This paper discusses the influence of local culture on the choice of cooking fuel at the household level by describing food culture and cooking habits in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. It has been suggested that when socio-economic status improves, households generally upgrade their cooking fuel, shifting from woodfuel to LPG or electricity. Although Uganda’s economy has grown since the 2000s, over 80 percent of the households in Kampala still use charcoal as their main cooking fuel. The food culture and cooking habits in central Uganda are unique. Bananas have high cultural value in the area as staple food and are planted and consumed in large quantities. Observations of the cooking process show that bananas are often steamed for 2–4 hours over a very low heat, which cannot be achieved using modern fuels such as LPG. Even in high-income households, charcoal is still the main source of fuel despite modern alternatives being available and affordable. Thus, residents of Kampala positively choose charcoal over other sources of fuel for reasons inherent to local cooking traditions. Not only socioeconomic status but local food culture also has an important impact on the choice of cooking fuel.