How Long is Butane Good For?

Last Updated on July 17th, 2023

We may earn commissions for purchases made through links on our site. Learn more on our about us page.

Heat is going to be an essential tool when in an emergency situation. If the body doesn’t have a heat source, then you will quickly get hypothermia and lose functions in your limbs or even potentially die.

Even if you have a heater that can keep you warm enough, you need a fuel source to heat water and cook food. Luckily, unopened butane canisters can last for over ten years, meaning storing some would be a good idea.

Canister and mug on a table - Safest Plastic for Water Storage

Does it Have an Expiration Date?

Butane will not expire, so if you want to buy some and put them in storage for years to come, that’s perfectly okay. Keep in mind, though, that if you open the canister, you should use it all instead of trying to reseal and store it again.

Keep in mind that when you hear that you should use it all, that just means to keep it hooked up to your stove. Since they won’t expire, you’re safe with storing 24-50 canisters.


What if the Canister Has Been Opened?

If you’ve opened the canister, it’s best that you just use the whole thing to the best of your ability. However, if you want to restore it, you must be sure to seal it properly. If you do not close the canister properly, then the gas will leak out.

Butane is a volatile gas, and it’s incredibly flammable. If you try to light something with a butane gas leak, you risk an explosion and losing all your stock and materials in a fire, or worse, your life.

If you feel like you’ve been overexposed to butane, seek medical attention immediately.


What is the Difference Between High and Low Heat?

An 8oz butane can cook on high for 2 hours and can cook on low for about 4 hours. So 2-4 hours should be plenty of time to heat a meal for you and anyone else who is in the safehouse with you.

With that in mind, it’s essential to budget your canisters for the things you need.

Use those over the butane if you have other heating sources to keep yourself warm. If you have some soups that can be eaten cold, you might want to consider doing that because once your gas is out, it will be hard to find more without starting a campfire.


Will the Quality of Gas Deteriorate Over Time?

If you’ve opened your butane canister and resealed it correctly, the gas quality will deteriorate over time. Also, be sure not to keep old butane canisters attached to your stove for too long, and butane canisters might rust, or the seal might deteriorate over time.

Butane gas burns cleaner than other gasses and doesn’t contain many impurities. If you want to keep your stove working, use each canister in a week or less. If you find yourself with a bunch of canisters with only a little gas left, use them up on one meal.


How Should You Store it?

Keep butane canisters away from heat sources and away from moisture. You don’t want your gas to heat up unintentionally, and humidity has a definite chance of rusting the canister. Also, you want to be sure that you keep your canisters out of the way.

The last thing you want is to trip over the canisters or treat them poorly. Heat is one of your significant lifelines, so treat it carefully. One of the number one rules for fire safety is not to act recklessly and start an accidental uncontrollable fire.


Final Thoughts on How Long is Butane Good for

Heat will be an essential tool in an emergency situation. You need a fuel source to heat water and cook food, butane does not expire and can cook foods for about two hours on high and four hours on simmer.

If you’ve opened a canister, it’s best to use the entire thing within a week or less; otherwise, you will have to seal and store them properly. Doing so will deteriorate the gas over time. If you don’t close it properly, gas will leak, which can cause health issues.

You should be sure to store the canisters away from heat and moisture. The last thing you want is for your gas to heat up unintentionally or for your canisters to start rusting.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply