood.

Q – When I pull the Handle Trigger, the fuel flows from the Su-VGun even though the valve is shut off. Is this normal?
A – Yes. The Handle Trigger bypasses the Gas Valve to get instant high velocity fuel flow when you want it. When using the Su-VGun, you will either light it and use the Gas Valve to adjust the fuel flow to be what you want, or you leave the valve flow rate low and use the Handle Trigger to pulse the torch to get a burst of fire when you want it.