I am building alcohol stoves (or more accurately, alcohol burners) out of aluminum bottles. They are simple, strong, and foolproof.
The difference between these and the more common aluminum can stoves is that the material used in these is .025" thick, so they are very sturdy. I can even stand on one and pretend I'm riding my motorcycle.
For fuel, I find Heet is the best. (Methyl Alcohol) It burns very clean, leaves no residue on your pots, and has lots of heat energy.
To operate: Pour your Heet right in the middle of the can.
Light it right in the middle.
You will get a very faint flame up out of the burner.
Just let it burn, and after about one minute, it will heat up and self-generate flames out of the side jets. If you want to speed up this process, go ahead and hold a flame along the outside of the can after about 30 seconds and you can ignite the jets manually.
Now you're burning and ready to cook.
Or, if you have a surface such as a flat piece of aluminum, you can dribble a little Heet around the bottom as a primer. Then, light the top as shown
Then light the Heet on the bottom.
The flame will quickly spread around and up the side, and ignite the side jets in seconds
Then your burner is again, fully lit and ready for action.
The fastest way to heat is to put your pot right on the stove. With the side ports on this burner, that works best. Here is a 6" diameter pot on the burner.
In this pot, covered in 30 degree air temperature, I brought 2 cups of water to full boil in 5 minutes.
You can also simmer by holding pot above the stove slightly. I improvised a little grill, and your imagination is your only limit here. You will also need a simple windscreen to guard at least two sides from air movement. The stove doesn't blow out, but air movement dissipates the heat too much.
For burn time, 1.5 ounces of Heet burns about ten minutes. 2 ounces, about 13 to 14 minutes. You can put more than that in one of these stoves. To put the stove out, just letting it burn itself out is best. Have one going to boil, and a second stove to start up under a grill and simmer. Heck, they don't cost much.
The stove packs easy, weighs about an ounce, and as shown above with the Big Dummy standing on it, is very strong. Brushed aluminum finish so it doesn't look like an old beer bottle too. What else can you ask for?
And, oh yeah, it makes a great handwarmer. How many times have you been hunting, riding, etc, and would love to have something light and portable that would warm you up for a few minutes?
The stoves pictured are the regular SteverStove with 14 flame holes. I also now make what I'm calling the SimmerStove which has 7 flame holes. It burns slightly cooler and longer, for, well, simmering. Same price as the regular stove.
Now besides for the task of boiling water for coffee, rice, noodles etc, some have asked about cooking a piece of meat with this stove. So, I did a test.
Fired up the SteverStove and had a burger handy. I took an old cheapo frying pan out of my camp kit--many folks carry one like this but smaller in their bike kt.
Set the pan on the stove, of course with your windscreen, and watch the magic. Within seconds you'll hear the sizzle.
I flipped the burger over at 4 minutes, and it was finished in 6 minutes total. I had plenty of fuel left in the stove to cook longer. This was done outside with air temperature of 35 degrees.
I also tried this with the lid from my light steel camp kit. The instructions said use the lid as a fry pan. I was doubtful for its effectiveness as the steel is thin and won't distribute & transfer heat well.
And I was right: the stove was too hot for the thin steel and wouldn't cook the burger properly without holding the pan up above the flame, and the outsides got hot whereas the center did not. So it's thumbs-down to fry in the flimsy stuff unless you are stir-frying and keep the material moving around the pan to absorb the heat.
My conclusion for cooking meat is to use an actual fry pan, and also probably best to use a Simmer Stove as the regular stove does make a lot of heat, but that's up to each chef. I see no problem frying up a steak, pork chop or bacon on one stove charge.
I sell them for nine bucks each delivered to your door for this stove, best deal you'll find anywhere. You can contact me through a PM, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
which is also our Paypal address. I am keeping these in stock for quick shipments.