‘Hop-can’ Stoves: How to make 5 ultralight bikepacking stoves

Five ultra-lightweight and very functional DIY stoves for bikepacking and bike touring. Made from handsome cans that housed some hoppy brew. Built and tested.

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The first time I’d heard of a DIY camping stove was in Costa Rica when Lee broke out his self-made ‘penny stove’ fashioned from a Modelo can. I kind of dismissed the idea until I realized that alcohol was a viable and easy to obtain type of fuel. And the weight and space savings are very attractive to an ultralight bikepacker. So after poking around the webbernet for ideal designs, I settled on five that I wanted to try. And is there a better or more aesthetically pleasing medium than a hoppy craft-beer can? Make it a can from a post-ride beer and it’s even more special.

Tools Needed

how to make a can stove

Not all of these tools are actually required to fabricate each stove. In fact the first two stoves could be made with nothing more than a pocket-knife. There are also alternatives… instead of a tiny drill bit, use a pushpin; instead of a rivnut setter, just thread a bolt through a properly sized hole, etc. But this is everything I used in the process.

how to make a can stove

The cast of hoppy characters (not shown – an Oscar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale).

So here they are. I built each one and tested them for fuel consumption, weight and time-to-boil. They are ordered by ‘difficulty to make’ — easiest to most difficult. For each stove, you’ll find a rough ‘how-to’ as well as links to more detailed info. Click on the how-to image collages to open a larger version if need be. Then at the bottom of the post, you’ll see the testing results.

Do you have another good design? If so, send me a comment… I actually enjoy making these things, so I’d love to try another.

#1. The YAC Stove (Yet Another Can Stove)

bikepacking stoves

I ran across this design and it seemed so simple that I wasn’t sure if it would actually work. But as it turned out, this is actually one of my favorites. It’s easy, solid and burns at a very nice temperature. I made two variations of these. the second taller than the first and you’ll notice in the results that the height affects the time-to-boil and fuel consumption.

Pros: Easy to make; sturdy
Cons: Can sputter a little if the ‘fins’ don’t overlap correctly

How to make the YAC

how to make a can stove

Directions – From top left

  1. 1. Score the top of the can at the crease (several times around)
  2. Start removing top with needle nose pliers
  3. the edge will peel out where scored properly
  4. Use a jig made with a razor blade screwed to plywood to score can (jig height can be adjusted with scrap wood or books)
  5. Score can top to 3/4″ and bottom to 1 1/2″; or top to 1 3/4″ and bottom at 1 3/16 for slightly different performance and more fuel capacity
  6. Jiggle it loose and break the score for a clean cut
  7. Make 15 evenly spaced slits in top part about 1/8″ from can curve edge
  8. One about every 1/2″
  9. The two halves are ready
  10. Slide top into bottom allowing the slats to overlap in the same direction
  11. Add alcohol, light and flame will begin to emit from the sides; then set pot directly on top

NOTE: if sputtering occurs add a single tiny pinhole about 1/8″ from can top

#2. ‘Tom’s Beer Can Stove’

bike touring can stoves

I ran across this in a post by Tom. Another very simple to make design and Tom’s assistant (the inventor?) does an excellent job showing how to do it with nothing more than a pocket-knife and scissors.

Pros: Easy to make; very sturdy; can be made with just a knife
Cons: Consumes a little more fuel than some of the other models

How to make Tom’s Stove

how to make a can stove

Directions – From top left

  1. Cut out top using method outlined above; and use a file to smooth
  2. Cut bottom of can to desired height (I did the top at 2 1/4″ and the bottom at 2″)
  3. Cut top section so that bottom will overlap curved lip by 1/16″ (proper height shown at red line)
  4. Mark 12 sections where creases will occur (slightly less than every 3/4″)
  5. Hold 2 fingers on inside of can and lightly create crease with knife (from curved lip to bottom adding more pressure at bottom)
  6. Finished scallops should look something like this
  7. Press top into bottom and add small pinhole about 1/4″ from top
  8. Add alcohol, light and flame will begin to emit from the sides; then set pot directly on top

#3. The Penny Bike Touring Stove

bikepacking penny stove

There are a multitude of different variations on the Penny Stove. I settled on something similar to this one. This one turned out to have some of the best results, and it’s almost as easy to make as the top two… you just need two tools instead of one.

Pros: Conserves fuel extraordinarily well
Cons: You have to carry a coin; Instead of simply burning out, it kind of dwindles in the last few minutes.

How to make the Penny Stove

bike touring stove

Directions – From top left

  1. Cut two bottoms from two cans top 1 1/8″ and second one for the bottom at 1 1/4″
  2. Using a 1/16″ or slightly smaller drill bit add 6 evenly spaced holes to the top section (right at bend); add three more that a coin will cover in the middle bowl
  3. Add 12 more about 1/4″ from lip (slightly less than 3/4″ apart)
  4. Place needle nose pliers over each hole and bend inward
  5. This is what the top section will look like when facing down
  6. Insert top section into bottom
  7. Add fuel through penny holes, then cover with coin; add a splash of fuel around edge next to holes and light; once primed, the jets will ignite; requires pot stand

#4. The Sideburner Can Stove

how to make a can stove

Although this starts to get slightly more difficult to construct, it’s worth the effort. This stove is fun to watch prime. Once you ignite the fuel and the can starts to warm up, each of the jets ignites sequentially. This is the stove I took on my last bikepacking overnight. I based mine on this design, although mine is slightly taller.

Pros: Burns fuel efficiently; nice array of jets
Cons: Requires a can stretcher to make

How to make the Sideburner Stove

how to make a can stove

Directions – From top left

  1. Cut inner chimney to the specs in this template
  2. Cut one bottom section from one can (1 1/4″) and another for top (1 1/4″); remove inner bowl of top section by scoring and removing with pliers
  3. Drill 24 holes (use this template – you can cut out strip as noted and tape to can to mark)
  4. Use can stretcher to stretch bottom of can (click here to see how to make a can stretcher)
  5. Insert sections together (they will barely line up once bottom is stretched) with chimney in between (vent holes on bottom); getting the sides together takes a little patience and delicacy. Also, make sure the chimney piece lines up when you put the final squeeze on the 2 halves
  6. Add fuel and light; once the stove warms up, the jets will ignite and you can set pot directly on top

#5. Simple Pressurized Can Stove

how to make a can stove

This stove is neat for the fact that it actually vaporizes the fuel. The primer pan heats up air around the stove and the alcohol vaporizes, ignites and pressurizes the jets. This kid makes something similar and calls it the Atomizer. There is a slight element of danger to this one.

Pros: Burns very hot and has a great look
Cons: Requires a primer pan and a pot-stand

How to make the Simple Pressurized Stove

how to make a can stove

Directions – From top left

  1. Take one can and tape this template to top and mark out holes as shown
  2. Drill holes using a 3/64″ bit or use a tiny pin;
  3. Then add appropriate sized hole for rivnut (I used an m5)
  4. Cut the first bottom portion of a can for the top section to 1 1/8″ and another (bottom) to 1 1/2″
  5. Using can stretcher, extend the bottom section
  6. Coat inside of bottom with high-temp JB Weld
  7. Add fuel through rivenut hole, then replace bolt; light by adding some fuel to ground under stove, or use a priming pan; flames will heat stove and vaporize fuel igniting the jets
  8. A pot stand is necessary; I used an Esbit click stand

Testing the Stoves

All of the stoves were tested using 50 ml (about one fluid ounce) of denatured alcohol boiling 250 ml of water. My favorite is probably the sideburner stove. I like it because it does not require a pot-stand and it is fairly efficient. Second would be the Penny stove, however, I don’t like the idea of having to keep up with a penny or coin. I could see my self misplacing that.

bikepacking stoves

YAC Small


YAC Tall


Tom’s Stove


Penny Stove






Bike touring can stoves

A group portrait with some that didn’t make the cut, or failed. The guy on the back left melted… turns out I used JB Quick (instead of the high temperature JB Weld) which couldn’t take the heat.

Do you have another good design? If so, send me a comment… I actually enjoy making these things, so I’d love to try another.

  • Natalie

    What type of alcohol did you use?

  • I used denatured alcohol, labeled ‘camp stove fuel’, from the local hardware store. I have heard other methyl spirits and Heet are better, but this is what I had on hand…

  • Guest8675309

    I just made a side burner stove. It was pretty easy and worked surprisingly well. Here it is being primed

  • Nice! As I mentioned, I think the sideburner is my favorite. They seem pretty sturdy and burn really well.

  • RandyW

    I love hop-notch

  • Definitely a solid session IPA!

  • Iam

    I made the pressurized stove but found that the flame is yellow not blue. Could it be that the holes are a bit to large. I used a 1.5mm drill bit to make the holes.

  • The bit I used was about 1.2mm, so it was only slightly smaller. It may be the fuel you are using, but I don’t think the color of the flame matters necessarily. Did you test it?

  • Iam

    Yes, it worked well. I built 3 prototypes and with smaller holes but same results. The reason for my comment about the yellow flame is that it blackens the base of the pot. I was hoping for a blue flame as it would indicate little or no soot. Cleaning the pot won’t be so messy.

  • SF_Rich

    Logan what are yall using for cookware on your trips?

  • Funny you ask, I was in the middle of a post about ‘What’s in our kitchen’ Look for it later this week…

  • Brian Sims

    I made this stove back in ’07 and it’s worked great. Jim Wood’s Super Cat stove. Not a beer can but still a great cheap stove: http://jwbasecamp.com/Articles/SuperCat/

    I use this in conjunction with one of those large Heineken cans, which serves as my pot. The Super Cat fits right inside along with a lighter and windscreen.

  • The supercat is definitely the strongest… my one problem with the beer can stoves is they can get a little flimsy when used a lot…

  • Amberwaves

    Logan, I made a penny stove for a recent backpacking trip and found it took wayyy too long to heat water. I was using 91% alcohol antiseptic (9% water). Do you think the fuel was the issue?

  • Hello. The penny stove is one of the slower ones, but it’s not that slow. I have never mixed water with alcohol, so I would guess that is the problem.

  • You want 99% if possible – the 9% water content would slow things down for sure.

  • I’ve been using a penny stove for four years, and in that time I’ve only had to make three stoves. In theory, I’d am concerned and annoyed about the thin exposed lip, which does get crumpled over time, but the stoves continue to work far longer than you’d expect. Keeping track of a coin is not important, as the stove burns without the coin and almost any small coin will work. In fact, when using lower grade alcohol, the stove sometimes burns better without the penny (depending upon fuel, size and number of holes, etc.) The highest % of alcohol you will regularly find is 96% ethanol, which is the natural equilibrium state of ethanol with water at STP. Anything higher is prepared with benzene or something else which makes it expensive and possibly toxic, and is likely only available from medical or scientific suppliers. Anything less than about 85% burns poorly in the penny stove. When only 70% fuel is available, best to find a small metal can or a lid to a jar (or simply cut the bottom out of a can) and burn the fuel in the open air. It is less efficient, but still silent and clean burning, even inside the tent. At these times, if possible, a small fire makes sense. Or make a sandwich.

    Regarding performance, the penny stove has the capacity to rally kick ass and boil water as fast as any other stove, although performance is highly variable based upon fuel, the number and size of the holes, and pot/windscreen/support characteristics.

    Thanks for the great post Logan, I’m about to build another stove. It’ll probably be another penny stove as I can do it from memory with a pocketknife, but like I said, that exposed lip is annoying.

  • S. Welcker Taylor

    I bet the ghost of Abbey is smiling about his book being used for your razor jig. Love this stuff. Never heard of can stoves before here. The DIY sections intermixed with the other standard gear reviews really sets this site apart from others in a great way. Keep up the good work!

  • Thanks man! I hope your right about Abbey… wish that man was still around to offer some sanity!

  • Edwardo

    Does anyone have any experience with these types of stoves in the cold and wind? I just took mine out in the back yard, and attempted to boil 3 cups of water. I have an old MSR foldable windscreen I use, and about two oz. of denatured alcohol. The wind was gusting up to 35-40 mph. The temperature was 30 F. I got it almost to boil. It took about 23 minuets, though, to achieve that much. I used the “Tom’s Beer Can Stove” design. Any suggestions? Or is this pretty much what a stove like that will do under those conditions? Thanks.

  • Wind is definitely a factor, but if you have a good wind screen, it should be no problem. I have boiled water with a can stove in under 39 degree temps without an issue. Not sure what the problem is. Maybe double check your fuel and make sure it is a high percentage alcohol…

  • Edwardo

    Thanks. Maybe I didn’t have quite enough fuel in the cup. When I checked it was nearly gone by the time it was starting to sizzle. I’ll try again, thanks!

  • darenbeenen@gmail.com

    hey just a trick you might already know, use a tin can opener to remove the top of the can. use that can opener just like you would on a can of soup or something and it turns beer cans in to cups with a very smooth lip!

  • Josiah Skeats

    Think you could do an entire around the world tour using one of these? Is the alcohol easy enough to find?

  • Yeah I know several people who tour exclusively with spririt burners. However, there are places where alcohol is much more difficult to find… like Morocco for example. We managed while there but it was challenging…

  • carlos rosario

    I used mines and boiled 2 cups of water when it was 8 degrees outside


  • Nice.

  • Harre

    What fuel do you use with these stoves?

  • I find denatued alcohol to work best, bit you van use many different types of spirit fuel…

  • Mikee Texas

    So after reading this I spent a few weekends making a variety of these coke can stoves. I eventually let them battle it out for performance on which one could boil water the fastest. I boiled the same amount of water every time, starting with a cool pot. The “Tom’s beer can stove” was the winner out of 5 stoves I tested. Tom’s style is also the easiest to make and light also IMO. Making it a clear winner! I have also had fun finding a variety of small cookware at the local thrift shop to make a full on russian doll alcohol
    coke can cooking camp kit. all in all I’ve spent under ten dollars doing all of this including the alcohol.

  • Interesting, I had better results with the sideburner…

  • Atrayu Takahashi

    Just use a stove

  • Vik Banerjee

    I’m not fussed by how long it takes to boil water. Not needing a pot stand and fuel efficiency are far more important [to me]. I’ve been using a Tom’s stove for 2yrs. Works great.

    From your list the sideburner looks to burn the most efficiently and not require a pot stand. I’ll have to see about building on and trying it out.

  • Hard to beat the side burner, although a little more tricky to build…

  • Vik Banerjee

    One of the keys to building beer can stoves is to drink the beer a day or two prior to building the stove. I’ve given up on a stove before when I realized I had emptied too many cans to accurately wield a knife/scissor. ;)

  • Febs

    sexy article. well made, well illustrated.

  • Febs

    …it only misses a fuel efficiency comparison. How much alcohol did they burn to boil that amount of water? And, can you pour the remaining alcohol back in its bottle when you’re done? :)

  • Thanks! 50ml consumption time is shown in the above graph; if you are looking at the site on a mobile though, you may not see it (this post was made before we did extensive mobile support).

  • Febs

    Thanks Logan :)
    What I meant was – sorry for not being clear – is, to know what is the amount of alcohol required to burn X quantity of water.

    I use the Freezer Bag Cooking technique. I only need to boil water: any extra flame is wasted fuel to me.

    So I was wondering: what is the design that requires the least amount of fuel to boil (for instance) 2 cups of water on an average pot?

    That would allow me to save GRAMS of fuel to carry.

    We ultralighters are crazy as fu*k I know.

  • earpluggedinrd

    Logan: Try making a Fancy Feast stove. Works like a dang especially in very cold temps because of the wicking action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2fPIvyme9I . I use a little tuna snack can with the pull tab instead of the cat food can since I prefer to eat the former. The inside is a small tomato paste can and the carbon felt you get at Home Depot (Oatey Flame Protector found in the plumbing dept). You’ll have enough carbon felt to make a few. Hiram Cook has a load of videos comparing various alcohol stoves including the titanium Evernew and its clone from China which you can find on eBay at a reasonable cost (works best with a tin can top primer pan).

  • earpluggedinrd

    BTW The stripped down version for warmer temps is pretty good too: http://andrewskurka.com/2011/how-to-make-a-fancy-feast-alcohol-stove/ . Same source of name but simpler/lighter construction.

  • earpluggedinrd

    If you’re looking for a relatively lightweight but sturdy windscreen for the Super Fancy Feast stove and a matching pot (like the MSR Titan Kettle), check eBay and Amazon for “folding wind screen/shield/windscreen stove” and you’ll come up with a 9 panel foldable that weighs about 4oz and is 5 1/2 inches high. Poke around online a little and you should be able to pick up one for $5 delivered to your door.They have enough small air gaps at the bottom to feed the flames yet keep the big gusts at bay.

  • Laurie

    I made the side burner, but had the holes arranged like Tom’s beer can design. My issue is that it burns nicely, till I put the pot on top, then it snuffs out.
    Apart from not messing with the side burner design, any ideas as to what I am doing wrong?

  • earpluggedinrd

    Something else I need to point out: Hiram Cook’s Fancy Feast test resulted in a boil time of 5 minutes 13 seconds and a fuel consumption time of roughly 9 minutes, But he was boiling 2 cups of water (DOUBLE what Logan was using for his tests) with a miserly 1 (U.S.) fluid oz of fuel. The hop can stoves were tested with 50ml of alcohol which equals 1.7 (U.S.) fluid oz. On an even playing field — using equivalent water volumes and fuel amounts — the Fancy Feast comes out as a top contender, especially considering it’s frosty performance at extremely low temperatures (like -20 degrees C).

  • The holes should be on the side of the can, not the beveled area… See the photos above and use the template…

  • Laurie

    Yep – I was afraid that was going to be the answer.
    I have one with the holes on the side, but I liked the look of this configuration. Guess looks count for nothin if they don’t work.

  • Laurie

    I made a couple of adjustments, and let it prime a little longer before putting on the pot.

    It appears to have fixed the issue and now works a treat.

    I am now one happy camper.

  • Excellent!

  • nubwaxer

    are you sure i only need the tools in the picture?

  • Jonathan Posner

    I came across this gem from 15 years ago, and of the several stoves I have made and tried, this has performed the best for me so far…. http://royrobinson.homestead.com/Cat_Stove.html

  • Wayne

    An update to show the addition of a simmer ring (two examples):



  • Eric Tomczak

    For anyone having trouble getting their alcohol stoves to work well, I would also add that using these on a metal surface, or anything that can act as a heat sink, can make them run low, or even go out. They work by the heat being transferred through the can and into the alcohol, which boils it, and makes the stove go. Some designs may not work as well if used on a large heatsink like an aluminum pan or similar. Especially in cold weather.

    Thanks for the awesome write up! I too have found the sideburner to be an excellent functional design.

  • Jeremy Franz

    Febs, I think this is what you’re looking for. The Penny Stove is the clear winner in terms of fuel efficiency.

    STOVE,Time to boil, Time to burn 50 ml, fl oz fuel to boil

    YAC SMALL, 0:04:50, 0:08:20, 0.99

    YAC TALL, 0:06:10, 0:13:30, 0.78

    TOM’S STOVE, 0:06:15, 0:12:20, 0.86

    PENNY STOVE, 0:06:00, 0:26:15, 0.39

    SIDEBURNER, 0:04:30, 0:13:20, 0.57

    PRESSURIZED, 0:05:20, 0:14:30, 0.63

  • Febs

    Hey Jeremy Franz, thanks for that. Where did you find those values? Did you try all of those setups? Thanks!

  • Jeremy Franz

    I just calculated it assuming a linear burn rate – time to boil / time to burn 50ml / 1.7floz/50ml. I made a sideburner this weekend and the times/volumes seem about right. I chose that option due to the fact that you don’t need a stand and it has pretty good fuel efficiency. BTW, I don’t think you can use unburned fuel unless you have a way to snuff the flame out and let the stove cool before trying to pour it back into your bottle which is a PITA. If you are interested in saving fuel, you might look at the Trangia spirit burner – it has a snuffer/simmer ring and a cap so you can store fuel in it without trying to pour it back into your bottle. The pouring is difficult due to the low surface tension of alcohol – it doesn’t pour as easily as water. Cheers!

  • Peter Ewan Whitelegg

    Hi,Great article.Particularly like the penny stove.Would be great to make those out in the wilds.Is there any easy way to make the little holes (with a tiny backpacking friendly item?) rather than carrying a drill around?

  • Thanks. Yeah, a sharp nail or awl will do…

  • Peter Ewan Whitelegg

    Ah yes. Rock and a nail sounds good ta.

  • Paulgoeshiking

    Hej. I just built an UL Fancy Feast version of a 12floz bev can (outer) and a redbull can 250ml (inner) with carbon felt. It has more or less the same performace data as the original one but only weighs 9g (0.3 oz). Flame out time (used 1 floz alcohol) was 16:36 mins. Boil time for 10 floz of cold tap water was 4:55 in a 750ml Toaks titanium pot.
    The perfect stove for smaller pots.

  • Dylan

    So about a year ago I spent a couple months perfecting my alcohol stove. I got (a little) obsessed about making the perfect one. My goal was to boil 2 cups of water with 1/2oz of denatured alcohol. I achieved this with the penny stove combined with a heat exchanger pot, and a dual functioning wind screen/pot stand. Looks like Jeremy Franz in the comments here calculated 0.39oz to boil 1 cup with the penny stove in the article. I think the heat exchanger and wind screen/heat reflector makes up the difference. I would also add a little bit of extra fuel in the primer pan so maybe I am at 0.55oz to boil 2 cups. I was also using tap water so the water was cool, but not cold, but also not room temp. For what it’s worth, I did take this setup snow camping once and it took me about 2oz to melt and boil two cups of water…not bad.

    The pot is an Optimus Terra HE Weekend 0.95L, and it does come with a little fry pan that fits as a lid in the pot. I tried to cook a few things in the SUPER tiny fry pan…and it’s useless…so I don’t bring it with me, just the pot. The stand is made from John McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal can. The primer pan is the lid of the oatmeal can. The bottles are 4oz Nalgene bottles. Can is PBR…don’t judge me…I probably went through several cases of beer experimenting so was trying to not buy $12 sixers… It should be noted that the penny stove DOES function without the penny, but because the top hole is uncovered you lose fuel through evaporation at a higher rate.

    All told, the kit includes (and all fits inside the cooking pot):
    Cooking pot (6.37 oz)
    stand/wind screen (1.36 oz)
    primer pan (0.65 oz)
    two empty 4 oz bottles (1.41 oz)
    penny stove (0.42 oz)
    two pennies (0.16 oz)
    lighter (0.71 oz)
    flint/steel (0.86 oz)
    mesh bag to carry everything in (0.67oz)

    The whole setup without fuel came in around 12.5oz, so with 8oz fuel you’re looking at around 1.25 lbs.

  • Great to hear… thanks fro sharing Dylan.

  • Dylan

    No problem. Will be taking the setup on the GDMBR this year, starting in Banff July 24…so we’ll see how the setup holds up long term!

    I’ve read most of your blog posts, and you’re one of the reasons I bought an ECR for long distance dirt touring. Thought it was time I gave back to the invaluable comments section. When I get my ECR setup dialed I’ll post a quick review in the comments on one of your articles. Going with Knards 27tpi, Rohloff, and a PD-8 dynamo on Easton Arc+ 40mm rims. After the GDMBR we’re headed for the Baja Divide, then Latin America.

  • Dylan

    I should also mention that the wind screen/stand also functions as a decent wood burner. If you run out of alcohol, just use the wind screen/stand with the pot and build a little fire in there. Works great in an emergency, though I wouldn’t recommend long term use as the pot gets covered in soot!

  • Cool. You might consider the Maxxis Chronicles… ours held up really well through Uganda/Rwanda last winter… and they set up tubeless really easily. A.though, the new Ranger+ look really promising… their new ad is over there somewhere; I am hoping to test them out soon. >

  • Dylan

    The Ranger+ looks good, but I think I’d rather go with something tried and tested for a trip of this magnitude…

    Interesting review you have on the Chronicles. They are almost 20% lighter than the Knards. The Easton Arc+ 40mm (internal) are already a few oz lighter than the rabbit holes. I’m temped to go down to the 35mm (internal) to shave a few more ozs. If I went with the chronicles and the 35’s I’d be shaving 3/4 lb from each wheel, WHOA! I saw that you had great success with the Blunt’s on your ECR with knards, but I was thinking the wider rims would be nice to ride on. Thoughts??

    I also have a Salsa Mukluk, which I built up a 29+ wheelset with WTB Asym i35 rims and the unfortunate mistake to get the Vee Trax Fatties. That combo looks a LOT smaller volume compared to the Rabbit Hole/Knard. The self steer on those tires at anything but high pressure makes the bike ride pretty terrible. The knards I can run as low as I want and they are a joy, though they are the 120tpi. I expect that the 27tpi knards would be a little stiffer, however I’d likely be running them at higher pressures for touring compared to single track…

  • Dylan

    How easy is it to track down denatured alcohol on the GDMBR? Feasible to find stuff to burn (HEET, denatured alcohol, everclear, etc) along the way without much of an issue or is it tricky to find?

  • Wandaa

    Hi there! Thanks for this article, very well done and complete! I’m on my way to do my first stove :) just a question why do you say about the pressurized that “There is a slight element of danger to this one.”? And why does it needs a priming pan and the Penny stove does not, they look quite similar? I’m hesitating between those 2 ;) thanks!

  • SafetyEMTTX

    Ohhh… cool!!

  • Jim Warner

    with the evolution in canned foods there are many other larger diameter cans to work with now

  • Al

    Just built Skurka’s fancy feast this weekend. Took about 3 minutes to complete. In a controlled environment (my garage) I had about 10 to 11 minutes burn time on 30ml of fuel. Boiled 500ml of water in 6.30 minutes and 750ml in 9.30 minutes. I got 1 liter hot enough for coffee but not boiling. The fancy feast can wouldn’t hold much more than 30ml without coming out of the bottom row of holes.

  • Akiva

    Also assuming Jeremy’s linear burn rate, here’s the lineup by fuel efficiency: approx. how many mL water can the stove bring too boil on 50 mL fuel?

    Penny Stove: 1090 mL
    Sideburner: 740 mL
    Pressurized: 680 mL
    Yac Tall: 550 mL
    Tom’s Stove: 500 mL
    Yac Small: 430 mL

    The penny stove looks like the clear winner, but I’d be curious how much this varies on repeat tests.

    I’m definitely going to try this, thanks!

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  • Andreas Werbrouck

    Couldn’t help making this graph to compare efficiencies… Nice post!

  • Nice, thanks!

  • John Short

    I have made many of these can stoves in the past, most are pretty simple and work the same way. Not sure about that pressurized one, but ALL of the ones I made are based on the fuel boiling in the outer edges of the can and the flames then coming out of the holes you punch in the side walls. There is some amount of preheating involved in all these designs. My biggest fault, and it could be with the ones I made, were that when a pot was placed directly on the top, the stove went out, that required some sort of stand to be built and carried. The next generation of this type of stove is the “fancy feast” stove, many you tubes on how to make. This thing by far surpasses the hop can stoves, you can set a pot right on it, no pre-heating and I get about a 10 minute burn on 1oz of fuel. I have seen simmer rings made for them, but as a greenie here, just a one pot boil does me fine, I use insulated bags to soak in and I got a cup of coffee while I wait.

  • John Short

    Oop’s, I guess I should have went further down and read more. Lots of good info on the fancy feast stove. Its a great one!

  • daniel

    what do you guys think about using a large can like for Fosters beer served in the USA its like 4-5 inches wide

  • Charly Aurelia

    Have used a Fancy Feast wicking stove for years. Love it.

  • Smallmouth Chaser

    Like most of you here, I have experimented with several prototypes of the can stoves. I am usually not an super ultralight guy so some concerns of yours may not be on the top for me but fuel efficiency is certainly important for most. My trips are often by boat or hiking into remote river areas and having a base camp for a couple of days before moving on but the less is more thought process here is still of value. I have not much to add but I do have a few little things that I didn’t see mentioned below that I will toss out there that could possibly help a newbie getting into the stove building addiction.

    -Sideburners seem to work better for cook pots a bit wider than the can being used. I too like the no pot stand needed as others stated.
    -I have sidebunrners out of the thin red bull cans, 7.5oz soda can, regular soda can, wood putty can, sterno cans and the wide Arizona tea cans. Pot stability is obviously increased with can diameter.
    -The hole distance from the rim on sideburners make a difference. You may need to play a little to see what works best for your cooking pots. Too close to the pot and they snuff themselves out. Too far down the side and priming takes longer or needs to be manually lit.
    -I use a little high temp gasket maker to seal some designs. It is not always needed but the models with the inner wall I feel benefit form the sealed top. I think the gasket compound is better than JB Weld.
    -If making the inner wall is difficult for you, there are some sized cans that fit well inside others without changing the diameter. Just cut bottom to desired height, make bottom fuel escapes. For example, the diameter/shape of Red Bull bottom/7.5oz can MAY fit perfectly inside some 12oz can designs.
    -Penny stoves are great but there is always the chance to lose the penny. Stay with a single hole for fueling so a small pebble can be used to pressurize (even though this single hole makes fueling a little more time consuming). I use the gasket maker to adhere a spare penny on the bottom of all coin stoves.

    For comparison to above numbers:

    Stove: Sideburner Arizona Tea Can(internal wall is 7.5oz can of some type)
    Pot: Stanley Cook Mug
    Fuel: Denatured Alcohol
    Temp: *68F
    Water: 250ml
    Fuel: 30ml (above they used 50ml but 1oz is really 30ml)

    Priming time: 1:57
    Boil Time: 4:49
    Total Burn Time: 13:31 (includes prime)

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