Why Does My Gas Grill Have Uneven Heat?

There are few things more frustrating that trying to grill the perfect steak only to find that your gas grill heats unevenly. When you have hot and cold spots in your grill, it can turn your culinary masterpieces into a disappointing mix of undercooked and overcooked food. If you find yourself asking “what did I do wrong” and wondering why this is happening, you’re not alone. This is a common issue with a variety of causes that may be affecting the performance of your grill. The good news is that most of these issues can be easily fixed. Keep reading to learn about the causes and solutions for your gas grill and it’s uneven heating.

Common Causes of Uneven Heat in Gas Grills

Clogged Burners

One of the most common reasons for uneven heat is clogged burners. With use, food particles, grease, debris, and corrosion can block the burner ports, preventing gas from flowing evenly and causing hot spots to appear.

Solution: Regularly clean your burners. To clean or unclog your burners, remove them from the grill and use a brush or stainless steel scrubber to clean the ports. For tougher clogs, a drill may be necessary to clear the port and allow the gas to flow freely. This is included in our cleaning services.

Damaged or Worn Burners

Burners can become damaged or corroded over time, especially without proper maintenance. Rust and corrosion can not only clog your burners creating cold spots, but can also break down the burner itself, rendering the ports useless as hot spots erupt from holes corroded through the burners themselves. This can cause a terriblly uneven heat for your gas grill. If there is a hot spot of uneven heat in your gas grill and you can see a visibly larger flame in one section, your burners are liekly damaged and in need of replacement.

Solution: Inspect your burners for signs of corrosion. Though they are meant to take a beating in the harsh environment of a gas grill, when damaged it is time to replace the part. The first signs of corrosion are rust pitting, then flaking, then finally crumbling away in pieces.

Misaligned Burners

Burners can become misaligned from their original position during maintenance or if the grill is moved. This can cause uneven gas flow and effect how evenly your grill can heat. If a misalignment is bad enough, it can cause a fire inside your grill, melting the wiring harness and resulting in costly repairs.

Solution: Ensure that all burners are properly aligned with the orifices and securly fastened. Refer to your grill’s manual for specific alignment instructions and when in doubt, don’t be afraid to call in the professionals.

Grease Buildup

Good food is often greasy and on a grill, that grease can accumulate over time, causing flare-ups and uneven heating. If your grill’s performance is affected by hot and cold spots and sporadic grease fires, buildup may be the culprit of your uneven heating problems.

Solution: Regular cleaning will prevent grease buildup from reaching hazardous levels. Remove the grates, heat trays, and burners from your grill to clean and degrease them. If warm soapy water or degreaser doesn’t do the trick, give us a call and our steam powered grill cleaning services will take care of that for you.

Faulty Regulator

The regulator controls the flow of gas to your grill burners. If it is not working correctly, it can cause inconsistent gas flow, uneven heat, or low heat.

Solution: Check the regulator for any signs of damage. If you suspect it is the cause of your uneven heat troubles, replace it with a new one. Regulators are one of the most common repairs on a grill and one of the leading causes to grills heating unevenly or refusing to light at all.


These regulators are the most common replacement part on a backyard grill.

Uneven heat in gas grills can be frustrating, but in most cases it is a simple fix. Regular care and maintenance goes a long way when it comes to the performance of your grill. Remember to clean your grill regularly and you will stay ahead of many issues, and aware of when they do eventually arise.

If you are still experiencing issues with uneven heat despite following these tips, it may be time to call a professional. At Southern California Grill Cleaning, our grill service experts have what it takes to keep your grill looking and performing as well as the day you installed it. Call us today for a quote or schedule your appointment online.

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