Organogel copolymers of N-tertiary butyl acrylamide (in-house synthesized) and acrylic acid were made by free radical polymerization using N,N′-methylene bisacrylamide as cross-linker and different proportions of the comonomers. N-tertiary butyl acrylamide and the gels were characterized by spectroscopic analysis, swelling performances, morphological studies, and thermal analysis. Swelling performances of the different gels as a function of cross-link density of the gels, dipole characteristic, structure, and chemical composition of solvent were studied. Swelling and deswelling kinetics of the gels in some suitable solvents were also studied. An attempt has been made to utilize the deswelling characteristic of the swelled gels in slow and sustained release of volatiles as required in fire starters/fire gels or fragrance release. Swelling of the gel was maximum with 2 mol% of cross-linker beyond which, it decreased. It was also dependent on the H-bonding ability, dipole characteristic, chemical structure, and viscosity of the solvent. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.