Thank you Darin for a much needed article on ESBIT cooking.
**I contend that the Caldera Cone stove and
the Brian Green modified Gram Cracker ESBIT holder is currently the most efficient ESBIT stove system going.
A Caldera Cone (with a mating pot) puts heat on the pot sides as well as the bottom,
This is also good for you "ti mug cookers" who like the inefficient shape of a tall cook vessel that mugs have.
The Brian Green modification of the Trail Designs Gram Cracker tablet holder keeps all the liquid residue in the tray and doubles the burn time from 7 minutes per tablet to 15 minutes. And this, of course, cuts fuel weight considerably on a week long trip.
My CC stove is a ti Sidewinder three fuel stove that can use alky, ESIT or (with the Inferno insert) wood. I have a 3 cup pot mated to the Sidewinder and it is all I need for solo cooking. The anodized aluminum pot is wider than it is tall. This wide bottom ratio has been proven more efficient. So it's all in the details where ESBIT efficiency is concerned, i.e. efficient cone pot support, good tablet holder and proper pot shape.
I do keep the little wing stove (with flimsy rivets replaced by small bolts, lock washers and nuts) in my survival kit with a cut down MSR foil windscreen.
NOTE: If anyone has a more efficient ESBIT system than I just described PLEASE post it. I'm not married to any system and I'll change it if another is better.