Cooking In The Philippines With Liquid Propane Gas (LPG)

Cooking In Philippines With Liquid Propane Gas

LPG Is Necessary But Be Careful 

Just today there was a gas explosion in Manila caused by an LPG leak. Fortunately there are not more explosions like that one. The actual leaking LPG connections and hoses is probably quite common, but environmental factors do not allow the gas to pool in concentrations high enough to explode.

We used to have a bigger problem with leaks when we used the black rubber hoses. They were particularly prone to cracking. I switched to the orange type and immediately noticed that a canister of LPG would last several weeks longer.

I test the connections with a soapy sponge when I replace the canister and every couple of weeks after. The gas had been escaping from tiny cracks in the black hoses, but had not caused a problem since our kitchen has ample airflow to the outside.

LPG Tank And Accessories

We prefer Solane gas. A ~12kg tank lasts us 2.5-3 months with daily use:

It's tough to get into the habit of closing the valve when you are done cooking, especially when multiple people are using the unit throughout the day, but it needs to be done. At the very least it should be closed each night.This will prevent surprise leaks.

When you buy gas for the first time you will have to pay the canister deposit, which is about 2000 PHP ($40). After that you just trade in your empty canister for a full one and that runs about 860 PHP right now. We keep two canisters so we are never without gas for cooking. 

When it comes to picking a regulator I have found that simple and cheap is the best choice. The fancy ones with gauges have never lasted long, but they do cost more. I have not paid more than 170-190PHP for a regulator. Tokina is the only regulator brand we use:

Choosing An LPG Stove 

We have two LPG stoves. The first is a freestanding plain-jane white range:

Freestanding LPG range

We bought our no-frills model 10 years ago for around 18,000 PHP ($350).

These days there is a greater selection of ranges at the mall near us with better units at better prices:

The range above is priced at just under 16k PHP, but I have seen even better units for less. If you live in a bigger city, then you should be able to do very well for both variety and price.

If your tastes are more refined, then you would not have any problem picking up a professional grade unit in most any of the larger cities.

We use the range only when we have a larger item that needs roasting. Our day-to-day workhorse is our counter-top two-burner:

These also come in a wide variety quality and prices. You can find high-end hobs just about everywhere in the Philippines, but we went cheap with a 2500 PHP tabletop unit ($50).

The brand for the stove above is Boston Bay. IMO Boston Bay is overpriced. After five years the stove was needing a replacement, so went with a Hanabishi:

The Hanabishi was 2100PHP. An identical Boston Bay unit was priced at 3900PHP.

Do not expect these little stoves to last long, as they only cost 40-50 USD. If you want something that lasts, then you will need to buy built-in stainless steel hob with stainless steel tubing. Expect to pay tens of thousands of pesos.