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I am not sure about the terminology, i.e if it's called an electric cooker, burner, stove or something else. So I'll just refer to it as a electric or gas cooker to simplify things.

We don't have a gas supply to our house in the UK as we have moved to a more remote location. We did have a gas supply in our old house and are finding the electric cooker in the new house extremely slow. So I started looking into bottled/cylinder gas, but I am not sure which direction to go in as I have so many options.

For example, do I get butane, or something else? Which kind of pipe will I need, what kind of regulator will I need? What kind of cooker will I need?

So far I have seen the following, but am not sure if these are safe for internal use and also I am not sure if these are the most economical options. 1 of my requirements is that I need a nice strong hot flame to I can get cooking done quicker.

Gas cooker

Regulator

Pipe with clips

Gas

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You might also want to take a look at induction cookers. Here is a link to get you started: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Induction_cooker –  Henrik Söderlund Nov 7 '11 at 11:24
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Not sure about in the UK, but in the US people in rural areas who want gas (for heating, cooking, etc.) usually install an outdoor propane tank. They contract with a company to deliver propane as needed. If you're only using it for cooking, you won't need a huge tank. –  derobert Nov 7 '11 at 20:44

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Those little single ring gas stoves are really intended for camping use, or emergency use at home (during a power cut). The cylinders for them are very small and don't last long.

Any standard gas hob can be "re-jetted" to take bottled gas rather than mains gas; they often come supplied with a conversion kit for this purpose.

The normal thing to do is have an outside wire enclosure containing two large gas bottles and an auto-switching regulator (so when one bottle runs out, it switches over to the other bottle). The two bottles system means you can use the second while the first is being refilled / replaced.

You'd normally use propane for this rather than butane; butane becomes unuseable around 0C so can't be stored outside.

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Two 9kg bottles is all you need. A 9kg bottle lasts 2 to 3 months. Don't need to bother with auto-switching regulator unless very awkwardly placed –  TFD Nov 8 '11 at 5:44

I don't know if this system is up to modern standards, but it is what my mother has used since before I was born, and she is happy with it.

What she has is a gas stove of this type. (I can't recommend a current brand, hers is made in East Germany). Hers is, however, bigger than the one on the pic looks like. gas stove

She also has a gas bottle (a mix of propane-butane) sitting in a corner of the kitchen, close to the stove. The bottle is of this type:

gas bottles

On the bottle, a simple valve is mounted: valve

The bottle is connected to the burner with a simple rubber hose, no need for the installation of pipes. I don't know how much gas is there in a bottle, but it lasts for maybe 3 months. We keep a second, full bottle in the basement, so when one bottle is empty, we clamp on the second one and use it. If you don't have a second bottle, you are left without a stove for the 3-4 days the supplier needs to deliver a full one. I agree that the auto-switching regulator Vicky mentioned sounds very convenient, but I don't know how expensive it is or how much space it needs. The nice thing about our setup is that it is simple and low-cost.

The capacity of such a burner is enough to cook a meal for the extended family (maybe up to a 7-8 l pot). I don't know how it fares at amounts above that, e.g. if you want to cook your whole strawberry bed into jam.

As for safety, we always turn off the valve when the burner is not in use. This means that turning on the burner becomes a three-step action (flip valve open, turn knob at burner, ignite gas), but with the bottle sitting next to the burner, it isn't so much additional effort. As long as the bottle itself is OK (and regulated suppliers should be checking them before refilling), this minimizes the possibility of a leak to times when a cook is in the kitchen and would smell the leak before dangerous levels of gas have accumulated.

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That's the kind of setup I am after. How different are the items in your pictures from the items in the links I posted? What exactly is that white thing called in your first picture? I can't find anything similar to that. How about the last one on this link? mobilegas.co.uk/caravan-camping/gas-stoves/index.htm –  oshirowanen Nov 7 '11 at 16:23
    
I have found the bullfinch burners. But that a brand name, what is the actual thing called? –  oshirowanen Nov 7 '11 at 16:36
    
I have no idea of what the English name is, the literal translation of what my family calls it is "gas stove". I guess it is no problem to get it from a camping store, if the connectors are suited for a (big) bottle. The 2 kW of the bullflinch should be enough for cooking - at least they are enough for resistive electric, which isn't very efficient. In any case, first make sure you have a good bottle supplier for your area, you shouldn't refill them at car gas stations. If not, you should probably go for induction (the stove costs way more, but is much easier and efficient). –  rumtscho Nov 7 '11 at 19:19
    
Keep in mind that those bullfinch stoves put out about 4.4kW total (across all of their burners), whereas a typical residential range will put out 4.4kW from each burner. –  ESultanik Nov 8 '11 at 13:52

I would start by looking for a convenient supplier of gas in cylinders of the type rumtscho showed you, and making sure that they can deliver wherever you are. You want to avoid loading heavy, dirty and dangerous explosive gas bottles in your car, assuming it is even legal to do that where you live.

Once you know the type of gas (propane, methane, funny mix...) go to a white goods store and ask for a hob or a hob+stove that can mount the right jets for your gas. If you are the least bit unsure, ask a professional gas fitter. Gas is very friendly when everything is done right, and very nasty when invisible small mistakes are made, like the wrong type of gas hose or the wrong way of attaching the hose to the appliance and the bottle.

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