Best Alcohol Stoves For Camping And Backpacking In 2020


When we were asked what we thought were the best alcohol stoves for camping and backpacking we had to do a little research. In order to tell someone which item is going to meet their needs and give them the best service, you have to investigate, research, and be personally familiar with the item.

We asked a group of people who were hikers, campers, hunters, and outdoor enthusiasts to try a few of these devices and tell us which ones they liked the most. When the panel gave us their suggestions, we then tried each one ourselves to discover which were the easiest to use, the most convenient, and the most effective. 



1. Solo Stove Alcohol Burner

This Solo alcohol burner is convenient to have with you when you are staying in remote locations.

It is lightweight and easy to carry, it has a twist on cap on the fuel storage section with a rubber seal that stops leakage, and it has a brass burner and a simmer ring.

You can bring your water to a boil for coffee or tea faster, and you can adjust the flame to a low setting so you do not scorch your soup.

The twist-on lid over the fuel serves to make the item handy to carry with you. It also allows you to extinguish the flame once your food has reached the warmth you desire. You do not have to allow the unit to burn all of the fuel it holds to extinguish the flame. You can simply twist the cap and shut the air off to the fire and that will put the fire out. Do not load this back into your backpack until it has had time to cool off.

It weighs just 3.5-ounces so it will not add any additional weight to your items. It is very small and does not take up a lot of room. It can be powered by denatured alcohol or methylated spirits. It is made of brass so it is very durable.


2. Esbit CS985HA Brass Alcohol Burner Stove

This Esbit alcohol burning appliance comes with the cooking vessels that you need to make this item work the most efficiently.

You will get the solid fuel base that keeps the fuel burner from being unstable or making contact with a surface and damaging the surface.

You get the alcohol burner that is crafted from solid brass so it is durable and can withstand the high temperatures of the burning alcohol. You get two cooking pots made of anodized aluminum so they are durable and useful. 

You also get a mesh carry bag that you can put all of the components in so they do not get lost and are easy to carry with you.

The alcohol burner in this set has a screw top to seal the fuel inside. You can store your fuel in the burner and do not have to have an extra container of fuel when you travel. The container seals tightly so you can leave fuel stored in it for long periods of time and no evaporation will occur.

This is easy to use and safe to carry a device that will make your next camping trip more enjoyable.


3. Lixada Titanium Ultralight Portable Liquid Alcohol Stove

The Lixada Titanium alcohol stove comes with a cross stand to create a stable place for your cooking vessel to rest.

It is made from titanium so it is rugged and can take the punishment of being carried in a backpack and used in the outdoor settings.

It is durable and reliable and will be ready for you to use over and over again for many years.

Titanium is lighter than many of the other metals used to create alcohol burning stoves. 

This unit weighs less than 2-ounces and comes with the alcohol stove, the stabilizing stove rack and a storage sack to protect it and keep the components together while you travel.

It is a fuel-efficient device that only requires about 30 ml of fuel to boil 2-liters of water. The fuel compartment can hold about 60 ml of fuel. If you establish a windscreen the little burner will use even less fuel.

You will find this unit perfect for small pots and for cups. You can quickly heat your coffee or tea, or anything else you have along with you. The unit is most efficient when fueled by denatured alcohol.


4. Keweis Portable Outdoor Mini Alcohol Stove

The Keweis portable outdoor mini alcohol stove burner is an efficient cooking appliance that uses very little fuel to create a hot meal.

It has variable temperature control so you do not waste as much fuel and do not burn as much food.

The fuel is sealed in a compartment of the stove that has a rubber o-ring making the compartment seal completely. 

This o-ring seal stops the fuel from leaking from the stove, and it allows you to carry the stove with fuel already inside it. There is a convenient handle that can be used to shut the compartment if you wish to extinguish the flame from the stove.

This is an aluminum alloy device that will not rust or succumb to degrading because of exposure to elements like wind or rain. You do want to build a windbreak around the unit to help the fuel burn more efficiently and stop the wind from blowing out your flame. The device has combustion holes positioned around the sides of the unit so when you set the pot on top of it the stove is pressurized and uses fuel more effectively.


5. Lixada Camping Stove Stainless Steel Folding Wood Stove

The Lixada camping stove is a folding stainless-steel device that you can use to burn wood and cook your food over wood. It comes with an alcohol burner for the times you need the fire to get hot fast, or when dry wood to fuel the fire is not available. 

The unit provides you with a stable and secure place to set your cooking vessel so you can create a meal using twigs that you find as a source of fuel. 

You do not have to carry any external fuel with you so there is not a danger of spilling fuel in your backpack and the weight of the items you carry is reduced. It burns natural wood so it does not produce carbon monoxide or foul odors.

You do not need batteries or anything extra to use this device. It does have an alcohol burner that can be carried and placed inside the folding stainless-steel section so you can make a quickfire that is hot enough to boil water in just a couple of seconds.

It is versatile, lightweight, durable, and lets you use natural sources of fuel so you do not harm the environment you are in. It is easy to assemble and even easier to use.


6. Alocs Portable Camping Stove

The Alocs camping cookware and portable camping stove combination set provide you with a two-liter cooking vessel to prepare your food in.

It also comes with a windshield that protects the flame and allows your burner to work more efficiently on less fuel.

You can use this unit to create enough food or beverage for two or three campers at one time. It is perfect for outings with friends or family.

With this set, you will get the alcohol burner needed to create the fire source, and two cooking pots along with a frying pan, a lid for the pots, a pot gripper so you do not burn your hands, a stand to make the device stable and safe, and the windbreak and mesh bag to carry all of the supplies in.

This item is fueled by butane cylinders and requires proper ventilation while it is in use. Never use this burning unit inside your tent and do not leave it unattended around pets or small children. It does get hot on the surface when in use so give it ample time to cool before picking it up or packing it back up.


7. TOAKS Titanium Siphon Alcohol Stove

TOAKS titanium alcohol stove is as tough as they come. Titanium is a rugged material that is durable and will last for many years.

It does not succumb to corrosion or rust and is perfect for use outdoors in camping, hiking, or other scenarios.

This device can hold as much as 88 ml of alcohol fuel, but the manufacturer suggests that you put no more than 50 ml in it at one time.

They also suggest that you do not use less than 30 ml of fuel at one time. You get the advantage of a lightweight cooking stove that can be carried anywhere you go. It is a stable device that is effective at heating your food and beverages quickly on very little amounts of fuel.

The jet ports to the burner are inside the top ring of the device so you can use it without an extra stand.


8. Out-d Stainless Steel Alcohol Stove

This camping stove is a stainless-steel unit that will not rust, corrode, or succumb to the harsh elements that it may be exposed to while you are camping, hiking, boating, hunting, or picnicking in the outdoors.

It uses alcohol for fuel so it does not produce a lot of smoke or a foul odor.

This is an alcohol burning device and it works very well with denatured alcohol, heat fuel, and 190 proof liquor. It does not burn as effectively if you fuel it with rubbing alcohol.

This is a fast heating appliance that can bring 16-ounces of water to a rapid boil in six minutes or less. This stove does have a lid or top, but that lid is designed to help you extinguish the flame if you have more fuel in it than you need, but it is not designed to seal in such a manner that you can carry or store your fuel inside it.

The legs on the unit are spring-loaded so they are easy to fold and unfold. The legs create a stable surface for the device and keep it from sitting on top of the ground or creating damage to the surface area it is sitting on.


How to Choose the Best Alcohol Stoves? 


If you like the outdoors but want to have a way to cook your meals instead of living off of crackers, chips and cold sandwiches then you might be considering the purchase of an alcohol fuel stove that you can carry with you. These devices are light, simple to use, and usually simple to maintain. Before you buy a stove like this familiarize yourself with common features, and then you will be equipped and prepared to choose the best device for your needs.

Style of Stove

One of the biggest considerations you will have about these appliances is what style of unit to buy. There are 6 basic categories of stoves and all of the categories have a few advantages and disadvantages. Pressurize Jet devices use their fuel more economically but are more difficult to light.

  • Side-burning jet stoves do not require a pot stand, but they do not simmer very well.
  • Open jet alternatives are heavier than other stove styles but they are great for small pots and they have simmering options.
  • Low-pressure side-burning devices do not require a pot stand, are simple to use, and are very dependable.
  • Chimney stoves are heavier than many of the other stoves but they have a great heat output.
  • Open flame stoves are not very efficient but they are simple and can be made out of things you may already have on hand.

Fuel Source

Some of these stoves can use a wide variety of alcohols for fuel and some of them require specialized alcohol. Pay attention to what fuel the stove you are considering will require.

Burner Size

These appliances can come in varieties that are so small they weigh less than one ounce. They can also come in larger styles that can accommodate larger pots and heat more food at one time.

Weight

The weight of the item will be determined by the size of the stove and the materials it is made from. If you are backpacking or will be carrying the device with you while you hike you want to get the lightest possible unit.


Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is the best fuel for alcohol stoves?

When selecting fuel for an alcohol stove you can use 200 proof absolute ethanol or lab grade ethanol. You can also use 190 proof liquor, denatured alcohol, or methanol. The very best fuel you can use is the products that are specifically manufactured and packaged for use in these appliances.

2. How hot are marine alcohol stoves?

The exact temperature that these appliance reach will depend on the height of the flame and the fuel used to create the flame. Ethanol can reach a peak temperature of 1,920 degrees and methanol can reach a peak temperature of 1,870 degrees. Of course, your stove is not going to reach peak temperatures, but they will get very hot in a short period of time.

3. What type of fuel for alcohol stoves?

There are several different alcohols that can be used solely or as a combined mixture in these stoves. Ethanol (190 proof liquor), Methanol, Denatured alcohol, and Isopropyl alcohol are all frequently used in these devices.

4. How much do alcohol stoves weigh?

The standard alcohol stove will weigh less than one ounce. Large alcohol stoves may weigh as much as 5-ounces. The weight is determined by the size of the stove and the stand that is used with the device.

5. Why do boats use alcohol stoves?

Alcohol stoves are used on boats because alcohol is a relatively safe fuel that does not have a tendency to explode. The fire created by the fuels that power these stoves can be extinguished using water.

6. Are alcohol stoves any good?

Alcohol stoves are safe, efficient, and effective ways to heat food. They are light, small, easy to transport and most campers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts love having these devices with them.

7. Can you use rubbing alcohol in an alcohol stove?

The short answer to this question is yes you can. The longer answer is that to operate an alcohol stove on this fuel you have to buy a higher grade of alcohol, the 50% grade will not suffice. You will also have better results if you use a device that is specifically designed to burn that alcohol.


Safety Tips for Using an Alcohol Stove


Whenever you use anything that creates a heat source there are safety precautions you should take to prevent injury and make sure your experience is a positive one. The following safety tips will keep you safe and make sure you enjoy your cooking on an alcohol stove more.

  • These stoves are designed to be used outdoors not indoors. Remember this and make sure you cook outdoors in a well-ventilated area.
  • Do not try to move the stove after you have lit it. They get very hot and they can cause a contact burn to your skin or clothing.
  • Always set the stove up on a level surface.
  • Set the stove up on top of a rock or on top of bare ground that has been cleared of flammable leaf matter and debris.
  • Always allow any excess fuel to burn out completely and do not try to put the fire out and conserve fuel.
  • Never try to add more fuel to a burning stove. Always wait to refuel until the stove has cooled enough that you can comfortably hold it in your bare hand for a minimum of ten seconds.
  • Never use one of these devices inside a tent. If the unit is tipped over it can quickly cause the tent to burn.
  • Always stabilize the pot when you are stirring so you do not turn the stove and pot over.
  • Plan how much cooking time you need and try not to over-fill your stove. Put just enough alcohol in it to cook your meal.
  • Do not try to use the device in high winds.
  • When refueling your stove pour the fuel into a small measuring device and then into the stove. Do not try to refuel the stove by pouring fuel directly from the large fuel container.

Types of Alcohol Stoves


Alcohol stoves all use alcohol for fuel but they differ greatly in style and design. These units can be divided into 6 categories.

Open Flame Devices

These are the simplest forms of alcohol stoves. You can create one of these devices with something as common as a can that you get cat food or tuna fish in. Manufactured varieties of this open-flame style will have wicks made of non-flammable materials. They are safe, effective, and relatively inexpensive.

Chimney or Updraft Units

These stoves are designed so that air is sucked in by an updraft to create an air and fuel mixture that can burn hotter, and burn for a longer period of time. They are not much more complicated than the open flame versions, they are just altered so that they make the best use of the air and fuel and create an adjustable heat output.

Low-Pressure Side-burning devices

These devices work in the same manner as the updraft stoves except when you set the cooking vessel on top of them, they turn into a pressurized unit that can be used without a pot stand. This is accomplished through a series of strategically placed holes that provide the exact amount of ventilation the device requires.

Open Jet Appliances

These appliances are a little more complicated. They vaporize the alcohol fuel and create a burner that resembles the burner on your gas range at home. Generally, with these devices, you pour the fuel into the center of the unit and then light it. The fuel is dispersed through the small openings and an adjustable flame is created.

Side-burning Jet Hybrids

These little stoves are open jet style but the jest that the flames shoot out of are on the side not the top of the device. When you set the cooking vessel on top of the fuel canister it will seal the center section of the canister off and create a pressurized system.

Jet appliances that are pressurized

These stoves have fuel containers that screw onto them and are sealed off. They do not require you to have a pot stand before you can cook and they waste less fuel than the other stove varieties. They can be more difficult to light though and they do not allow the food in the pot to simmer they produce a hot fire.


Final Note


If you would like a lightweight stove made from aluminum, that has a sealable fuel tank that is protected by an o-ring then we recommend the Kewis alcohol stove burner. It is very light, it is extremely efficient, and it is durable.

If you would prefer a stove that gave you an option of burning wood or alcohol as a back-up fuel then we suggest the Lixada camping stove that is a stainless-steel folding stove that burns wood but comes with an alcohol burner for emergency situations.

Vernon Scott
 

Vernon is the founder of this cool ( read HOT! ) website. He's superbly experienced on heating technologies as well as having clear ideas about modern heating appliances. Vernon has called him " I am a hot ( this time read COOL! ) guy!"

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