How Long Does A Coleman Propane Tank Last

Coleman propane stoves are among the best outdoor accessories you can find. The propane tank is perfect for camping, touring, and other outdoor activities, and it can also power grills, barbecues, and even room heating.

They are cleaner, less toxic, and less hazardous to carry.

As convenient as a Coleman Propane tank is, it cannot last indefinitely, and you will need to refuel or replace it at some point. Although the propane fuel within will not degrade, and it will remain viable.

However, knowing how much fuel is left in disposable or refillable propane tanks might be critical when cooking on the trail.

Coleman Propane Tank

For propane fuel, Coleman is the biggest name you can find, yet knowing how much is left in a tank still offers the same questions.

In our guide, you can learn more about using small propane tanks, storing more propane tanks, and more. (Read RV Propane Tank Sizes)

By the end, you’ll know how much propane is left in a standard propane tank before you run out on your next camping trip.

How Long Does A 16 oz Coleman Propane Tank Last?

A disposable propane tank with a capacity of 14 or 16 ounces will last 1.5 to 2 hours. On most grills, a regular 20-pound propane tank should last about 18-20 hours.

You should always have an additional tank available because you don’t want to run out in the middle of a barbecue!

However, you can find much more information regarding Coleman propane canisters, like how long the gas inside will last if you have multiple cylinders with propane fuel inside.

White gas lasts a long time when stored correctly, with some campers having white gas lasting 30 years. Coleman recommends a 5-7 years shelf life for unopened small propane canisters and two years if they have been opened, even if there isn’t an expiration date for how long the propane tank will last.

With this, many ask what the shelf life of Coleman Fuel is?

Direct from the site, Coleman says:

“An un-opened container of Coleman® Fuel stored in a dry area with no rapid extreme changes in temperature will remain viable for five to seven years. An opened container stored in the same area will remain viable for up to two years, though it will be at its best if used within a year. Coleman® Propane Cylinders can be stored indefinitely in a dry area. The propane fuel inside the cylinder will not break down.”

1 lb Coleman Propane Tank

While this info offers an insight into how long before you need to use your disposable propane tanks, it doesn’t help you know how much cooking time you have left or the remaining propane you have.

Here you can see how to work out how long a 16 oz propane tank lasts. However, the answer isn’t a definite number as medium heat settings differ from cooking on low or on high settings.

A 16.4-ounce propane tank will last about an hour of high-heat cooking. If you know the BTU rating of your portable stove, tent propane heater, or other propane appliance, you can easily calculate how long one cylinder will last you.

The BTUs in a gallon of propane is around 92,000. BTUs = British Thermal Units. Without getting too technical. A kilowatt-hour (kWh) is the amount of energy it takes to raise one pound of water one degree Celsius. As a result, it’s a method of estimating items like propane.

A one-gallon propane tank weighs 4.24 pounds with a BTU capacity of 92,000. Each 16.4 OZ propane canister weighs around 1 pound. To calculate the BTUs in the tanks, divide 92,000 by 4.24 to get 21698 BTU for a 16.4 OZ bottle. (Read Can You Use Propane Stove Indoors)

This equation gives the appliance BTU output and how long your fuel tank will last.

Most campers use Coleman Propane 2 Burner stove during their camping lives. The highest BTU output of a propane stove is 20,000 BTUs, with each burner receiving 10,000.

In the calculation, a 16.4oz propane canister has around 21,698 BTUs. Your Coleman stove has a BTU rating of 20,000 per hour. So, if when the two burners are set on high, you can expect to use 20,000 BTUs.

This means one canister powering two burners can cook for a little over an hour on high.

How Long Will 1lb Propane Tank Last?

On high heat, a regular one-pound propane tank will give roughly 112 hours of cooking time. With the optional accessory hose, you can attach a regular 20-lb propane tank to the grill for cooking over 20+ hours.

When cooking with a 1 lb propane tank or any size tank, we’ll wonder how much gas is left in the tank?

Here’s a way to check the propane level in your 1 lb propane tank, which works with a cylinder of most sizes. All that is required is a hot cup of water.

  1. Take a cup of water and heat it to a moderate temperature.
  2. Drizzle your boiling water down the side of your 16 oz propane tank. Make sure your tank is upright for this to work.
  3. Place your hand at the top of your 16 oz propane tank surface. Slowly move your hand down and feel the temperature on the metal’s surface.
  4. Where the tank is empty, the metal will be warm. Once you reach the full part of your propane tanks where there is still a propane supply, you’ll feel a drop in temperature. Thus, you can determine the level of remaining propane in your tank.

It’s far easier to save money and environmentally friendly to reuse the same propane tank or canister than disposable canisters. You can refill it from a larger cylinder when your 1 pound propane tank runs out of propane.

The good news is that refilling smaller propane canisters is easy, and you will be back to cooking on your grill in no time.

You can refill a small propane tank from a larger propane cylinder if you have a propane refill adapter.

When you need to refill your Coleman small propane tanks, you can use these easy-to-follow steps. Just ensure you do this in a well-ventilated area.

16 oz Coleman Propane Tank

Position your cylinder

Place your larger tank upright on a hard, stable surface.

Connect your adapter

Screw the propane tank adapter onto your large propane cylinder. Make sure it is hand tight, and the valve is turned off.

Connect your empty tank

Screw your Coleman propane tank onto the propane cylinders refill nozzle. Hand tighten to the same amount as you connected the adaptor on your propane cylinder.

Invert your cylinder & tank

Invert the tanks that are connected. It would help to place the large tank (for recharging a propane cylinder) above the small propane tank (Coleman propane tank). Although the transfer will work through pressure, inverting your tanks speeds up the process.

Open the large tank valve

When you open the valves, you’ll hear the pressure transfer between the cylinders, and it can take around 5-6 minutes or until both tanks have the same amount of pressure.

Disconnect your filled tank

Once the small tank is full, you can shut the valve and remove your smaller tank from your propane cylinders adapter.

Propane Tank Last On A Camping Grill

How Long Does a Propane Tank Last On A Camping Grill?

Camp stoves, thankfully, do not burn propane gas as quickly as a huge grill. A 20-pound propane tank can offer 10 hours of cooking time on a medium gas barbecue, although it typically lasts 18–20 hours. (Learn How to Dispose of Coleman Fuel Canisters)

Burner size, burn rate and cooking at a lower temperature all make a difference. To be sure your grill or one burner stove has enough gas in the tank, you can use these alternative ways of testing levels in your propane tanks.


To simplify measuring a propane level, you can buy propane tank gauges. You’ll find these in a couple of different types:

Pressure Gauges

A pressure gauge is fitted to the gas line between the grill and the tank’s shutoff valve, allowing you to monitor the flow. They use the pressure generated to determine the propane level, indicating whether the tank is full, low, or empty.

Propane Scales – Analog

Analog propane scales, like luggage scales, weigh the tank to determine the remaining propane level.

Connect the hook through the tank’s handle, take it up, and read the information. While you’re doing it, make sure the tank is balanced in the air so you can get a close-to-accurate reading.

Because both scales just show the fuel level, you’ll have to estimate the cooking time based on experience.

Propane Tank Scales – Digital

Digital propane tank scales are mounted to the tank to provide constant measurements on the proportion of gas-filled and the burn time while cooking hot meals. You’ll find these accurate and easy to use to check the levels of your propane tanks.

Weight Measurement

For weighing cylinders, you’ll need to go about it in the right way in the remaining propane level using a weighing scale.

To begin, look for the tare weight (the tank’s weight when it is empty), which is usually listed on the handle. Then, on the scale, weigh the tank. Finally, deduct the tare weight from this figure.

The resulting value will give you an estimate of the propane level’s weight. To forecast the cooking time, you’ll need a lot of grilling experience once again.

Here are a few pointers to help you get the most out of your propane tank. These tricks will help your tank last longer. These are straightforward to apply.

  • Pre-cook and vacuum-seal your food at home, then reheat using your camping propane tank.
  • Cook the food in tiny batches, as large batches require more energy and time to prepare.
  • To cut down on cooking time on your propane camping stove, bring only add water meals.
  • When you’re not using the heater, make sure it’s turned off.
  • Before utilizing your propane tanks, clean the nozzles and any connecting lines.
  • Choose stove or grill equipment with a higher burn rate (efficiency) to get the most out of your tank. To create the same quantity of BTUs, some equipment burns more fuel.
  • A small quantity of propane gas is wasted when you connect a manual grill to your Coleman propane tanks. Use an auto-ignition grill to avoid this.
  • Reduce the grill temperature by 10-15% and turn off the heat while you are not present.
  • If the weather isn’t too chilly, keep yourself warm using warm garments and quilts rather than a space heater.
  • Keep any propane tanks in a cool place and out of direct sunlight.

How Long Does A Coleman Propane Tank Last

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