Sterno Stove Thread

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

  1. Spork

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    I'd like to say yes...it seems to control/shape the flame better because oxygen is not trying to fight past the rim. Here are some pics of gel in a small tuna can with a single row of larger holes. The effect is not as visible in the smaller tin.

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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
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  2. Spork

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    Coghlan's folding stove...all steel construction, it seems to me these are a copy of an early Sterno model. I an pretty sure that the Coghlan's branded fuel for these are wicked diethylene glycol chafing fuel. About the only thing I like about wicked chafing fuel is that the flame level remains constant...unlike gel fuel whose performance seems to degrade about halfway through the can.

    I happened to have a couple of cans of Fancy Heat wicked fuel, so I went with those. One of the cans was nearly empty so I decide to transfer it to the other one...a very messy process. I punched a hole next to the wick and dribbled the fuel in...filling the hole with the wick of the used can when done. Even with the extra wicking, it was several minutes slower to boil compared to the gel fuel (which had also been topped off from a partially used can. Either fuel would have been fine for light cooking tasks like eggs and pancakes or heating canned foods.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Seacapt.

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  4. zelph

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    My wife made bacon, eggs and hash browns this morning using her aluminum folding stove. Used a homemade alcohol stove with simmer feature. We camped at the local state park for 2 nights.
    DSCF3624.JPG
     
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  5. Spork

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    I have not yet as I've been concentrating on gel and solid fuel options lately. The military burner sits with a gap of 1-3/8" to top of stove...just outside of what I consider the sweet spot range (1" to 1-1/4") I'd be comfortable using it without wanting to raise it up higher.

    The civilian Trangia is sitting at 1-5/8"...I'd want to raise it up some.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017 at 10:34 AM
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  6. zelph

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    Spork, you can add a large wick to the chaffing fuel can for a larger flame, faster boil time of 2 cups or more. This is one i made long ago:
    chaff stove.JPG chaffing fuel stove.JPG
    chaff stove.JPG
     
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  7. Spork

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    @zelph - Is that a fill port you added to the can?
     
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  8. zelph

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  9. Hmm

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    Hello, new BCUSA member here..I also own the Sterno Inferno but haven't used it yet, I have the silver folder and have used it with a homemade can stove, may I ask what attracted everyone to Sterno/gel fuel as a fuel/heating source? For me it was the ability to use it several ways and as far as I know it has been exempted from fire bans. I like the fact that it is a domestically produced product as well. When I can I like to buy domestic.
     
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  10. Hmm

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    I also am.going to try and will post an extremely simple mod for the silver folder that is supposed to improve boil times that I have read about.
     
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  11. Seacapt.

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    Silver folder?? are you talking about the standard Sterno aluminum folding stove?
     
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  12. PeteA

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    Hey Zelph,

    So that stove is a regular sterno can emptied and you added a wick and a fill spout and converted it to an alcohol burner? Nice idea!
     
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  13. Spork

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    Yep, for me it is due to fire restrictions. I'd much rather use a Trangia...but only canister gas, pressurized liquid fuel and Sterno is allowed. Esbit is not specifically mentioned or banned. I like to think there was someone at Sterno that noted this and developed the Inferno. I'm kind of surprised stove DIY'ers haven't come up with designs that optimize the use of gel fuel.

    Here's one I played with a while back...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. zelph

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    Gelled fuel was always too slow to boil 2 cups and was only able to boil 2 cups three times with one can of Sterno gelled fuel.
     
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  15. zelph

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    Thanks PeteA I could use that design for alcohol, chaffing fuel and kerosene. I like chaffing fuel, burns at a constant rate.
     
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  16. Spork

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    The problem is not really with the fuel...it is the can. I can burn gel in an open cup and it will boil water in a reasonable amount of time just like liquid alcohol in the same cup. At one time Sterno sold a kit with a "heat intensifier". I think it was a tube with a smaller diameter than the opening of the can. It sat partially below the top of the can and left a gap around it which supposedly left a path for fresh oxygen to enter. I don't know how effective it was, but it seems like the right ideal. The can as it is basically acts like a simmer ring.
     
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  17. Hmm

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    Yes the silver folding stove, I had a break in work today & checked the Lake Roosevelt site and there is a fire ban in effect. I have seen the heat intensifier videos on Hiram Cook's channel and I found them very interesting. He has many videos using Sterno and many other things. I am afraid that I may be addicted to watching water boil now...ah well, better that than other things. I am planning to have my tests completed hopefully before Sunday. The "mod" to the folding stove probably isn't even technically a mod. More of an accessory. I found someone else who has done it on a board I couldn't remember if you put a gun to my head. I want to see firsthand if the results duplicate. I need to borrow/ buy a scale so that if the results do duplicate I can compare fuel usage. I would like to know the story behind the inferno as well. One thing about the inferno, from Hiram's boil test if memory serves it DIDN'T use much fuel to boil 2 cups. I cobbled together a potstand/windcreen out of an oyster tin and used it to boil some water for Ramen on a campout recently. Talk about cobbled it's like a blind man did it. It did work although I didn't time anything. I brought my can stove but left my alcohol sitting at home and bought a Sterno Ethanol canister in a gas station. Wow I just wrote a novel.
     
  18. Hmm

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    By the way I think the idea of putting holes around the tuna can and then putting the gel fuel in was very clever!
     
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  19. zelph

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    Is there a residue left using the green gelled fuel?

    I've paired up the Inferno with an alcohol burner that holds 3 ounces of denatured alchy, has a lid to retain unused fuel. Fuel is suspended, won't spill out. I got rid of the ill fitting red plastic lid and replaced with an aluminum one. Will be doing some test boils in the next few days to test the heat exchanger fins on the cup. I like how the pot support acts as a windscreen to protect flames coming off the burner.

    DSCF3634.JPG
     
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  20. LarryB

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    Wow! Bacon with sterno stuff. Whoda thunk it? Thanks bud. :) lb
     
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  21. Spork

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    There is a slight residue about the same as Sterno.
     
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  22. zelph

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    I agree about the can being the problem. 1st 2 cups to boil works fine, the next 2 cups a lot slower and then comes the 3rd and final slow as you go boil. During the 3rd boil, the gel is way at the bottom of the can being deprived of oxygen. I'ts why I opted to use alcohol with my sterno stoves. My first choice is to use wood/twigs :) I now have 2 dedicated folding aluminum stoves, one for alchy and one for wood. I still have some testing to do on the Inferno using the denatured alcohol.
     
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  23. Hmm

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    are you using the 7 or 2.5 oz cans?
     
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  24. Hmm

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    Did the bacon over Sterno thing take longer than it would have on the aluminium folder? Have you tried cooking bacon on the aluminum folder?
     
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  25. Spork

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    The heat output would have been the same. What I noticed was that it seemed to take a bit longer for the pan to get to heat and the fat to turn translucent. A few extra seconds for bacon...who is going to complain? :D

    The pan I'm using is an Imusa Egg pan, it is thin and lightweight and comes with a lid - https://www.amazon.com/Imusa-Egg-Pan-Orange-6-3/dp/B00KO41XZS
     
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  26. Hmm

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    20170723_122408.jpg Here is the mod/accessory I was posting about... I put aluminum foil around the top of the stove so that the diameter was just smaller than the stansport stainless steel backpacking /camping pot that I used for the test. If you want to try this and your pot fills up most of the top of the stove as mine did, I suggest just cutting some inch, inch and a half strips of foil and attaching them where they are needed. I shot a video of my test but there was no sound, maybe it's because I used headphones as it was mildly breezy. Test results:
    Boil time- between 12-13 minutes as my tablet didn't have a stopwatch function and I wanted to use my Galaxy Note 3 for its much better video resolution.

    Water-2 cups from the tap that had gone to ambient temperature. I started the test at 12:38 today it was 78 degrees. According to my phone, when the boil was achieved at 12:52, it was 87 and when I capped the Sterno at 1:05, it was 91 according to said phone.

    Fuel- My kitchen scale indicated that just over one ounce was used during the whole time. The can was brand new with a weight of 8 1/4 ounces, and was between 7 and 7 1/4 when I was done.

    After the test portion I made some MSG free Ramen after all, a boil is a sad thing to waste!

    So, it almost sounds like comparable performance to the Inferno!?!

    If there are any questions I would be happy to answer them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017 at 6:59 PM
  27. zelph

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    Hmm, was it 2 cups that you boiled?

    Would you prefer the ease of set-up of the inferno?

    Your mod is an effective windscreen for the fuel can but left the pot exposed to the breeze. Had you left the aluminum of the top it may have provided some heat up the side for more transfer to pot.
     
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  28. Hmm

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    Ugh I just lost my whole typed out reply! !! Here goes #2...

    Yes it was 2 cups which I didn't get from my brain through my phone to the post, I have fixed that. Thanks for catching it!

    I am looking forward to playing with the Inferno. If memory serves in Hiram Cook's video it was fairly efficient. There is an Amazon reviewer who uses other pots with it as well with a Fox Run stove ring and says that it is the best stove he has ever had or used, something like that, anyway it got me curious and now I own one. I have an idea for an inexpensive and impermanent adaptation that I saw in a Jetboil video that may work as well...but might be a little hard on the red paint. It's packability is excellent. I have some misgivings about how hard it might be to snuff out one of my homemade alcohol stoves in it though.

    After a pretty exhaustive perusing of the net regarding the folder and it's performance with its intended fuel 17+minutes (emphasis on the +) for two cups seemed to be the standard. I had given up on doing better. But when I ran across the post where the person got it quite a bit down from 17 I had to try. The mod was how it was described in that post. I did kind of make sure to bend the edges of the foil that went under the edges of the pot down so that there hopefully would still be a good "draw" to keep that air moving, and if it moved up the sides and gave heat that was fine by me. I didn't realize until I got it on there how much of the surface my pot by itself covers. I may try an extended foil cover that goes up the pot as well in the future as I have plenty of it.

    I have been to your website and can't imagine how the Starlyte couldn't pass any fair test as far as being ok to use in any burn ban that isn't literally a total burn ban:). I hope that answered your questions, if not please keep asking.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017 at 7:56 PM
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  29. zelph

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    Good answers, thank you. :)

    How would the Fox Run stove ring be used with the Inferno? Just lay it on top and hope for the best? The best thing about the inferno is the pot, and the pot support being second.

    The Starlyte burners are widely used out west where fire bans are common. Park rangers really like the fact that there is no chance of fuel spill. I designed a large one with a "slide valve" but it has a design flaw that allows users to pop the slide bracket off when they try to modify it. There are a lot of modifiers out there ;-) me included LOL
     
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  30. Hmm

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    Yes I remember the slide valve. I thought that was one of your neatest stoves. Oh so people using your Starlytes aren't being told that they have to stop like say, Trangia users would be? Interesting.

    The gentleman who uses the Fox Run stove ring uses it as an adapter to use other pots with the Inferno. I have seen it on Amazon and I am thinking that one advantage that it would have over say the hardware cloth is that it might have some small windblown potential for directly horizontal breezes. I agree that the pot is one of if not the main benefit. Incidentally, does the anodizing on the bumps in the actual cook pot look worn on yours? I would be tempted to use other pots possibly on it once in a while if I could easily. I might want to cook less liquid food once in a while and while the Inferno's pot isn't as deep as a Jetboil's, I dunno about doing an egg in there. Hard boiled doesn't count.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017 at 11:28 PM
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  31. Hmm

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    I am probably going to repeat my burn also at some point. I just looked up and saw that the time was 12:52, as hard as things were boiling I may have been a minute or so late.
     
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  32. Hmm

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    You set another type of pot on it , with it being on top of the potstand/windscreen but not in any of the notches. I am just thinking g that it might be nice to be able to use some of my other pots/pans with the Inferno as he did. Cook up some non liquid food sometimes without having to bring a whole other stove.

    I remember the Starlyte with the slide valve, I enquired about buying one. That is so great that your stoves are being allowed when the Rangers get to actually see them.
     
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  33. Spork

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    I like the ideal of a windscreen for the Sterno folder...reminds me that I have an old Olicamp pot that actually has a permanent windscreen/heat exchanger. I'll have to dig it out and do a run with that. I also wonder how an MSR heat exchanger would work with Sterno.
     
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  34. Hmm

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    I should say that the pot I tested the folder with the foil with was just a Stansport small pot. It had no heat exchanger.
     
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  35. Spork

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    This is the Olicamp pot....it's about 1.3L stainless with an aluminum windscreen/heat exchanger permanently attached to the rim. There is about a 1/4" gap between the walls. I decided it wouldn't work well on the folding stove because the windscreen extends more than an inch below the bottom of the pot.

    I used a Critter CR2 stand with a small can of Sterno. I got 212F in 15:25...not a very vigorous boil but it got up to temp. Both of the small cans that I had on hand had both developed small rust pinholes...and when I opened them, half the contents had evaporated. I consolidated what was left in one can and topped off with some chafing gel. I suspect what I had wasn't burning at full potential.

    I made another run using my sink drainer stove with a large can of gel...212F at 11:33 for 16oz...much better!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  36. Hmm

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    That's great! Did you weigh the can before and after?
     
  37. Spork

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    No I did not

    This experiment was kind of a fail...even with the smaller pot, most of the heat exchanger hung over the top of the stove. I got 212F at 14:35 with the exchanger...12:17 without. I think the added mass was acting as more of a heat sink.

    [​IMG]
     
  38. Hmm

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    11:33 sounds excellent to me! 12:17 with the folder is still a very substantial improvement as well.
     

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