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Mapp Gas vs. Propane (Which One is Better?)

Mapp Gas vs. Propane (Which One is Better?)

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If you love to grill and have BBQs or even if you enjoy camping, the way that you grill food is important. Though propane gas has been used for years, many people are looking at MAPP gas as an interesting alternative.

But should you be using it and which method is better for cooking your food?

What Is MAPP Gas?

Gas Torch With Blue Flame

MAPP gas is a mixture of methyl-acetylene and propadiene. It is widely used in welding, soldering, and other industrial purposes. It can also be used for cooking. In fact, many top chefs use it for searing or finishing off steak and other foods.

The Benefits of MAPP Gas

Lots of people use MAPP gas in a blowtorch to sear or cook meat but it can also be used in a grill or barbecue. In fact, many people find that if they don’t want to use a cylinder of propane, they just reach for MAPP gas instead.

But does MAPP provide any benefits to the grilling enthusiast? Here are some of the benefits of using MAPP gas in your grilling:

1. Higher Temperatures

Chef Cooking Salmon Sushi With Gas Torch

Perhaps the biggest benefit of using MAPP gas for cooking is that it burns at higher temperatures than propane. In fact, MAPP gas can reach a temperature of 5300 degrees Fahrenheit. By contrast, propane has a maximum temperature of 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit.

The truth is that both gases impart some pretty extreme temperatures but because MAPP gas burns hotter, it can cook the food much more quickly. This is certainly preferable for those who are in a hurry and those who want to sear steaks and other meats in a certain way.

As mentioned previously, some of the top chefs in the world regularly use MAPP gas torches to finish off some foods in a particular way for their customers. In this context, if it’s good enough for some of the world’s top chefs, it’s probably good enough for the rest of us.

2. Food Flavor

One of the issues with propane torches especially is that they can sometimes impart a gassy smell to food. This is clearly undesirable.

Many people find that MAPP gas does not impart any extra flavor to the food. This may be because it burns hotter and therefore properly burns all of the elements, leaving no residue or smell as a by-product.

The Benefits of Propane Gas

Propane Tank Under Grill

Many people still use charcoal grills but the fact is that propane gas grills actually outsell them quite considerably. Though charcoal remains a firm favorite for many people, possibly due to the flavors imparted during cooking, propane gas offers some distinct benefits, including:

1. Fast Startup

What many people enjoy is the speed of propane gas and how convenient it is to start these grills. They heat up very rapidly and hold that temperature far better than charcoal.

Of course, MAPP gas also provides this ease and convenience and will burn even hotter.

2. Price

Propane gas is a firm favorite partly because it is so cheap to buy. The biggest issue with MAPP gas is that it is more expensive to buy.

MAPP production has also ceased in North America so the only option is to buy substitutes that may contain impurities.

3. Better Control

Close-Up of Grilled T-Bone Steak

The higher heat of MAPP gas may appear to be attractive and it may very well suit many chefs or cooking methods but it’s not always an advantage. Propane may not burn as hot but this means that it’s easier to control the cooking process.

In fact, it would be quite easy to overdo a steak or a piece of thick tuna when using MAPP gas over propane just because the maximum temperature can be difficult to handle.

Which One Should You Use for Grilling?

So should you be using MAP gas or propane for your grilling needs? The truth is that it’s not necessarily an easy decision. Though both types of gas will work in many commercially available grills, a lot of it really depends on what you want out of your cooking.

Cooking Hamburgers on Grill

Propane is widely available and certainly easier to get than MAPP gas. It also tends to be cheaper since it is so readily available. In this context, if price is a big concern and you grill using a gas cooker frequently, propane gas might be just what you need.

MAPP gas may be more expensive but since it burns hotter, it can cook food more quickly. It is also used regularly by some top chefs for certain cooking techniques. Indeed, some people enjoy the fact that it burns hotter and makes for a better cooking experience.

MAPP gas also tends not to impart any flavor to the food whereas some people do find that propane gas leaves some undesirable taste.

Safety Concerns

One of the biggest concerns for anyone cooking with any type of gas is personal safety and the safety of others and the environment.

MAPP gas burns much hotter than propane so this may be a big concern for some people who are inexperienced using such a hot flame in their cooking. Indeed, some people prefer not to use it because it can easily melt aluminum and other metals that may be in the burn path.

Propane has a long history of use in cooking and many people find that it offers them better control during the cooking process. Since it doesn’t burn as hot as MAPP gas, controlling the cooking is easier and more convenient.

There is less chance of it melting any other metals or becoming a general safety hazard.

Final Thoughts

People use both propane and MAPP gas in their cooking and grilling. Many people prefer the higher heat of MAPP gas but propane does offer more control and is definitely safer due to a lower maximum temperature.

The best guide to using cooking gasses is largely based on experience. Both types of gas have their applications but it may be best in the end to stick with propane due to safety, cost, and widespread availability.


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