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Today’s “Hot Dog Cart News Q and A”: Propane or electric?

HDCN reader Rick S. emailed to tell me about a cart he is purchasing. It’s a large cart with caster wheels, kind of a mall kiosk type unit. The cart is semi-stripped and Rick will be outfitting it with steam tables and other equipment.

Rick wants to know whether he should go with propane powered appliances or electric.

Here’s his email:

Steve, I have a question that might be a good one for ‘Hot Dog Cart News’.

I do not know if  I will always sell near access to electricty hookup, and if I should get all electric equipment, or buy propane fueled equipment. And If so, what kind of propane fueled equipment is there?

I saw somewhere online that a propane fueled coffee maker (standard 5 cup size) cost around $1,000 through a certain site. But are there other propane run items such as:

Crock pot- for heating cheese to sell nachos.
Ice maker- for serving shaved ice.
fan- for on those hot summer days

Just curious what kind of equipment exist, that would not require electricity hookup.



What do you think hot doggers?  Should Rick go with all propane appliances? A combination of propane (steam tables and grills) and some electric (fan,  shaved ice machine)?

Those propane appliances are a bit spendy…

I’m a big fan of deep cycle marine batteries to power some electrical appliances (radios, fans) but appliances with heating elements (crock pots, coffee makers) suck a lot of current. They will run down your batteries pretty fast.

What about generators? If you use ’em, how about some recommendations for a good quiet one?

What are your opinions of propane vs 12 volt battery vs 120 volt generator power? Let’s hear you in the comments…


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