Just a comment on cooking costs

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Just a comment on cooking costs

Postby Moondog55 » Tue 29 Jun, 2021 1:42 pm

I was going to transfer ordinary butane to my spare and empty canisters but instead, as this is for base camping, I have decided to use the cheap table top gas stove we usually keep in the picnic basket in the big car.
Bunnings had some older canister on clearance a while ago so I'll just use that butane until I can drag in the big LPG stove and cylinders.
The weight increase is substantial but it is only a short distance.
Just wondering if anybody else has ever used the cheap table top stoves as a short term measure
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Re: Just a comment on cooking costs

Postby Joynz » Tue 06 Jul, 2021 7:58 am

When I did the Overland Track, at least two of the walking parties (1 woman from Brisbane and her sister from England, and a group of young men from Germany) were carrying the table top stoves - in the plastic cases, along with spare gas canisters!

For the whole length of the track!

I’ve used table top stoves for car camping many times. The canisters used to be very cheap from KMart.
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Re: Just a comment on cooking costs

Postby ChrisJHC » Tue 06 Jul, 2021 8:37 am

Like Joynz, I’ve used them when car camping.
Give you good heat and also control.
Wouldn’t dream of carrying them any distance - both due to the weight and the general awkwardness.
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Re: Just a comment on cooking costs

Postby Orion » Tue 06 Jul, 2021 11:54 am

The LPG cylinder weight itself isn't really all that bad if you do the math. But most of the LPG stoves are heavy. You can buy a lightweight adapter for a LPG cylinder to butane bushwalking stove. I've never tried it myself but I would wonder if the jet size might not be optimized for such a high propane content.

Everything is relative but for me camping cooking costs are way down there in the noise.
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Re: Just a comment on cooking costs

Postby Moondog55 » Mon 12 Jul, 2021 12:10 pm

I was using the table top butane stove for a week and found it very convenient and fast.
I think I used about three times my normal fuel because it was so convenient to make a fresh cuppa every ten minutes.
Certainly wouldn't want to bushwalk with one but it has worked well for me so far. An interesting exercise in convenience
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Re: Just a comment on cooking costs

Postby cjhfield » Mon 12 Jul, 2021 7:23 pm

I have been refilling my gas canister with the cheap Bunnings butane canisters for a few years but I recently discovered that BCF are selling Isobutane with a few percent of propane for $2 each. So a bit more expensive than the straight butane but a much better mix for colder weather.

I have had problems with the straight butane in one of those table top stoves car camping in cold weather - the performance drops way down as the canister cools - so much so that I had to keep swapping in a warmer canister and when I got home ordered a Japanese made version that has a mechanism for transferring some heat to the canister to prevent the cooling. It is a much better stove and much hotter but way more expensive than the excellent value table top Chinese version. I am pretty sure the cheap stove would have been fine with the BCF canisters.

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Re: Just a comment on cooking costs

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 14 Jul, 2021 10:50 am

I just had a short phone conversation with Gasmate technical and they are saying that the Iso-butane + 2% propane canisters have the same operating minimum temperature as the straight butane canisters which surprised me.
That temperature is 10C. I really did think that the minimum operating temperature for the Power-Fuel butane canisters would be lower than that.
At maximum the little stoves burn 183 grams of gas an hour so a canister a day seems like a reasonable amount of fuel to allow for base camping
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Re: Just a comment on cooking costs

Postby cjhfield » Wed 14 Jul, 2021 12:12 pm

The advice makes no sense to me. Isobutane evaporates at -12 and propane way lower. They have to perform better.

My experience with the cheap and cheerful stove was that in cold weather it would start off OK but as evaporation occurred in the canister and it became colder than air temperature the performance would go down and down. It was probably 5 or 6 degrees air temperature. If I was just boiling a cup or two of water it would not have mattered but cooking a meal for 3 was a struggle and led to me swapping in a prewarmed canister. The isobutane would have been 17 degrees above its boiling point and if evaporation cooled the canister 5 or even 10 degrees it would still be evaporating. (The Japanese version has a metal plate that conducts some heat from the burner to the canister to prevent the cooling.) But I have not used the isobutane ones yet.

I did once buy some canisters labeled "Butane - Iso" from Supercheap. But it was a con. They just contained N-Butane. So it is not always easy to be sure what is inside regardless of the labelling!

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Last edited by cjhfield on Wed 14 Jul, 2021 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Just a comment on cooking costs

Postby Neo » Wed 14 Jul, 2021 12:55 pm

Shaking the canister and putting it back in works briefly. Swapping out for a full or warmed can is probably the best way around cold temps.

I learnt a trick, gently press your foot on the side of the canister to deform then try it again. Reduces the internal volume a bit.

That pre-warming design sounds great. I have used these stoves a lot for car camping travel and once in a rental property as the main cooking device. The cheapest was always a 12 pack from Big W.
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Re: Just a comment on cooking costs

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 16 Jul, 2021 1:37 pm

I found that the verbal information I received didn't make any sense to me so emailed and asked for some clarification from Gasmate. as of 1300hrs I've not got a reply.
I am considering making up a heat transfer coil form some thick copper wire if I can find any and making this particular stove a white season only unit.
$2- an hour is still cheap cooking but $0.70 is even better and sometimes the butane only canisters are that cheap buying by the carton
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Re: Just a comment on cooking costs

Postby Moondog55 » Tue 20 Jul, 2021 6:02 pm

Still no reply from Gasmate so I called the local BCF store and talked to the manager for a while. He was very interested in my question and I asked him to contact Gasmate and try and get a better idea of what lower temperature the more volatile gas mix was suitable for.
My comment to him being that I wasn't going to spend double the money on fuel if it wasn't going to work any better than the cheaper butane
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Re: Just a comment on cooking costs

Postby EGM » Tue 20 Jul, 2021 6:43 pm

Exactly right. I'd be interested to know how they claim it is better if the operating temperature is the same.
Possibly more BTUs?
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Re: Just a comment on cooking costs

Postby CaptainC » Thu 22 Jul, 2021 2:00 pm

Some possibilities are to keep the gas in your pocket for a while to warm up before cooking. If it cools down during cooking and all you're doing is boiling water then stick the can in the warm water.
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Re: Just a comment on cooking costs

Postby Moondog55 » Thu 22 Jul, 2021 2:23 pm

I could use PowerMax fuel as per the link
Works down to -25C
https://www.bunnings.com.au/tradeflame- ... s_p5910256
Just ten times the cost
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Re: Just a comment on cooking costs

Postby GBW » Thu 22 Jul, 2021 4:31 pm

Have you seen the Iso-Butane/Propane cartridges at Decathlon? $11 for a four pack. I use them to refill my Jetboil canisters.

https://decathlon.com.au/products/gasma ... 8260941935
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Re: Just a comment on cooking costs

Postby Moondog55 » Thu 22 Jul, 2021 5:30 pm

GBW wrote:Have you seen the Iso-Butane/Propane cartridges at Decathlon? $11 for a four pack. I use them to refill my Jetboil canisters.

https://decathlon.com.au/products/gasma ... 8260941935


Cheaper tho at BCF
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Re: Just a comment on cooking costs

Postby GBW » Thu 22 Jul, 2021 6:19 pm

Moondog55 wrote:
GBW wrote:Have you seen the Iso-Butane/Propane cartridges at Decathlon? $11 for a four pack. I use them to refill my Jetboil canisters.

https://decathlon.com.au/products/gasma ... 8260941935


Cheaper tho at BCF


BCF has butane not iso-butane on their website.
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Re: Just a comment on cooking costs

Postby Moondog55 » Thu 22 Jul, 2021 10:53 pm

https://www.bcf.com.au/p/gasmate-butane ... 21542.html
I asked the local store manager to check for me; he said it was
Iso-Butane with 2% propane
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Re: Just a comment on cooking costs

Postby cjhfield » Wed 11 Aug, 2021 1:35 pm

This is the BCF Isobutane/Propane $2 canister.
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Re: Just a comment on cooking costs

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 11 Aug, 2021 2:04 pm

Yeah These "should" work down to about -5C so I can't figure out why they say 10C minimum and the manager at BCF has told me that they said the same to him. Must be CYA statement
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