If you’ve ever bought a gas cooker, you’ve likely seen something like “LPG kit included” or “LPG compatible” somewhere in the literature that came with the cooker.
But what does LPG on a cooker mean? Well, today, we’re exploring gas cookers and LPG and discovering what combining the two can do for your cooking.
What Is LPG?
LPG is a type of gas. Liquefied petroleum gas has a far higher heating value than the usual natural gas that we use in our homes.
LPG provides instant and highly controllable heat. This is because this gas has a higher energy content (or calorific content) than natural gas. So, there is more combustible stuff within LPG than natural gas.
In terms of cooking, LPG can reach higher temperatures quicker than natural gas and can be much more responsive when you change the settings on the cooker.
How Do I Get LPG Into my Home?
There are a few ways of getting LPG into your home for cooking and heat. Firstly, you can install a large LPG storage tank in your garden.
These can either be sunken into the ground so they are out of the way, or you can keep them above ground if you have the space.
The other way of using LPG for cooking is by using a refillable gas cylinder, like the one you may use on a gas BBQ or patio heater. This solution is perfect if you’re looking at gas cookers for a caravan or motorhome, for example.
However, using a gas cylinder rather than a large tank will put the costs of fuel up a bit.
Can Any Gas Cooker Run on LPG?
A lot of gas cookers and hobs can be changed to run on LPG, but only if the cooker or hob comes with the kit to do so. There are some gas cookers that have been designed to run on the gas main, which cannot be converted.
So, if you’d like a gas cooker that can run on LPG, always look for ‘LPG kit included’ or ‘LPG compatible’ in the literature of the cooker when you are buying it.
That way, the gas-safe registered engineer who is installing your cooker can add the kit to the cooker and get it up and running for you.
Is Using LPG for Cooking Expensive?
Installing an underground LPG tank can cost around £1,500 (this is an average cost from around the UK). And the average price per kWh (one kilowatt-hour) is 7.7 pence; for natural gas, this is 4.65 pence. So, yes, LPG is more expensive to cook with than natural gas. This is why LPG is usually only recommended for off-grid homes that don’t have access to mains gas.
Is LPG More Energy Efficient than Natural Gas for Cookers?
Whether LPG is more energy-efficient than natural gas greatly depends on who you ask. Shockingly, those that supply natural gas state that it is much more energy-efficient and that switching to LPG can be a pain and not recommended.
This is arguably true as switching all your heating and cooking appliances to LPG can cost thousands of pounds upfront.
Conversely, LPG suppliers state that their gas is super energy efficient, that it burns more than five times more efficiently than natural gas, and it has been proven the world over to save money and lower carbon emissions in a home.
What we took away from our research into LPG and natural gas is that it depends on your situation. If you’re looking at LPG as a way of cooking with a gas cooker in a caravan, for example, it is a brilliant solution that has been used since the caravan was invented.
If you don’t have access to the gas main at home, then LPG is a great way of heating and cooking in your home, but it does come with initial upfront costs.
If you have mains gas in your home, the initial outlay for LPG and converting all your appliances may mean that you aren’t saving anything in the long run.
Can You Run a Gas Cooker from a Gas Bottle?
You can run a gas cooker from a gas bottle, but it certainly isn’t the most cost-effective way of doing things. Of course, if you don’t have any other option for cooking, this is a brilliant solution (like in a motorhome or caravan, for example).
However, if you have a gas mains supply or an electrical supply that can cater to a cooker, it is more energy-efficient and cost-effective to use this instead.
We hope this look at LPG and running a gas cooker on this gas has been helpful. Running a gas cooker on LPG can be done, and in some cases, it can make the perfect sense to do just that.
However, if you have a mains gas supply to your home already, in most cases, it’s best to stick to what you have.
Why not check out our gas cooker articles while you’re here? Chef’s Pick has the best gas cookers in the UK right now, many of which come with an LPG kit included.
Scott is a writer and a passionate home chef. His passion for cooking began when he was 10 years old. Scott has been writing professionally for over five years now and loves to combine his passion for cooking with his day job.