Ever been in this scenario? Family and friends are gathered on your deck or patio for a cookout, mountains of delicious foods have been marinated and prepped, and everyone is excited to help themselves to a great backyard barbeque. Except...

For some unknown reason, the grill either won't fire up, or it went out after 3 minutes of usage.

Not the best way to impress your guests, who may show their displeasure in some messy ways.

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Getty Images
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Getty Images
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There Are Many Ways To Wreck A Backyard Barbeque, But One Is Right Near The Top Of The List

Sure, you could have dirty grill grates, or you've over seasoned the food, maybe even cross-contaminated foods by not observing proper cooking hygiene (that's a bad one), but none of that matters if you can't get the damn thing lit (or keep it going).

Which brings us to the hack that will hopefully help prevent "cold grill syndrome," and a table full of unsatisfied guests.

Maybe check the propane tank next time, idiot. Getty Images
Maybe check the propane tank next time, idiot. (Getty Images)
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In the photo above, he's got that "keep smiling, no matter how bad things are" face going, while she's wondering how long it will take to order pizzas, and why she married him. In the photo below, Grandma is furious because she just lost an arm-wrestling match with Gramps, which means she has to pay for the pizzas.

Did that loser forget to check the propane again? (Getty Images)
This woman is about to break her foot off in someone's butt. (Getty Images)
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So, You've Got Your Cookout Ready To Go, But Is There Enough Gas In The Propane Tank To Last Through Cooking All The Food?

You've even got that cool gadget that tells you how much fuel is left in the tank...but you don't remember where you put that. You guess that you could lift the tank to check how heavy it is, but that doesn't really answer your question, either.

Bob Vila to the rescue!

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Getty Images
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Bob Vila's Propane Level Checking Hack Is Super Easy To Try

The TastingTable.com explains that you just need some water:

According to Bob Vila, simply heat up some water (hot, but not boiling) and then pour it down the side of the tank, which must be cool and turned off. Then, slide your hand down the outside of the tank, testing for temperature. Where it is warm, there's no propane, and where the tank feels cool, that's where there is still propane.

It might not be as dead-bang accurate as a fuel gauge or a weight-check, but it should let you know if you've got enough gas to make it through your cookout.

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