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Propane vs. Butane: Which One Should You Be Using And Why

Propane vs. Butane: Which One Should You Be Using And Why

A rookie mistake when it comes to kitchen creations is to overlook the type of fuel we are using.

Unfortunately, when it comes to making magic in the kitchen, most of us tend to focus on the food and ingredients and may disregard the type fuel of fuel entirely. Indeed, while much of how a food tastes lie on the food’s freshness and ingredients itself, the type of fuel we use plays a pivotal role in ensuring we attain culinary perfection.

As novice cooks making our way through the kitchen or seasoned chefs ready to make culinary masterpieces, we all want fuel that lasts. However, few of us have managed to do some research on what fuel we should actually be using for our cooking. Sure, we may have the necessary stove and accessories to go with it, such as a super Kalan burner, but do we actually know what type of fuel to use? 

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You may have read somewhere or perhaps been told that propane and butane are both forms of LPG gas, but what does that exactly mean? What are the similarities and differences between the two? Before we dive into that, let us first orient ourselves to what LPG is. Liquified petroleum gas (LPG) is a term used to describe a family of light hydrocarbon gases. In this family of light hydrocarbon gases, propane and butane are the most well-known owing to their commercial and residential uses. Additionally, these two types of gases have very similar qualities, which means people tend to confuse one with the other. Both gases can be used as fuel for cooking, hot water, refrigerants, heating, and so much more. 

For a bit more clarity and understanding between the differences and similarities of the two read on. 



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Coming from natural gas processing and oil refining, propane is a flammable hydrocarbon gas liquified through pressurization. Its common uses are for heating and cooking. It is not limited to those functions, however, as it can be used for a wide range of residential and commercial uses. Propane has also been widely used for water heaters and even powering a restaurant’s kitchen. 

On the other hand, butane is also a flammable hydrocarbon that, like propane, comes from oil refining and natural gas processing. The difference between the two, however, lies in their uses. Butane is more commonly used as a fuel, propellant, and refrigerant. 

Bear in mind, however, that despite having similar qualities, there are differences between propane and butane that could either be beneficial or deleterious to you, depending on how you use them. 


A crucial aspect to look at when comparing propane and butane is the boiling point of the gases. Propane has a boiling temperature of -42 degrees Celcius, whereas butane has a higher boiling point at 12 degrees Celcius. 

What are the implications of these? Well, this means that propane will still continue to vaporize and turn into gas—even in colder climates. When stored as a liquid in a tank, propane is also known to exert more pressure than butane at the same temperature. All that considered, propane is better for exterior storage and use. 



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As propane and butane are sourced the same way and are members of the same gas family, it is inevitable for the two to share a number of similarities—a crucial one to consider of which is their environmental-friendliness. 

Propane produces more heat than butane which means it is more efficient in combustion. On the other hand, butane has a characteristic that is beneficial to the environment as it liquifies easier. As a result, butane’s containment is easier. 

Both gases are known to have no long-term adverse effects on the environment. They are both non-toxic, safe, and clean-burning fuels that are an excellent source of energy.


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Propane is a popular choice among barbecue lovers, and below are just some of the reasons why: 

1.) It cooks all year round

Propane burns efficiently regardless of the season. This means you can enjoy your barbecue whenever and whenever. 

2.) Ease of use 

Propane provides ease of use as it is plug-and-play. When it comes to using it for grilling BBQ, you can simply connect your grill to the propane gas canister, and you can have your food cooking almost immediately. 

3.) Instant and efficient burn 

Waiting for coal to adequately heat up for cooking can be tedious. Propane gas, on the other hand, ensures that lightning can be instant as it burns at almost full heat immediately. 


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While propane is widely used for cooking, butane also has its list of advantages, especially as a bbq gas. Below are just some of its benefits: 

1.) Low Toxicity 

Environmentally-conscious individuals will love using butane as it is the perfect gas for their needs. While both propane and butane are relatively safe for the environment, butane burns cleaner than propane as it will only produce carbon dioxide when lit. 

2.) Energy Efficient 

Butane produces twelve percent more energy than propane, with roughly the same volume of gas burned. This makes butane a popular choice among chefs who wish to fire up their BBQ grills several times a week. 

3.) Cost-Effective Choice 

Propane and butane may be extracted the same way, but butane is priced relatively cheaper than propane. 

4.) Efficient in Warm Weather 

If you wish for more efficient cooking in a warmer climate, butane is a clear winner. Do note, however, that butane gas does not flow when the weather is particularly cold. 


Now that you have an idea of the differences and similarities between butane and propane gas, you can now make a better and more informed choice on the type of fuel you should use for cooking.

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