As the Price of Cooking Gas Heads South, Charcoal Becomes An Alternative Source of Cooking Energy

Almost a decade now, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) became an important commodity and a good source of energy for domestic cooking in various homes, especially in Nigeria where the cost of kerosene is on high side, electricity is unstable and the awareness against deforestation couples with the stress of using firewood and charcoal became the talk of the town.

Of course, people were happy to embrace the new form of energy due to many reasons such as, energy efficiency, tasty food cooked in less time, better temperature control, ease to use more than one pot, unaffected by electricity distribution power supply and cheaper operating cost in a country where the price dictate the trend.

However, the recent hike in price of of cooking gas has created a chaotic environment throughout the country and it seems the increment is not stopping anytime soon, here in Nigeria, price dictate almost everything including the choice of professional career, domestic usage, choice of taste, as such, when such choice of taste goes south like the trending hike in cooking gas, people will surely consider alternative with lesser price and ease of use.

Why Hike in price of cooking gas

The populace keep wondering about what might have caused the recent hike in price of the cooking gas, despite, Nigeria being blessed with mineral resources that is more than enough to govern its state of the the nation, however, mismanagement over the years has taken the country behind, currently, forty (40) percent of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is produced locally while almost sixty (60) percent of LPG is being supply through importation, as such, every rise in price of dollar always trigger the price of imported commodities among other factors such as value added tax (VAT), e.t.c.

Charcoal: An Alternative Source of Cooking Energy

charcoal.jpg

An image showing charcoal on a coal pot. Image form myself @noble-noah

Charcoal is majorly made from wood, plants and animal products, by subjecting the materials to strong heating with a controlled supply of oxygen, thus water and other volatile materials will be removed in the process thereby leaving the incomplete combustion called charcoal.

As shown in the image above, the picture is showing small quantity of charcoal on a cooking material usually called coal pot, although, this alternative method of cooking is not new, it has long been in existence but abadorned due to its stress and unease access to control its temperature, it is now gaining ground again as an alternative way to cooking gas, it is also better and cheaper than a long abandoned kerosene stove and fire wood, according to investigations and my own experimentation, it is cheap to get, the coal pot is almost $5, although it is of various form. a sample of coal pot is shown distinctly in the image below

coal-pot.jpg

A sample of charcoal cooking material called 'Coal pot'

The coal pot shown above is made up of an iron grid which can withstand heat at higher temperature without being melted out, the iron grid is supported by a raised iron bowl which is used to hold the burning charcoal.

la.jpg

An image showing a pot of rice on a coal pot with heated charcoal

Disadvantage of using charcoal for cooking

  • The method of using charcoal as an alternative to cooking gas may be cheap, but the stress it takes before the charcoal becomes heated like the one shown in the image above is indeed strenuous, after getting charcoal from the market and you have poured certain quantity to be used inside the raised iron bowl, it can not just work by lighting the fire directly on it, you need to add little amount of kerosene and enough breeze must also flow through the charcoal before it will start burning as shown in the above image.

  • Another issue encountered when cooking with charcoal is that the temperature at which the fire should flow in can not be controlled since it is not automated, it becomes difficult, especially if you won't be around for a while and you want a steady flow of fire, there is no way for such.

  • It cannot also be used within a confined environment due to the accumulation of carbon monoxide (CO) which is usually generated when burning charcoal, though carbon monoxide concentration may be small but the effect can leads to a suicide if inhaled for long period of time, as such it is advisable to make sure an open space is considered when using charcoal for domestic cooking.

Final Thought!

Having discussed by comparing the advantages and disadvantages of using both gas and its alternative (charcoal) for domestic cooking, it is still better to choose gas over charcoal for health reason, although the price is higher with gas but the stress and suicide attached with the inhalation of charcoal fumes over long hours can not be overlooked when compare with gas price skyrocketed in the country. I hope it comes back to normal soon.

Thanks for stopping bye always, I appreciate your contribution through your sincere interaction on my post over time.

References

Nigeria consumers worried over hike in price of cooking gas

charcoal



0
0
0.000
12 comments
avatar

I'm thinking back to my childhood when we had a cast iron stove in the kitchen. This was used for cooking and heating (winters were cold!). As I recall, wood was our main source of fuel but every now and then we would get a load of coal, and this was considered superior (by my mother) because it would last longer. She never had an accelerant. She would coax a fire by adding paper and then tiny bits of kindling. That would work, eventually, as I recall. My mother was a master fire maker :)

Of course now I know that coal and wood are not good sources of fuel, when health is considered. You use what you have, though, don't you?

Thanks for a helpful article. I hope the fuel issue clears up for the people of Nigeria. You might imagine, I can understand the challenge.

0
0
0.000
avatar

My mother was a master fire maker :)

Lol. My regards to her. They (mothers) sacrificed a lot for us that we can't fully reward.

Of course now I know that coal and wood are not good sources of fuel, when health is considered. You use what you have, though, don't you?

Yes you are right, at all, at all, they say 'na bad market'

Thanks for a helpful article. I hope the fuel issue clears up for the people of Nigeria. You might imagine, I can understand the challenge.

Thanks brother, we also hope so

0
0
0.000
avatar

They (mothers) sacrificed a lot for us that we can't fully reward.

😇

0
0
0.000
avatar

Of course, people were happy to embrace the new form of energy due to many reasons such as, energy efficiency, tasty food cooked in less time, better temperature control, ease to use more than one pot, unaffected by electricity distribution power supply and cheaper operating cost in a country where the price dictate the trend

There is no way the price won't dictate the trend in a country where many people take home is not enough to take them home.

0
0
0.000
avatar

There is no way the price won't dictate the trend in a country where many people take home is not enough to take them home

Hmm, when take home is not enough to take them home, then corruption will set in. I guess that is the root of corruption in the country because man must survive.

0
0
0.000
avatar

Hi @noble-noah you express a reality that is happening more than we can imagine. Many think that in the territories blessed by oil and gas everything is covered. Many times it happens because of the causes you point out. From our ancestors we take many experiences, one of them "if you cook with coal be careful with the smoke", my grandmother used to say. Thank you for sharing your story and I hope you are adjusting those energy prices in your locality.

0
0
0.000
avatar
(Edited)

"if you cook with coal be careful with the smoke", my grandmother used to say.

That is a truth statement from grandam. I hope she is alive now to see the changes. @alfonsoalfonsi ! We have no option than to make a quick adjustment to our budget. Thanks for the remarks

0
0
0.000
avatar

Once read a post here with original images of how charcoals are produced. I think we are going back in time.

0
0
0.000
avatar

Yes ooo, we ought to be advancing but the economic situation of the country may take us back a bit at least once in a while, we are suppose to be thinking of automating charcoal for cooking now but the reverse is the case. I hope we overcome it soon

0
0
0.000
avatar

Thanks for your contribution to the STEMsocial community. Feel free to join us on discord to get to know the rest of us!

Please consider delegating to the @stemsocial account (85% of the curation rewards are returned).

You may also include @stemsocial as a beneficiary of the rewards of this post to get a stronger support. 
 

0
0
0.000
avatar

Charcoal-cooking is often very cool. Here, we enjoy having a very nice barbecue once in a while within the summer. Of course, this is very far from what you mention about using charcoal on a daily basis. Here, there are real issues, like those you pointed out.

Thanks for this post! Cheers!

0
0
0.000