Butane vs Propane Torch: Get To Know Them

butane vs propane torch

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Torches are very useful tools for heating accurately with precision. Getting a high-temperature level in seconds is pretty easy with torches.

However, you will find several types of torches which use different fuel source for each of them.

Butane and propane torches run on two different fuels and they produce different levels of heat. So, it’s important to know how they work and what they offer before choosing any of the two.

In this article, we’ve put together some important and basic info on the similarity and difference between butane and propane torches. Continue reading below to know more about them.


The design of a Propane torch has a small sized torch head which is curved inwardly. This is to create a concentrated flame emission from the mouth of the blowtorch. The closer you put the flame to an object, the precision is higher as well as accuracy. Also, you get a higher temperature to work with. And, the more you take the torch away from the object, the flame temperature is lower.

The butane torches have a straight open end as opposed to the propane torch, enabling a full flame emission through it. With the butane torch triggers, you can control how much butane will emit as per as your desire, allowing you to produce either lower or higher temperature flame.

Heat Difference

The butane torch and the propane torch produce different temperatures for heating. Butane has a max temperature limit of around 2,400 degrees in Fahrenheit scale, a very useful temperature.

However, propane torches have the ability to achieve even higher temperature.  It has a max temperature range of around 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit that propane torches can achieve.

Typical Use

Butane torches are much more compact with a good portability, but the produced flame is not that strong. A butane torch is mostly used where the low flame is required. For cooking meat or searing, it’s a good choice.

Propane torches come with a tank for propane. You can put the tank closer or far depending on the tube used to supply the fuel. Due to higher heat temp and precision with accuracy, users use mostly the propane torches for cooking.

Unique Uses

The Butane and Propane torches can be used for various purposes depending on the ease of use, handling and heating temperature each torch produces. As an example, butane torches are favored by many chefs. They use this torch to burn sugar on desserts, like the crème brûlée.

On the contrary, larger, portable propane tanks can be used for activities like gardening, cooking meat etc. Gardeners express views that propane tank torches work effectively to destroy weeds to avoid chemicals. And for its higher and precise flame, it is widely used in cooking especially for grilling.

Butane Torches Burn Cleaner but Slower

A notable property of a Butane torch is that it burns cleaner and produces much less carbon monoxide than a propane torch produces. And they come in such sizes giving them much portability. So you can carry them with you while on the go and wherever you go.

Additionally, you can count on butane torches when using it since it doesn’t produce that high temp a propane torch produces. But, it can also be considered a con for butane torches since this low temp makes the process much slower than propane counterparts.

Finding refills for them might prove to be a bit hard. And finally, they’re not as suitable in extreme weathers. That means they won’t be useful to you in both extreme cold and heat.

Propane Torches Burn Hotter but Dirtier

On the contrary, propane scores much better than butane in various temperatures which makes it a more reliable choice for you to use in extreme weather conditions. Propane torches burn at a much hotter temperature as much as 1000 degrees which comes in handy when you are in a hurry and need to cook faster. Also, finding refills is very easy for these torches.

As for cons, I must say that they produce a dirtier burn as it produces carbon monoxide. Another important factor to consider is that they burn so hot that a single miss-handling could cause a serious accident. This is a major factor you need to consider before buying a propane torch. A propane torch manufactured solely for cooking could be a safe option.

Effect of Torch in Food Quality and Taste

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For cooking purposes 

There is nothing significant which differentiate between propane and butane. Both of them burn at nearly the same temperature. The products are the same: water and carbon dioxide. You will not be spraying your food with anything poisonous. They are both very common cooking gasses.

As they are alkanes

If burned, they won’t produce anything bad. The worst that could produce is carbon monoxide, but as it’s a gas, your food will be safe. There are other factors in cooking which could be more harmful than the products created after using a propane/butane torch. Ergo, it is safe for food.

As for taste

They are both similar. The propane torch may give a better-smoked flavor than the butane. Just have your torch always in a blue flame, else it will provide you a meal with a touch of propane flavor.


it is hard to choose between the two. Both butane and propane torch performs well in their respective strong points. But, overall, it is seen that people favor the propane torch for its fast cooking process. And don’t forget the better-smoked flavor. A safety concern you should keep in mind is that causing a fire with torch bought in a hardware store is easy. So, a kitchen torch is a safer method.

Last update on 2023-05-28 at 11:29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API