Origin's Energy Advisor, Anne Armansin, said, "Nothing could be more Australian than getting the family and friends together for a lamb barbecue. This January, we expect to sell in excess of 15,000 gas cylinders - which will provide fuel for over 100,000 hours of barbecuing!"
Outdoor cooking enthusiasts have embraced the convenience of a Quick Swap service, where people can exchange any brand of standard portable barbecue cylinder for a full bottle.
"Many home chefs have no idea how much gas is in their existing bottle and run the risk of ruining the party by running out of gas (so to speak). Experienced gas users know you cannot tell how much gas is in the cylinder by shaking or tapping it, and this action could also damage the container.
"Instead, we recommend you apply 'The Simple Hot Water Test' which involves carefully pouring hot water down the side of the cylinder. Wait a few moments, then run your hand down the path of the water. The cylinder will feel cool to the touch at the level of the gas. Of course, we recommend adults perform this task and exercise caution when handling the hot water," said Anne.
"Budget-wise families are also keen to know how many cooking hours they will get from a full cylinder. This is also tricky to judge given there are so many different kinds of barbecues on the market so the answer will vary depending on the gas use and number of barbecue burners you plan to use."
Origin compared 20 different BBQs and found that the average range for cooking hours with the three common sizes of BBQs are as follows:
- Small (1 or 2 burner) - 15 to 36 hours
- Medium (4 or 5 burners) - 6 to 9 hours
- Large (6 burner) - 4 to 5 hours
"We recommend that party planners or busy families with large BBQs who are planning several cooking sessions over the weekend, consider having a full backup cylinder cylinder on hand to avoid disappointment," advised Anne.
Origin's top tips to keep the gas flowing this Australia Day:
- To check gas level in cylinder: carefully pour hot water down the side of the cylinder, then after a few moments, run your hand down the cylinder. It will feel cool to the touch at the level of the gas. Please use caution with hot water.
- Check hoses and fittings are clean and in good condition
- Check your gas connections are tight and use soapy water to check for leaks - if there are no bubbles the gas is securely connected; if bubbles appear refit and check again.
- When finished, turn off gas cylinder nozzle first to expel excess gas from hose.