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White Fang
01-10-2011, 02:59 AM
I am heading out to the Mojave Desert for a bit of an exploration trip, and need to pick up a good little stove that can heat up basic food, and can cook a bit like eggs and boil water.

I was thinking about getting one of those little sterno stoves, but I haven't seen anyone post about using them?

can anyone recommend them or can recommend another similar small type stove?

Thank you

Two Rivers
01-10-2011, 04:04 AM
Here's a link with several you might look at. I've never used sterno myself but have used the plumbers stove and one simular to the sterno which is a small can ( cat food sized ) with rolled cardboard and wax. Check out the link and see if there's one there that might do for you.
http://wings.interfree.it/html/main.html

T Co
01-10-2011, 04:10 AM
Sterno's a good stove. Probably and just probably the reason you don't see it posted much are 2 reasons. Weight, and because it's pretty much a non renewable backpack stove. I used them many times in scouts and loved them. I actually just was looking for one yesterday in case we have another power outage so I can make some food (our house being ALL electric). They're good enough for caterer's to use so if you're car camping I say go for it.

VinWild
01-10-2011, 07:25 AM
I use Sterno stoves often. I have the small galvanized steel folding model that works with both the small can or the larger one.
They work well for most any cooking task short of multi course full-on meal production.
I favor them for solo hunting trips or in the boat where reheating vaccum sealed bags of leftovers, soup, spaghetti, chile, breakfast burritos etc.
The little stoves are safe, lightweight, clean burning, and last quite a long time. Mine is over ten years old and looks brand new. Sterno is relatively a cheap fuel source and can be found most anywhere-including grocery stores. Gotta love Napalm in a can !
-From The North Fork

actichy
01-10-2011, 07:56 AM
I bought one a few months ago, but haven't used it. I read an article that describes how to convert the sterno stove into a wood-burning stove. It says that this article was printed in The Backwoodsman.

http://www.bushcraftnorthwest.com/articles/stove%20article.htm

BirdDog
01-10-2011, 08:16 AM
I have a foldup stove somewhere. If I'm really lazy I use the small can with my canteen cup and stove.

werewolf won
01-10-2011, 11:44 AM
I use Sterno in my Crusader Cooker. I transfer the gel to a squirt bottle for ease of carry. Becareful with the clear flame!!
Wolf

RangerXanatos
01-10-2011, 11:54 AM
I have one and tested it once. It would heat up water, but would not bring it to a boil.

Two Bears
01-10-2011, 01:42 PM
I had one a long time ago, it was junk. Have you thought about making or buying an alcohol stove?

Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk. A man can be hard to find in the mountains, but your welcome at my fire anytime.

Rider2
01-10-2011, 02:13 PM
A Sterno stove was actually my first stove back in the early 70's, and I actually still have that gold-colored anodized fold-up stove in my kitchen ditty (though I haven't used it in eons, I still hang on to it for "back-up" purposes I guess, though that sounds better than "pack rat" purposes).

Back when I used it, most of its use was between 7-10 thousand feet elevation, and it would indeed boil water, but I think it took about 7+ minutes or so to get a couple cups hot enough for tea or coffee.

By the time I was 14 or 15 I had migrated to a butane stove (another relic, but I haven't been able to find butane canisters around in years that it can use like I still can with Sterno), though I moved to a Svea 123R a couple years after that as I got tired of packing empty cans around (a full stove and a Sigg bottle would last me a week and take up far less room... weight going in may have been a tad more, but was far less coming out).

The Sterno stove certainly did take a long time to get that water going though (and drove home the "watched pot" theory), but it does work eventually. ;-)

Mize
01-10-2011, 02:37 PM
take muddog15's advice, I used a sterno type stove for as long as I can remember while backpacking, worked fine, finding and buying cannisters were a hassle especially for last minute trips, since Christmas 2009 I've been using an inexpensive alcohol stove, less than $10, both work about the same in my opinion and alcohol is a lot cheaper and you can get it anywhere

Antig
01-10-2011, 03:05 PM
It's too slow and I'm too impatient to use sterno. For the price and weight of it, using alcohol is a much better deal.

PMSteve
01-10-2011, 03:10 PM
Sterno is basically gelled alcohol in a can. I have Sterno stoves in two BOBs and a couple of cans of fuel for each. It keeps for a long while as long as the can is sealed.

For extended use, I go with the others in this thread and recommend a good alcohol stove like the Trangia or the Etowah. Both are fairly inexpensive and the fuel is readily available in the form of denatured alcohol or Heet fuel treatment. I've used both and got similar results.

anubis1335
01-10-2011, 03:28 PM
im seriously thinking of stockin up some sterno. I mean if u cant use it in the can d/t dimensional restrictions, one could just scoop out a blob and go from there. That's it. Talked myself into getting a pack! :D

White Fang
01-10-2011, 04:00 PM
Awesome thank you guys for the responses! I have never had a question answered with this much detail on any forum.

I will go check the local surplus store and see whats for sale, I just didn't want to hassle with making an alcohol stove before I left.

Will definitely post pictures up my adventures :D

werewolf won
01-10-2011, 04:06 PM
Awesome thank you guys for the responses! I have never had a question answered with this much detail on any forum.

I will go check the local surplus store and see whats for sale, I just didn't want to hassle with making an alcohol stove before I left.

Will definitely post pictures up my adventures :D

Welcome. You will find the response to your post is the norm here. People care about helping. Is rare that you get a "go search Google" or some crap answer like that here, very rare.
Wolf

Spork
01-10-2011, 04:32 PM
I've found that the heat output of Sterno and similar gelled fuels is greater if not restricted by the small opening of the original can. Save the first empty can you have and remove the top with a can opener to use for a fuel cup. You can actually get a decent rolling boil using Sterno.

I've even played with vent holes in the can...like a Cat or YAAS stove. This particular photo shows a burn with denatured alky and fiberglass fill...notice the Woodgas stove-like flame pattern. I've used the same can without the fiberglass fill and gel fuel.

TheProfessor
01-10-2011, 05:06 PM
I got my Sterno stove in 1963 and it wouldn't boil water. I tried it again recently with a big can of fuel and it still won't! It gets water hot, but that is about all. My advice is to get a Trangia burner and use yellow Heet. It will fit in the stove.

White Fang
01-10-2011, 05:17 PM
I got my Sterno stove in 1963 and it wouldn't boil water. I tried it again recently with a big can of fuel and it still won't! It gets water hot, but that is about all. My advice is to get a Trangia burner and use yellow Heet. It will fit in the stove.

SHIT!

I hope this isn't true.

I only need to boil a couple cups of water in a metal canteen cup is all.

I picked up this little can of it, and a sterno folding stove (looked like it was a circa 1980s from the drawing of it! LOL)

Then also got a canteen cup and a GI Issue mess tin.

I hope to be able to cook eggs, boil some water, cook some soup or something! Just basically dehydrated foods for now.

I should be able to accomplish all this, right?

Sorry for all the questions I have never been camping, and at age 18 I feel I must learn the proper ways before its too late. lol

wolfy
01-10-2011, 05:39 PM
We used to use Sterno for warming pans on buffet tables when I worked in a convention center. They were like a big double boiler type of pan made from stainless steel. Two cans of Sterno under a pan that was about a foot by two feet would simmer around an inch of water in the lower pan. I think that it will boil water with no problem, but the container you use will make a difference. It should be wide and low rather than tall with a narrow bottom and you should have a cover on the container to keep the heat from escaping. I'd protect it from drafts as much as possible with a wind shield of some kind, also.

Offtrail
01-10-2011, 06:38 PM
Wolfy, got it right, wind screen and lids for your pans, without these two things it will take to long. But with a wind screen and lids for the pans your good to go.

White Fang
01-10-2011, 06:47 PM
Alright so what should I use if I am trying to cook some instant type noodles, they are called "Pasta Sides"?

I have both of these I picked up, which do you believe would be more efficient?

The GI mess kit
http://www.specopstactical.com/shop/catalog/images/130_SS_MESS_KIT.jpg

Or the GI canteen cup?

http://www.traditioncreek.com/storefront/images/products_supplies/GI_Canteen_Cup.jpg

kmystry
01-10-2011, 06:51 PM
I've got two Sterno stoves. I use mine as woodburners as described in the link on the first page of this thread. I've never used Sterno fuel because of it's poor performance. I use the stove by dragging campfire coals underneath it and then placing a pot on the grill above. Works good but there are lighter, less bulky alternatives, of course, and therefore I don't use mine much except now and again.
I actually prefer using just a grill from an old salvaged cheapie charcoal grill (cut down more narrow...like 3 rungs only and about 16 inches long) that can be found at any thrift store and then balancing it on a couple of rocks above the coals. The pot or skillet goes on top. Less bulky and fits in your pack in a plastic grocery sack (to keep the soot off your other stuff.)

White Fang
01-10-2011, 06:59 PM
Thanks for the alternatives, I will try not to sway this thread to much with other info. Though quick question, would I just simply start a small fire and then throw the coals of the fire under the stove? Would this be sufficient and provide enough heat to cook not only what I mentioned previously, but also eggs and whatnot for breakfast?

SlayerOfBunnies
01-10-2011, 07:53 PM
I boil water with mine all the time (using Sterno) but I'm interested to mess with it as a wood burner. Good post!

donk
01-10-2011, 08:25 PM
I carried one the old orange painted steel sterno stoves a lot of miles in the Scouts. I did everything I needed it to do, just not quick. My son has that old stove and GI canteen cup now, still very servicable over 40 years later.

IdahoBackwoods
01-10-2011, 08:26 PM
We used to use Sterno for warming pans on buffet tables when I worked in a convention center. They were like a big double boiler type of pan made from stainless steel. Two cans of Sterno under a pan that was about a foot by two feet would simmer around an inch of water in the lower pan. I think that it will boil water with no problem, but the container you use will make a difference. It should be wide and low rather than tall with a narrow bottom and you should have a cover on the container to keep the heat from escaping. I'd protect it from drafts as much as possible with a wind shield of some kind, also.

If you're not careful and not aware of the dangers, you can breathe a LOT of carbon monoxide when burning a Sterno can or cans with a pot or pan close above. See the message I posted today on the 3rd page of the "General Discussions > carbon monoxide from backpacking stoves" thread!

OregonDave
01-10-2011, 08:42 PM
I have zip experience with Sterno, but I know it's jellied alcohol. I do have some small experience with liquid alcohol as fuel. As said previously, alcohol generally likes wide pans and protection from the wind due to its low BTU out put.

That said, why not experiment with your Sterno stove at home to see how it works for you before you go out? Compare your GI mess kit vs. your GI canteen cup. Use some foil as a wind screen.

No, you won't die if you use your stove inside.
:)
OD

White Fang
01-10-2011, 09:13 PM
Dave,

Why I didn't even think of that I have no idea....

Will actually use my noggin and just try the darn thing. Thanks! :)

Taliesin
01-10-2011, 09:37 PM
I had one a long time ago, it was junk. Have you thought about making or buying an alcohol stove? .

Alcohol stoves are super easy to make! I made my first one tonight using a utility blade and a thumb tack for tools. Materials were two soda cans. I'd describe how to make it, but you can go to Youtube and watch many videos on how to make these little jewels. Took me about 15 minutes to make.

Jon Foster
01-10-2011, 09:52 PM
A Sterno stove was actually my first stove back in the early 70's, and I actually still have that gold-colored anodized fold-up stove in my kitchen ditty (though I haven't used it in eons, I still hang on to it for "back-up" purposes I guess, though that sounds better than "pack rat" purposes).

I still have one of those exact stoves. It works but it's not my first choice for cooking.

Jon.

tennecedar
01-10-2011, 09:55 PM
I have zip experience with Sterno, but I know it's jellied alcohol. I do have some small experience with liquid alcohol as fuel. As said previously, alcohol generally likes wide pans and protection from the wind due to its low BTU out put.

That said, why not experiment with your Sterno stove at home to see how it works for you before you go out? Compare your GI mess kit vs. your GI canteen cup. Use some foil as a wind screen.

No, you won't die if you use your stove inside.
:)
OD

After reading this thread, I remembered I had one of these stoves. Black steel folding thing that a can fits inside of. I went out a got it for a test. On my kitchen stove top @ 68F inside temp, it boiled 1 liter of luke warm water in a trangia kettle.... After 24 minutes

I did the same test with my penny stove and pot stand. 5 minutes and a few odd seconds to rolling boil.

I'm going to keep the little stove handy and see how it works as a twig stove.

White Fang
01-11-2011, 01:04 AM
I'll make both and see which one works best. Will post results when I am home from my trip!

And you NEED insulation right for the alcohol stove right?

T Co
01-11-2011, 07:03 AM
I haven't seen this posted yet so I wanted to say it in case you get a can with a smear on the instructions, whatever. Don't try to blow it out when your done. You need to starve it of oxgen and snuff it out. YOu can put the lid back on, or if your going to use it again shortly but don't want to waste fuel use something else.

TheProfessor
01-16-2011, 08:22 PM
After reading this thread, I remembered I had one of these stoves. Black steel folding thing that a can fits inside of. I went out a got it for a test. On my kitchen stove top @ 68F inside temp, it boiled 1 liter of luke warm water in a trangia kettle.... After 24 minutes

I did the same test with my penny stove and pot stand. 5 minutes and a few odd seconds to rolling boil.

I'm going to keep the little stove handy and see how it works as a twig stove.

24 minutes! I had given up before that! My stove is the black folding design; it is good for keeping the coffee pot hot.

wisconsinwalter
01-17-2011, 12:21 PM
I just did a youtube on an old sterno I found a few threads down. My test was in 9 dgree weather with a 10 mph wind.

I really wish guys would identify test parameters before saying something doesnt work.

My sterno stove is the gold metal and breaks down to a 8x9x 3/4 and a couple of sterno cans are easy to pack ans after some research, the sterno can are easy to find

joe cody
01-17-2011, 06:26 PM
I have 2 of the silver foldup ones and a orange double burner/can one.bought them at the local grogery store.done the backwoodsman trick to 1 of the foldups
at 50 degrees-no wind it takes 20 minutes to boil the canteen cup 3/4 full with the small cans and 11 minutes with the large cans.
2 eggs well done was 9 minutes.bacon was 15 minutes cambells vegie-beef soup was about 14 minutes.have not tried coffee yet.
hope this helps

White Fang
01-17-2011, 07:35 PM
Thanks everyone, the sterno turned out to be a total joke basically I am hungry and the food was either undercooked or took wayyyyy to long :/

Onto propane I think.

Roamer
01-24-2011, 03:19 PM
Just curious, Joe: How long did the cans last in these tests? Did you have fuel left over in each case, and if so, roughly how much? Sterno website (http://www.sterno.com/retail/pages/faq.html)says a 7 oz. can will burn for about 2 hours.


no wind it takes 20 minutes to boil the canteen cup 3/4 full with the small cans and 11 minutes with the large cans.
2 eggs well done was 9 minutes.bacon was 15 minutes cambells vegie-beef soup was about 14 minutes.have not tried coffee yet.
hope this helps

Roamer
01-24-2011, 03:34 PM
Got curious and looked up the MSDS sheet (pdf) (http://www.sterno.com/retail/PDFs/Sterno%20Consumer%20MSDS-Gel%20Fuel.pdf) on Sterno, and you guys are right: it's simply jellied alcohol. It doesn't say what the alcohol is jellied with, but alcohol makes up 70% of the total contents.

This is one of the things I love about the Trangia and homemade alcohol stoves, and now Sterno: alcohol is a very safe fuel. Safe to carry; safe to burn; nonexplosive; made in the US from corn and sugarcane; odorless; smokeless; biodegradable; and virtually harmless if you spill some.

I found an old metal Sterno space heater at a thrift store and I'm gonna give it a try. I've been looking for a little heater for my small garage and I think this will do the trick to warm up a small work zone a little. It could also be a good heater in a survival situation, and also might work to warm up a tarp shelter. It looks like this:

http://img1.classistatic.com/cps/po/100205/212r4/7932843_26.jpeg

Dennis
01-26-2011, 06:11 AM
SHIT!

I hope this isn't true.

I only need to boil a couple cups of water in a metal canteen cup is all.

I picked up this little can of it, and a sterno folding stove (looked like it was a circa 1980s from the drawing of it! LOL)

Then also got a canteen cup and a GI Issue mess tin.

I hope to be able to cook eggs, boil some water, cook some soup or something! Just basically dehydrated foods for now.

I should be able to accomplish all this, right?

Sorry for all the questions I have never been camping, and at age 18 I feel I must learn the proper ways before its too late. lol

For a canteen cup set up it's hard to be ESBIT cubes. Tried Sterno a few times and it's just not for me. I have two Sterno stoves and bunch of fuel I'd like to get rid of.

Flag_Mtn_Hkrs
01-26-2011, 12:41 PM
When I was in my teens friends and I would go backpacking in the mountains. I would bring a sterno stove and some cans of sterno. They worked fine but were heavy and slow.

Now I have a couple of trangia stoves and a couple of soda can stoves. They burn much hotter and the denatured alcohol is cheap. Always have one in the Jeep for just in case.

huntinhick
02-28-2011, 01:56 AM
I know this one is a little old but I have to defend my favorite stove! I use mine sterno stove a lot, I have used it with sterno to cook venison steaks, brauts and hamburgers yes it took a bit but it worked. lately I use mainly sticks in it. I have also made a stand out of a can that will hold a esbit cube at just the right height and a smaller one that will do the same with my alcohol stove. I have fried eggs on it with the alcohol stove very quickly. my only concern is the longevity of the stove using the sticks but so far it holds up great and at 11.00$ and almost no weight it rocks.

carl

wrbthe3rd
02-28-2011, 08:18 AM
millons still use that tells you something!

bcmolcb
03-05-2011, 05:49 PM
I have used one and i love it!

nawat
03-05-2011, 05:54 PM
I used them alot when I was in boyscouts. I like them as well. They used to make a stove that snapped on top of the can they called it a piggy back .Sure would like to have one of those. Anyone out there have one they would part with.

huntinhick
03-07-2011, 10:54 PM
just thought I would throw in a pic of a sterno stove in action with a wood fire. I am boiling water in the kettle and have bannock baking in a bowl inside.

http://i1118.photobucket.com/albums/k608/huntinhick/DSC02460.jpg

rob/saltrock
03-07-2011, 11:19 PM
in the 80's & 90's i used one a little bit. i quit using using it went back to just sticking 3 spikes, gutter nails, whatever in the ground in a triangle and building a fire in the middle then setting my billy can on the nails (3 legged cook fire)

huntinhick
03-09-2011, 10:48 PM
I had the sterno stove out again tonight, this time I had my Swedish army trangia out I use a ring from a mason jar under the stove to get the right height for cooking. I cooked 4 "loaves" of bannock and fried an egg on 1 filling. this is one of the things I like about the sterno stove. I can use many times of fuel and it folds up small.

inthewoods
03-10-2011, 11:16 AM
just thought I would throw in a pic of a sterno stove in action with a wood fire. I am boiling water in the kettle and have bannock baking in a bowl inside.

http://i1118.photobucket.com/albums/k608/huntinhick/DSC02460.jpg

This is the kind of stove I got for Christmas from my son. It comes in a orange Sterno bag with a couple of Sterno cans with room for more.

I was thinking if it would work with just wood and seems it does quite well : ). I like burning wood the best. Thanks HH , I also have a pot just like that to.

Haven't fired mine up yet but plan to on my kayak fishing trip this spring, They won't let you have a firepit at the lake so I hope the Sterno oven will give sis and have a good cup of hot coffee :44:
tc linda

NuclearMeltdown
03-13-2011, 11:57 AM
Use a wide, flat pan. Lid speeds things up. No need to carry a stove if there's enough material around to make one.

http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/185880_10100694084056874_9338694_79735317_5973412_ n.jpg

http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/38618_10100405545665124_9338694_72859380_1440695_n .jpg

Under ideal conditions, of course. Have only tried oatmeal, beef stew, and canned spaghetti type stuff.

inthewoods
03-13-2011, 02:51 PM
I used mine yesterday for the first time. Most my fires and cooking are done in a fire pit.

I seen this cool way to use a pop can to pop popcorn so I did it and it worked using the Sterno can and the little stand it came with. That corn popped right out and hubby ate it just as fast as it came out. Was fun to do.

tc linda