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Need BPL's help with fondue
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Will Newton
(Newts) - MLife
Need BPL's help with fondue on 04/08/2014 20:52:54 MDT Print View

All, I'm gearing up to take my English GF on her first multi-day trip this June in Emigrant. She's been remarkably game about reducing pack weight, but has some very fixed ideas about what goes on during 'camping', which apparently in England can involve bunting and chocolate fondue. The bunting has been taken care of, at 7oz. The fondue will require your help.

I have a Jetboil Sol Ti and a pot support for the stove bits. Suggestions for containers and materials and methods to get a 2-person chocolate fondue going, with as little weight as possible?

Wrestling with the search function turned up this four-year-old thread , wherein the possibly sardonic suggestion was made to use a Primus Micron lantern as a slow-cooker.

Any assistance welcome.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
I guess you know on 04/08/2014 20:59:22 MDT Print View

I guess you know that the Jetboil Sol Ti is not a general purpose stove. It is a water boiler only.


Will Newton
(Newts) - MLife
Jetboil on 04/08/2014 21:03:12 MDT Print View

I do, Bob. Thought listing what I'm working with might be helpful for jerry-rigging something, perhaps involving the pot support, or if there are other suggestions a la the Micron for other devices that'll work off a canister.

(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
"Need BPL's help with fondue" on 04/08/2014 21:24:22 MDT Print View

I would consider a double boiler approach with the jetboil. If you have another light pot that can fit inside ( perhaps a ti or aluminium cup) to hold the chocolate.

Will Newton
(Newts) - MLife
Progress on 04/08/2014 21:31:04 MDT Print View

Ahah! Now we're talking. I do have a ti 450 mug. Elaborate, Richard-esque testing of this method ahead.

Please don't let *this* be the thing that finally converts me to a cat-can stove.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Need BPL's help with fondue on 04/08/2014 21:35:35 MDT Print View

I wonder if you could rig a double boiler of sorts. Get an aluminum cup that's smaller in diameter than the Sol Ti cup, but deep. Drill a hole through the top of the cup so you can put a ti tent stake through it completely, so that you can lower the cup into the Sol Ti cup and keep it from falling in via the stake (if that makes sense to you). Water in the Sol Ti, chocolate in the aluminum cup. You'd only need to keep a sharp eye on the water in the Sol Ti so that it never runs out.

Seems like that might work for minimal weight gain. I have no idea if it would, I've never tried it, but it seems like it would.

Edit: M G beat me to it. Must be a good idea if two of us had it at the same time!

Edited by idester on 04/08/2014 21:36:17 MDT.

(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Re: Progress on 04/08/2014 21:41:14 MDT Print View

To follow up on Doug's suggestion, a coke can with the top cut off would probably be the cheapest and could be used as suggested with a stake poked through holes near the top to hold it in the boiling water.

Will Newton
(Newts) - MLife
That did it on 04/08/2014 22:40:40 MDT Print View

Doug, MG, I am in both of your debt. The execution needs more refinement -- perhaps a coconut water or similarly tall can to allow for cutting errors -- but the concept is sound. Time for me to get a ti stake. Thanks!


Jon Fong
(jonfong) - F

Re: That did it on 04/08/2014 23:15:13 MDT Print View

For the best heat transfer, keep the inner can elevated above the water level. That way, you will steam the fondue. If the inner can touchs the water, you will slow down the heat transfer rate. BEst regards Jon

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Need BPL's help with fondue on 04/09/2014 00:20:07 MDT Print View

You're all right - a double-boiler or steam bath is the way to do this. I met my wife on a gourmet backpacking trip. She brought a chocolate fondue (I brought ice cream sundaes cooled with dry ice).

Later, in the third-generation backpacking hot tub (the one that put out so much heat that it could be while snow camping), we simply floated the chocolate fondue bowl IN the hot tub with us (a lot of chocolate melts at 90-92F versus hot tub temps of 102-104F).

Marshmallows, sure, but good pound cake, biscotti, dried apricots, strawberries (classic but not UL), mandarin orange wedges, bananas, etc. Pretzels for a less sweet option.

Edited by DavidinKenai on 04/09/2014 00:20:55 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: That did it on 04/09/2014 05:40:14 MDT Print View

Will, you need to invest in a safety-style can opener like the Good Cooks version. That will allow you to cleanly remove can tops for your cooking projects.

A simple plier style paper punch will make holes in a soda can.

What is a bunting?

Marc Shea
(FlytePacker) - F

Locale: Cascades
Re: Re: That did it on 04/09/2014 08:32:47 MDT Print View

Double boiler with a Jetboil seems extreme. All you would really need is a tea light candle and a stand for the pot. Something like the following.


Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Need BPL's help with fondue on 04/09/2014 09:35:36 MDT Print View

You might consider using a boiler bag inside the pot used to do the melting - might make cleanup much easier. As others have implied, if you are melting something that will be very viscous you definitely should buffer the heat by using a double-boiler setup as you could easily burn stuff otherwise.

Will Newton
(Newts) - MLife
Thanks, all on 04/09/2014 10:01:11 MDT Print View

Thanks, all. Man, I picked the right subject to stop lurking since 2007 on. :)

@Jon - Noted, elevate can.

@David - "Backpacking hot tub?"

@Dale - Thanks for the recommendations, and will get a proper can opener for around the house, but this is going to have to be done in the field, using a knife, on a recently emptied can, so practice, practice

@Marc - That pot looks suspiciously heavy. ;)

@Marko - Boiler bag! Which might cut down on the can-cutting and hilarious medical emergencies that would result, given my luck.

Bunting, for everyone's edification, are those little paper flags on a string.
Because, obviously:


David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Thanks, all on 04/09/2014 10:44:13 MDT Print View

>"@David - "Backpacking hot tub?""

The UC Berkeley annual "Gourmet Trip" has some rules - bring a gourmet dish, formal- or semi-formal dress for dinner and a "toy" - something really stupid you'd never normally bring backpacking. Downhills skis to ski the sand dunes, a basketball and a backboard(!) for a half-court game, etc. Other's helped me carry 10-mil plastic sheeting to line a hole dug in a sand dune, 100 feet of garden hose to tap a stream and flow it into the hot tub through an automotive radiator with 6 MSR white-gas stoves under it. IT took about 4 hours to come to temperature, but got to 104F.

Later versions used a propane burner like what you'd use at a chilli cook off under a 30-gallon pot. That came to temperature in 40 minutes (250,000 BTU/hour versus 6 x 10,000 BTU/hour for the MSRs).

It's pretty easy to pick out the Chemical Engineers on a BPing trip.

Festooned Crater Lake - LOL!

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Thanks, all on 04/09/2014 13:17:33 MDT Print View

Ahhh, bunting as we know it. Tibetan prayer flags would be Everest-like.

The best fondue pots are double boilers. I really like the bag idea. That would be a perfect way to do Alfredo sauce and the like.

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
Re: Need BPL's help with fondue on 04/09/2014 13:20:00 MDT Print View

Chocolate fondue, eh? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Where -- exactly -- will you be camping, and
When -- exactly -- will you be there?

I'm rummaging around for my titanium fork, even as we speak! ;^)

And yes, definitely use a double boiler method (keep the water boiling as gently as you can) and NEVER let the bottom of the chocolate vessel touch the boiling water.

Other lightweight suggestions for dipping: angel food cake squares (pre-cut at home and airtight bag), possibly freeze-dried fruit (such as strawberries or peaches -- I've never tried it, but how bad can it be?).

Bon appetit!

Richard Reno
(scubahhh) - M

Locale: White Mountains, mostly.
Sous vide? on 04/09/2014 17:12:14 MDT Print View

Couldn't you Pre-mix all the chocolate ingredients at home and seal them in a vacuum bag, then just toss the bag into boiling water for a while?

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Fondue on 04/09/2014 18:38:08 MDT Print View

>>Please don't let *this* be the thing that finally converts me to a cat-can stove.

You have a cute girlfriend from "across the pond" who wants to go backpacking? If this is what converts you, it is a net gain. :)

Being serious, I used to do Full Moon fondue group hikes. We'd do a double boiler system. Works very well.

Have fun!

ps. Foreign accents are not quite as sexy when they ask you to pick up something at Costco or take out the recycling. ;)

Kelly G
(KellyDT) - F
Freeze-dried on 04/09/2014 20:47:06 MDT Print View

Slightly off topic.

" freeze-dried fruit (such as strawberries or peaches -- I've never tried it, but how bad can it be?) "

ohhhh.... Costco sells freeze-dried, dark chocolate-covered strawberries. yummmm.....