Sterno Stove Thread

Discussion in 'Cooking & Water Purification' started by Spork, May 12, 2017.

  1. Spork

    Spork Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    5,999
    Likes Received:
    2,907
    Location:
    Zombiewood, CA
    This thread is for Sterno stoves and fuel…hacks, mods, tips, cooking pics, etc.

    I’m trying out the Sterno Inferno Ultralight Camp Stove today. It has been out for a while but I only just found out about it. The pot holds 16oz and is equipped with heat exchanger fins…supposedly to improve performance.

    The one thing I don’t like is the plastic lid…it got stuck every time I’ve used it so far. The plastic expands and makes it difficult to remove from the pot. You can’t pour with the lid on either…it’s even marked “Remove lid before pouring”. My solution is to use the lid upside down.

    [​IMG]

    I don’t often buy Sterno fuel…chafing fuel is cheaper and just as effective. The cans in the photo are Fancy Heat brand, one is ethanol and the other methanol.

    I’m getting an average of 12min for 16oz of water. I’m not seeing the heat exchange pot making a huge difference in performance. I’ve been using gelled alcohol for a long time and know that it performs just as well as liquid alcohol if it is burned outside of its original container. Normally I’d have to figure out just the correct amount to dispense…losing the convenience of the re-closable can.

    Earlier this week I had a small epiphany…so here comes the first Sterno hack:

    To boost performance, I scooped out some fuel and placed it on top of the can. I’d say about a tablespoon. It was enough to noticeably boost performance and not have any excess left when water has boiled. Kind of a two-stage burn from high to medium. I did two runs and average boil time went from 12 to 6 mins.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Blaker55

    Blaker55 Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    64
    Is the heat exchanger gizmo removable from the pot? Could you use a different pot or would you need to add some cross pieces or some type of grill work to make it work?
     
  3. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout Jack of all trades, Mastering some. Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Messages:
    2,887
    Likes Received:
    6,458
    Location:
    Coventry, CT.
    WOW. I have so many of these at work that are too full to toss and too empty to bring to a show.. Monday morning I'm scooping them into a single one (too much "work" for the colleagues, I got tired of being the only one to consolidate) and bringing them home to build a MYOG burner.

    For some reason I never thought of them as potential bush gear..
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2017
    MrFixIt, gohammergo and morganbw like this.
  4. Spork

    Spork Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    5,999
    Likes Received:
    2,907
    Location:
    Zombiewood, CA
    It is not removable and you would need to have some sort of adapter. I was thinking of possibly making a set so a small fry pan or coffee pot could be used.
     
  5. Spork

    Spork Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    5,999
    Likes Received:
    2,907
    Location:
    Zombiewood, CA
    Much easier to transfer if you remove the top with a can opener. I made a "spatula" with a coffee can lid and a funnel with a soda bottle.

    I have changed to hideout booze flasks rather than the bottles in this photo because it is easier to get almost all of the gel out. I use a condiment bottle as an intermediate because the spouts are narrow - https://www.amazon.com/Squeeze-Cond...qid=1494645667&sr=8-3&keywords=squeeze+bottle

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout Jack of all trades, Mastering some. Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Messages:
    2,887
    Likes Received:
    6,458
    Location:
    Coventry, CT.
    Now that is slick. Learn something new every day right?
     
  7. DarrylM

    DarrylM Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1,438
    Likes Received:
    4,426
    Location:
    NE Washington State
    What's the difference between sterno/chafing fuel and hand sanitizer gel?
     
  8. Spork

    Spork Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    5,999
    Likes Received:
    2,907
    Location:
    Zombiewood, CA
    Lower percentage of alcohol by volume...all kinds of additives, water and fragrance. It will work in a pinch though, but might perfume your coffee.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. DarrylM

    DarrylM Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1,438
    Likes Received:
    4,426
    Location:
    NE Washington State
    Right on. I was curious about the relative percentage of AbV in the two products. Thanks.
     
  10. DKR

    DKR Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2014
    Messages:
    487
    Likes Received:
    1,231
    Sterno Inferno Ultralight Camp Stove - first I have ever heard of this. No wonder I like this site. Thank you!


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    I use the Sterno Folding Stove with a military Trangia burner. Works the treat and the burner is the same size as the larger can of stove fuel.


    I've also made a tin can Sterno stove.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    4,594
    Likes Received:
    4,886
    Location:
    Maine
    Thanks for post. I haven't seen one yet, are they made in USA same as their folding stoves and read in Amazon reviews that a Trangia stove will fit inside for a burner if you don't want used canned Sterno fuel.
     
  12. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    2,445
    Likes Received:
    683
    Location:
    Southern MA.
    I never did learn to get along with solid or gel fuel, It doesn't heat fast enough, it smells, and some of the stuff can be messy, sterno and container bi-fuels in my opinion aren't UL and they are bulky, not much beats a small campfire for cooking, warmth, and companionship when one is soloing.
    But, if I have to use a stove I usually depend on a denatured alcohol stove or wood/gasifier type stove, they are light weight and easily packable, a little alcohol goes a long way and wood is cheap and easy to find on site.

    Just one man's opinion of course.
     
  13. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    4,594
    Likes Received:
    4,886
    Location:
    Maine
    That's the great thing about the classic folding Sterno stove, all in one small space multi fueled and multi purpose with no extra parts needed.
     
  14. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    2,445
    Likes Received:
    683
    Location:
    Southern MA.
    I'm a 'fire first' type of guy, but it's not always convenient, and sometimes not possible with fire ban restrictions, so I'll resort to a stove of some kind, I like alcohol stoves, my favorite is a Trangia that WW-W gifted to me, and a home made "crumb catcher" stove that I made, when I can I'd rather do stick fires, again my two favorites are a multi use stove that JM made for me out of an Ikea SS caddy that nests perfectly on my 1.1 Lt. Mors Bush Pot, the other is one that I've had for close to 50 years and it's still in one piece and working fine, It's a milsurp clone of an Esbit folding stove, it was designed to use with solid fuel tabs, but works great with a small alcohol burner or inverted over a small twig fire.
    If those aren't practical for the event I'll go to my Pocket Rocket as a last resort.
     
  15. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    6
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Messages:
    7,135
    Likes Received:
    3,890
    Location:
    Relocated to Salt Lake City from Nevada
    The only time I've ever used Sterno was years ago. My wife managed a motel for quite a while. In Elko, Nevada the winters get pretty cold.

    At that time, we drove a Volkswagen Rabbit (Golf) with a diesel engine. One evening when she got off of work, the car wouldn't start because the oil in the pan had all but solidified. I went to the store and got a can of sterno, found a brick and, placing the lit can on top of the brick, I slid it under the oil pan of the engine. By the time the can was burned out, the engine started very easily. Sterno to the rescue!

    Steve
     
  16. Spork

    Spork Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    5,999
    Likes Received:
    2,907
    Location:
    Zombiewood, CA
    Made in China. A Trangia will fit inside...there is a Hiram Cook video where he tries one.
     
  17. Spork

    Spork Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    5,999
    Likes Received:
    2,907
    Location:
    Zombiewood, CA
    Tortilla fail!

    This is the Sterno Stove kit...steel frame. It comes with an optimistically sized pot, a cup and a spork multitool thing. There is not enough heat output to run my little Comal, so it was basically drying out the tortillas as it attempted to to cook them. A can chafing fuel puts out a medium heat at best...needed medium high. The Stove has a four bar platform for the fuel rather than the two wires of the classic stove...it might have been nice if it were wide enough to run 2 cans of fuel at the same time.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. freebirdfb

    freebirdfb Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Messages:
    3,546
    Likes Received:
    2,319
    Location:
    KC Metro
    @Spork for tortillas it might help to use a small cast iron pan. Get the pan hot enough and it will cook your tortillas while the stove tries to reheat the pan
     
  19. Spork

    Spork Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    5,999
    Likes Received:
    2,907
    Location:
    Zombiewood, CA
    I considered cast iron, but don't think the single can would have had the huevos to get it up to temp. I think it gets hot enough to warm premade tortillas. Next time I'll probably try a Svea military burner.
     
  20. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    4,594
    Likes Received:
    4,886
    Location:
    Maine
    It appears that Sterno Co. has tried to re invent the wheel (iconic aluminum folding stove) and joined the copy cat group with their Infernal version(ultra lite) stove. I'm surprised they haven't made a Titanium version of the standard aluminum folding stove they could market to the ultra light and big spender crowd.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
    DKR, MrFixIt, J. Pierce and 3 others like this.
  21. gohammergo

    gohammergo Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,179
    Likes Received:
    1,917
    I think it is great that sterno is making progress and new products! Just like estwing is. We need more companies to do that.

    I've always been kind of a sterno fringe fan. Have had them for years, but rarely use them. It's nice to know that they are around though. I'll have to take a closer look! :)
     
  22. central joe

    central joe Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,466
    Likes Received:
    3,418
    Location:
    upstate south carolina
    I have used the Sterno and can method. You can also use Esbit tabs or wood in the can. Just used it with a cup, so no experience with any type of pan. Keep one on my motorcycle most of the time for a cup of coffee or hot cocoa. joe
     
    MrFixIt and CivilizationDropout like this.
  23. gohammergo

    gohammergo Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,179
    Likes Received:
    1,917
    Found this Sterno set at a thrift store a few years ago. Had never been opened. I opened the top, but nothing has been taken out of the box.

    IMG_20170515_063544464_HDR.jpg

    Found this awesome ceramic Sterno stove at a different thrift store a few weeks ago. Three bucks, never lit. ! :) Supposed to be a S'mors maker. I'll find something to use it for.

    IMG_20170515_063614762_HDR.jpg
     
  24. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    4,594
    Likes Received:
    4,886
    Location:
    Maine
    Love the old packaging cover pic, fortunately nothing inside has changed.
     
    MrFixIt and gohammergo like this.
  25. Dogrobber

    Dogrobber Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2015
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    220
    Location:
    PNW
    My 95 yr. old friend gave me a Sterno stove she and her son used camping, a Sterno #46, called a kitchenette. It is a double burner, never seen one before. Probably over 65 years old.
     
  26. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    4,594
    Likes Received:
    4,886
    Location:
    Maine
    Several on eBay $12-$28.00. enameled steel in different colors. untitleddouble sterno.png
     
  27. Woodsman Wannabe

    Woodsman Wannabe Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    138
    Location:
    SE Texas
    I have one of those double burner type in the hurricane supplies. I may get some chafing fuel in the future, but for now I have a couple alcohol burners to use with it.
     
    Vilke, MrFixIt and Dogrobber like this.
  28. captbrian

    captbrian Bush League Urbanite

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    Messages:
    997
    Likes Received:
    313
    Location:
    USA
    Just FYI, the stove/pot combo at the beginning of the post has a $4 off coupon on Amazon (weird) right now... almost pulled the trigger a few minutes ago but I have the Esbit one with the heat exchanger already so I am trying to resist spending additional money right now. $20.99
     
    MrFixIt and freebirdfb like this.
  29. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    481
    Location:
    North East GA
    I've used sterno for years. I made a coffee/tea brew kit that I still use. It's posted somewhere on the forum....my search-fu sucks lol. Most folks say it's slow, but I'm in no hurry when out in the woods. I sometimes scoop out a teaspoon or two onto a snus lid and use it in my old German esbit stove, or in my usgi canteen stove. A regular can will last me practically a whole weekend for making coffee or some basic cooking. It's also great for starting a regular fire when tinder is damp... a small dab on the tinder and we have fire!

    Found my thread.....https://bushcraftusa.com/forum/threads/my-diy-7-brew-kit.95773/
     
    T MAC, SoreFeet, MrFixIt and 2 others like this.
  30. Spork

    Spork Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    5,999
    Likes Received:
    2,907
    Location:
    Zombiewood, CA
    Adapters using empty chafing fuel cans. These are 6oz Green Heat cans about 1-3/4" high. The large 7oz Sterno (and similar) cans are 2-1/8" high.

    The military burner slides in perfectly with the top removed. It gives a flame gap distance of 1-3/8", which is about right. The smaller diameter Trangia burner is in an upside-down can with a hole cut into the bottom. I'm getting a distance of 1-5/8"...which might be a little much. I'm going to try a 7oz can when I have an empty one available.

    The other burner is from a fondue pot set. It actually works well in the Sterno stove. While I wouldn't recommend seeking out a new one, if you already have one or get one free...it's worth trying. I see them all the time in Thrift stores, which is where I got mine for $3.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
    bacpacjac, PeteA, MrFixIt and 7 others like this.
  31. Spork

    Spork Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    5,999
    Likes Received:
    2,907
    Location:
    Zombiewood, CA
    I made a quick adapter from hardware cloth...easy and stows around a can of fuel. I didn't mention earlier that the Inferno will stow two 7oz cans of fuel when closed up. It seems that the heat exchanger might have some effect as the little Trangia kettle was almost 3 minutes slower at getting 16oz of water to the boil. I'll have to make more comparison runs to be sure.

    [​IMG]

    Bacon over Sterno...seemed a bit slow, but it did the job.

    [​IMG]
     
    bacpacjac, Vilke, pgvoutdoors and 6 others like this.
  32. S.Decker

    S.Decker Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2017
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    330
    Location:
    Casco, Wisconsin
    Chopsticks and bacon? That's just wrong.
     
    SoreFeet, MrFixIt and J. Pierce like this.
  33. Spork

    Spork Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    5,999
    Likes Received:
    2,907
    Location:
    Zombiewood, CA
    Queso dip on a sink drainer stove.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    bacpacjac, MrFixIt, Vilke and 5 others like this.
  34. zelph

    zelph Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,070
    Likes Received:
    933
    Location:
    Northern Illinois
    Spork and MrFixIt like this.
  35. DKR

    DKR Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2014
    Messages:
    487
    Likes Received:
    1,231
    [​IMG]
    The Ultralight has an older brother....

    This fits nicely inside my GSI Solo cook set. The 'stove' (pot stand actually) fit exactly outside on the outside of the large (7 oz) can.

    It is a bit flaky and you will nee to work the 'dimples' to prevent it sliding down the outside. Still, a very clever bit of kit.
     
  36. pgvoutdoors

    pgvoutdoors (FMR) Wilderness Guide Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2011
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    257
    Location:
    Northeast Ohio
    I still have my original stove from back when I was a kid. It was the folding type with the gold anodizing. I own a fare number of stoves but not the Steno Inferno, I will get one to check out. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.
     
    MrFixIt likes this.
  37. zelph

    zelph Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,070
    Likes Received:
    933
    Location:
    Northern Illinois
    Interesting video:

     
    MrFixIt and bacpacjac like this.
  38. Spork

    Spork Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    5,999
    Likes Received:
    2,907
    Location:
    Zombiewood, CA
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  39. Vilke

    Vilke Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2011
    Messages:
    658
    Likes Received:
    672
    Location:
    Florida (for now)
    Now there is one less on e-bay. I had never saw one like this. After seeing it, my small camper now has a new 2 burner stove! It is not something that I would pack when hiking, but for a stationary shelter it will be great. Thanks for sharing the information!
     
    SoreFeet likes this.
  40. zelph

    zelph Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,070
    Likes Received:
    933
    Location:
    Northern Illinois
    I finally found my multi-function sterno stove in my garage. It folds really flat, was hard to see it laying on a shelf.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    SoreFeet, Vilke, J. Pierce and 5 others like this.
  41. Spork

    Spork Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    5,999
    Likes Received:
    2,907
    Location:
    Zombiewood, CA
    Nice! I've never seen that model before
     
  42. zelph

    zelph Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,070
    Likes Received:
    933
    Location:
    Northern Illinois
    It's really nice. I can cook a burger on the grill by using indirect heat channeled from under the solid part of the cooking surface while toasting the burger bun there.
     
    SoreFeet likes this.

Share This Page