Propane vs Butane - for use with your BBQ
What Is Propane and Butane Gas & What’s the Difference?
Propane comes from natural gas processing and oil refining and is a highly flammable hydrocarbon gas. To make it suitable for domestic and commercial use, the gas is liquified through pressurisation, and you’ll find propane is commonly used for a whole host of heating and cooking needs both at home and in businesses.
Butane is also a highly flammable hydrocarbon gas that comes from natural gas processing and oil refining, just like propane. However, the uses of the two gases are quite different as you’ll find butane is most commonly used as a fuel and refrigerant gas.
Whilst propane and butane gas have many similarities, there are some distinct differences that you need to be aware of. The most significant difference between these two gases is the point of boiling, as propane has a boiling temperature of -42°C, whilst butane has a much higher boiling point at -2°C.
Whilst this may not mean an awful lot to the average person, it’s actually extremely important when it comes to choosing which type of gas to use, as propane is ideal for use in colder climates due to its lower boiling temperature. Not only this, but propane also exerts significantly more pressure than butane at the same temperature, meaning it’s ideal for exterior storage and use all year round.
Benefits Of Using Propane For BBQs
Propane is a popular choice for BBQ lovers around the UK, and here’s just a few of the reasons why:
Cooks All Year Round – Propane is capable of burning efficiently all year round, so that means if you simply can’t wait until summer to fire up your BBQ, propane gas may be your best bet.
Ease of Use – Propane is plug and play when it comes to starting up a BBQ, simply connect your BBQ to the propane gas cannister and you’ll have your food cooking in next to no time.
Taste – There are some people who argue that butane powered BBQs don’t taste anywhere near as nice as propane powered ones. If too much gas is used when cooking with butane, there can be a slight taste of the gas in your food. We’ll let you decide which is better though!
Instant and Efficient Burn – Waiting for a coal fire to light and heat up can be a nightmare, especially when you have a hungry family all keen to eat some delicious BBQ food. Propane gas is instant lighting and burns at almost full heat immediately, so it’s a great choice for anyone looking to cut out the hassle of lighting a coal fire.
Easy to Clean – Thanks to a naturally cleaner burn than most BBQ heating alternatives, propane powered BBQs are significantly easier to clean. Simply wipe down the grill and you’re ready to use your BBQ again.
Benefits Of Using Butane For BBQs
Whilst it’s clear to see that propane comes armed with a long list of pros, butane is also a sound choice when it comes to being used as a BBQ gas.
Butane comes with a whole host of benefits, including:
- Fast and Effective Burn – Butane lights instantly and reaches maximum heat output almost immediately, so you don’t need to wait around for it to warm up. An ideal trait for anyone looking to fire up their BBQ.
- Cost Effective Choice – Despite propane and butane being extracted in the same way, you’ll find that butane is actually slightly cheaper than propane.
- Low Toxicity – If you are environmentally conscious, then butane may well be the perfect gas for your needs. Butane burns cleaner than propane as it will only produce carbon dioxide when lit.
- Energy Efficient – Compared to propane, butane usually produces around 12% more energy than propane when the same volume of each gas is burned. This makes butane particularly attractive to those who light up their BBQ a few times a week.
- Easy To Use – Butane couldn’t be easier to use with BBQs, simply attach the gas and let it run into your cooker; then all you need to do then is light up the BBQ and start cooking your food.
- Extremely Efficient In Warm Weather – Butane is a clear winner when it comes to cooking efficiency in warmer weather. However, it should be noted that butane gas won’t flow when the weather is cold.
So there you have it, you now know everything you need to about butane and propane gas, so you can make a fully informed choice the next time you need to fill up on gas for your BBQ.
reproduced with the kind permission of Adams Gas Ltd