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Jason Johnson
(etex9799)
Best kind of alcohol stove to sometimes actually cook with on 10/15/2013 11:39:19 MDT Print View

I usually just boil water, but my kid is wanting to go with me more and more so would like to be able to cook a pan of some beans and rice or something that's not in a bag. What would be the best stove for both?

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim)

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Best kind of alcohol stove to sometimes actually cook with on 10/15/2013 12:45:17 MDT Print View

Jason,

The Trangia burner with it's highly adjustable simmer ring has a good cooking reputation. The burner is brass, so it's not exactly UL, but still it's an alcohol stove, so many consider it light enough.

It can be used in the Trangia 28 configuration, which I have not tried or in a Clikstand which I have tried and like.

If you're just doing relatively simple cooking (instant rice, noodles, etc.), I've had very good success with the Flat Cat stove and it's (non adjustable) simmer ring from Flat Cat Gear.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
FeatherFire on 10/15/2013 14:14:23 MDT Print View

There's also the FeatherFire alcohol stove, from Packafeather:

http://packafeather.com/stove.html

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
GOTO Stove on 10/15/2013 14:36:03 MDT Print View

I have a vested interest in this stove as my full disclosure.

The GOTO stove has full simmer capabilities as seen in the video and photos.

The GOTO Stove at zelphs-stoveworks

The GOTO Stove review on youtube

.

Edited by zelph on 10/15/2013 14:46:44 MDT.

Zorg Zumo
(BurnNotice) - F
Trangia all the way on 10/15/2013 14:40:26 MDT Print View

Definitely the trangia burner. Doesn't matter as much the cooking platform, but the simmer capability and the fuel capacity are huge factors. The esbit-version is pretty well regarded if you want a compact all-in-one solution that is a little lighter than trangia's cooksets.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
re: Trangia all the way on 10/15/2013 15:19:20 MDT Print View

I agree with Jim and Zorg: Trangia is great for not just boiling, but actually cooking! No, it's not the lightest alcohol stove by a long shot, but for simmering, frying, etc, it can't be beat! I use it in a click-stand, which works very well indeed. Unlikely to spill either in the click-stand. and the Trangia can be turned off immediately by dropping the closed simmering ring on top of it. Other than weight, it's got it all!

BJ Clark
(bj.clark) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: re: Trangia all the way on 10/15/2013 15:37:59 MDT Print View

I thought I might be alone in my admiration for the Trangia in a Clikstand. For cooking it is easy to adjust, very stable, and burns for a long time.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Trangia in a Clikstand on 10/15/2013 15:53:04 MDT Print View

I agree, it's more stable than the GOTO set-up. Go with the Trangia and Clickstand.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim)

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Trangia all the way on 10/15/2013 16:33:07 MDT Print View

Another option, one that I have not tested, is to use a Trangia burner in a Caldera Cone. I've seen posts here on BPL that have indicated it works, but as I say I haven't tried it personally. Perhaps others can comment.

The one drawback to the Clikstand is that it's "cottage" gear and is a bit pricey. I have a friend who swears by a Trangia 28 set up, but you would need to supplement the "out of the box" set up with a windscreen. There's also the Westwind stand that I know some people like, but again you have to provide your own windscreen. The advantage to a Clikstand is it's integrated windscreen/stand set up which makes for greater efficiency.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

D C
(OCDave) - M

Locale: Outdoors -MN
Variable heat Alchohol stove on 10/15/2013 17:03:03 MDT Print View

I have a few stove from Tinny at Minibulldesign. Two are Carbon Felt wick stoves which allow full boil, simmer, and dry baking levels of heat. It does require some practice and attentiveness to maintain a low level of heat output.

My preference is the M80 with a gravity cap feed for fuel.

https://www.minibulldesign.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=211&idcategory=3

Check out the youtube channel for more info and to see the stoves in action.

Good Luck

Mike Megee
(fx4hauler) - M
M80 on 10/15/2013 20:37:06 MDT Print View

DC what's the weight of the MBD M80?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Best kind of alcohol stove to sometimes actually cook with on 10/15/2013 22:13:19 MDT Print View

Get a Snow Peak GigaPower or similar and let the kid carry the canister (or both)

;)

James Klein
(jnklein21) - M

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Trangia all the way on 10/16/2013 06:22:56 MDT Print View

Jim, if I remember correctly, you have cooked with a trangia and a packafeather...Care to compare them on their cooking merits?

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster) - F

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Packafeather XL on 10/16/2013 08:24:51 MDT Print View

I just received a Packafeather XL (1.4 oz) and have started to test it. It concentrates its flame centrally so is appropriate for small pots. The adjustment screw runs through 5-1/2 turns. On first test, full open, it boiled 2 cups of room temperature water in an MSR Titan Kettle in about 7-1/2 minutes (on an 80 degree day) and flameout on 3/4 oz alcohol was 9 minutes. Turning the screw down 3 still gave a heavy boil; down 4 gave a low boil; down 5 got a minimum boil which was more like a few small air bubbles escaping to the surface from time to time. Seems to run very efficiently when closed down. More info as I get it.

Packafeather

One advantage of the XL is fuel recovery. Very easy, as a cup sits under the stove. Just snuff the stove and pour it back into the alc bottle.

PS: I've made plenty of rice dishes on a simple SuperCat stove that only boils and then flames out. Instant rice just needs 5 minutes in a cozy afterward.

My goal is...pancakes!

Edited by Bolster on 10/16/2013 12:42:38 MDT.

James Klein
(jnklein21) - M

Locale: Southeast
Re: Packafeather XL on 10/16/2013 08:58:29 MDT Print View

Thanks for the info Delmar.

do you know how long it burned at 5 turns?

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster) - F

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Packafeather XL on 10/16/2013 09:33:05 MDT Print View

Hi James, I'll find out. I want to know how long is a 1 oz burn, if you bring to a boil, then throttle back to a low boil. I think that's the realistic scenario for most back-country cooking...high to get it to temp, then low to maintain the temp. Stay tuned.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim)

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Re: Best kind of alcohol stove to sometimes actually cook with on 10/16/2013 10:56:56 MDT Print View

Get a Snow Peak GigaPower or similar and let the kid carry the canister (or both)
Ha!

In all seriousness, when I want to do real cooking, I pretty much bring a canister gas stove. Adjustments are easy and take effect quickly. There's generally a lag with alcohol stoves; it takes a minute for adjustments to kick in.

HOWEVER, alcohol stoves are notably lighter, are dead simple, and are highly reliable. With respect to the Clikstand/Trangia combo, it's not perfect, but it's a really solid, workable piece of gear. Of course it's a compromise, but it's a reasonable compromise, which is what you want.

As for real cooking: get aluminum. In particular, I've found non-stick aluminum is the best. Stainless steel and titanium burn too easily in my opinion and can be a pain to clean. Non-stick coatings have to be "babied" a bit, but they're worth it in my experience.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster) - F

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Re: Re: Re: Best kind of alcohol stove to sometimes actually cook with on 10/16/2013 12:30:50 MDT Print View

> There's generally a lag with alcohol stoves;

About that. Interestingly, Packafeather claims that the HEAT adjustment is nearly immediate, but they say that the flame size lags 30 seconds or so when turning the heat down.

Here it is, page 5 of their instructions:

"Please note that we emphasize Heat Control. That’s because you‘re adjusting air flow NOT air pressure. The first one or two turns downward will definitely lower the heat output even though the flame size might not visibly seem to get much smaller. The most noticeable change in both heat output and flame size will be from about 3 turns down to fully closed. Also be aware that as you’re turning the stove down, the heat output will decrease almost immediately even though it typically takes about 30 seconds for the flame size to fully decrease to a given setting. When turning the stove up, heat AND flame size respond almost immediately."

http://packafeather.com/XL.pdf

Edited by Bolster on 10/16/2013 12:33:06 MDT.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Best kind of alcohol stove to sometimes actually cook with on 10/16/2013 12:52:59 MDT Print View

I've had reasonable luck with a Caldera Cone with the default 10-12 stove plus a simmer ring that cuts down the airflow to the stove. The simmer ring is just a strip cut out of a soda can, split so it can be wrapped around the stove in such a way as to cover or partially cover the air vents (holes) around the outer circumference of the stove. By covering all the air vents you get a very low flame, suitable for simmering. Raised a bit the ring only partially covers the vents and you get a stronger flame.

It's not as good as a having an adjustment knob, but with a little fiddling you can get what you need.

The simmer ring weighs about 1g (yes, one gram). I posted a picture in a review of the Caldera Cone on the BPL user forum a few years ago.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim)

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Best kind of alcohol stove to sometimes actually cook with on 10/16/2013 13:16:22 MDT Print View

> There's generally a lag with alcohol stoves;

About that. Interestingly, Packafeather claims that the HEAT adjustment is nearly immediate, but they say that the flame size lags 30 seconds or so when turning the heat down.
Actually, it's a little of both, but there is definitely a lag in the change in heat output.

Recall that vaporization is a big part of how hot an alcohol stove is going to burn. When the stove is hot, the alcohol is vaporizing more rapidly, and the stove continues to burn hotly. It takes a minute for the overall reaction to abate, vaporization to decrease, and the heat output to commensurately decrease.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving