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