A 4oz (110g) canister of 80/20 blend of Isobutane and propane will boil 64oz (1.9ltrs) of water per 1oz (28g) of fuel Using a pocket rocket two burner. A 4oz canister will burn on full for 28 minutes and would boil 34oz (1ltr) of water every 3.5min.
Being a Chef who loves to get out into the wild regularly to unwind and distress, cooking good food fast is a priority. I have used a variety of cooking stoves and gas over the years, and below I will go further into how long a 4oz – 100g canister of fuel will last and why it may vary. Please continue reading to understand how your burn time on a 4oz gas canister may change.
How Long Does a Camping Fuel Canister Last?
How long your 4oz canister lasts will depend on a few factors. The first is what type of gas burner you use. Some gas burners will burn faster than others and use the gas much quicker.
For example, using the Pocket Rocket 2 gas burner using 1oz of gas could boil 68ox (2ltrs) of water. At the same time, an MSR Windburner 2 stove would boil 61oz (1.8ltrs) of water in the same amount of time.
Using five different stoves, an average time above was calculated, which gives the most accurate reading for how much fuel you would use to boil water. The time it took for each stove varied from burner to burner, so basing the burn time for the canister would vary too much depending on your stove.
As a rule of thumb, you should be safe to say with most stoves; you would be able to boil 2ltrs of water and use up 1oz (28g) of a 4oz (110g) canister of gas.
The gas used for the test was an 80/20 blend of Isobutane, commonly used by most hikers and backpackers.
I wrote an interesting article on Butane vs Propane Camping Gas and which is better that you should check out.
How much food could you cook using a Canister of Gas?
To illustrate how much food you could cook using a 4oz canister of gas, we took three brands of dehydrated meals and compared various packs to see how much water they use. The following is a guide to show you roughly how many packets of single-portion dehydrated meals you would get from a 4oz gas canister.
|Expedition Quality Adventure Food||Bolognese||12oz 370ml||10.8|
|Mountain House||Pasta Primavera||13oz 380ml||10.5|
|Back Country||Chicken Carbonara||8oz 250ml||16|
|Backpackers Pantry||Pad Thai||18oz 540ml||7.4|
|Alpineaire||Grilled Chicken Jambalaya||16oz 470ml||8.5|
These meals give you a general idea of how much food you could cook with a full 4oz gas canister. You will have to consider that there may be slight variances depending on the stove you are using, weather conditions and temperature. The above table should be a good guide for how long your gas canister will last.
These figures are taken by bringing the recommended quantity of water per meal to boil using full power on a gas stove. In the following section, I will discuss how you can make your gas last longer.
How to Make a Gas Canister Last longer.
To make your 4oz gas canister last longer, you must use it smartly. First, you should only boil the correct amount of water you need for your meal or drink. By boiling the correct amount, there’s no wasted gas boiling water that is not needed.
Next is to put a lid on your cooking pot before you light the gas. Putting a lid on the pot keeps the heat from the gas stored inside and allows the water to boil faster. Having a lid on while boiling is the one way to ensure no energy from your gas canister is wasted and that everything goes into boiling your water most efficiently.
Keep your camping stove out of the wind. The wind and cold air can reduce the efficiency of your camping stove by drawing the heat away from the pot. If your camping stove doesn’t come with a windbreaker, consider buying one or coming up with something that will block the wind from the flame.
Tinfoil or aluminum foil makes a perfect windbreaker and is very light and easy to pack away. You can put it into your cooking pot when not in use, and it can help make your camping gas canister go a little further.
Buy good quality camping gas. This always comes down to you getting what you pay for. If you buy a cheap brand camping gas, you may get something that does not have the right mix of propane and Isobutane.
The mix of each gas makes your camping gas last as long as it should. You should aim for a mix of 80/20 Isobutane to Propane. Stay clear of any mix that has just Butane and Propane. The Isobutane is far superior to normal Butane gas, and buy paying a little extra for the Isobutane, makes a difference.
Camping Gas Canister Life Extra Considerations
When considering how long your 4oz gas canister will last, you must first look at what food you will be cooking. When cooking dehydrated meals with your camping stove, it is easy to calculate how much water you will need to use. If you cook your meals using fresh ingredients, then times may differ.
Using simmer functions on your gas stove will extend its life of the gas stove, but again you will have to take into consideration the food you are cooking.
In colder climates or high altitudes, your gas may burn inefficiently due to insufficient air or being too cold. In colder weather, using an Isobutane and Propane mix is highly recommended.
A 4oz (110g) of Isobutane/Propane gas will last a week if you cook three meals daily using dehydrated meals that require 8oz or 250ml of water. Keeping the lid on while boiling will make the best use of your gas and ensure you have enough for all your camping needs for a full week.
A 4oz (110g) canister of gas is the smallest of canisters you can buy for camping and hiking. To extend your camping trips, you could always upgrade your canister to an 8oz without too much weight or size difference.
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