Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Converting a Jenn-Air barbecue grill from natural gas to propane

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this Blogger site and because I believe this story will have broad appeal, I’m going to use this blog to share my experience with converting a Jenn-Air barbecue grill from natural gas to propane gas.

Usually though, I’m blogging on my newer family blog, located at

About our Jenn-Air Barbecue Grill

First of all, let’s clarify the name, brand and components of the grill.

Although it boasts the Jenn-Air name (sometimes spelled Jenn-Aire), which makes it more marketable, it’s actually not made by Jenn-Air. I wish I knew that before I bought it at Lowe’s a few years ago.

The grill is manufactured and serviced (and I use ‘serviced’ very loosely) by NEXGRILL.

The grill has four large burners, a rotisserie, a warming rack and a side burner. In our experience it’s well suited for cooking for large groups of people.

It also has workspace on both sides of the grill and a two-door cabinet below the grill for storing barbecue tools, etc. It’s on a nice metal cabinet, on wheels and easily moves on solid surfaces.

About our Situation

We moved in June to a home that doesn’t have a natural gas stub-out in the back yard (our previous home did). We received a couple bids to install a natural gas stub-out and decided it was just too expensive to warrant the project. Plus, if we moved again, we could still be in the same situation with a nice barbecue grill and no way to use it.

So, we decided to take our Jenn-Air barbecue grill and convert it from natural gas to propane gas.

This process, however, was not simple or easy.

Converting a Jenn-Air Barbecue Grill from Natural Gas to Propane

I searched online for an article on converting the Jenn-Air barbecue grill from natural gas to propane gas. I mostly found customer complaints about how difficult the process was and the fact that the grill isn’t a Jenn-Air product.

I called the 800 number provided in the Jenn-Air barbecue grill owner’s manual: 800.554.5799. Calling NEXGRILL only resulted in a giant runaround.

Finally I determined to take the grill to a local barbecue specialist. This was no easy feat as the grill is quite heavy and requires several men to load it into a pickup truck. But it was a good decision.

I’ll tell you right now that the hero in this story is Salt Lake City barbecue specialists Casual Barbecue & Fireplace. The owner, Keith Deppe, was incredibly helpful.

First, he located this article on written by Salt Lake City outdoor cooking expert, Derrick Riches.

Keith tried several times over the course of a week to get the propane gas parts shipped from NEXGRILL so he could convert our Jenn-Air grill. Finally he decided they weren’t going to help so he used his own parts and converted my grill for about $200 (parts and labor).

I dropped the grill off on Tuesday and had it back on Friday.

I was glad to pay for Keith’s expertise and to finally get the job done. Had I tried to do it — which my wife insisted I did not because she was concerned I would end up blowing up the grill, our home, or perhaps myself — I’m sure we still would not have a working grill.

As it is now, we have enjoyed delicious barbecued steaks, chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner, both for our immediate family as well as for my entire family — parents, siblings, spouses and all the cousins.

We’re so happy to have our barbecue grill back.

What I Learned

I learned several things from this experience:

Don’t be fooled by big fancy barbecue grills offered at relatively inexpensive prices at large home improvement warehouses. Even though I paid what I consider to be a lot for the grill (less than $1,000 but more than $750), it was less expensive than comparable grills that range from $3,000 to $6,000 at most barbecue specialty stores.

Call ahead and find an expert to help. Keith Deppe at Casual Barbecue & Fireplace was very helpful.

Stick with propane. Although using natural gas can be convenient and less expensive, not having access to it when you move to a new location is a pain.

Friday, June 01, 2007

A new Codella Blog

This week I’ve been working on a new endeavor for my extended family, the Codella Family Blog.

We’re working through some formatting bugs, but the site’s up and running.

The Codella Family Blog will be a site where each member of the family can post articles and photos. It’ll be a fun collaboration of narratives from the lives of four couples: my parents, Vickey and me, my sister and her husband, and my brother and his wife.

It’s still a work in progress but if you care to read my posts, that’s where they'll be from now on - unless I decide I need my independence again.

So, for now, thanks Blogger.

And we’ll see you on The Codella Family Blog.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day 2007

We made a visit to the cemetery this morning, Bunkers Eden Vale Memorial Park in the northern part of Las Vegas, to pay our respects to my grandparents, Angelo and Elenora. Vickey and I commented that the facilities look better now than they did the last time we visited.

We removed the old, weathered flowers that were there and left some new silk roses. We had some flowers for grandpa too, but there was no vase to hold them.

Last week when my dad was here I learned a new favorite expression often used by my grandpa to my dad: “Anyone can party all night in Las Vegas, but only a real man gets up in the morning and goes to work.” I guess my grandpa used to say that to convince my dad that sleeping the day away wasn’t the manly thing to do.

We took a couple minutes of video at the cemetery before the camera tape ran out. I’ll post that sometime this week.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A night with Anita Baker

I’m part of a couple Vegas show tickets clubs: House Seats Las Vegas and Vegas Seat Fillers. It’s a great way to get comp tickets to Vegas shows. The only thing is you have to be spontaneous and willing to jump on last-minute opportunities.

As a former performing arts producer, I understand the value in having a full house. That’s just what these seat filler organizations have capitalized on. They make arrangements with the individual producers to get free tickets to help fill the house. Besides, there’s plenty of mark-up in Vegas show ticket prices to more than accommodate for a few comp seats.

So, yesterday we had the opportunity to get tickets to see Anita Baker at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. I seized the chance early yesterday morning, as soon as I received the notice they were available. Anita Baker is one of my favorite vocalists.

I informed Vickey and my folks that we were going to a concert and to make arrangements for the kiddies. I figured it was a terrific opportunity and would be a good memory for my parents' visit. And boy was it!

First off, thanks to Ellen for being willing to bring her girls over and hang at our crib while we were out partying.

I went to the Hard Rock about an hour early to pick-up the tickets and secure good seats in the general admission seating area. I managed to get seats at the back of the first section at the Joint, about 30 feet from the stage. Vickey and my folks joined me in time for the comedian opening act. He was okay.

Once Anita Baker took the stage, around 9:30 p.m., the show was off and running. This is a low-resolution image captured by my mobile phone.

She was a bundle of energy. I’m not certain if I’ve been that impressed with a singer at a live concert. She was really spot on, on everything. I’ve been to a dozen or so concerts and for the singing, I think I can say Anita Baker was the best.

My critical mentions?

First to The Joint, for cable tying small folding chairs together for the seating and making the space between rows so small. My 34” waist could barely be comfortable on the seat’s surface area. There was a guy on the row in front of us that took up two chairs, easy. And the people next to him just had to suck it up and be squashed.

Second, to the production of Anita’s show. She was calling off instructions to the lighting and sound engineers pretty much throughout the show. It didn’t bother me as far as the songs go, again because she was just about vocally perfect. But without the stage direction the show would have been better.

Also, she was in command of the musicians, waving her arms and signaling the end of songs, transitions and the like. She let on that this was pretty much her first gig with the band, that she had pulled musicians together from Vegas and other parts of the country to play the concert. But that was even more impressive to me.

Musically, her show last night was a solid 10.

She was terrific in her interaction with the audience, dedicating songs, answering call-outs and even singing happy birthday complete with back-up vocalists who joined in on cue.

The evening, although much later than I’m accustomed to, turned out to be a highlight. It was a wonderful 100 minute concert. We all left very impressed with Ms. Baker. And my parents left with a better knowledge of Anita Baker and her music. They recognized a few of her songs as she sang them last night, they just didn’t know beforehand who Anita Baker was. Vickey helped them yesterday afternoon by playing part of the Rapture album for them.

Anita Baker admitted to the audience that at 49 she felt too old to be singing and dancing around. She also admitted that she loved her job and thinks it’s the best one in the world. One couldn’t help but agree that she loves music and it loves her right back. She was stellar.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Eliana's spring dance recital

Eliana's dance recital was last night. Here's the complete video, courtesy of yours truly and You Tube.

Here are a few photos from last night’s dance recital. These were taken as final preparations for the show were underway.

Grandpa and Grandma Codella with Eliana in the parking lot before the recital.

Showing off on stage before the recital. Think she's comfortable up there?

Green room and make-up all in one.

With her friend from dance class.

With Ms. Lori, her dance teacher.

Eliana with Sarah Coglianese.

And here are some shots from the performance.

Eliana’s kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Gupton, was gracious enough to accept Ellie’s repeated requests that she attend the performance. Now that’s going above and beyond. Thanks, Mrs. Gupton. It meant a lot to Ellie to have you there.

The recital included about 35 different numbers from Ms. Lori’s 250+ students. It’s an ambitious program sponsored by the City of Henderson. And isn’t it amazing that Ms. Lori has been doing this for dozens of years and can remember all her student’s names?

We talked Ellie into leaving a bit early, before the finale number, so we could go home and watch the American Idol finale. Way to go Jordin!