Have you ignited your Blackstone Griddle and noticed an unusually tall yellow or orange flame? While it might be alarming, don’t panic! This is usually an easy fix but should not be ignored.
The yellow color of the flame indicates that there is not enough oxygen in the combustion process. Incomplete combustion produces carbon monoxide instead of carbon dioxide and this causes the yellow flame. The common cause of this is a partially blocked burner that restricts the flow of air and propane.
Leaving the griddle without attending to this issue could result in hazardous levels of carbon monoxide buildup. Also, the griddle won’t get as hot if it isn’t burning the gas completely.
Read on to learn more about the causes of this issue and how to fix it.
Table of Contents
- What Color Should the Flames Be?
- Why Is the Flame on my Blackstone Griddle Yellow?
- How to Fix Yellow Flames?
- Are Yellow Flames Dangerous?
- Final Thoughts
What Color Should the Flames Be?
When propane and natural gas burn in complete combustion, the flame should be blue. Natural gas flames are slightly lighter in color than propane flames.
Seeing yellow and orange flames is a warning sign that should not be ignored.
It’s perfectly fine though when the top of the blue flames shows small bits of yellow and orange.
Why Is the Flame on my Blackstone Griddle Yellow?
Yellow flames on a Blackstone griddle may indicate one of several issues or a combination of issues:
- Clogged burner tubes
- Air gates not set correctly
- Regulator issues
Clogged-up burners are possibly the most common reason for seeing large yellow flames. The clogging may be caused by a buildup of soot, dirt, or most commonly by bugs. Yes, you read that right, spiders love getting inside the burner tubes and weaving their webs in there, blocking the flow.
Some of the Blackstone griddles have adjustable air gates which if set incorrectly restrict the airflow so much that the flames turn yellow. If you have recently adjusted the air gates and are seeing yellow flames, they likely need to open up a bit.
Finally, regulator issues such as low pressure can also cause yellow flames. You may try to reset the regulator and see if that helps. Sometimes the regulator may be faulty and a new one will have to be installed.
How to Fix Yellow Flames?
The fix depends on the underlying cause. Before you start trying to fix random things you may want to check if the yellow flames are present on all burners or only some of them. If they are present on all of them and you didn’t tamper with the air gates recently, the issue is likely caused by the regulator.
If only some of the burners are affected, chances are it’s caused by a blockage of some sort.
To check whether a burner tuber is clogged you have to remove it from the griddle. Make sure the gas is disconnected before you do that.
The way the burner tubes are removed from the frame differs slightly depending on the griddle model.
The first step is to remove the griddle top so that you can get to the burners. The top either only sits with its pins in the appropriate holes in the frame or it’s locked in place. To unlock it, you will need to push the top towards the front of the griddle and then lift it.
The smaller griddles are equipped with H-shaped burner tubes which require you to loosen the screws located behind the control knobs and the screws holding the tubes on the opposite side.
The 36-inch griddle only requires you to unscrew the one screw holding the tube in place.
Once removed, clean the insides of the burner using a thin bottle brush. A can of compressed air may also come in handy to flush out all the dirt and debris inside.
While you are at it, you may as well check the burner ports and make sure they are all free of blockage. Don’t forget the outside of the burner tube
When done cleaning, screw the burner back in and try to light the griddle. If the yellow flames are gone, you have fixed it!
If the yellow flames are not gone and you are sure you’ve cleaned the burners properly, the issue may be with the regulator.
As mentioned, the air gates that regulate the amount of airflow to the burners are adjustable on the 36-inch griddles. If they are not opened enough then you may experience yellow flames as there’s just not enough air in the mix.
The air gate is located at the base of each burner tube and is locked in position with a small screw. It’s easier to adjust it with the burner taken out of the frame but it’s possible to do it with the burner in place as well.
You will need to loosen the screw and then adjust the air gate by turning it.
Once done, try to light the griddle and see if it made any difference. You may need to adjust it multiple times to find the sweet top.
Sometimes, the regulator might get stuck in a low-pressure mode. This is a safety measure but it happens that it doesn’t revert back and can cause various issues such as yellow flames or low flames.
Here’s how to reset the regulator:
- Turn off the burners
- Turn off the valve on the propane tank
- Remove the regulator from the propane tank
- Wait for about 30 seconds
- Ra-attach the regulator
- SLOWLY re-open the propane valve. If you go too fast you may trigger the safety measure again.
- Turn on and ignite the burners and check whether the solution worked
If these steps didn’t help you may have a faulty regulator that needs to be replaced.
Are Yellow Flames Dangerous?
In certain situations, yellow flames may be dangerous. The yellow color of the flame indicates incomplete combustion of the fuel.
When the combustion is complete, carbon dioxide and water vapors are produced. When the combustion is incomplete, carbon monoxide is produced.
Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that can cause poisoning and even death. The problem is that you can’t see or smell the gas.
So if you are seeing yellow flames, forget about using your griddle indoors as the gas will accumulate in the room and be a health hazard. That includes using the griddle in your garage even with the garage door wide open.
Fix the flames first before using the griddle.
Yellow flames are a sign of something being wrong with the griddle and should not be ignored. If you are seeing yellow flames, don’t ignore them, and make sure to fix the issue before cooking on the griddle. Especially if you are planning on cooking somewhere where natural airflow is limited. Carbon monoxide poisoning is not something that you want your family or guests to suffer from.
If none of the steps outlined in this post didn’t help, don’t hesitate to contact Blackstone customer support. They will sort you out.
Does yellow flame mean carbon monoxide?
Yes, gas burning with yellow flames is producing carbon monoxide as a result of incomplete combustion.
Is the yellow flame issue restricted to Blackstone griddles?
No, the yellow flame issue can happen on any gas-burning device such as gas grills or even gas stovetops.
Does this happen even with the side burners?
Yes, side burners can be affected as well but the cleaning process will be slightly different.