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Alcohol stove to fry food
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Robert Recinos
(rgrrecinos) - F

Locale: Redwood City
Alcohol stove to fry food on 02/19/2007 14:50:11 MST Print View

Just wanting to know of a ight weight alcohol stove you recommend to fry food such as fish in the backcountry with a 6" evernew skillet.

Kenneth Knight
(kenknight) - MLife

Locale: SE Michigan
alcohol stove to fry food on 02/19/2007 16:25:12 MST Print View

This is generally not something that is too easy to do. The biggest problem is you don't have any real control over the heat output on most alcohol burners. Granted some like the venerable Trangia and some of the models from Brasslite to name a few, have simmer control devices that will help, but they're iffy. You want some flame control when frying and you are also likely to need a long-lasting flame which is another place most alcohol burners will let you down.

I'm not saying it can't be done. But you have to pay close attention to what you are doing to avoid burn spots and the like. You want a wide even flame across your fry pan and you don't want it to be huge to the extent that you cannot work your food on the pan.

If you really want to do a lot of frying you are probably going to be better served from a performance perspective if you use a canister stove.

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Alcohol stove to fry food on 02/19/2007 18:06:50 MST Print View

I fry on the Mini-Trangia. Heavy for an alcohol stove, but it will simmer and hold enough fuel to do the job.

The non-stick coating on the Trangia is very durable and works great.

Richard Scruggs
(JRScruggs) - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: Alcohol stove to fry food on 02/20/2007 00:24:14 MST Print View

I have a suggestion for an alcohol stove that might work well for frying. Very efficient burn, which means long-lasting for a given amount of fuel. And relatively low heat, which would seem desirable for frying.

The stove: ION alcohol stove kit designed by Sgt. Rock and sold by BPL at this link:

I have not yet tried any frying with my ION stove, but was amazed at its performance recenlty when I was testing several alcohol stoves to determine the best set up for different purposes (fast boil v slow boil, fuel efficiency of different stoves w/different pots and windscreens, etc).

For my testing, I used 3/4 oz of denatured alcohol in each stove with the same pot, windscreen, and quantity of water (16 oz). My ION stove must have burned for more than 40 minutes on 3/4 oz of fuel. Forty minutes!!! On 3/4 oz of alcohol!!! In that period of time, the ION barely brought 16 oz of water to a pre-boil although the water did get hot enough to make a cup of hot tea.

I'm certain that the ION will boil water, and do so faster than 40 minutes. But the results I obtained with the set-up I was using really emphasized the stove's efficiency at a relatively low level of heat. For comparision, with the same windscreen & pot set-up, the other stoves all brought 16 oz of H2O to a boil in less than 10 minutes.

All of which suggested to me that the ION's heat output is very low, and very efficient. I believe these results are also shown by testing for one of the reviews here at BPL, and perhaps at the backpacking gear testing website.

Am I wrong, or would 40 minutes of low heat from less than an ounce of alcohol sound like a pretty good combination for frying fish? Haven't tried it myself, but sounds good.

The pot I used was aluminum, which I think diffuses heat better than titanium. For frying fish, I'd likely try a light aluminum plate or pan. Maybe a heat diffuser under the plate/pan, too, something like the scorch buster used with Backpacker's Pantry Outback Oven, which can be seen at

But then, a cannister stove with a two liter pot of oil would make for a pretty good fish fry, too. Could even have hushpuppies. And should help attract bears, too.


Benjamin Tomsky
(btomsky) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Alcohol stove to fry food on 02/20/2007 08:22:15 MST Print View

I have fried trout with a variety of homemade alcohol stoves, mostly of the V8 can size. It has always resulted in a sufficiently cooked and tasty meal. I tend more for higher heat output stoves, which I believe is preferable for frying. Not sure how the Ion would do.

In general, I've found that it is easier with a smaller frying surface, given the focused heat from a small stove. Last season, I did most of my frying in a Snowpeak Ti bowl:

Frying trout in a bowl, with an alcohol stove