Now that warmer weather has arrived, chances are you’ve caught the smell of burgers on the grill wafting through your neighborhood. One of the positives of the weather in the Midwest is that for the better part of three seasons, we can grill out. Nothing tastes quite as delicious as burgers, hot dogs, and steaks on the grill.

While you may be familiar with the use of propane for grilling, it’s also possible to use propane for cooking year-round. Many households use propane as a primary source for heating and cooking – over 12 million of them in the United States alone. Propane is used to provide the energy needed to operate furnaces, heat water, and fuel appliances such as stoves.

Why Propane?

  • Even heating

The advantages of cooking with propane in the home are many. Gas provides a more even heat across the bottom of pans and within the oven, and gas burners can more easily accommodate pans with dented or warped bottoms. What’s more, gas burners respond instantly with heat, while electric elements require time to heat to the required temperature.

  • Lower cost

Operating costs for cooking with propane are more economical over electricity, as well. On average, cooking with propane is half the cost of cooking with electricity, and pilotless ignitions on propane stoves save up to 40% overall in energy usage by eliminating the need for a constant pilot light.

  • Variety of tools

Propane appliances are available in many different forms, including convection ovens, griddles, grill tops, and deep fryers. Perhaps best of all, propane appliances with non-electronic ignition sources (aka constant pilot lights) are unaffected by power outages, meaning during an extreme weather event, it’s still possible to have a hot meal.

Don’t forget the grill

Still, the most popular use of propane for cooking is the home barbecue grill, which is usually powered by the little white 20-pound propane tanks so readily available at many retail locations. Because of propane’s ease of portability, a propane-powered gas grill can be used at home, while camping, and even for tailgating – anywhere you can take your grill. Cylinder exchange programs can be found virtually everywhere, allowing consumers to swap empty tanks for filled ones as needed.

Perhaps the least-known but most appreciated use of propane for cooking is at the many street festivals in the area. Lin-Gas provides propane for the venerable West Side Nut Club Fall Festival in Evansville, IN every year. If you’ve had an elephant ear or brain sandwich, you’ve enjoyed one of the biggest benefits that propane-powered cooking can offer. We’ll tell you a bit more about our role as a supplier to the Fall Festival in a future blog as the date gets closer. Until then, you’ll have be content with dreaming about that tasty brain sandwich until festival time arrives again.

How much do you know about Earth Day?

The first Earth Day was observed April 22, 1970, as a response to growing concern about the health of the environment and the damages being wrought upon it by industry. US Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WI) founded Earth Day and as a result launched a growing wave of environmental activism that has become a global movement in the 44 years since that first observance.

The ever-present question raised by today’s Earth Day observances is: how do we continue to progress as a global society while still being mindful of our impact on the environment? The resulting discussion continues to refine global efforts toward environmental improvements.

It may surprise you to learn that propane, a fossil fuel, is on the list of environmentally-friendly fuels.

The term “fossil fuel” has come to harbor some negative associations over the years – sometimes fairly so. However, not all fossil fuels are created equal. Coal, for example, has earned its reputation as a significant environmental pollutant due to the release of sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide into the air as it burns. Sulfur dioxide is the contributing factor in acid rain, which creates a host of environmental damages, although the coal industry has made great progress in reducing emissions from the use of coal as a fuel in the generation of electricity

The use of propane instead of coal-generated electricity for power results in lower emissions. In fact, the process by which propane is produced, as well as the combustion of propane gas, does not produce significant contaminants to the atmosphere, including those that cause acid rain. Because propane is one of the lightest, simplest hydrocarbons in existence, it burns more cleanly than any other fossil fuel. What’s more, propane gas is nontoxic and does not have a negative impact on soil or water. In fact, because propane does not endanger the environment, the EPA does not regulate the placement of propane tanks, either above or below ground. Of all the fuels available for use worldwide, propane has been approved by the EPA as a clean fuel and is listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act as well as the National Energy Policy Act of 1992.

Earth Day reminds us of the delicate balance we must strike between energy use and the side effects of such consumption. Propane meets or exceeds many of the governmental standards set forth for the protection of the environment. If your home or business relies on propane for cooking, heating, or powering vehicles and equipment, you’re helping to do your part – not just on Earth Day, but every day.