What Is an Alcohol Burning Stove?


Quick Answer

An alcohol burning stove is a small outdoor stove that uses liquid alcohol fuel. Typically used by backpackers and campers, alcohol stoves create a consistent flame that can be used to boil water or cook small meals. Denatured alcohol and methanol are commonly used to fuel these stoves.

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Full Answer

Alcohol burning stoves are smaller and lighter than most other types of outdoor stoves, with smaller models weighing under two ounces. These stoves have no moving parts, so they are easy to use and maintain. Ultra-light backpackers and hikers often use alcohol-burning stoves because they are lightweight and easy to carry. Alcohol burning stoves and other camp stoves are used in place of campfires in backcountry areas where open fires are prohibited.

During operation, alcohol burning stoves are silent, and the flame burns almost invisibly. Because the stove produces carbon dioxide as a by-product of burning the fuel, it should not be used inside a tent or home. Alcohol stoves can only burn at one temperature, so the user cannot adjust the heat level to accommodate different cooking methods.

Many commercially made alcohol stoves are available only online, not in retail stores. However, fuel for alcohol stoves is readily available. Alternatives to alcohol burning stoves include canister stoves and liquid fuel stoves.

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