Kerosene Cooking Stoves

Single-burner Butterfly stove-The glass bottle holds the kerosene and feeds the stove by gravity.

Kerosene stoves are commonly used in many third world African and Asian countries.  The brand that I have is the Butterfly stove from Malaysia.  It is inexpensive, reliable, and readily available.  A company that I have dealt with and found reliable is St Paul Mercantile (a link to their site is located on the right side of this blog shown as Family Preparedness Kit).  The Butterfly stove is available in one and three burner models.  The single burner model will run for approximately 12 hours on a half gallon of fuel.  The wicks are easily changed and are good for up to six months.

Ten gallons of kerosene would provide you with approximately 240 hours of cooking on a one-burner stove.  Depending on your climate, if you share the cooking with a solar oven on sunny days, you could cook for a year with a relatively small amount of kerosene 10 to 20 gallons.

2 burner Butterfly Stove with stand

There are several versions of the stove with different wick designs. I have the original design which uses about 25% less fuel than the later models.  This version currently sells for about $65.00 for a one-burner model.  With just the two of us, we have the one burner model; other members of my family with children have the two-burner model.  These have proved to be very practical stoves and I really like them.


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12 Responses to Kerosene Cooking Stoves

  1. Hangtown Frank says:

    The trouble I’ve had with kerosene is that it goes bad (gum & varnish) after long periods of storage. How do you prevent this??

  2. admin says:

    As long as it is kept out of direct sunlight, I have never had any problems with it. I will do a bit of research and if I find any information I will post it.

  3. Laurie says:

    I have never used kerosene so pardon my curiosity. Is this your primary cook stove? If so why do you favor kerosene as a fuel for cooking? Is it a much cheaper alternative or something else? I don’t even know where one buys kerosene. I have never seen it for sale but maybe that’s because I wasn’t looking! Thanks for your site.

    • admin says:

      This is one of the stove I have for an emergency. I also have a Coleman propane stove and several small wood stoves. I like kerosene because it stores well and the stove are inexpensive and reliable. Kerosene is often sold under the name lamp oil. Petroleum distributors usually have it in five gallon cans, also check your local hardware stores.

      • Norm says:

        If you use it sparingly, kerosene can be an inexpensive way to cook. I had used kerosene for house warming but when I started it cost about $2.37/gal USD bulk. Now it’s upwards of $6.00/gal bulk, Home Depot has it for about $7.50/gal.
        I don’t use it anymore for heating units that use large amounts. I have a camp stove from Primus that can use Diesel, kerosene, or white gas, that works quite well.

  4. KE4SKY says:

    Kerosene is the fuel of choice throughout the Third World. When deployed to the armpit of the world, someplace like Haiti, you can fill your Jerricans with the JP8 preflight drainings from the C130 Hercules that brought you in from Beaufort, SC and have heat and light! In SE Asia, Africa, South Pacific, Jet-A or JP8 is the only fuel that arrives by the Big Bird From Heaven!

  5. Wyam says:

    “Butterfly Kerosene Stoves” are the best and most reliable. I am not saying this because I am from Malaysia and my familiy including many other families living in South Asia as well as South East Asia have been using kerosene stoves as far back as the 1900s. We have used many different types but the best performing kerosene stoves are those made in India or Malaysia, a technology brought in by the British who ruled these parts of Asia since World War 1. Do not fall for those from other parts of Asia as they are probably cheaper but suffers terribly in terms of quality and “SAFETY”. We know from experience, take my word for it.

    Another point is never store kerosene in any kind of plastic containers as it can become “gummy” after 2-3 months. Metal cans are the best. Practice “first-in first-out” consumption of your stock by using it to light up your wood fired BBQ or bonfire. Keep a stock of wicks as the wick will fall apart during long periods of storage even after using the stove once as the kerosene will soften the wick.

    As kerosene has an odour which is heavier than gasoline or other fuels, wear rubber gloves when handling it and wash off with soap and reuse the stained rubber gloves. Keep a pair of rubber gloves near your cache.

  6. I would like to know the address to order this one burner stove and the price. It has a glass bottle I would also like to get extra wicks for it. I am in the Seattle area Thank You,
    Vernnena, Please reply.

  7. Tony says:

    I was raised in a third word country. Our only and primary cooking stove was a Prabath Kerosine stove No.1. It took a few drops of alcohol to heat the head, Than a few pumps and we had a roaring stove all morning. We cooked all our meals on this one stove. It takes less than 15 seconds to start it. We used it for 15 years until it was replaced by a propane stove. Very safe. We never had any issues of safety with it. You have to wait for it to cool before opening the reservoir to add kerosene. I will use in case of emergency for sure.

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