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Always Loaded
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I recently scored a whole case of Sterno cans for a great price. 48 cans for $30. The best price I've seen locally is $3 apiece, so I think I did well. Now I am trying to decide if I can really make use of them all. I already stock a lot of propane and kerosene for fuel and cooking. Does Stero have any advantages over these? I figure I can sell half of them and make my money back if I choose to. To keep or not to keep.
 

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I am pretty sure it is just a gelled alcohol fuel so it could evaporate since the cans are not completely 100% air tight. I have kept one in an ammo can survival kit I made about 10 years ago when I was a kid and it still seems to be in good shape, though the kit does smell like sterno when you open it lol
 

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Pirate for Hire
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Without knowing the type of area or housing you have, it would be difficult to offer any worthwhile advice. However, if your live in an urban apartment setting, I'd lean on keeping them even though stereo would be my least favorite cooking source.

If your in the burbs or country, sell'em.
 

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I would not rely on sterno as a heat source for cooking.

1. It is cost prohibitive for the amount of fuel it contains. You would likely be better off price wise with any liquid fuel stove/burner.
2. It is meant for chafing dishes to keep food warm over a period of time, not so much for cooking food and boiling water. It could serve the purpose if need be, but the airflow isn't the greatest and it doesn't keep a very hot flame.

That being said, I keep a few cans around for when I'm in the mood for roasted marshmallows/smores since we have an electric stove.

For emergency cooking I like the coleman dual-fuel.
 

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Ephemerally here
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Yeah, Weigh them - if not PERFECTLY Sealed, the alcohol leaves. Old stock may just be some weird cans, useless, just when you need them.
 

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Capability, not scenarios
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I don't stock it but if I'd have had a chance to get 48 cans for $30 I would have jumped all over that as well.

A single sterno can isn't likely to be all that helpful for cooking (maybe boil a small container of water), but gang up 2 or 3 of them and there you are.
 

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Bought the stove & a couple of cans of sterno a month or so ago just as another backup for cooking. Haven't tried it yet for cooking. Have a Coleman stove that uses regular gasoline and the small propane bottles. Also have a stove that uses denatured/rubbing alcohol as fuel. The Coleman gasoline using stove is my primary stove, but just like having different backups and also being easier to pack with me if need be.
 

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Goose is right, for that price I would have jumped on it, I wonder if you put the cans in good ziplock bags if it would store longer.

This whole sterno thing got me thinking, we spend so much time thinking about pure raw survival that we forget in a long term survival situation, people will still want to keep some special times of "normality" like a large hot holiday dinner, things like this could be a big help to that, if you can figure out how to store it.
 

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Kibitzer
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I would not rely on sterno as a heat source for cooking.
Depends on what you're cooking, fry an egg or spam slice, sure.
Fried chicken, no.

Heat up canned soups or stews, go for it.
Ramen noodles in GI canteen cup, you bet.

Heat up water for your MH meal, coffee, tea, hot cocoa, yep.
Boil water? Sure, as long as it's two cups in covered pot/cup.
Boil a gallon of water in big pot, no.

Wish they would make a new cook book:
 

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Apprentice Geezer
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I am not a fan of Sterno, though I do still have most of a case of gelled alcohol for fake fireplaces (It was given to me).

I cook on;
The kitchen stove
The Coleman 2 burner propane camp stove (with 10 or 20 pound propane tank)
The Svea 123r backpacking stove
The emberlit found fuel stove
a camp fire

I bake in;
the kitchen stove
the solar oven
the dutch oven

A teaspoon of gelled alcohol is good for starting camp fires though.

Enjoy!
 

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Banned
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You've already bought 'em, use 'em up. I find they dryout. When you open the can you find a hard, dry, purple puck if you've had them long...
 

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Proud Army Vet!
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I recently scored a whole case of Sterno cans for a great price. 48 cans for $30. The best price I've seen locally is $3 apiece, so I think I did well. Now I am trying to decide if I can really make use of them all. I already stock a lot of propane and kerosene for fuel and cooking. Does Stero have any advantages over these? I figure I can sell half of them and make my money back if I choose to. To keep or not to keep.
WOW! 48 cans for $30 is a fantastic deal. I agree with others. I wouldn't reccommend them as a primary cooking option, but for that price there's no reason not to get them.
Since you already have them there is no harm in either keeping them at your BOL or keeping them at home for bug-in situations. I live an apartment with my BOL about an hour away. I have a few sternos at my apt for bugging in if necessary.

Long story short I wouldn't keep them in my BOB, but extra cooking options are always good!
 

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Proverbs 26:4
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I have some but not a lot. It is my "plan d" in cooking preps. But I also have the chafing dishes to use them. My thinking is to use them to reheat or keep food hot. Not to actually cook with. I think that would be too slow and maybe not hot enough for some things.

But you did get a good deal on them and I would jump on it if found a deal that!
 

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Knowledge is Power
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Yes for several reasons.

1. The flame produce by it is not bright and will not ruin your night vision.

2. It works perfectly for warming canned food and doesn't produce a lot of smell

In a survival situation it may be the difference between life/death especially in an urban situation, meaning that if you are trying to keep a relatively low profile for whatever reason it provides advantages albeit short term over, say, a wood stove, a gas burner, or a charcoal grill.

I personally keep a few cans on standby for this very reason. there are better options out there but none that I can think of in the price range.

Just remember that it is better to have the option especially for such a cheap price than not have it and wish you did.
 

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Always Loaded
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Discussion Starter #17
I think I'm going to sell 20-30, add the funds back to other preps, and save the rest. I plan to keep a couple in the get-home pack in the car an in the B.O.B. Will split the rest between my home and the B.O.L. If nothing else, they will make great barter items. For someone who isn't prepared, they would be very usefull. I've never heard of them drying out, but I'm sure it's possible. I've had a single can in the car for the last 3 years, through all seasons, and it's still perfect. Will probably try to store them in something airtight just to be safe.
 

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It was a godsend after Katrina, for boiling water for COFFEE!! I keep some, and a supply of freeze-dry food, since my most likely disaster event is hurricane and power loss. I also have just bought a solar oven, but it's rained Every.Single.Day. since I got it.
 
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