BANNED - Portable Butane Gas Stoves

UPDATE AUGUST 2015: Gasmate have now released a compliant butane gas stove

The NSW Office of Fair Trading has BANNED the very popular 'lunchbox' style butane gas stoves due to safety concerns, including overheating.

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe recommends that consumers "do not buy portable cookers of this type" and goes so far as to urge consumers to dispose of any currently in use.

This type of cooker, powered by disposable butane aerosol type gas cartridges, has seen a massive growth in popularity over the past 10 years or so due mainly to their low cost (usually under $20) and convenience.

It's fair to say there would be hundreds of thousands of them in use across Australia.

“Testing, undertaken at the request of NSW Fair Trading and other State gas regulators, has found a fault with the cookers’ shut-off valves, posing a risk that the devices may overheat and could explode."

Consequently NSW Far Trading is working with retailers in NSW and other states to have the products removed from sale.

Mr. Stowe goes on to say “I’d encourage consumers to notify NSW Fair Trading if they see any devices of this type being sold within stores or by NSW retailers.”

There is no indication at this stage whether the issue will be rectified and the stoves made available again but if not, it will leave a gaping hole in the camping stove market.

I personally have four of these stoves which I've been using on most trips away over the past ten years and like everyone else, find them extremely convenient.

In this video below you can see the result when a stove is deliberately overheated.

Here is a list of the stoves currently suspended (Source)

Note that NSW Fair Trade also states that “Compliance certification for all current models of ‘lunchbox’ type gas cookers has been suspended by the independent safety certifiers and cookers of this type can no longer be sold lawfully in NSW."

  • Home Essentials BDZ-168
  • Home Essentials BDZ-163S
  • Red Stone N/A
  • Bai Hui Portable Camping Stove N/A
  • My Collection N/A
  • Five Star MS-2000
  • Gasmate Plus MS-2000
  • Gasmate BC1080
  • Gasmaster BC1080
  • Jumbuck BC1080
  • Jackeroo BC1080
  • Excalibur BC1080
  • Unnamed model PC1070
  • Unnamed model PC2080
  • Unnamed model CM2200S
  • Unnamed model CM2250
  • Unnamed model OZ2160
  • Unnamed model CM2270
  • Unnamed model AD90
  • Adventuridge 509245
  • Companion COMP523
  • House Brand 509245
  • Kookaburra ST0990
  • Primus 2240
  • Primus 2271
  • Primus TLB-102L
  • Red Desert 509230
  • Spinifex 7027612
  • Spinifex 90024574
  • Jackeroo PL-121

More information can be found at the NSW Fair Trading website.

81 thoughts on “BANNED - Portable Butane Gas Stoves

  1. Avatar
    Trevor says:

    This story is boggas and fear mongering. I had to use one for over 12 months as my electric stove died and I could not afford to have the natural gas one working ( it needed parts and the gas supply line in place) so we were useing a twin burner camp stove for all our meals and did not have any problems. Unless you are doing something realy stupid (like in the video) these cookers are perfectly safe for the simple reason of thermodynamics. Gas under pressure when released cools, it cools the can and the valve. Basically I have removed cans from the working stove only to find it ice cold with condensation and had to wait for it to warm up before i could use that can again. The video that portrays the stove blowing up is boggas and heres why, they have the stove on a hot plate to simulate the valve getting hot and letting go when in fact the hot plate was heating up the can to the point that the pressure inside the can gets to high it explodes violently and the gas then ignites. So unless your doing something realy stupid (like putting it on a hot plate) you won't have any problems except for running out of gas cans.

  2. Avatar
    Mate says:

    I used mine to create smoke bombs and while one mix blew up on me, the stove (and I) was fine! Some (idiot) friends of mine used one of these stoves but didn't turn the stove plate the right way up for maybe 40mins and that melted some warning labels and made me uneasy on its continued function... but 4 years later it's still very useful (as aforementioned).

    Now that 2years have gone by, what's your feelings on the alternates we see now-a-days?

  3. Avatar
    Ian says:

    Brilliant little cooker, very reliable, inexpensive and well made, Just follow the instructions and it is no more likely to blow up than your car.

  4. Avatar
    Ben Allen says:

    Just got one for Christmas 2016, was using it to the instructions with a pot that was within the surface for heating and it caught fire at the butain cartridge. Thinking it may be the can I changed to another ( Stupid I know ) and the same thing occurred. As for anyone putting a pot that's too big on them stupid or not doesn't matter could be one of my kids. These things are dangerous and should be banned.

  5. Avatar
    andrea says:

    i had one of these expode into fire on my yesterday. With correct use. I have used these kinds of stoves hundreds of times, and of course assumed they are safe. But believe me, i now think otherwise... people who are saying it is safe just because it hasnt happened to them yet are being idotic. It only takes once to die. I didnt, but it was a horrific dangerous expereince. I did nothing differntly than normal, nothing wrong-- and the thing burst into an explosion of flames. Not worth the convenience, you can use a differnt kind of stove...

    • Avatar
      Linda Cailes says:

      I used one of these correctly I think the aerosol piercing mechanism went faulty, it blew up the fire ball was 5 feet tall !! I had my hair on fire&badly burnt my arm&finger,luckily the grass was wet&I rolled to put out the vapour burning on my clothes,luckily the children were no where near, it was a shocking experience which could have been much worse. I live in Gt Britain& these are on sale everywhere!!!!

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  7. Avatar
    NEV says:

    If you are so stupid that you would put an oversized pot on one of these cookers which would force the heat from the burner downwards onto the fuel cell, then I have no sympathy for you.
    How dumb do you have to be.
    Used properly, there is nothing wrong with the cooker. Like anything else, you can't legislate against idiots!!

    • Avatar
      Paulights says:

      I agree! This is not for long time cooking.like i use it when i bake or,to melt a choco.but definitely not for normal cooking. Mine has never had a problem

    • Avatar
      Rosielee says:

      These are on sale in the UK and I use one for my 70's expresso pot/milk steamer that refuses to work on the induction hob (there's no gas in the village). Thanks to the draconian safety regulations for propane storage now it would be too expensive to install a gas hob. It clearly says on the instructions not to exceed an 8" cooking pot because the resulting deflection of the flame could overheat the gas canister. The only issue I have with this type of stove is that you must remove the cartridge between cooking sessions because otherwise there will be a very slow leak of gas ; not a problem outside in the open air but not recommended if using it inside the house. It would definitely be safer to use one of these things properly than have an open wood fire that could spread.

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  9. Avatar
    James says:

    You people are funny.... Sure go ahead an use them - it's your life and the nanny state has nothing better to do than try and look out for you - I mean no matter what you say they are going to sleep at night with no guilt.. If it does blow up and kill you, your kid, or one of your loved ones then you have no one to blame but yourself. But I am sure you will then cry foul and try to sue someone because of some other reason the "nanny state" didn't warn you about.

    Ignore the "Nanny State" at your own peril but please stop whinging like a bunch of babies who need a nanny.

    • Avatar
      Thinkagain says:

      James, they weren't banned in the USA and thousands if not millions of these stoves remain working fine around the world. Gee James a car can explode under the right conditions. Though common sense has prevailed and they are now back on the market, with very little change to their design. Sure they could still explode, as with your local petrol station, or your battery in your remote control.

      • Avatar
        Stephen says:

        USA had this issue some ten years ago, and now use a different safety valve to the units sold in Australia.
        Of greater concern, this problem was known so long ago but Australian regular is only just now acting on it.

        • Avatar
          Jason says:

          I bought one of these today from Bunnings before reading this thread. I hope Gasmate got their shit together and improved the valve.

    • Avatar
      Go Mose says:

      Grow up and read the comments about proper use.
      motor cars and bike are dangerous if used improperly do we nbab them too?

    • Avatar
      Frank says:

      Ease up James, just concentrate on looking after yourself and don't worry about the rest, you sound like a Nanny.

  10. Avatar
    Benji says:

    I've seen many of this leak fuel and catch on fire albeit with exploding. The best thing is that you can return the disfigured unit coveed in melted plastic to Kmart and say you only bought it two weeks ago and no longer have the receipt!

    • Avatar
      Vivian says:

      Jesus, not this tired argument again -- it's because we need the transportation capacities of cars, whereas these portable butane cookers are much less "necessary" for everyday life. But I will agree with the point that banning these will lead to a gap in the camping/outdoor cooking market. Currently there are portable cookers that run on electricity, but because of that, they aren't nearly as convenient. Somebody should come up with a safer alternative product soon.

      • Avatar
        Go Mose says:

        Why is this arguement "different" there are many many things that are dangerous if missused, do we ban them all? COMMON SERNSE is all that is needed, but alas sadly lacking theses days.

  11. Avatar
    Russell Sharman says:

    Very interesting, but the demo video is flawed.

    How often do you put an all covering plate between the pot your boiling and the flame.
    A plate that extends over the gas cylinder and appears to be folded down to increase heat retention.
    Why wouldnt it explode under those artificial conditions.

    PS. I have 2 and know others that have them and we have had no problems for many years now.

  12. Avatar
    Davidson Tan says:

    I personally find this article interesting.
    Portable gas stove may seen dangerous from the video posted. So we don't use for the sick of safety.
    Lately, airport market also make headline. Some plane missing, engine problem, gas tank problem etc. This means we are not going to take plane again.

  13. Avatar
    Dave says:

    What a bunch of whining sooks. "I have been using this product for x years and it hasn't killed me yet, so she must be OK I reckon." What sort of logic is that ?

    There was a death. Then NSW gas regulators, who presumably know a thing or two about ... I dunno, gas or something, undertook testing and banned 31 models because of a serious safety flaw. "Nanny State" ! "Don't want to hear it" "Must be wrong" "I know better" ... whatever people. Do what you want, but don't put your kids next to one.

  14. Avatar
    joelb1 says:

    The only issue I have with this type of stove in Tassie is the gas "bottle" freezing up. We usually have to change them and let the part used one thaw out.

    • Avatar
      Rachelle Worth says:

      Yep agree Joelb1....Dealt with the same thing in the central desert in winter.. thawing out the gas cylinder was the most creative part...

  15. Avatar
    Jenny says:

    All well and good for governments to withdraw products from sale amid safety concerns; however, they also need to recommend safer alternatives to consumers.

  16. Avatar
    Trev & Deb says:

    This is not a nanny state, look at the report 31 models do not meet Aus standards.
    I have just done a mr Google and there have been warnings for a long time, the poor bloke at Casino lost his life, we only get 1 chance

  17. Avatar
    Dianne says:

    We have been using ours for over 6 years now and have never had a problem with it. People just need to read the instructions aand use in a safe way. Typical knee jerk reaction from our nanny state, instead of fixing the problem just ban it. I'm all for continuing to use ours and will be buying a new one just in case this one breaks down and going to stock up on cans too.

  18. Avatar
    brad says:

    We have been using one since they first cam out with no problems. Just feels like the another Nanny state knee jerk reaction to improper use of an appliance. Heck , if I put my 9kg gas bottle on the grille and cook it like a steak I am sure it will blow up also. Firstly, perhaps a better course of action is to ensure that the imported canisters meat a certain standard. As with any canning operation if the material is below spec and the seams are folded poorly then you will have problems. Secondly, I agree with education at the point of sale and perhaps better more visual instructions but we do keep breeding better idiots. Lets be honest, if one does blow up in your face due to your own negligence, I am sure one of the ambulance chasing law firms will ensure you are properly compensated for your own stupidity.

  19. Avatar
    Julianne says:

    It is not hard to see what is happening here. Big business sticking their nose in. Probably gas companies who dont want the little folk to be able to have a cheap happy bbq. I have heard MANY stories about the big bbqs blowing up, and gas bottles exploding but NEVER anything bad about these. I hope QLD are not stupid enough to follow the trend. Notice they show the foreign country label>?? We buy everything else from there. Ban the dam FOOD and keep the farmers in business, never mind the bleeding Gas company! What, are they government owned or something>????

  20. Avatar
    Susan pridham says:

    I have owned 4 of these for 4 years and have never had any trouble what so ever with them they are the best things I've ever bought they are sturdy,compact,durable,trustworthy and safe i'm not parting with any of them 🙂

  21. Avatar
    5yrs and no issue says:

    Accidents happen and my sympathies to those who have had a bad experience.

    But we've had our first one since 2009 if not earlier and second since 2012. The only problem we've had is running out of gas while cooking lol and the canister freezing in low temps. The issues from what I've read is not the actual ‘lunchbox’ style butane gas stoves but rather the canisters not being sealed properly and (as per the video above) the inappropriate use of the gas stoves in that people are not operating them as per manufacturer's instructions.

    Being in SA, I guess it is now only a matter of months or even weeks before this "banning" reaches us so better go buy a couple of new ones now before retailers yank them off the shelves.

  22. Avatar
    Adam Hartley says:

    What a load of crap,ive been using these day in day out all over NSW for the last ten years in -10 to 45 degree temp.Never had a problem with over heating or leaking,I think the dept of fair trading should get back in the office and pull there heads

  23. Avatar
    Darren says:

    I use these regularly when working in the UK for an events firm, and recently on pancake day The One Show (BBC UK show) even had one set up in the studio with a celebrity cooking pancakes. Didn't see them stopping them on health and safety grounds or anything.

    I've got two of them and they are absolutely fine. I've used all sorts of cartridges in them, even rusty ones and nothing. I certainly wouldn't use them inside a tent or a car (although I do know someone who does), but outside there is absolutely no problem. I did have one that went slightly wrong and set fire to the grass underneath it, but even that the grass just started burning a bit and then it went out, nothing major happened.

    Also some of the more modern butane cannisters do have like a blue seal around the edge that incorporate a pressure release system should anything go seriously wrong.

    In reality though anything has a potential to explode or catch fire - the other week we saw in the news that a 2014 Porsche caught fire on a car park in America, Hot air balloons can catch fire and explode, aerosols can be made to explode if you ignite the contents and the flame goes back into the can, even normal Calor style gas bottles have been known to explode and catch fire.

  24. Avatar
    Henry says:

    The youtube video above was a clip off a longer video promoting a korean explosion proof butane gas can. It appears that the ban on the burners themselves is misguided, rather an introduction of explosion proof cans would make more sense. Have a look at this video http://youtu.be/aDIWMp3cIPM

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  26. Avatar
    No Legs says:

    This is a joke. People need to take responsibility for them selves. Yes ok sometimes accidents do happen but that is no different to using a gas bottle and stove and a seal leaking.
    I have been using both of them for years. Again various brands as other people have said and never had a problem. If the can isn't seated properly you will hear it leaking. Make sure there is plenty of ventilation and don't cover the burner rings. When finished disengage the fuel can and remove it from the stove. I never ever leave the can in the stove when it's not in use.

  27. Avatar
    Kaz says:

    We prefer using this type of stove to our double burner one. We ALWAYS have issues with the double burner that you hook up to a gas bottle, if you don't burn the with gas remnants out of the pipe each time you use. You go to light it 'eventually' and woosh we have a flare up, some 60cm of flame in the air. So what is safer a portable little stove or a F**k off big one attached to a 9KG Gas Bottle!
    I know what I would be happier using!

    In life EVERYTHING is a risk.....

  28. Avatar
    laurie says:

    The ban is only on their sale in NSW and not their use. While they may encourage you to not use them they can't stop any one from using them.

    • admin
      admin says:

      They say they are working with the other states so I'd expect it to become a nationwide ban. They haven't explicitly banned people from using them but no doubt plenty of people will be thinking twice knowing they may be faulty.

  29. Avatar
    Adam says:

    The problem is that we are now being fed a diet of cheap garbage, made in China, manufactured to maximize profit. In years gone by, when you bought a can of butane, it was made correctly and safely. The same is no longer true. The same is most likely the case for the stoves.
    Banning the stoves is not the answer. Making the importer liable for faulty goods, is the the way to go.

    • admin
      admin says:

      True. There will be a lot of retailers/importers with a lot of stock feeling a lot of pain today for sure!!

  30. Avatar
    Richard says:

    But most of the devices they have a warning on them stating not to cover device with a frying pan or hot plate bigger then the heat rings them selves otherwise cylinder could heat up and explode so the labelling is there.....

    • admin
      admin says:

      While that's true I think the issue they are being banned for is "a fault with the cookers’ shut-off valves" which sounds more like a manufacturing defect than a misuse issue.

  31. Avatar
    Rachel says:

    Education is the answer,
    Read the instructions first.
    And then follow them correctly.
    Prevent is better then cure.
    You don't ban kids from bikes.
    No you teach them the rules
    Eg:
    wear a helmet
    Don't jump in front of cars
    Etc.

    Educate
    Not ban.

  32. Avatar
    Bec says:

    Interesting, we have used ours for years with no issue. However my son used one on his first trip away and it exploded....the company denied it could have happened and wouldn't compensate him for the damage it caused including the minor burns he suffered.

  33. Avatar
    michael says:

    too late as usual ... no statistics taken of the 100,00 family users that have not had a problem or accident but listen to the few and force change on everyone ... how many burnt by camp fires? ... lets ban them ....how many hit by 4 x 4's? .... lets ban them ..... generators may keep the koala's up ... lets ban them ..... that's how this country rolls ... there are accidents but lets ban everything ... that's why its being screwed up ... get out and see it before they rule against it because some minority doesn't want us to ..

    • Avatar
      Love of Modern and Period Cooking says:

      In over 10yrs if using and being around them nothing has happened...my korean mates used them since childhood....also heater and over load power boards cause more issues than butane gas stoves also not cleaning dryer lint properly and regularly.

      Not not heaters power boards or even bbqs are banned....how many ppl forget to turn off the gas stove at home or wven forget and go out I did that twice.

      I mean come on....

      how is the nsw fair trade comission gonna compensate korean restaurants etc....what better option are they providing them?

  34. Avatar
    Kiina says:

    CR*P! My family & i have been using these for years and we live in Darwin where the temperatures can reach to ridiculous in summer & quite cold in the dry seasons and we have never ever had a problem with them.We currently have about 8 because we use them when we need to cook multiple dishes.

    I think people are just being irresponsible with them personally or just happened to get a dud one.... dont ban them from all of us. sheesh, people need to get a grip these worse things out there, we're becoming such a pansy society!

  35. Avatar
    Steve says:

    I have been using these (various manufacturers including 2 X 2 burner types) for the last 11 years, at least 1/2 doz cuppa's & 2 feeds a day up to 4 day's/week, have never had a problem even in -10c weather, I have a blow torch & a space heater using the same gas supply.
    Always make sure have ventilation etc. If this ban comes to my state is going to make life/work more expensive, as usual common sense isn't so common any more, RTFM & be careful.
    Just a bushie trying to survive reasonably comfortably.

    • Avatar
      Steve Jackson says:

      Business opp here - I live in WA, no such ban here. BCF are selling off these things locally here as they offload them from their NSW stores. I could ship them back to you guys. He he.

  36. Avatar
    Adam says:

    I had an accident with one of these last year. The nozzle of the butane can didn't seat properly with the stove and there was a small leak then about 20 seconds into my cooking the entire thing caught fire. I swore really loudly and flipped the table and thankfully it landed upside down and extinguished itself. The kids at a nearby campsite found it very entertaining.

    These days I will only use my trusty Trangia or other alcohol fueled stoves. If you need to have a BBQ then bring coal and a Weber, it tastes better anyway.

  37. Avatar
    Sean says:

    These ppl that don't know how to use them , sook because they burnt them self, so they try any get it banned. Feel the butane gas tin it's cold when in use

  38. Avatar
    Doug says:

    Every implement and device has the potential to be misused or abused. Education is the answer. Despite deaths with many other things, most of them don't get banned because the usefulness outweighs the possible problems.

    • Steve Baile
      Steve Baile says:

      Agree. Education is the answer. What will people now use instead of these cookers and will that be safer?!

      • Avatar
        Holly says:

        We use a biomass stove... They are safer and you dont have to continually buy cans of gas to make them run 🙂

  39. Avatar
    lolz says:

    The video is showing what happens if the can explodes, in the event that a valve or pipe within the 'cooker' has a leak it will not explode like this video.
    The Video is purely what happens if the can itself were to explode.

    • Steve Baile
      Steve Baile says:

      Further on I the video they show what happens when the cooker overheats due to it being covered by a hot plate - it gets ugly

      • Avatar
        Richard says:

        Yes if they read the warning attached to the device it states not to cover entire device with larger then heat ring with frying pan and the like as it will generate heat transfer to gas cylinder chamber so yes read health and safety warnings attach to device is the answer but if a person is to be injured the first thing to investigat is was it being used properly and warnings adhered to.

      • Avatar
        Joan says:

        So don't cover with a hot plate, thought I saw that somewhere in the instructions and is just common sense

  40. Avatar
    8yrs mate and never haf an issue says:

    Ok. So what are the Korean Restaurant s gonna do, not serve hot pots etc now?

    What are people gonna do when camping?

    I use the Jackaroo brand and they 15 Aud and no issues. I have been using this kinda stove every day in MY HOUSE. For more than 8 yrs with no issues and store the gas properly and take out the gas when I am done.

    This is just unfair and idiotic.

    • admin
      admin says:

      I agree - it's a serious issue. I'm not sure what the alternative is going to be and whether or not people will be safer overall? Maybe a better solution would have been to run an education program with TV ads and web ads telling people how to make sure they don't go BANG and meanwhile push back on the manufacturers to make them safer.

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