Butane or Propane, Which is Better?

Talking about butane or propane, that they are both LPG forms of gas, however you might be right with what you have probably come across, maybe online, somewhere, or been told. But for the two, is very much beyond being LPG or no LPG. What really matters is that “which is better: butane or propane”, “which is better for camping, cooking, butane or propane”. All these are what we’re about to discuss below. Also, their similarities, differences!


What is LPG? Before we get started, don’t you think we should go deeply about “Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)”, as we all know that it’s used to describe as light hydrocarbon gas related. However, the only two gases we all familiar with are propane and butane in this relation.

Also, for these two gases, most often lots of people usually get confused in the sense that they have monetary, residential uses, also they are similar in qualities, and these two gases can be used for fueling your camp stoves, vehicles, refrigerants, and much more. You can also check out our post about “Does Butane Burn Hotter Than Natural Gas.”

Fuel Options: Which is Better Propane or Butane Gas?

Propane and butane are both known as liquefied petroleum gases (LPG) that burn cleaner than the charcoal and wood traditionally used in campfires. Butane, commonly used in cigarette lighters, is the second most popular type of LPG. Propane is the most popular fuel, heating, and cooking. Which should you choose? Well, a lot depends on your needs.

If you only use your propane-powered devices a few times a year, or if you want a fuel that is safer to handle, butane would be a better choice for you. If, on the other hand, you plan to use your equipment more frequently, propane is the better option as it has a longer shelf life.

Propane and butane are both commonly used as portable fuel sources for camping stoves, grills, lanterns, heaters, and other devices, so you might easily assume that the two are interchangeable. But, in fact, they have some key differences that are worth considering:

  • Propane is a natural gas from oil refined processing, a hydrocarbon flammable gas, pressurization liquefied. It is widely used for stoves, residential and commercial uses. However, propane stoves, comprise unique elements, as they have used for most backpacking stoves and some other camping stoves. Also, propane fuel is an amazing fuel that works well while in frosty weather or at high altitudes, with these; we can agree to the fact the propane is an ideal fuel for all-season while camping. As for the downside, propane weighs more than other stove fuel.
  • And as for the butane, it also a natural gas from oil refined processing, a hydrocarbon flammable gas. For butane, it’s frequently used as camp fuel, propellant, and as well as used for refrigerant. The most amazing part is the lightweight, meaning if you ever need to go camping on a lightweight, the butane canisters fuel will be the best option for you. As for the canister, you can hold up enough fuel and more lightweight. And lastly, if you like camping in winter, which is almost the coolest season of the year, mostly in polar or temperate areas. As butane fuel won’t work well at high altitudes.

Now you may ask, why should we talk about their differences, when they have similar specifications and features, however, they may both have comparable qualities, but there are still some certain unique differences between propane and butane, let’s ride on for more… although, these differences may include in their helpful and its derogatory. So let find out more below…

You can also check:

Camping Stoves Option: Which is Better Butane or Propane Stove?

Butane vs propane is one of the most contentious debates in the world of outdoor cooking. There are staunch supporters on either side of the fence, and no amount of evidence seems to sway them. So, what’s the actual difference between these two precious fuels, and why are so many passionate about this topic?

Propane was the first type of bottled gas to be produced on an industrial scale. Propane is heavier than air, and when released as a gas from a pressurized container, it will flow to the ground and disperse quickly. Butane is a little more finicky. It’s also lighter than air, but it doesn’t always want to settle right away.

Now that we have talked about which is better gas, let’s discuss which is the best stove? Asking between propane and butane stoves, which is the best stove for camping? To help you find the answer to your question, here is a quick summary of the differences between butane and propane:

  • Propane, as we all know that the propane camp stoves usually have a very lower boiling point than butane camp stoves. However, using in cold weather, the fuel continues to change the form, from liquid to gas. However, while going on car camping, the propane stove is more or less irrelevant, but as for people who love backpacking, most especially in unpleasant weather, such as (dreadful winter), this may apply. Although, propane stoves and fuel, are somewhat cheaper than butane, and also they are very easy to get and available in most sporting or outdoor recreation stores and gas stations.
  • Butane, there is nothing to doubt about that going camping with a very lightweight stove, the butane stoves are somewhat lighter than any other camp stoves. However, using in extreme temperatures, butane stoves won’t suit or may not work as reliably. They are somewhat costly than propane, for the fuel availability is also a tug of war as they are always in a pack of 12, and they are available in most sporting or outdoor recreation stores and some gas stations.

However, comparing butane stoves to propane stoves has so many variations you have to consider as well. This includes the rates at which they squander fuels, also the weather condition, lightweight or heavyweight, availability, prices, and the likes.

While both butane and propane are often used to power camping stoves, they have some key differences. The most important difference is that butane is a gas, while propane is a liquid. This means propane can be stored in a small tank that is about the size of a soda bottle, while butane needs to be stored in a tank that is about the size of a large water cooler bottle.

Propane also burns more efficiently than butane, which means it is a safer choice, particularly for camping, and it requires a smaller tank to have the same amount of fuel. Propane also does not need to be refrigerated, as butane does. With all these, if I’m asked, that “which is better butane or propane stove?”, I will always go for a propane stove as they are the best stoves for every camper.

Price Option: Which is cheaper butane or propane?

As a beginner to camping, you might be wondering which fuel is better for camping, butane or propane. In general, propane is more expensive than butane, but propane is more efficient and butane can be dangerous to use in the outdoors.

Both butane and propane can be used for camping, and both are commonly used to power portable grills, stoves, and lanterns. So, which should you use? Propane has been the go-to fuel for outdoor cooking for years. Propane is built to withstand extreme heat without breaking down. Propane also has better ignition properties than butane, which makes it easier to light. Propane is also easy to find and cheaper at most hardware and big-box stores.

So if you want to go camping, but with your low budget, you need a cheaper fuel or stove type, knowing which stove or fuel type with its cost-effective, meaning which is the more expensive between propane or butane stoves and its fuel? According to recent research, I find out that butane has been an average of about $0.05 to $0.03 more expensive than propane. Meaning for each gallon of propane cost about $1.10 to $1.15, and for each gallon of butane cost $1.13 to $1.18. For these reasons, propane is the cheapest. (01)

Burning Ability: Which is better for cooking butane or propane?

Considering the fact that the propane is the cheapest, you will want to know its cooking ability, then you ask, “which stove is better for cooking butane or propane?”. Nothing much to say, as the butane camp stoves will give off up to about 12% energy more than the propane camp stoves, according to research. However, for every litre of butane fuel, you can cook and boil much longer than using the same amount of propane fuel.

Cooking with propane and butane is a great way to eat delicious food out in the woods. Propane is easier to transport, but butane has more BTUs per ounce, so it can heat larger pots. The choice between the two fuels is often a matter of preference.

However, it is said that the propane boiling point standard is around -43°F, which is approx -42°C, and for butane boiling point, it around 31°F, which is approx -1°C. As we all know, that using your butane camp stove in cold weather won’t work perfectly fine, in the sense that camp fuels can only burn in their gaseous state.

Also, propane and butane have an identical heat output, but for the heat output, there’s no specific proof that the propane burns hotter than the butane. Although for the heat output, they both have the same value as BTUs.

Long Last: Which is better for camping butane or propane?

Both Butane and Propane have the same similarities, but; however, regardless of which fuel you want to get, one thing is that the propane and butane stoves are the most commonly used. Although, they are both hydrocarbon flammable gases from oil refined processing, and we commonly use them in portable stoves for camping.

Asking “which is better for camping butane or propane?”, although they are both fasts at cooking and boiling, propane has a very low boiling point more than butane. Propane is the most popular choice of fuel for backyard barbecues, portable grills, and heating your home. Propane burns clean, hot, and with little or no smell.

It is also extremely convenient because you can buy it at most home improvement centres and gas stations. Propane tanks are also smaller than butane tanks. Propane and butane are both flammable, though butane burns slightly cooler than propane. However, since the butane has a higher boiling point, it’s advisable to go camping with a butane stove.