How to Modify a Camping Grill With Side Burner




About: Just a normal guy trying to make it in life .Good paying job but mindless sometimes .I enjoy making things in my garage to keep my mind going .. Its fun making something new but its more fun taking somethi...

 When i met my now wife Melissa , She had this portable camping gas grill in her shed . I remember i kept complimenting on how well built this grill was. Heavy duty steel was used for the base and a stainless steel top. We took in on a camping trip with us . I remember how disappointed i was by how long it took to cook a hamburger . All i could do was stare at it in disbelief.So that got me thinking ! My wife goes now what  i can  see your  head spinning !!!  Well  This is what i came up with and I'm very pleased with the outcome...

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Step 1: Original Camping Grill

 This is the way the grill originally looked  as i found it . Just your standard camping grill with  your side bottle propane mount .  I still cant believe how heavy duty the grill grate was compared to normal grills . The only bad part of this whole grill was that  the burner was terrible . It took  30 minutes  just to cook a hamburger!!!

Step 2: Recycled Parts

Our everyday grill finally rotted out so i saved the side burner , both propane valves and line, the front valve plate and electronic starter .

Step 3: Disassembling the Original Grill

I unscrewed the bracket from the propane valve from the grill and then unscrewed the valve from the burner.

Step 4: New Burner

I purchased a new duel burner from walmart  for $25.00.  I assembled the brackets for sitting on the bottom of the grill and mounted the fuel hoses are bendable . It didn't come with a  electronic starter so i cut one out a old burner i had from a cheap mini camping grill i had laying around and mounted it to the new burner.

Step 5: Installing New Burner

I drilled  (2)  1  inch holes in the bottom of the grill  to push the fuel tubes through the holes so the burner would sit flat on the bottom.

Step 6: Fuel Valve Support and Face Plate

 I used  1/2  inch square stock for the  faceplate support.   The original  faceplate was to long so i cut it down to fit that size grill. I  then used  1 1/2 angle iron to fabricate 2 support brackets  to help hold the weight of the facial and fuel valve rail and 2 valves.  

Step 7: Side Burner Bracket

To make the side burner work i needed to  first  make it smaller and second i had to fabricate a bracket to hold it . To make it smaller  i unscrewed the burner plate and burner from the  bulky framework.
  I then made a square frame out of the same 1/2 inch square stock. I then screwed the frame to the side of the  grill.  I then  made some frame supports for the burner so  it could handle the weight of the burner and  a pot of water or anything  else you would cook on a side burner .

Step 8: Finished

  I then cut the side burner facial and mounted the fuel valve and then i was finished..

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    17 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    have you had a chance to use the side burner at all for cooking yet?

    I am wondering if there is any issue with stability if you put something heavy .. like a pot of water .. onto the side burner.

    If so it could be easily fixed with a fold down leg on the outer edge of the burner support that you built.

    3 replies

    Yes i have used the side burner. I also had that in mind when i was building it. Once i made the frame i took a pot of water and set it on the burner and it didnt tip over . Dont get me wrong though , Theres no leaning on it at the same time!!! .
    And the pot was a good size one also . It covered the whole burner and frame.
    If you would like i could take a video of the side burner working with the pot of water ?


    8 years ago on Step 8

    coolbeanbaby68, aloha from the Big Island~ Too cool! I love the fact that you were able to recycle so many parts! Nice fabricating of brackets for the front valve panel and for the side burner. I'd thought about making my grill a dual fuel one (charcoal and propane) and may do it yet. Do you need to put some lava rocks on top of the burner to even out the heat? THanks for documenting this project and sharing it!

    Robot Lover

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Wow! this is a great use of leftover parts. You said it took 30 minutes to cook a hamburger before, how long does it take to cook now? Great instructable! 5 stars.

    4 replies

    Thank you for the compliment ..Now for the funny part of it hahaha. I managed to singe the hair on my left arm the first time i lit it . Then we cooked on it for the first time. I managed to burn 7 hot dogs and 4 hamburgers in under 6 minutes lol.

    I spent some time working as a propane tech so I have a little know how.
    looking at old burner I believe it was sized correctly. problem could have been several different things. Jets could have been clogged, venturi may have been to open or too closed, it needs to be adjusted till flames are blue. Or you may have had multiple holes in the burner clogged. there is also a valve that shuts off flow of propane inside the coupler to the mini propane bottle. if that gets tripped propane flow will be insuficient. any way I like your build but you cannot cook on low anymore cause the burner you are now using is for a much larger bbq

    Those are some good things you pointed out . The trouble with this burner is when its on low the burner is to close to the grill that the food is on so you have to learn to flip the food faster because the food cooks faster .

    well behind the scenes things didn't go very well at first .. I was trying to get the igniter to work on the main burner and ended up burning the hair off my arm and eye brows he he he . We cooked on it twice the first night i finished it . The first time i burned 6 hot dogs in under 4 minutes........... I realized that i need to keep the valves on low the whole time for cooking . I'm going to make a second tier grate which will help .. Its doing exactly what i wanted it to do. COOK FASTER!.
    You just have to watch the food more often while cooking . The wife likes it Also .


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I am looking to do something similar with an old BBQ frame I have but I haven't seen the H shaped burners anywhere in Australia. We also don't have Walmart which may or may not be a blessing seeing some of the People of Walmart photos i have seen on the Internet. Lol.

    Once again I like to see people who can identify a problem and then come up with a working solution without spending a heap of money. Well done mate. Another quality Instructible.

    1 reply

    thank you Buzz.
    Yeah walmart sure can bring out some real whackos at times . Walmart is just a super store where you can buy just about anything.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Nice simple grill upgrade. I didn't know you could buy H burners like that easily.