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Stove/Pot Comparison
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Ben Whitsett
(BenWhitsett) - F
Stove/Pot Comparison on 03/14/2012 18:35:27 MDT Print View

I would like to test my different stoves with different pots. I have a canister stove, an alcohol stove and a white gas stove. I also have an HE pot, a couple titanium pots and a few aluminum pots. I plan to use ice water to boil 2 cups. Any suggestions on how to record my data or additional thoughts to take into account?

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Stove/Pot Comparison on 03/14/2012 21:59:25 MDT Print View

If you want to have meaningful data, you'll have to run all the tests at the same air temperature, with the water starting at a consistent temperature and reaching a consistent temperature. I would suggest going just to 200 degrees on the water temp, since it's easy to read on any thermometer and avoids the subjectivity of just what is boiling and what is not. What i did was make a lid from aluminum flashing with a hole in it that my thermometer fit tight into, so I could leave the thermometer in the pot and hold it up off the bottom of the pot. A rubber band around the shaft of the thermometer ensured that it didn't ever slide down and touch the bottom.

Then you'll want to run several tests with each combination of pot and stove so you can average the results.

For my tastes, fuel efficiency is way more important than speed, but you can certainly record both for each test if you like.

Weighing your fuel is going to give you more useful data than trying to measure volume of fuel. For white gas, what I've done is to weight the fuel bottle with the pump in it before and after each burn. Likewise, with the canister you can weigh the canister before and after. I think I'd just leave the stove attached to the canister if it's an upright, so it's easier. For alcohol I guess you could weigh the stove with fuel in it before and after (I haven't run any tests on alcohol stoves).
I've done my testing in a garage with the garage door open - so plenty of ventilation and a concrete floor in case of spills, but out of the wind.

I'm looking forward to lots of nice data, please post all you get.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Stove/Pot Comparison on 03/14/2012 22:12:07 MDT Print View

"I plan to use ice water to boil 2 cups."

You're really on to something if you can work that out!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Stove/Pot Comparison on 03/15/2012 02:51:48 MDT Print View

> I plan to use ice water to boil 2 cups.
Um - patent rights on that process? Royalties?


Ben Whitsett
(BenWhitsett) - F
re on 03/15/2012 07:22:51 MDT Print View

Thanks for the help and encouragement. With the alcohol stove I plan to test it with both "Yellow" Heet and Everclear (95%), so I can gauge different fuels. The reason I was planning to test with ice water is cold mountain streams being my typical water source.

Ben Whitsett
(BenWhitsett) - F
fuel efficiency on 03/15/2012 07:27:57 MDT Print View

How will a full canister compare to a half full canister? Does it lose pressure making it less efficient the more I use it? Will that taint my results?

Rob E

Locale: Canada
Re: Stove/Pot Comparison on 03/15/2012 07:52:21 MDT Print View

If you are going to invest the time to do a rigorous comparison, I would invest in a USB temperature logging device. Something like this:

or this one:

Now, a cheap device like this probably won't be calibrated, but it should be fine for comparison purposes. One problem with stove testing is that it gets difficult to watch for "exactly" when the boiling happens. Having a temperature probe is a good way to monitoring things in a quantitative manner.

Allow the pot and windscreen to cool between runs. Weigh the fuel you use between runs.

Be organized, take notes and pictures, post your results,


Ben Whitsett
(BenWhitsett) - F
Re: Stove/Pot Comparison on 03/15/2012 08:01:36 MDT Print View

Interesting idea.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: fuel efficiency on 03/15/2012 09:24:11 MDT Print View

How will a full canister compare to a half full canister? Does it lose pressure making it less efficient the more I use it? Will that taint my results?
I think that the temperature of the canister will matter more than the amount of fuel in the canister -- until the end of the canister, but I haven't verified that. You want to keep your canister above 40F/5C. That's canister temperature not air temperature, the canister of course gets a lot colder than the surrounding air.

Tony B, a member of this forum, has done a lot of tests similar to what you're interested in. He'd be a person with a lot of good experience to draw upon. He has blog, Tony's Bushwalking.

Adventures In Stoving