Butane fuel is becoming more popular to use because it is very easy to get a fire going with it. Additionally, it is very easy to get our hands on butane fuel, especially now that a lot of manufacturers package them in everyday items. In the past, you have to buy a full tank, but nowadays, there are canisters and even sprays. So, probably, the most practical question about it is, “How long does a butane can last?”
Really, what is so special about butane? Why is it the first fuel that comes to mind when companies manufacture ready-to-use fuel? For sure, there is more to butane than just a product that you use for Korean barbecue. So, for us to know how long does a butane can last, we should first determine the makeup of butane.
In this article, we will discuss what butane has to offer. At the same time, we will determine some estimates on how long a can would last. Lastly, we will give you some tips and tricks to properly care for your butane fuel because nobody likes a burnt home, right?
What is Butane?
A google search of butane will lead you to a computation of isomers, alkaline, and carbon atoms. Read those as hard as you can, but your brain will reject all of those chemistry data—unless you’re into that kind of complex information. The important part to note is that butane is a colorless, easily liquefied, and highly flammable gas. In some cases, it is even completely odorless.
What sets butane apart from other fuel or gases is that it vaporizes quickly at room temperature. Think of butane as a bubble, while it floats in the air, it exists. Once it pops, it is as if the bubble did not even materialize in this world. This is probably amongst the main reasons why people use butane fuel in high-rise condominiums and apartments.
Why? Simply because it is not totally a huge fire hazard as compared to other gases. Once set into the air, instead of being flammable, it just disappears—given that your place has room temperature. Therefore, if someone left the butane tank open and a fire is lit up, there will be no explosion or fire. Even though this is the case, keep in mind that you should not tempt fate and consciously light a fire in a room where there is a butane gas leak.
Some Uses of Butane
Butane is mostly used to combine with other gases. The ever-popular LPG or Liquefied Petroleum Gas is just butane mixed with propane. Nonetheless, here are other uses for it:
- Mixed with gasoline for car fuel
- Mixed with butadiene and ethylene to make synthetic rubber
- It is the fuel used in cigarette lighters.
- It is the propellant used in aerosol sprays like dry shampoos, paint cans, and deodorants.
- Also found in refrigerators and freezers.
- Used in air-conditioning units for both your car and home.
- Fuel for butane gas stoves
How Long Does a Butane Can Last?
For this purpose, we will just focus on the last function of butane, which is fuel for gas stoves. These gas stoves are the ones you use while camping, backyard grilling, or even condominium cooking. They usually have just one slot for the butane gas, an igniter, and a heat knob.
The 250-Gram Butane Can
Now, let us go back to the question. The answer is, it depends on how often you use the stove. A follow-up answer to that is, it depends on what you are cooking. With that said, the usual weight of a butane gas can that you can buy in the supermarket is 250 grams.
- Cooking at Home
If you will use it for home cooking only, then it can last for up to a week. This is the case because for homestyle cooking, you will probably just do heavy cooking twice, while the other dishes that you prepare are just fried or quick recipes.
- Cooking During Trips
On the other hand, if you will use the butane gas for camping or trekking, you really do not use it just for cooking, right? You use it for almost everything. From boiling to grilling, and from cooking to even keeping you warm as it is your only source of a fire. Therefore, the longevity of a 250-gram butane gas can is diminished. It can only probably last for two to four days.
This estimate, though, does not even take into consideration the other uses of that butane can when camping. If we had to add those instances, then at the very least, it can last for only two days.
The 500-Gram Butane Can
For other sizes of butane cans, you can just double or triple our estimates. For example, 500 grams of butane cans last up to almost two weeks for home use. As for camp use, four to eight days. But then again, these are just estimates, and you really cannot be sure, so a good thing to do is to note your usage so that you can specifically pinpoint how many cans you should bring on your next camping trip.
Tips and Tricks
Here are some tricks to save on butane fuel:
- Buy a butane can with a nozzle that perfectly fits your stove as this will diminish the risk of leaks.
- When not in use, always pull up the lever that will sync the butane can to the igniter.
- Choose a butane fuel that burns efficiently.
- Do not always cook on high heat. Meaning, once whatever you are cooking boils, lower the heat down to medium.
- If possible, if you are making stew, let it boil on a separate fire pile and then just finish the dish off with the butane gas stove.
It is really interesting to find out that butane is actually used in a lot of households. Definitely, it is a mystery why we do not combust from too much butane use. On another note, in terms of using a butane can for camping, it is always safe to bring more than what you need. You might think that doing so is a total waste, but all you have to do is just open one can at a time.
The good thing about butane is that you can store it for a long time, without it oxidizing. So, to be on the safe side, do not just bring a 250-gram butane can. Bring at least three, especially if you are not sure of how often you will use it.