propane kitchen

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by ctchef01, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. ctchef01

    ctchef01

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    hello chefs,

    I am looking to take over a vacant  restaurant.

     my problem is it's all propane. I have only used natural gas in the past.

    Is this a problem?

    do  they get to the same cooking temps?(saute)

    If you can all let me know what I'm walking into

    I have 3 other locations I'm  getting but love the propane one.

    Any one who has used propane in professional kitchen if you can give me your plus  and minus
     
  2. chefross

    chefross

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    I live and work in rural America and use propane all the time. There is no difference between natural gas and propane they work the same.
     
  3. duckfat

    duckfat

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    The only cooking difference between Natural Gas and Propane is that in many cases you loose BTU's with propane. As much as 25% depending on brand and how well the jets in each piece of equipment were adjusted. The other things you may want to look into;

    What is the commercial tank code for the area?

    Is the propane an underground tank or above ground?

    Was the existing tank properly permitted? (you may need a permit just to have a tank delivered)

    Will you own or lease the tank and most importantly what are the delivery schedules and minimums, fees etc from the local propane co?

    The fee and rate schedule can take a big swing from company to company in some areas. Overall the biggest difference between the two fuels is more logistical than technical.

    Dave
     
  4. chefross

    chefross

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    I have never had a loss in BTU's with propane. I would imagine that jets are jets no matter what type of gas is going through them.

    I will tell you that above ground "pigs" as we call them here, will be affected by temperature variances. The colder it get outside the more propane is used. 
     
  5. duckfat

    duckfat

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    I think the only noticeable difference in BTU loss would be if you just switched from NG. I've never had any trouble adopting to propane. My understanding of the jets, after talking to many repair guys over the years is that the propane jets are more critical to getting adjusted just so. I'm not sure I've ever seen a BTU loss from a NG jet. Many manufacturers quote lower BTU's with propane but overall I agree the difference is nominal.

    Dave
     
  6. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I have used both over the years and haven't noticed any differences. At the present, we have commercial natural gas ranges at work and I have a commercial propane range at home. I also have bought used equipment over the years and had to switch out the jets from natural to propane and vice versa. No big deal if I can do it. The jets for propane have a bigger orifice than the ones on natural jets because propane doesn't burn as hot so the flow needs to be greater which solves the problem of BTUs.
     
  7. duckfat

    duckfat

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    Propane jets help compensate by allowing more fuel but they can't totally offset the BTU loss. The new Garland ranges as an example loose 3,000 BTU's or a little over 8.5% when converted to propane. That's an optimal conversion.  Every piece of equipment from each manufacturer is going to be different and there are a lot of variables with propane. On the equipment I have dealt with it wasn't just a matter of changing jets as it's the amount of air to fuel that has to be adjusted. With some ranges this is just a simple shutter but other equipment can be a good bit more difficult. In many areas this has to be done a certified gas tech (especially at installation) to be in compliance with code.

    Dave
     
  8. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    In my experience, I hadn't noticed any difference; but your post got me to thinking and being a nosy kinda guy who likes answers; I called Garland in addition to visiting their website.

    On the GF series restaurant ranges the open burners on top burn at the same BTUs whether natural or propane. The difference is in the oven in which the natural burns 4,000 BTUs hotter.

    Learn something new everyday, which is why I love this profession.
     
  9. duckfat

    duckfat

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    Well you've got me there! I'm looking at the GF series PDF spec sheet and there are no specs or options for propane that I can see with that series. I'll leave a link to the Garland site so any one can open the PDF's. I'm looking at the Heavy duty range series. Here's what the product PDF says for the burners (M44R, M44S, M44T) and this looks fairly consistent across the Garland Master series;

    "35,000 BTU, natural or 32,000 BTU Propane 2- piece Starfire burners with removable heads "

    The oven burner spec;

    "40,000 BTU natural gas, 35,000 BTU propane gas cast iron oven burner "

     

    This is a four top so a loss of 12,000 BTU on the burners and 5,000 more in the oven. I hadn't caught the oven spec so I'm pretty surprised by that. On the smaller ranges with the 24,000 BTU starfires the loss is 4,000 BTU per burner (M43, M43R, M43T, M43S) when switching to propane.

    Hopefully the model numbers will make it easier to open the appropriate PDF's.

    http://www.garland-group.com/products/cook/ranges/heavy-duty/gas

    In either event I think the OP has the idea that you need to really pay attention to what your getting with Propane and this just a range from a single brand!

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012