Mapp Gas vs Propane: Which Is More Effective for BBQ?

From learning main pros and cons to understanding how to handle each type of BBQ fuel - we've picked main differences and advantages for MAPP gas vs propane
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Last updatedLast updated: October 14, 2021
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The increasing popularity of MAPP gas has made many draw comparisons between the fuel type and propane. MAPP gas vs Propane; which is the better alternative for your barbecue? Well, you’re about to find out as we break down the differences between the two fuel types for gas grills.

In this article, we’ll do a detailed side-by-side comparison to help you fully understand what it means to pick one over the other in the case of MAPP gas vs propane torch. Read on to get all the information you need.

Propane gas 101

Mapp Gas vs Propane: Which Is More Effective for BBQ?

Propane gas comes as a by-product of petroleum refining and natural gas processing. It is a nontoxic, colorless, and flammable gas that has been transformed into liquid through pressurization, making it a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Propane gas is trusted for residential and commercial heating, including grilling purposes because it can be safely stored in cylinders and tanks while in its liquid form.

How does propane gas work? Although it’s in a liquid state during storage, igniting your gas grill causes the liquid to evaporate and combine with oxygen, leaving your grill lit up. Also, many BBQ lovers fancy propane gas because it allows easy control and is readily available for purchase.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Quick to start and heat up
  • Available at a great price
  • Offers easy control when barbecuing
  • Doesn’t create a mess

Cons

  • Not as hot as MAPP gas
  • May affect food flavor with a gassy smell

MAPP gas 101

You must have noticed that MAPP is an acronym. It represents methyl-acetylene and propadiene propane—the compounds responsible for its makeup. MAPP gas is a popular gas for soldering, welding, and more industrial purposes. But it’s now growing popular as a fuel for cooking too. It’s no more uncommon to find professional chefs deploying MAPP gas for searing steak and other foods because it does a fine job.

An important quality MAPP gas is mostly known for is the incredibly hot flames it creates. Precisely, its fire can heat up to a temperature of 3,730° F. In comparison, propane gas can only heat up to 3,600° F. So, it’s unsurprising that top chefs opt for MAPP gas for searing purposes.

However, we must mention that the manufacture of MAPP gas was discontinued in North America in 2008. Notwithstanding, its imitations are still sold with the MAPP label. Even though they’re not in their hottest form, they still burn considerably hotter than propane, which informs their increasingly popular use.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Burns at very high temperature
  • Doesn’t affect food flavor
  • Cooks food very quickly

Cons

  • Needs constant attention to not overcook food
  • Not entirely safe

Differences between propane vs MAPP gas

Mapp Gas vs Propane: Which Is More Effective for BBQ?

Now that we’ve separately discussed propane gas and MAPP gas, let’s do a side-by-comparison—propane vs MAPP gas—of the fuel types based on some vital factors:

Safety

It’s common knowledge that any type of gas requires serious safety attention because of its high flammability. Here, one type of gas raises more safety concerns than the other. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), extreme exposure to MAPP is immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH).

On the other hand, propane gas is not toxic to human health. Even the United States Department of Agriculture recommends propane gas grills thanks to their safety. Per safety rating, propane gas is the clear winner. Notwithstanding, you can still use MAPP gas without incident if you’re careful enough.

Temperature

Now, let’s move the battle to MAPP gas vs propane temperature; is MAPP gas hotter than propane? The correct answer is yes. As we mentioned above, MAPP gas has a maximum temperature of 3,730° F compared to propane’s 3,600° F.

Hence, MAPP gas can grill barbecue quicker than propane. This can be a great benefit if you’re in a hurry but you must know how to control it effectively.

Therefore, next time you get asked which burns hotter, propane or MAPP gas, you know the perfect answer to give.

Convenience

Every BBQ lover wants convenience when grilling and that’s sometimes down to the fuel source. For example, most pitmasters won’t choose a charcoal grill because of the inconvenience that comes with it. Although gas is generally convenient, different types offer different levels of convenience.

In this case, we find propane more convenient than MAPP gas because it is safer and easier to use. Also, propane gas is easier to find for purchase. Just ensure that you find the best propane smoker or best propane fire pit to use so that you can enjoy the best results.

Flavor

When you grill barbecue, one major thing you want to avoid is the fuel imparting any noticeable flavor to your food. Sadly, that can be the case with propane gas. Sometimes, it leaves a gassy odor that can affect the flavor of your grilled food. On the other hand, MAPP does not leave any odor behind, thus guaranteeing you a cleaner taste.

Prices

By now, we trust that you can easily guess which is more expensive between MAPP gas and propane gas. Yes, you guessed right—MAPP is the more expensive gas. Propane, on the other hand, is cheaper. Moreover, using the best propane tank gauge can even help you keep track of the fuel. So, if you’re choosing based on prices, propane gas is the better choice.

Cooking capacity

Mapp Gas vs Propane: Which Is More Effective for BBQ?

Lastly, what can the gases cook? MAPP gas is the better choice for searing steak and bone-in pork chops. However, you need to be adept at this technique to not overcook your food. On the other hand, propane gas is the better alternative for more delicate ingredients such as vegetables, tuna, chicken breast, etc.

FAQs

Do you still have more questions we’ve not answered to your satisfaction? Let’s clear things up for you below:

Which is better for grill torch – MAPP or propane?

This is a pretty legitimate question. However, it’s hard to say one is better than the other. We like to think they serve different purposes. So, if you’re going to choose one between the two, it should be based on your need. For example, MAPP gas is your guy if you want to sear a steak while propane is the better choice for more delicate ingredients. If price is your only concern, then you’ll be better off with propane gas.

If you’re having difficulty finding a reliable propane gas drill, thousands of buyers suggest that the Blackstone Outdoor Flat Top Gas Grill is a high-quality option thanks to its two independently controlled 15,000 BTUs stainless steel burners, four industrial strength caster wheels, and other exciting features.

If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, maybe the Char-Broil Signature TRU-infrared gas grill will. This grill offers four 443 stainless steel burners that guarantee lasting performance plus it boasts a lid-mounted temperature gauge to monitor cooking temperature.

Can butane be used for grilling?

If you didn’t know before now, butane is also an LPG. Even though it burns cleaner than MAPP gas and propane, it’s not ideal for grilling. Why? Unlike propane, for example, butane does not evaporate at lower temperatures, thus stopping the liquid from converting back into vapor. Without this conversion, there’s no ignition, making butane largely ineffective for grilling.

Final Thoughts

Yes, MAPP gas and propane gas are gas grill’s fuel sources. However, they’re both very different as we’ve established throughout this article. MAPP gas is great for searing thanks to its high maximum temperature while propane gas is easier to control and works great for delicate ingredients.

As far as we’re concerned, propane gas is better suited for everyday grilling while MAPP gas is ideal for special purposes. Propane gas offers easier control, better safety, and is easier to buy. When looking to choose one of the two fuel sources, choose based on your needs. That brings our MAPP gas vs propane contest to a close.

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