Alcohol Stove Options

Discussion in 'Kitchen' started by stonemonkey, Jan 28, 2020.

  1. stonemonkey

    stonemonkey Ultralighter

    IMG-20200128-WA0018.jpeg Right you lovely lot!!

    Alcohol stoves...

    Iv never used an alcohol stove, always used gas.....

    But im thinking of trying one, i have a very heavy cheap ebay one on standby.... its been in the cupboard for nearly 2 years haha

    i nearly set my van on fire once with a homemade one that wasnt sealed correctly and nearly burnt my van down and when i moved it... quickly to get it out... yes you can guess... it was like shifting a fireball!!

    Anyway..... what do you lads n lasses use?
    and any suggestions will be welcomed.

    I would probably prefer one with some sort of pad thing in the bottom to avoid flare ups if it gets knocked (maybe not as bad at least)

    i recall speedster stoves do one and not sure which is best to use,
    probably only use it for boiling water and for making a pasta or similar...


    this is the cheap ebay one 110 grams with simmer ring.
  2. Dave V

    Dave V Moderator Staff Member

    There are lots of options out there. Probably the two easiest within the UK would be Stormin and Speedster.
    Robin and stonemonkey like this.
  3. dovidola

    dovidola Thru Hiker

    I tried the Speedster 30ml and liked it so much I bought half a dozen of them because I wanted a stash in case they weren't available one day. 12g, plus 4g for a simmer ring if you want one. £3.70 at:
    Some people here knock up their own from various bits of aluminium detritus, and I have nothing but admiration for their ingenuity and self-sufficiency, but Blue Peter stuff is beyond me so these do very nicely indeed.

    Like you, I'd always used gas (unless you count a weighty paraffin Primus c1975), but torching my tent with a Pocket Rocket one evening in wildest Knoydart started me thinking about alternatives. I've been on the meths ever since. It's not for everyone, but you owe it to yourself to give it a try. Plenty of discussions on this site comparing the pros and cons of gas vs alcohol, which just go to show how much a matter of personal taste it is. You'll either find meths dirty, slow, inconvenient and primitive, or you'll love it!
  4. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    Speedster. Minus fifteen the other morning and the Torjet lighter had run out of gas: a minibic lighter still had it going within a few seconds (in a sheltered spot).
    Padstowe, edh, stonemonkey and 2 others like this.
  5. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    I'd go for the biggest speedster you can use.
    stonemonkey likes this.
  6. stonemonkey

    stonemonkey Ultralighter

    Thanks and erm..... ordered half a dozen? Haha...
    Ye the one that flared up on me was home made.. by me.
    I knew it wasn't finished but I'm impatient and thought I would try it lol
    WilliamC likes this.
  7. stonemonkey

    stonemonkey Ultralighter

    Thanks for your replies.....

    Couple of quick questions if I may tho...

    1- what alcohol do you use?
    2- how much do you take? Took cook or boil what? I suppose it's trial and error really.
    3- doesn't it blacken your pots with the soot?

    My mate uses gel... I tried it but found it didn't burn so well until it heated up and not sure but it seemed harder to light.

    Bio-Ethanol... is it the cleanest to burn?
    I presume the more efficient the stove the better all round.
  8. Dave V

    Dave V Moderator Staff Member

    Bio or standard meths is my go to. Sometimes you get a bit of sooting but not often if you have the right gap burner to pot. There is quite allot of info within other threads on the forum, guides to building your own cone, wildsheild etc as well as lots of burn tests.

    Gel does not burn as well as liquid alcohol imo.

    I generally allow 17-20ml per boil of 450-500ml water. There are a number of stoves, Speedster and Stomin to a couple of variants that once boiled you can simply blow the burner out and save the remaining fuel without spillage.

    A good windshield is key for heat direction and wind resistance.
    stonemonkey, WilliamC and Robin like this.
  9. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    Summary of my experience:

    Plan your cooking to avoid the need for simmering. e.g. wholemeal pasta can easy by cooked in a cosy without the need for any fuel & there are plenty of meals that will cook quicker.

    Short squat pots are the most efficient shape for alcohol stoves e.g. 600ml Evernew ECA251R, 900ml Evernew ECA252R, 1300ml Evernew ECA253R, or similar

    Good windshield essential e.g. Caldera cone sidewinder (fits inside the Evernew squat pots) or similar. Ti is probably the best followed by SS, aluminium cones are an easier MYO solution but don’t last unless they really babied.

    Burners (I’ve tried loads), my favourite is a MYO 50ml with adsorbent insufrax fill e.g. original Speedster or Trail Design Kojin are similar. No measuring of fuel needed, easy to light, don’t spill & store unused fuel.

    Bioethanol or meths burn equally as well (they both have the same basic combustible components), personally I don’t the smell of meths (IMO gel is useless).

    Consumption is dependent on burner/ pot/ windshield combination & use: on long summer trips I’ll use <50ml/ day, in winter I’ll carry 100ml/ day.
    Robert P, Phil-s and stonemonkey like this.
  10. stonemonkey

    stonemonkey Ultralighter

    Why go for the biggest?
    Speedster does a 50ml.. think that's the largest.
  11. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    I think Enzo means the biggest that is suitable for the width of the pot you intend to use it with.
    Enzo likes this.
  12. stonemonkey

    stonemonkey Ultralighter

    Wow... some great advise and suggestions as usual. Thanks.

    I forgot to mention I use a 650ml toaks pot/cup and I also have a 900ml toaks pan/pot... havnt used the latter much tho.

    Think il give it a go.... il get on to speedsters website later if I get chance and put an order in.

    Does any one know the difference with his carbon fill ones?

    Windshields. .. stormin do look really good but not sure if I could spend that much atm.

    I tried a really thin foil thing once and could not get on with it... very fiddly things that blow about in the wind in my experience.
  13. stonemonkey

    stonemonkey Ultralighter

    Ahh I see. 650ml toaks cup is my main receptacle.
  14. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    Buy the simmer ring accessory to size the flame down for your 650ml cup. It'll pay for itself in saved fuel very soon.
    stonemonkey likes this.
  15. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    I have a Toaks 550 and 750. The Speedsters that I use have an internal diameter of about 46mm. They match the pots well.
    stonemonkey likes this.
  16. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    For the Toakes 650 (95mm diameter) I'd recommend the Speedster 30ml.
    The Toakes 900 (130mm diameter) would probably suit the Speedster 50ml & be ideal for a sidewinder type cone (pack in the pot).
    You could use the 50ml with the Toakes 650, it would just be less efficient but faster boil.
    stonemonkey likes this.
  17. Imagedude

    Imagedude Day Walker

    I've used an Evernew DX at temperatures as low as -20. Works well in a Caldera Cone too.
    stonemonkey likes this.
  18. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    I tried quite a few setups, for me I've settled on the squat risks 900 with the biggest burner that doesn't send all it's heat up the sides. Big in my tests = fast without a drop in efficiency, if anything efficiency increases.
    900 will do a dehydrated meal and a coffee at the end of the day, 650 for me wouldn't, and brewing up twice contravenes the second part of my mantra, Weight/Faff.
    stonemonkey and edh like this.
  19. bazpoint

    bazpoint Backpacker

    Another vote for the 30ml Speedster from me, in my case with an MSR Titan Kettle in a Stormin' Ti cone. A tad over 15ml to hit the the boil then straight into the coosy with whatever's for supper. Great little setup. Plus with a couple of extra bits the cone can go into wood furnace mode... not that I've ever done it beyond the garden :)
    stonemonkey likes this.
  20. Nigelp

    Nigelp Ultralighter

    Simmer ring works very well. If you don’t won’t to go for a cosy you can simmer pasta and noodles and like without much extra fuel used.
    stonemonkey likes this.
  21. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    Damn the cost think of the grammes!
  22. Nigelp

    Nigelp Ultralighter

  23. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

  24. stonemonkey

    stonemonkey Ultralighter

    Ahh so there must be a formula to work out what size burner works best with what?

    What is this sidewinder contraption you talk about? Sorry I'm newbie on all of this.

    Caldera cone? Don't know what one is but I have heard the term used on here...
  25. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

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