Most gas grills in this country get kicked to the curb after a few short years of service. And a burned-out gas grill burner is a common culprit. Instead of dropping several hundred dollars on a brand new grill, you can breathe new life into the one you have for $20 or less with this simple fix.
The burner is the part of the grill that produces the flame. Depending on the size of the grill, there might be two to 10 burners inside. It’s a good idea to inspect the burners a few times a year for signs of corrosion. Spider webs are another thing to watch for, since the critters like to build nests and lay eggs inside the burners, clogging the flow of gas.

For now, let’s assume you’re past the point of preventive measures, and your broken gas grill burner needs replacing. Here’s how to get the job done in five simple steps.

Step 1

If you can’t buy a replacement gas grill burner from the local home center, check the manufacturer’s website. You’ll need the grill model number, which is usually located on the back or underside of the cart. Single burners start around $10; they’re often sold in multipacks, ideal if you need to replace multiple burners.

Step 2

Once you have your replacement gas grill burner, you’re ready to remove the old burner. Start by disconnecting the grill from the propane or natural gas line. For good measure, make sure all the control knobs are in the off position. Then lift out the cooking grates and flavorizer bars, also known as heat plates.

Step 3

The burner will now be fully visible and accessible. Though we found some variation in assembly from one brand to next, in most cases the gas grill burner is held in place at the front and back with hardware.
In the grill featured in this video (a newly tested model from Char-Broil that’s a stand-in for demonstration purposes) the burner is secured with a pair of cotter pins; yours might use screws or another type of fastener.
After removing the pins by hand, we lifted a carryover tube off the burner. Next we disengaged the burner from the electrode, which provides the spark when lighting the grill, by prying off a clamp with a small flathead screwdriver. At that point, the burner released freely from the electrode and valve opening. Be careful during this step not to crack or otherwise compromise the ceramic insulator around the electrode, or it could end up shorting out.

Step 4

To install the new gas grill burner you simply need to reverse the same steps. In our case, that meant reconnecting the burner to the electrode and valve opening, placing the burner onto its firebox supports, reinstalling the carryover bracket, and slipping the cotter pins back into place.

Step 5

It’s a good idea to test the burner before putting the grill back together. First, reconnect the gas supply line and try to light the burner. If there’s a smell of gas or the flames are uneven, turn the grill off immediately and refer to the troubleshooting section of your manual. The burner and valve may not be properly engaged or there may be an issue with the valve regulator. In a pinch, try calling the manufacturer’s customer support line.

If the gas grill burner lights easily and the flame goes smoothly from low to high with a turn of the knob, you’re ready to fire up the grill for real.