Rating: 4 / 5
I have been doing some “extensive” testing of the Gram Weenie (GW) by End 2End Trail Supply (E2E). I purchased this stove because I have found that I don’t really boil more than 12 oz (350ml) of water at a time therefore I am not needing a robust/larger stove. For quite some time I have been using a T-light and wire screen combination but I have my caveats about it and was on the quest for something more integrated (I.E. pot and stand as one unit). Upon discovery of the GW I felt as if I had found what I was looking for and made my purchased it strait away. Unfortunately I can not give any real world (out in the field) data as of yet.
The GW is a stove the weighs 12 grams (according to my Good Cook digital scale…2 grams heavier than my currents set up) and uses about a ½ oz (15 ml) of fuel, and comes with a primer pan and windscreen made out of .006” gauge soft aluminum. E2E states that it is to be used to boil up to 12 oz (350 ml) of water and will boil for about 6.5 to 7.5 minutes. I performed my tests using both my Heineken pot (HP) and Snow Peak (SP) 600. I was mainly interested in the performance of the stove with my HP as per it being my primary cook pot/mug, but performed the same tests to be fair to the SP 600 and gain a better perspective of the stove performance on different pots designs. I am not going to give every result for every test done (25 in total) but just give a general synopsis of the results found.
Fuel: Measured ½ oz (30ml) of HEET (yellow)
H20: Measured 12 oz (350 ml) tap water (55-60 F 12-15 C)
Ambient temperature of testing premises: 65 F (18 C)
Pots: HP & SP 600
Time Given in minutes
BT = Boil Time
NB = No Boil
TBT = Total Burn time of fuel
TMP = Temperature achieved
Test 1: HP w/no windscreen:
BT 8:20 TBT 9:15
Test 2: SP 600 w/no windscreen:
BT: 6:45 TBT 7:37
Test 3: HP w/E2E screen w/holes
BT 8:20 TBT 9:00
Test 4: SP 600 w/E2E screen w/holes
BT: 6:30 TBT 7:08
Results/Thoughts/Observations: The E2E provided a “small” windscreen (2.5 in/ 6.5cm x 18.5 in/47 cm) and recommended it for use when needing to block the wind, but to be sure and allow for plenty of venting. At first I particularly did not like this windscreen because it only came an inch (2.5 cm) up my pots. I use/prefer something that comes up at least ¾ (for the HP 5 in/12.75 cm & SP 3.5in/9 cm) of the way up my pot so as to keep more heat closer to the pot and aid in the heating and fuel efficiency of any given stove. I started my tests (after doing the ones w/o any windscreen) with the windscreens I have for my designated pots. They usually have an air gap between the pot and screen of about ¼ in (0.6 cm) and have a series of holes on only one side of the screen and no more than 1 in (2.5 cm) high up the screen. When using the designated windscreen with my HP or SP 600 no boil was achieved and the temperatures were in the 175-190 F (79-90 C) range. I also noticed that with the SP 600 on occasion there would be some flaring and over spilling of fuel onto the primer pan and thus result in an unsafe and out of control flame pattern.
I then proceeded to test the stove with various windscreens hoping to achieve better results. I had on hand some windscreens provide to me by Trail Designs, the VariVent and a Regular (no holes) made from the same .006” aluminum material; they both measured about 4 in (10cm) high. I started with the VariVent, and placed it with about a ½ in (1.2 cm) air gap around the pots. Due to its design it created such a ventury effect that the fuel was used in about 3 minutes and the flames merely swirled around the diameter of the windscreen and pot.
Next came the regular windscreen and still no boil was achieved. I then “opened” the air gap up to about an inch (2.5 cm) away from the pots and still no boil achieved and with the SP 600 some flaring continued. Finally I opened the winds screen “up all the way” which is about a 1 ½ (4 cm) air gap, the results warranted they same but had temps were in the 200 F (93 C) range. Finally I used my paper hole punch to create some air flow (2 rows w/ 1/2 in/ 1.2 cm apart and no more than 1 in /2.5 cm high and only half of the screen) boil was finally achieved. For the HP BT 9:00 & TBT 9:20, the SP 600 BT 7:00 and TBT 7:40. I then proceed to put the same hole pattern in the E2E screen and got the test results stated in above said test with the E2E screen.
Final Thoughts/Ramblings: This is the only stove I have encountered/used that actually required the windscreen to be a large distance away from the pot. This of course takes away from the efficiency of a windscreen which in keeps additional heat closer to the pot, which aids in the boiling of water and thus results in a decrease of fuel consumption. I am sure it is in part because of the stoves’ small size and design which has very little tolerance for any “excess” heat to be applied to it. My conclusion about the windscreens required for this stove is that it does what it was intended to do, which is just block wind but not assist in any additional heating of a pot.
The .006” aluminum windscreen and primer pan were way too heavy for my taste. The primer pan weighing 2 grams (0.1 oz) and the wind screen 16 grams (0.6 oz). I cut the primer pan to about 1 ½ in (3.8 cm) diameter circle with slightly bent up edging, now it does not even register on my scale. I then made a windscreen of identical measurements of the E2E windscreen (to include hole pattern) out of a disposable oven liner and was able to cut the weight in half to 8 grams (1/4 oz) which meets my criteria a lot better, when you have a windscreen that weighs more than the stove itself there’s a problem.
I did perform two “winter” tests in which I was out in my garage working and I wanted some tea. I used the water that was sitting in my bottle from the night before which was about 35 F (1 C) and the ambient temp in the garage was about 50 F (10 C). The stove did require an additional amount of fuel to boil my water but only used ¾ oz (22 ml) of fuel to boil the 12 oz (350ml) of water.
The reason I feel that the stove takes longer to boil with the HP is because of the concave shape of the bottom. The shape does not allow the flame to “spread” out across the bottom but pushes the flame about an 1/8th – ¼ in (3-6 cm) down from the jetting holes and then out along the edge of the HP where the flame rests and sometimes comes up the side of the pot.
Also care must be taken when placing the HP on the stove, again because of the shape of the bottom. The HP wants to tip to one side or another if not carefully centered upon placing it on the stove. But the angle of the tip is no so severe that the pot will/is likely to tip over (at least from my experience thus far) it is just esthetically an eye sore. Another note is that when using my cut down HP I had to let the stove completely run out (which was only about another 30seconds or so) before attempting to take off the pot because of the “shortness” of the pot the flames would burn my hand and or the handkerchief I was using to take the pot off of the stove.
The flame pattern was much more consistent with the SP 600 and did not get pushed down from the jetting ports. The test results were much more consistent with E2E claims and the flame pattern was ideal for this diameter of pot. However care needs to be taken with over fueling (I.E. filling it a little too much) to avoid over boiling of the fuel and thus resulting in a flare which can be very dangerous.
Bottom line, if boiling only 10-12 oz (295-350 ml) of water or less is what you mainly do while out on the trail and you want a complete integrated stove than the GramWeenie may be the one for you. But as stated by E2E if you are in doubt than it probably is not. As for me I look forward to many meals and drinks prepared on the trail with it. And can finally say I have found an alcohol stove that I actually like and will use on a regular basis besides just in my kitchen (though it is getting plenty of use there as well)