What Fuel Source Works Better for Cooking: Wood, Charcoal, or Propane?
Cooking wood is the original fuel source. All ancient civilizations used different stone or brick ovens with wood to bake their bread and other meals. Some are actually still similar to what we use at some restaurants today.
It was also common for civilizations with an abundance of wood to use charcoal. They would pile wood in a conical shape and cover it with turf or moistened clay. The fire would begin at the bottom of the pile, and gradually work its way up. Under normal conditions, the wood would be about 25% of the weight in charcoal. The charcoal briquette which is what we see today, however, wasn’t invented until 1897.
In 1834, using propane gas for cooking was commercialized three decades after it was invented by Zachaus Winzler. Soon after, in 1892, electric stoves came into use.
Process of How They’re Made
Charcoal is made from mostly pure carbon called char. Char is made from burning cooking wood in a low oxygen environment for a few days. In large commercial productions of charcoal, the wood is burned in large concrete or steel silos, leaving about 25% of the original weight in lumps and powder. These are then combined to create the briquettes that are sold.
Propane is a natural gas that is composed of three carbon atoms and eight hydrogen atoms. It is created by the decomposition and reaction of organic matter over long periods of time. Propane is found when tapping into oil wells and is commercially sold and used for cooking today.
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