Cooking with Gas

Fun fact about Lebanon: as a general rule, people cook and bake with natural gas (this goes for homes and restaurants too probably). And some people use natural gas to heat their homes during the mercifully brief and mild winter.

There is no municipal or private pipeline to supply homes with the stuff, no. Instead, there are trucks like this one. In the back of the truck there are large tanks, smaller ones up front. The small ones are 10 Kilos, the big ones . . . well, I've never had to buy one of those so I don't know.

10 kilos of natural gas costs $20 in my neighborhood and usually lasts us 2-3 months. We cook or bake something almost every day.

I like that this picture shows the dolly, ready and waiting on the back of the truck. It's helpful to have an extra set of wheels when it's time to deliver a tank, especially if you have to take more than one.


  1. It's the same in Southern France, though I have never seen delivery trucks - you can get the tanks at the gas stations. Was very exotic to me the first time I have been there, :-). Have a nice weekend!

  2. Interesting post about daily life in Beirut! We use gas for heating and cooking two - some electric. We have a gas fireplace, easier but less romantic than a natural wood burning fireplace!

  3. We used to have bottled gas for our cooking central heating ... four of the big ones in your photo. Instead of moving the bottles a gas tanker used to come around each month during the winter and quarterly in the summer and fill the bottles from a big hose. Piped gas eventually reached our home and the gas bottles went.

  4. I should add, that the 10 K tank costs $20 if you have an empty one to trade in--there's a deposit that you pay for the tank itself. That might be five or ten dollars more.

  5. I'm afraid you're being ripped off! It usually costs about 20000LBP (around $13) but the deposit is about $50 more! But I don't think I remember when was the last time we didn't have an empty one to give back. It's not too bad if you use it for 3 months though. On my part I have to get one every 3days to heat up a couple of rooms.
    Also, in villages mostly, you'll need some advice from the people around to tell you where to buy your gas tanks to point out the dishonest ones who fill up less than they should. It's a very intricate system :)

  6. Hey Bart, maybe I am being ripped off. It wouldn't be the first time! Or, possibly I misremembered the price--my brain does that sometimes. I'll know for sure that I paid 20 for something, but if it was $ or LL, well, then I'm not so sure anymore!