The boiling point, or the temperature at which each gas vaporizes, is the most significant difference between propane and butane. Propane has a low boiling point of -43.6 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing it to vaporize as soon as it is released from its pressurized containers. Butane, on the other hand, boils at 30.2 degrees Fahrenheit, or barely below freezing.
There have been several times in our country’s history when temperatures have dropped below -43.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the most notable of which was the record -69.7 degrees Fahrenheit set at Rogers Pass, Montana, in 1954. Even in the coldest of climates, propane will almost certainly be available.
However, if butane were the major fuel source, you could theoretically find yourself without gas for heating or cooking in some sections of the country.
Is it possible to use butane instead of propane?
The majority of appliances can run on either Butane or Propane, but the cylinders have different regulators, so double-check what size is required first. Because propane has a higher pressure than butane, a butane regulator will not work on a propane cylinder and vice versa. Butane may not give off vapour at low seasonal temperatures, often below two degrees Celsius, due to its lower boiling point. Propane can be used all year.
Is propane or butane a better fuel?
While it’s evident that propane has a long list of advantages, butane is also a viable option for usage as a BBQ gas.
Butane has a long list of advantages, including:
- Quick and efficient Burn Butane ignites promptly and quickly reaches maximum heat output, so there’s no need to wait for it to warm up. This is an excellent quality for anyone who wants to light up their grill.
- The Most Economical Option
- Despite the fact that propane and butane are derived in the same way, butane is slightly less expensive than propane.
- Toxicity is low.
- If you’re concerned about the environment, butane could be the ideal gas for you. When compared to propane, butane burns cleaner because it produces just carbon dioxide when ignited.
- When the same volume of each gas is burned, butane typically produces roughly 12 percent more energy than propane. Butane is especially appealing to individuals who use their barbecue a few times a week.
- Simple to Operate
- Butane is quite simple to use with BBQs; simply connect the gas and let it to run into your cooker; then simply ignite the BBQ and begin cooking your food.
- In Warm Weather, Extremely Efficient
- When it comes to cooking efficiency in warmer temperatures, butane is the obvious victor. However, it should be remembered that when the temperature is cold, butane gas will not flow.
So there you have it; you now know everything there is to know about butane and propane gas, allowing you to make an informed decision the next time you need gas for your grill.
If you’re looking for butane or propane gas for your barbecue, check out our selection for some of the greatest deals around. We’ve been offering specialist bottled gas in and around Kent for over 25 years, so you can trust that the gases we offer are of the greatest quality.
Should I grill with propane or butane?
Effective in terms of energy usage
If you’re seeking for a fuel source that will provide you with the most heat for your money, butane is the way to go. For the same volume of gas burned, butane typically provides 12 percent more energy than propane. So, if you’re a regular BBQ user, make sure you have plenty of butane gas on hand!
Why is butane used instead of propane in lighters?
A lighter is a small device that produces a flame and can be used to light a variety of flammable objects, including cigars, cigarettes, gas stoves, pyrotechnics, and candles. It is made out of a metal or plastic container filled with pressurized liquid gas, as well as a means of igniting the flame.
Butane lighters come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each with its own set of additional benefits tailored to the needs and aspirations of the user. Decorated lighters, lighters with engraved or attached logos, limited edition lighters, “dress” lighters, disposable lighters in various sizes, lighters for lighting candles, outdoor cooking stoves, or wood-based fires, and other lighters can be found. Because of features such as viscosity, vapour pressure, and autoignition temperature, butane is employed in more lighters than propane.
There are propane-fueled lighters on the market, but their use is limited. One of the factors is the vapor pressure of each substance at room temperature. Butane has a vapor pressure of 35.4 psia at ambient temperature (25C). It’s 135.7 psia for propane. As a result, the cost of making a lighter that can safely hold propane is likely to be higher than the cost of making a lighter that can only hold butane.
Furthermore, butane is better suitable for this use than propane and is more efficient per volume of gas. Propane has a lower boiling point than butane, therefore it’s better for cold conditions (butane’s boiling point is near -1C below that, so it won’t convert to gas quickly).
Is it possible to use butane in a propane grill?
All gas patio heaters and gas barbecues are, in theory, compatible with both butane and propane gas. The sort of gas you’ll require depends on when you’ll be using the barbeque or patio heater, as well as the gas pressure regulator. For your gas heater or gas grill, the manual will inform you the gas pressure regulator you’ll need. You can’t seem to locate the manual? Make that the gas pressure regulator is in working order. The pressure regulator for butane gas has the letter ‘B’ on it. It will have a ‘P’ for propane gas and a ‘B/P’ for both gases if both are possible.
Is the patio gas butane or propane?
If you possess a gas grill and are unsure what type of gas to use, we’ve put up a guide to help you find the proper BBQ gas bottle for your needs.
Butane and propane are the two kinds of this gas. Butane comes in blue cylinders and is great for camping, single-burner cooking, and indoor portable warmers. Propane, on the other hand, is a commercial heating and large appliance fuel that is also perfect for heating and cooking in catering vans. It is stored in red cylinders. Patio Gas is propane, which is perfect for outdoor living appliances like barbeques and patio heaters and is stored in green cylinders.
There are two types of propane gas bottles, as previously stated:
This is designed specifically to power outdoor appliances such as BBQs and patio heaters, and it has the added bonus of being compatible with the 27mm clip-on regulator. It also has a Gas Trac Indicator, which can help you figure out when your gas supply is going low. Patio gas is available in 5kg and 13kg bottles.
Propane cylinders are available in a wide range of sizes, ranging from 3.9 kg to 47 kg. To connect this bottle to your barbeque, you’ll need a screw-in high-pressure adjustable propane regulator.
A ‘clip on’ regulator is put onto the top of your gas bottle, while a’screw in’ regulator is screwed into the top. The sort of propane bottle you’ll need is determined by the regulator that came with your barbeque.
A regulator is always used to connect the gas bottle. This is a critical safety feature since it regulates the pressure at which the gas is transported from the bottle to the device. It’s critical to make sure your appliance has the correct regulator for the gas bottle you’ve chosen. A green Patio gas bottle can be used with a clip-on regulator, however a red propane bottle will require a screw-in regulator.
This is mostly determined by the number of burners on your gas grill. A 5kg patio gas bottle is appropriate if it has between one and three. If you have a larger barbecue, such as one with four burners or more, a 13kg bottle is advised. We offer a useful tool called ‘Which gas bottle do I need?’ that can inform you which gas bottle is best for your BBQ.
For more information on BBQ bottles and to place an order, go to our online store (subject to availability). Alternatively, you can use our Retailer Finder tool to locate a Calor retailer near you.
Is it better to use butane or propane in a camping stove?
If you’ve ever tented in the cold, you know that certain types of fuel won’t function below a particular temperature. The temperature at which gaseous fuels such as butane and propane work is referred to as the flash point; below this temperature, your fuel will turn liquid and will not pass through your stove.
Propane has a flash point of -43.6F/-42C, so unless you’re going to Antarctica, you’ll never be too cold to use it. However, because butane’s flash point is 30.2F/-1C, or slightly below freezing, it won’t work if you’re going winter camping in a cold region. It also doesn’t work as well above 5,000 feet in altitude. To summarize, propane is excellent for all-season camping at high altitudes, whereas butane is only suitable for warm-weather camping and lower heights.
Is butane safer to use indoors than propane?
Outside, a winter storm is raging when you are suddenly engulfed in an eerie, silent darkness. After getting a flashlight, you realize that your hungry family will be hungry in a few minutes. What will you do for dinner if you don’t have access to electricity?
Preparing to cook safely indoors may be simpler than you think. You can cook securely indoors with a range of excellent indoor cooking gadgets and fuels. For indoor use, the challenge is to employ a mix of the proper gadget and the right fuel.
These are our top picks for safe indoor cooking solutions when the power goes out.
- In the cooler months, a wood-burning cookstove is an excellent option for cooking indoors.
- Alcohol has no expiration date and burns cleanly.
- Indoor cooking using canned heat is a convenient choice.
- Butane can be burned safely indoors with a little ventilation.
- Propane can only be safely burnt indoors in an equipment designed for that purpose.
- Candles are an emergency fuel source that can be used to heat food slowly and safely inside.
- Ready-to-Eat Meals (MRE) Foods can be heated indoors using heaters.
- Although conservation tactics are not a substitute for actual gasoline, they can considerably extend the life of the fuel you already have. They’re worth looking into.
Emergency Powerless Cooking Advice
Reduce the number of options on the menu! Any crisis carries with it a slew of problems that will eat up a lot of your time. Simple, healthful, and comfortable meals are ideal. Emergency choices include heating canned foods or boiling water to make mashed potatoes from potato flakes.
Keep a supply of shelf-stable foods on hand that you can eat without having to cook. Due to the inability to refrigerate leftovers, prepare only the amount of food that will be consumed immediately.
Fuels that Produce Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is your adversary, and it must be avoided at all costs. If there isn’t enough oxygen for full combustion, any flame can emit carbon monoxide. Some carbon monoxide-producing fuels can be safely burned indoors by venting combustion products to the outside (think fireplace chimney).
When burned, carbon monoxide is produced by charcoal, coal, gasoline, diesel, Coleman fuel (white gas), kerosene, natural gas, fuel tablets, and wood. We strongly advise that these fuels be used only in properly ventilated appliances or outside.
Make sure your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working in your home. When burning anything, we recommend maintaining a carbon monoxide detector with a digital display nearby that will alert you to low levels of carbon monoxide.
Wood Burning Cook Stove or Fireplace
A wood-burning cookstove was formerly a commonplace element in every home. The stove was the only device for baking and cooking, and it warmed the entire house.
Our way of life has changed dramatically, yet if you’re fortunate enough to have a good wood stove, it will come in handy when calamity comes.
Our wood-burning stove is one of my favorites. I agree that the ashes are a little dirty, and the stove requires some attention in order to maintain a consistent temperature, but the wonderful warmth is well worth the effort. Our model features a 5-gallon copper water reservoir, which keeps us in hot water for a long time.
AlcoholMy favorite fuel for indoor cooking
Because it burns cleanly, ignites easily, and stores indefinitely in a well sealed container, alcohol is an excellent cooking fuel. It does not burn as hot as certain other types of fuel. It is not, however, explosive like some other fuels.
With a little ventilation, pure forms of alcohol can be safely burned indoors. Some types, such as methanol (wood alcohol), can be dangerous if absorbed via the skin or inhaled, therefore use cautious.
Carbon monoxide can be produced when any fuel is burned in an oxygen-depleted environment.
Denatured alcohol is a good alcohol fuel that can be found in the paint area of most hardware stores. Denatured alcohol is recommended as a fuel by most alcohol device makers.
Ethanol, often known as ethyl (Everclear), is a grain alcohol that contains roughly 95% alcohol. It’s an excellent cooking fuel. Be careful not to burn yourself with Everclear because it produces a practically undetectable blue or clear flame.
Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) is an approved alcohol fuel. It is available in a variety of strengths. The higher the alcohol concentration, the better it burns. There are three types of rubbing alcohol available: 70 percent, 91 percent, and 99 percent strength. Isopropyl alcohol burns with a yellow sooty flame and not as cleanly as other types of alcohol.
I’d want to try the Dometic Origo 1500 Single Burner or 3000 Double Burner, which is a non-pressurized free-standing alcohol stove. It boils 1 quart of water in 6-8 minutes and produces 7000 BTUs per burner when powered by denatured alcohol. 6-8 hours of cooking time can be obtained from a quart of alcohol.
Alcohol Space Heater/Stove
The Dometic Origo Heat Pal 5100 is a single-burner stove with a safe, non-pressurized heat source. This stove is great since it can be used as a heater as well as a single burner stove.
The Heat Pal can contain 1 gallon of alcohol and burn for up to 5 hours. It’s small and light (5.10 pounds), but it produces up to 5200 BTUs. This stove was meant for use on ships, but it’s also great for cooking inside during a power outage.
A portable folding stove is placed beneath a small metal burner that has been filled with alcohol and lighted. Vapors exit through a ring of microscopic holes, resulting in a lovely, even fire. Depending on the stove and type of alcohol, two ounces of alcohol will burn for about 10-15 minutes in a stove.
To put out the flames, smother them. You can lose your eyebrows if you blow on them. The lid should not be replaced until the burner has totally cooled. As the lid cools, it will become increasingly difficult to remove.
Boy Scouts and trekkers typically utilize alcohol burners or stoves since they are tiny and portable. A brief search on the internet will turn up alcohol burners constructed from soda cans. Brass, titanium, and aluminum-alloy burners are all high-quality options.
A military surplus merchant can sell you an alcohol burner that is military-grade. These burners are virtually indestructible and extremely easy to operate.
The FireCone is an unbreakable alcohol burner with a distinctive design. It is made up of a base and a cone that create movable inlet ports for greater versatility. This is yet another product that piques my interest. Let me know what you think if you’ve tried the FireCone.
The alcohol burner is a disposable form of canned heat. Caterers regularly use these little metal cans under chafing dishes to maintain hot items at serving temperature. An cheap option to provide 72 hours of emergency indoor cooking fuel is with a case of SafeHeat and a folding camp stove.
The burn time of the can varies by brand and ranges from 2 to 6 hours. The 6-hour cans are my favorite. The fuel inside canned heat is flammable alcohol or petroleum gel that takes a long time to burn.
The can produces a visible flame as well as a significant amount of heat. The heat and flame are directed straight up with little spread, concentrating the heat in one area and necessitating regular stirring to avoid burning the food.
With proper ventilation, canned heat can be safely burned indoors. It keeps well and can be used to safely heat food indoors in the event of a power outage. A portable folding burner, chafing dish (similar to a double boiler), or fondue pot are commonly used with canned heat.
Because canned heat is such a great fuel for indoor cooking, we like to get a little creative with it. The amount of heat produced is determined on the number of cans utilized. In an EcoQue portable grill, formerly known as Pyromid, we can use up to four cans of SafeHeat.
We made a little stove out of a portable, counter-top charcoal barbeque and three cans of canned heat. It was a great success. Note: The manufacturer suggests using no more than two cans at a time. You do so at your own peril!
We buy canned heat in bulk from Amazon or from warehouse shops’ catering area. They come in 12-piece flats that stack neatly for storage. The shelf life varies by manufacturer and can last anywhere from a few years to indefinitely. Cans should be stored between 40 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit, upright, away from heat sources, and damaged or dented cans should be discarded.
In our piece Canned HeatSafe Fuel for Indoor Emergency Cooking, we go over more about cooking with canned heat.
Butane is extremely flammable, colorless, and liquefies rapidly. It creates both carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide when burned. It is necessary to ensure adequate ventilation. Butane does not operate well at temperatures below freezing.
Butane cylinders must be kept away from open flames and heat sources at temperatures exceeding 32 degrees Fahrenheit and below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. They pose a significant threat. Because butane is heavier than air, it can pool and cause an explosion if it leaks.
Butane is a practical fuel. It’s a little pricey, but it works well in a variety of situations. At near-freezing conditions, butane does not evaporate effectively and may splutter or misfire. A butane canister has an eight-year suggested shelf life.
Butane burners are popular among caterers because they are light, convenient, and safe to use indoors with proper ventilation. The majority of stoves have excellent flame control, and many include an automatic piezo-electric igniting system. At maximum output, one eight-ounce butane canister can last up to 2 hours, and on low, it can last up to 4 hours.
For more information on utilizing butane stoves indoors, see our post Butane Stove: Portable and Convenient Power Outage Cooking. Many butane burners are only meant to be used indoors in a well-ventilated location. If you’re going to buy one, be sure it’s rated for indoor use. Additional information can be found in the previous post.
Propane produces a good, clean, hot fire. The fuel will last an endless amount of time. Because propane is heavier than air, any leakage could gather in low-lying locations, posing an explosive threat.
When propane is burned, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and water vapor are produced. However, if there is insufficient oxygen, incomplete combustion can occur, resulting in the generation of carbon monoxide.
Propane is a terrific fuel, but it can only be used inside in an indoor appliance. It is not advisable to use a propane Coleman stove indoors. Coleman issued the following statement regarding the use of their goods indoors:
Your Coleman liquid-fuel or propane-fueled stove and lamp are only intended for use outside. Due to the risk of fire, the production of carbon monoxide (CO) from burning fuel, and the effects of carbon monoxide exposure, all fuel appliances (Stoves and Lanterns) should be used outdoors in well-ventilated areas free of combustible items.
Finding a propane appliance that is not built-in and is rated for indoor usage can be difficult. Tar Hong produces a single or double propane gas stove that may be used indoors. I have no knowledge of the product’s quality. Indoors, I’d use alcohol and outside, I’d use propane.
Wax candles are a tried-and-true way to bring light and warmth. When paraffin and beeswax are burned, they release minor amounts of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur, and nitrogen. When it comes to cooking, I prefer not to use scented tea lights.
Did you know that you can use candles as a fuel source to heat up a can of soup or bake bread? That is correct. For some inspiration, see our post Candles as an Emergency Fuel Source for Warmth, Light, and Cooking.
A few of bricks, a cooling rack, and some tea lights were used to form a makeshift stove. This approach will never get a can of soup to a raging boil, but it will warm it up in 20 or 30 minutes.
Tea light candles are used to power a HercOven. This masterpiece was created by Kristofer Johnson to use thermal energy, convection, and radiation energy to bake 20 tea lights for 4-5 hours.
Before putting the candles in the HercOven, make sure to cut the wicks and set them up straight as directed in the guidelines. I neglected that step and ended up with a small fire in my oven. It’s entirely my fault. It’s not uncommon for me to have to learn the hard way.