In the past, I have written a blog on the Esbit Alcohol stove, today I have experimented with the alcohol cook set that is made by Esbit. This consists of the alcohol stove, a windscreen and a cook pot and lid that hold about 3 and ½ cups. The burner and screen fit inside of the cook pot for storage, with a bit of extra room that could hold a small bottle of alcohol. The unit fits inside of a mesh bag that is included. The whole unit weights 14.5 ounces.
The stove burns denatured alcohol or methanol. Denatured Alcohol is easy to find and cheaper to use than methanol or high proof drinking alcohol. Denatured alcohol can be purchased at most hardware stores.
I have used and like the automotive fuel line de-icer Heet. It is pure methanol, burns clean with little soot and is available from automotive parts stores. Prices range from around two and a half dollars for the 12 ounce bottle to as little as 80 cents each in quantity or on sale. According to the Heet website, it is available from Wal-Mart, AutoZone, Murray’s, Menard’s, Meijer’s, Kmart, NAPA, Walgreen’s, Pep Boys, ShopKo, Ace Hardware, True Value Hardware, Mills, Fleet Farm, Target, Carquest, O’Reilly’s, Fred Meyer, and Blain’s.
Warning, do not try to use gasoline, white gas or Coleman fluid in one of these stoves.
I took the stove outside this afternoon and put it through its paces. Today the outside temperature is about 55 degrees and sunny with no wind. The cup was filled with 3 cups of cold water and placed on the already lit stove. I timed how long it took the water to start boiling. It took just a little over 4 minutes. This surprised me and seems quite fast. I think there are two factors that make it this efficient, the design of the heat shield and the heat exchangers on the bottom of the cup.
Anyway, after playing with it for a while I really like it. It used only a small amount of fuel, is lightweight and quite compact. The only change I would make, is I would like it in stainless steel, instead of anodized aluminum.
The stove is available with several configurations of the cook set. The prices seem to vary from around $30 to $60.
I recommend It. Howard
1 thought on “A Review of the Esbit Alcohol Stove and Cook Set”
I think in editing you lost the word “OR” between methyl and high proof drinking alcohol.
Methyl alcohol is toxic.
Ethyl alcohol is the product used in drinking spirits, as an additive to gasoline and in formulating medicines, etc.
While the highest proof alcohol is the efficient as a stove or motor fuel, you do not want to drink it without dilution! Drinking spirits are generally about 40% alcohol by volume (ABV). Spirit labeling is derived from the British Royal Navy method of treating Jamaica rum in the naval victualling yards before it was issued to the warships. Rum used to arrive in England at 140 degrees overproof (70% ABV) after which it was reduced to 95.5 degrees underproof by having water added to it. A small amount of the mixture was then poured over a charge black priming gunpowder and a magnifying glass was used to ignite it from sunlight. If the burning alcohol managed to stay alight then it was said to be “proof”. And if it didn’t light, then it was underproof. If the blackpowder and rum exploded together it was deemed “overproof.”
Proof spirits today are legally defined as that which has a specific gravity of 12/13 (92.3 percent) at 51ºF, and of course they don’t do the gunpowder/magnifying glass test any more.