Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
May 7, 2007 12:41 PM

Blow Torch Propane or butane

I bought a canister propane torch with the self ignite switch. Now the propane is finish and I would like to replace or refill it. However after doing some research online I found that the cooking torch were butane. Do I need to worry if I use propane. Is there any health risk involved other than roasting myself.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Do they even sell a propane refills for mini torches. I have never seen a mini propane torch. The only one I did see had a regulator that attaches to a 14 oz propane cylinder. All the little self contained refillable torches that I've seen are butane.

    edited to add that you should get high grade triple refined butane for a torch. The jets get clogged with the cheap stuff.

    3 Replies
    1. re: scubadoo97

      It is cylinder or canister it refers to the same thing. But not the issue. I want to know if the propane is dangerous or a health risk to use on food. As all the ones selling online are butane

      1. re: Chanzee

        gas grills use propane and my gas range top is fueled by propane but I think the little torch you are talking about is butane

        1. re: scubadoo97

          scubadoo - No mine is actually a blow torch, I did not buy the little ones for the kitchen. As at the time I would not be able to replace or refill the fuel when it is finished as it was not sold here in Jamaica. The torch is fueled by propane I have not been able to find the butane cylinder here. The cylinder also specify no refill I realize, belatedly so that is no longer an option. Thank you for the info on propane now I feel alot more comfortable.

    2. For cooking purposes, propane and butane are nearly identical. They burn at
      roughly the same temperature. The products of combustion are the same:
      water and carbon dioxide. You will not be spraying your food with anything
      poisonous. They are both very common cooking gasses.

      The thing you do NOT want (and probably won't get if you don't go looking for
      it) is MAPP gas, which is propane with rocket fuel added to it, burns at an
      extremely high temperature, stinks real bad, is probably very bad for you, and
      always comes in a yellow canister. It's also about 4x more expensive than propane
      and has the word MAPP prominently on its label, so it's hard to go wrong.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chuckles the Clone

        Chuckles the Clone - Thanks for the info I did see the MAPP and wondered what it was. I will get the propane then as I still have not found the butane.

      2. Chanzee - are you using a Bernzomatic torch? You do not need to worry - there is not a health risk using propane as a fuel. (BTW I really prefer the Powercell Trigger Start Torch Kit

        1 Reply
        1. re: Louisa Chu

          Louisa Chu - Yes it is a Bernzomatic torch the cylinder holds 400g. Thank you I will check out the Powercell.

          Thank you

        2. I've been using a standard hardware store Bernzomatic propane torch with a simple flint based spark igniter for ages. It only costs a few bucks, and generates more heat than the little mini torches. The new ones with the self igniters look nice.