What to Do When Your Blackstone Griddle has a Low Flame
Picture this: it’s the perfect day for grilling, you have a marinated steak to your right, and pineapple skewers to the left. You’re ready to get a nice char going, but as you turn up the heat, the flames don’t respond.
You’re confused, because you definitely know how to turn a knob in the right direction, and you just bought a new propane tank last week. Having perpetually low flames on your griddle will obviously disrupt your cooking, preventing browning and slowing your cook-time. No one wants a soggy steak.
Well, fear not!
We’re here to answer all your questions, such as: Why is My Blackstone Griddle Flame Low?, and How Do You Fix a Low Flame on a Blackstone Griddle?, followed by some Final Thoughts. Here, we will walk you through the various ways you can troubleshoot the problem, and get your griddle working again. You’ll be eating dinner in no time.
Why Is My Blackstone Griddle Flame Low?
There could be a few reasons your griddle flame refuses to grow, but the most likely is that your regulator has been tripped, and the gas flow is being choked off, or that your air gate needs to be adjusted.
Since Blackstone griddles are propane-fuelled, there are plenty of safeguards worked into the design to prevent unfortunate mishaps such as spitting flames or, well, explosions. And while this is lucky for us (no one likes singed eyebrows), occasionally, these safeguards can malfunction.
The regulator is the part of the griddle that screws right onto the propane tank (pictured below), and its purpose is to control the flow of gas through the attached hose. This allows the cook to control the height of their flames; more gas means a bigger burn.
But the regulator also contains an element which monitors the strength of this flow to make sure it doesn’t get too high. If tripped, the regulator will “choke” the flow, resulting in low, weak flames. This can be caused by opening the propane tank too quickly, or by opening the gas flow when one of your knobs is in the “on” position.
Another potential cause may be that your air gates need adjusting. Air gates, aptly named, allow necessary air flow into the burner tubes. But too much or too little oxygen can cause the flames to stay small (and will often cause them to burn yellow with low heat output, so check if your flames look yellowish). Don’t worry, we will go over both of these problems and their solutions below!
How do you fix a low flame on a Blackstone Griddle?
There are a couple different things you can try, but the simplest and most common solutions are to reset your griddle’s regulator, or adjust the air gates.
It’s best to start with resetting your regulator, as this takes less than five minutes and usually solves the problem. Now, before you do anything, you have to make sure there is no gas still flowing to the heating element, and that the burners will not light.
Otherwise, again, you might have a tragic eyebrow situation on your hands. To do this, turn every knob on the front of your griddle to the “off” position. Then, close the valve on the top of the propane tank (pictured below) so that it is securely shut and no gas can escape.
Next, detach the regulator from the valve, and leave it off for 30 seconds to 1 minute. After this, you can reattach it, reopen the valve, and test your flames by lighting up the burner.
They should rise high and mighty now, but if not, it’s possible you may need to check your propane levels. Another potential, but more involved solution, is to adjust your air gate.
To adjust your air gate, again, first make sure your griddle is off and the propane tank valve is closed. Then, you’re going to need to remove the cooking surface, also called a griddle top. This can be very heavy, so be careful not to strain yourself lifting it off!
Underneath, you will find the heating element, a series of copper or metal-looking tubes where the flames come out the sides (pictured below).
These are attached to the griddle by screws, so you’re going to need a screwdriver to remove them (note that the tubes are attached to both the side of the griddle, and to the ignitor needles, so make sure to unscrew both areas).
Once the burner tubes are removed, quickly check them for any obstructions, as any debris inside the tubes may be obstructing the flow of gas and oxygen.
Then, you’ll need to locate the air gate, which is an easy to recognize small, rectangular vent at the base of the tube, with an adjustable covering that rotates around the circumference. You’ll need to unscrew this covering so that you can adjust how much of the vent is exposed, and therefore how much oxygen is entering the tube.
Under no circumstances should you close the vent all the way, as this is a surefire way to permanently damage your griddle, and could potentially be dangerous.
Once adjusted, reattach the burner tubes to the griddle and the ignitor needles, then put the griddle top back on and test out your flames. Hopefully, they should be burning proud and tall!
While an unexpected malfunction can certainly be frustrating, Blackstone griddles are well-made and relatively simple machines. Don’t be intimidated by the gas element.
As long as you turn off the griddle and close up the valve, working on the griddle by yourself is perfectly safe.
These quick fixes are likely more than enough to solve your low-flame problem, and will save you the hassle of taking your griddle in for repair. We hope these solutions work for you, and happy grilling!