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TOPIC: Alcohol stove

Alcohol stove 28 Jun 2013 00:53 #1

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I would like to hear some comments about the usage of alcohol. Having a hard time finding information on line. Thanks in advance.

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Jeff Sharpe
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Alcohol stove 28 Jun 2013 02:19 #2

  • Knotty Time
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We use our alcohol stove all the time without a problem. For safety reasons I never fill up the canisters in the cabin, and preferably on the dock before an outing. Its tough to fill up without spilling. To fill properly you hold the canister at a 45degree angle while pouring the alcohol. I use a plastic bottle with a small pointed lid helpful in pouring without a mess. Its a good idea to cap the canisters when not in use to prevent evaporation. We found the rubber discs used to help remove stubborn lids a perfect fit. The flame is sometimes hard to see,so be aware of this. Hope this helps. Pep

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Alcohol stove 28 Jun 2013 02:45 #3

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The best alcohol fuel is ethanol (ethyl alcohol). It has the highest number of calories per gram of any stove fuel suitable alcohol (I really don't consider dirty-burning isopropanol to be suitable as a stove fuel) and burns reasonably cleanly.

I dislike the smell however and lots of water vapor is present. I was told if you want to dry out and heat up the cabin with an alcohol stove, to place an inverted clay flower pot over the burner...

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Alcohol stove 07 Jul 2013 16:08 #4

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Our last boat did not have electric/alco stove; it was alcohol only. The fuel we used was bought at Home Depot. About $10 a gallon, half of what WM wants. It actually said "boat stove fuel" in smaller letters on the container.
We used the stove for coffee, and cooking the sides for the meals. I used the Magma grill for the hamburgs, steaks, chicken and pork chops.
The alcohol stove does take longer to cook anything than an electric or gas fuel (butane or propane) does. However, t was all we had. No generator and we anchored out a lot. And, it does take some getting used to, and learning its nuances

Some of the dishes can be pre cooked at home and heated up on the stove. Some of our favorites: Chili, stews, spaghetti, and such.
For spaghetti, we pre cook the noodles and the meat sauce. Then, in the boat, warm the noodles in water, and the sauce separately. Then mix them together. Same for other noodle/sauce combos.

Since then, I have purchased a butane stove (picted below), and it is much faster than alcohol,and is a lot easier to use.
We have cooked on it and still used the alcohol stove for sides.

Attached files [img]/media/kunena/attachments/vb/793275=38955-pixxxx 014.jpg

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Alcohol stove 26 Aug 2013 19:58 #5

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My Origo stove is a hybrid (Alcohol + AC electric). The alcohol heats pretty quickly, although propane/butane is probably faster heating. If you plan to use alcohol, make sure that you know how to extinguish the flame. Manufacturer recommends pouring water over the flame to extinguish it. Someone (I will not mention who) did not read the directions the last time, and closed the glass cover on the stove. This will not extinguish the flame........as we found out. All of the knobs melted and I had to buy a new stove......:{

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Alcohol stove 26 Aug 2013 21:22 #6

  • LazyCrusr
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Personally, I'm not too fond of an alcohol stove.

I don't mind the slowness, but the STINK I find to be pretty nasty.
Next year it's propane for me.

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Alcohol stove 26 Aug 2013 21:32 #7

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LazyCrusr;805983 wrote: Personally, I'm not too fond of an alcohol stove.

I don't mind the slowness, but the STINK I find to be pretty nasty.
Next year it's propane for me.


Only way to go...

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Alcohol stove 27 Aug 2013 08:02 #8

  • Fish-a-Palooza
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Yeah, I replaced the old propane stove with an alcohol and I wish I hadn't. Propane burns faster, hotter, and with a lot less stink. I have heard though that the pressurized alcohol systems are much better than the none pressurized. :arr

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Alcohol stove 05 Sep 2013 20:12 #9

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Go Aweigh2452;805985 wrote: Only way to go...


I did the same thing to my boat last winter. I was not sorry to see the alcohol stove go bye bye. :getsmilie

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Alcohol stove 05 Sep 2013 20:31 #10

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Alcohol stoves have earned an affectionate nickname: curtain burners! There is a good reason for it.

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Alcohol stove 30 May 2016 20:42 #11

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Does anyone have any idea where I can buy 2 new Alcohol pots for my Origo 4300E stove?

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Denis Carriere

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Alcohol stove 31 May 2016 01:49 #12

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Alcohol stove 31 May 2016 07:45 #13

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captharv wrote: Our last boat did not have electric/alco stove; it was alcohol only. The fuel we used was bought at Home Depot. About $10 a gallon, half of what WM wants. It actually said "boat stove fuel" in smaller letters on the container.
We used the stove for coffee, and cooking the sides for the meals. I used the Magma grill for the hamburgs, steaks, chicken and pork chops.
The alcohol stove does take longer to cook anything than an electric or gas fuel (butane or propane) does. However, t was all we had. No generator and we anchored out a lot. And, it does take some getting used to, and learning its nuances

Some of the dishes can be pre cooked at home and heated up on the stove. Some of our favorites: Chili, stews, spaghetti, and such.
For spaghetti, we pre cook the noodles and the meat sauce. Then, in the boat, warm the noodles in water, and the sauce separately. Then mix them together. Same for other noodle/sauce combos.

Since then, I have purchased a butane stove (picted below), and it is much faster than alcohol,and is a lot easier to use.
We have cooked on it and still used the alcohol stove for sides.

Attached files [img]/media/kunena/attachments/vb/793275=38955-pixxxx 014.jpg


+! on the butane stove. Compact portable and easy to use. I think its the greatest stove on the boat....Mike

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Alcohol stove 31 May 2016 13:17 #14

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Ncrent wrote: Does anyone have any idea where I can buy 2 new Alcohol pots for my Origo 4300E stove?


I may have two that you can have for the cost of shipping... PM me...

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Doug ;}
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Alcohol stove 31 May 2016 19:39 #15

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I have to agree with others on propane. I had a terrible time with the alcohol portion of my alcohol/electric combo stove on my 1985 and I was going to convert it to propane/electric. However, it couldn't seem to make the pieces fit together. I thought about replacing the whole thing but I like the versatility and the look of the electric top. In the end I found that there was a problem with the pump on the stove - once I fixed that it seems to work fine. However, I still bought the cheapest 2 burner (stand alone) propane stove I could find on Amazon and I'm going to stow it as an emergency backup. I use propane because my grill is propane.

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Alcohol stove 01 Jun 2016 02:28 #16

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Couple other observations. Alcohol tends to burn hotter when the canisters are full. The burners can also be used as a makeshift oven -- take a look at the Outback Oven . We used it many times to make Pizza, Souffle, Bake Bread and even make Birthday Cake on top of our alcohol stove.

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Alcohol stove 01 Jun 2016 03:04 #17

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if you are going to use alcohol, I would recommend ethanol alcohol... burns hottest of the stove alcohols...

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Doug ;}
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Alcohol stove 19 Jun 2016 12:57 #18

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Drifter wrote:

captharv wrote: Our last boat did not have electric/alco stove; it was alcohol only. The fuel we used was bought at Home Depot. About $10 a gallon, half of what WM wants. It actually said "boat stove fuel" in smaller letters on the container.
We used the stove for coffee, and cooking the sides for the meals. I used the Magma grill for the hamburgs, steaks, chicken and pork chops.
The alcohol stove does take longer to cook anything than an electric or gas fuel (butane or propane) does. However, t was all we had. No generator and we anchored out a lot. And, it does take some getting used to, and learning its nuances

Some of the dishes can be pre cooked at home and heated up on the stove. Some of our favorites: Chili, stews, spaghetti, and such.
For spaghetti, we pre cook the noodles and the meat sauce. Then, in the boat, warm the noodles in water, and the sauce separately. Then mix them together. Same for other noodle/sauce combos.

Since then, I have purchased a butane stove (picted below), and it is much faster than alcohol,and is a lot easier to use.
We have cooked on it and still used the alcohol stove for sides.

Attached files [img]/media/kunena/attachments/vb/793275=38955-pixxxx 014.jpg


+! on the butane stove. Compact portable and easy to use. I think its the greatest stove on the boat....Mike


B TW, These stoves are now available at Walmart. The stove is $19, and the canisters are about $4. Made by Coleman.....

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Alcohol stove 19 Jun 2016 15:00 #19

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I don't think anyone mentioned an important aspect of alcohol stoves. You can quickly put out a fire with water. I think that's the main reason alcohol stoves were popular on boats. I say were because it seems they are becoming less so.
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Alcohol stove 16 Aug 2016 05:54 #20

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The good news is alcohol stoves are still worth money! Got good money for my used one out of our boat. Replaced it with a sink/ burner HOB that is major upgrade.

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Alcohol stove 16 Aug 2016 10:25 #21

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FairEnough wrote: I don't think anyone mentioned an important aspect of alcohol stoves. You can quickly put out a fire with water. I think that's the main reason alcohol stoves were popular on boats. I say were because it seems they are becoming less so.


It has been my understanding that alcohol stoves are used on boats because the alcohol fumes are lighter that air and won't collect in the bilge like gas, propane, and butane. But I just Googled this and found some disagreement about the alcohol fumes being lighter than air though? It did say that CNG ( compressed natural gas) is used for that reason but mostly found only on Southern California boats.
When propane is used on a boat the tank (which is made of fiberglass) is located in a special storage locker with a vent in the bottom going to a drain outside the hull. There are also electric safety shutoff valves that stop the fuel flow if the flame goes out and a master switch for emergencys.
If you have a generator then electric is considered to be the safest stove for a boat.
If you are using a portable propane or butane stove it would be best to store the canisters on the outside of the hull if you don't have a vented storage locker. Maybe a PVC tube clamped to a bow railing upright? :unsure:

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Alcohol stove 16 Aug 2016 12:57 #22

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As FairEnough pointed out, alcohol stoves are used on boats because an alcohol fire can be easily put out with water. Moreover, spilled alcohol will evaporate rapidly over time.

Alcohol stoves' reputation for catching curtains on fire comes from the older style, pressurized stoves. The non-pressurized, canister style stoves are extremely safe and are no more prone to catching something on fire than a propane or butane stove.

As some have pointed out, alcohol stoves do not provide as much heat as others.

My wife and I used Origo canister-type stoves on two different boats for many years. We had zero problems with them.

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Alcohol stove 29 Oct 2016 05:02 #23

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Funny your sitting on 200 gals of gas and worried about propane fumes....
Most larger boats before 80's had propane stoves and no buddy blew themselves up.
But if you'd rather not put another hole in your Hull or fabricate lockers for your tanks then just put them in a storage locker in the cockpit and run the line down to the galley etc. It's been done that way for years and no problems

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Alcohol stove 29 Oct 2016 07:04 #24

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I found this fuel for alcohol stoves on ebay and am going to try it next season, sounds good, no spill, high heat and no smell.

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Alcohol stove 04 Apr 2017 23:17 #25

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I 2nd the feelings of lazycrusr.I changed mine to propane to go with the grill on deck.No regrets amd no messes.Cooks faster too

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