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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's more efficient in terms of size, weight, heating capacity, etc?

The Sterno is supposed to last for 2 hours of constant use. It weighs 7oz. and a little shorter, but the diameter is nearly identical. Not much space is saved with the stove vs. the Sterno. The stove w/o alcohol weighs around 5oz.

With the stove, you'd have to carry a container of alcohol, thus taking up more space.

The Sterno, once empty, can probably be reused with alcohol or as a storage container.
 

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I've found the Sterno to be the better choice. Primarily due to the fact that it saves space. Figure 1 can of Sterno vs 1 alcohol stove and one bottle of alcohol. Also safety... cap pops off a Sterno can, chances are it wont budge unless it's squashed, cap falls off an alcohol can, you risk being turned into a crispy-fried marshmallow replica. Also Sterno, by a fuel consumption rate seems to be more economical, a small alcohol stove (like the brass military surplus kind) tend to burn for about 20 min depending on how full they are, how windy it is, outside temp, humidity all play a factor. Then you have to worry about tipping over the lit stove... even an unlit one can cause a flash fire if tipped. With a Sterno, you just nudge it back into an upright position and hope you didn't burn anything. Also with alcohol stoves, once you're done, you either have to let the extra fuel burn away, or try to put it out by replacing stove cap, then you have another container with fuel that can be spilled aside from your original fuel container. with Sterno, just set the cap over the opening and wait for it to cool down. So I'm sure by now it's pretty obvious that my opinion is, Sterno is the way to go.
 

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dum dum
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I prefer denatured alcohol. My pepsi-can stove burns much hotter; it actually has JETS and boils a cup of water much faster than the sterno, and is less likely to blow out. I DO like that the jelled alcohol in sterno doesn't spill and can be snuffed out easily, but when I used the pepsi stove and wanted to snuff it early I would just use a tin cup. It did take some practive, but after 3 or 4 times I could judge the amount of fuel needed so there would be no waste. Oftentimes I would even let it continue to boil the water or keep heat on it so I would still have extra hot water for a second cup o joe.
http://zenstoves.net/Stoves.htm (an overview)
link on same page about Sterno:
http://zenstoves.net/Sterno.htm
 

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In truth I have always thought that sterno worked the best for small cooking or cooking on the run it has always been cheap to buy in high quantities, small amount of weight and also has a great cooking life. lol and now they even have thes amazing blue dots to keep you from burning your hands on the containers
 

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dum dum
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oh yeah, straight razor reminds me...IF ya use denatured, and transport/store it in smaller or lighter containers, LABEL IT AS POISON! :eek:
Sure smells like everclear or vodka, and wouldn't want anyone making a blind man's cocktail!
 

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zenstoves.net said:
Lacks Brand Name - North Face wearing, Mountain House eating, Starbucks drinking, Honda Element driving "outdoors people" will refer to you as "ghetto" and/or "trailer park".


Lmao that's effin great! But that zenstoves.net is pretty neat, Might have to make and test a few of their models.
 

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dum dum
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give me a holler if you want to start experimenting...I have something like 8 or 9 models I have made...varying different burner hole sizes, patterns; can size...etc...
the best one I have actually used was my friend's that he bought offa ebay....it was TINY! ...actually made out of redbull cans, and worked way better than our pepsican stoves...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yea I was thinking more about having either items in my BOB so the factors were: space saving, weight, convenience, effectiveness, etc. One plus for alcohol is having it as an antiseptic also.

In a long term situation, ie. when TSHTF, sure it would be easier to locate & make alcohol vs. stock piling Sterno no doubt. I guess at that point, having both is good and empty Sterno cans can be used as alcohol stoves too.
 

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I have used alcohol stoves alot the last 10 yrs or so and while they do have certain drawbacks mainly in the cold, I find them economical easy to use and find fuel for. I currently use a Etowah mainly(2 tbls will boil 2 cups water) also holds about 4oz of fuel for long simmer, a couple of Trangia's (my personnel favorite) has a gasket sealed screw down cap to save fuel, a Pepsi can stove works great with a stand and a wind deflector, and a titanium Triad while being the lightest easiest to pack it is hard to fill and must be full to get it working good. I've tried Sterno and while convinient they are sometimes hard to find the fuel for, I do believe they have their place , just not in my bag thats all.
 

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I have used a coleman propane stove, my problem with them is that the cylinders never seemed to reseal themselves and leaked, not to mention the size and weight of the thing. I used the cans of sterno and definitely liked them more, and above all i liked the esbit military cookers. Last night i began reading about those alcohol stoves, made one, and ill have to say, first time making one and i didnt use any detailed instructions and the darn thing worked amazing, and i was using hand sanitizer as fuel!! Acetone, alcohol (almost any type) the fuels surprised me. This is my new favorite stove, cant wait to use it in the field.
 

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What's neat is to read the old ads for sterno stoves. They show people cooking with it.
Eggs in skillet, coffeepot, etc. I use it just to heat up water and that takes over 20 minutes. But, I have old sterno stoves too, some double burner models and different single burner models. You can use the alcohol burner in a sterno stove.
How about just a tin can stove:

http://www.ehow.com/how_4799604_simple-meals-tin-can-stove.html
 

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I have a Tangia alky burner, a Snowpeak 100 and Sterno. To me sterno is fine for most cooking. It will not boil water so if that is part of your food prep Id have something more efficient. A lso being able to boil water for drinking is important . If I had to pich one it would be the alky stove.
 
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