Comparison of kerosene/propane/butane : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I'm confused by all the choices to cook food with - kerosene, propane, butane (not to mention wood, a technology I think I understand). Can someone give me a quick comparison of relative costs of the stoves and the fuel, plus a comparison of odor and any danger factor? Also, is any of them significantly easier/harder to deal with in terms of storage - size, danger, breakdown of the fuel?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

-- Don (, January 30, 1999


Don, You will probably get many posts and URL's to look at from others on this forum. I have to guess your new to this situation ? Let's start with the Kerosene,liquid,clear,form of diesel fuel,easily gotten from gas stations or truck stops. It will require a tank if possible depending on how much cooking you will be doing / or heating ? Propane ,liquid fuel,pressurized,has an ordor for detection of leaks as used for heating and cooking. Small tanks can be located at Hardware stores/Wal-Mart/ small price. Lp normal name for propane ,also used for RV's. Caution in making connections so they do not leak. LP detectors needed for use because of leaking, also liquid is very cold to the touch,it will freeze the hand or body part that it comes in contact with,caution,please. Most country homes have large tanks along side of homes that look like sub's normally 500 gal ,some businesses have 1000 gal tanks. These tanks will not actually hold a full 500 gallons actually 80% of tank size is correct amount in tank. same with 1000 gal.tanks. Propane needs to be a gas vapor when it is regulated to a valve/orfice to ignite. Butane,pressurized gas, expensive, great for refilling lighters. Not in bulk quantities. Clean burning fuel. Don, my plans are for a 500 gal tank of LP and smaller tanks for Coleman lamps and some outdoor cooking. I personally live in the country now. Those are my plans. I will also use propane for my gas range and heating system and jenn aire stove,and fireplace. You haven't described your situation so these are my thoughts. Hope it helps some, good luck, start soon ! Furie....

-- Furie (, January 31, 1999.

I'd eliminate butane from this list immediately - it's too hard to deal with and not as commonly available as the other two.

If you have to choose only one - get Kerosene. It's transportable in normal containers and doesn't require pressurized steel tanks. You therefore eliminate that expense.

Lamps, stoves, and heaters are available for each fuel, but it's a heck of a lot easier to carry an Alladin or Petromax lamp around, then to have a small coleman propane lamp, with the need to replace the cartridge (or refill it somehow, or attach it to a hose somehow). Same goes for heaters & stoves.

I don't know the prices of each, but I'd imagine Kerosene is competitive with propane simply because it's less trouble and requires no special tanks. (Am I repeating myself too often?)

As for me? I have both. I bought propane primarily for my refrigerator and hot water heater. The kerosene is for space heaters, stove, and Alladin & Petromax lamps.


-- Jollyprez (, January 31, 1999.

Don, don't forget "chafing dish fuel" (like Sterno). There's a thread at the following URL--sorry I don't do hot links! If it doesn't work, click on the Food archive and search on "chafing."

-- Old Git (, January 31, 1999.

I would recommend Kerosene (NOT the red dyed version)

I just bought a petromax lantern and it'll burn kerosene or just about any other liquid fuel. It is Great!

Stay away from propane. Too dangerous when used inside.

-- Rosana (, January 31, 1999.

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