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    Cooking with gas...-gctid402651

    Well not really. Alcohol.

    I decided to check out my Alcohol stove (Kenyon Homestrand) and it appears I need new u-cups. In the process of looking for the parts online I see a lot of "opinions" on Alcohol vs Kerosene etc..

    So here's the question. I just need it to boil water. It looks like a pretty nice stove.

    For those that actually use an Alcohol stove, will it serve my purpose of boiling water? I know it sounds like a silly question to even type. These stoves in refurbished are $300 or more, so one would think it would actually work decent enough. But I don't like to assume.

    What's your experience with Alcohol stoves? I'm also thinking as it's in the V-Berth area, it might take a little chill out of the air on a chilly morning.

    Thanks in advance..

    Miles
    Aquatic Muse
    Mount Vernon, WA
    MMSI: 367498870
    '79 Bayliner Santiago w/ Mercruiser 470 power and drive

    #2
    Alcohol was favored for years, partly because you can put out the flame with water. On the down side, I hear they don't burn as hot as gas stoves, and produce a large, hard to see flame when they are first lit. A friend has one but they much prefer to carry on the propane camp stove.

    FYI, from what I understand, burning alcohol doesn't produce much carbon monoxide in normal conditions. However, they do produce carbon dioxide, which necessitates ventilation. Additionally, more carbon monoxide will be produced if the carbon dioxide builds up in the cabin.

    Comment


      #3
      I've owned and used the pressurized version of the alcohol stoves. Mine was the Homestrand model.

      They are slow compared to propane, for example, and the flame is difficult to see during day time.

      The flame is also extinguishable with just plain water should you have a flair-up.

      My preference would be propane, and some are using the little Butane stoves with good luck.

      The nice thing is that your stove is mounted flush in the counter top, whereas the Butane units would sit on top. It's also tough to find a propane replacement that fits the existing cut out.

      Somewhere I seem to recall reading where a propane conversion was available for the alcohol stoves......, but I don't remember where I read that.

      I'd not use any flame type cook stove for warming up a cabin (that's sort of a disclaimer).

      .
      Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
      2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
      Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
      Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
      Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

      Comment


        #4
        2850Bounty wrote:
        I've owned and used the pressurized version of the alcohol stoves. Mine was the Homestrand model.

        They are slow compared to propane, for example, and the flame is difficult to see during day time.

        The flame is also extinguishable with just plain water should you have a flair-up.

        My preference would be propane, and some are using the little Butane stoves with good luck.

        The nice thing is that your stove is mounted flush in the counter top, whereas the Butane units would sit on top. It's also tough to find a propane replacement that fits the existing cut out.

        Somewhere I seem to recall reading where a propane conversion was available for the alcohol stoves......, but I don't remember where I read that.

        I'd not use any flame type cook stove for warming up a cabin (that's sort of a disclaimer).

        .
        Doesn't propane require a bit of a steep install curve? I was reading on another forum where folks were basically saying anything except propane. I have a single burner butane stove that we use camping. Also a heater. Takes these little disposable cans that look like spray-paint cans... We use them catering as well to cook on. They are fantastic actually. There are some ones designed for actual cooking that get super hot, but I just have a basic unit.

        I also have your basic Coleman two burner stove that uses those little green propane cans. Again, I see people cringe when the term propane and boat are used in the same sentence.

        I guess the real question is.... is it worth the $30.00 (ish) to fix the Alcohol stove? I mean how long are we talking to boil 4 cups of water. 5 minutes ? 10 minutes? an hour?

        FWIW mine is also a Kenyon Homestrand. Just looks like a really nice unit, but if it's really not worth fixing I'm sure someone on eBay land would use it.

        Miles
        Aquatic Muse
        Mount Vernon, WA
        MMSI: 367498870
        '79 Bayliner Santiago w/ Mercruiser 470 power and drive

        Comment


          #5
          I don't have any concerns with my Propane set up. There are safety measures to be aware of, I suppose just like anything else.

          When not in use, the cylinder valve is turned off.

          The propane heat is great, no issues with boiling water at all.

          The alcohol stoves aren't nearly as fast at it.

          .
          Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
          2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
          Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
          Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
          Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

          Comment


            #6
            I have had a few different alcohol stoves we have used both fairly heavily. Our current is a pressurized alcohol stove, I must say it works really well. We cook and boil water all the time with it without issue, its very easy on gas and works just fine. I have never really seen what all the fuss is about.

            I must say though, the pressurized stove is REALLY nice. Its just like cooking at home on natural gas now.

            Comment


              #7
              I have had 3 kenyon alcohol/electric stoves. I have never had any problem with them as long as they are maintaines and in good condition. They boil and cook just fine. Some people freak out when lighting them it makes a big flame dor a couple of minutes but I have never had and dire issues. I have heated with it but makes alot of humidity in the air.

              Having said that I just purchased last week a complete propane system for my boat. I am wanting an oven and I think propane is nicer. I am going to use the current kenyon alcohol stove that I have now I think and put it in the cock pit I think. I am also wanting to inatall a propane foreced air heater.
              1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge
              twin 454's
              MV Mar-Y-Sol
              1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop ocean express.
              Twin chevy 350's inboard
              Ben- Jamin
              spokane Washington

              Comment


                #8
                Well I'm gonna go for it and fix it up. One burner looks barely used, the other a little used. It needs a new u-cup (washer on the pump handle) so I ordered that. I was able to get enough pressure (blowing into a hose) to get it to lite. Not a real big flame, but I guess that's due to the pressure or lack thereof. Both burners burnt about the same, just couldn't have both on at the same time. Again, I'll assume pressure.

                I called Tasco this morning and apparently they couldn't get burners so they stopped making their brand and fixing others in 2005. Hopefully I'll get a few seasons out of this one with a few parts added.
                Aquatic Muse
                Mount Vernon, WA
                MMSI: 367498870
                '79 Bayliner Santiago w/ Mercruiser 470 power and drive

                Comment


                  #9
                  Do you know how to light a pressurized alcohol stove?.

                  You cant really blow on a hose and light it. You pressurize it. You turn it on the let raw alcohol run out and fill the little tray directly below the burner(the little tray not the entire bowl). Turn off the stove. Light the raw alcohol let it burn and heat up the burner. (Will make a big yellow flame for about 3 minutes)Immediately after the alcohol burns out you turn the stove back on and light it. It will now burn blue. You can turn the burner cap to adjust the flame air fule mixture. You'll need a tool to do that or adjust when cool.
                  1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge
                  twin 454's
                  MV Mar-Y-Sol
                  1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop ocean express.
                  Twin chevy 350's inboard
                  Ben- Jamin
                  spokane Washington

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Nothing wrong with cooking with alcohol. I prefer the cannister type over the pressureized but hey, use what you got. Be aware of the safety issues involved with using pressureized alcohol and be prepared to continually pump it up. Also be prepared to put a big metal lid over the flame when it flares up and starts licking at the cabin overhead LOL (been there, done that, damn near burned down the boat).

                    But most of the time...it works just fine

                    Comment


                      #11
                      yachtman wrote:
                      Do you know how to light a pressurized alcohol stove?.

                      You cant really blow on a hose and light it. You pressurize it. You turn it on the let raw alcohol run out and fill the little tray directly below the burner(the little tray not the entire bowl). Turn off the stove. Light the raw alcohol let it burn and heat up the burner. (Will make a big yellow flame for about 3 minutes)Immediately after the alcohol burns out you turn the stove back on and light it. It will now burn blue. You can turn the burner cap to adjust the flame air fule mixture. You'll need a tool to do that or adjust when cool.
                      Yes.. as the plunger needs a new u-cup washer, I just tried to blow some air into where the plunger goes.. Was enough to prove the check valve worked, and gave enough pressure to do the pre-light burn and actually lite the burner after that. Of course that only lasted as long as the little bit of pressure I was able to get in there.

                      telebob wrote:
                      Nothing wrong with cooking with alcohol. I prefer the cannister type over the pressureized but hey, use what you got. Be aware of the safety issues involved with using pressureized alcohol and be prepared to continually pump it up. Also be prepared to put a big metal lid over the flame when it flares up and starts licking at the cabin overhead LOL (been there, done that, damn near burned down the boat).

                      But most of the time...it works just fine
                      Yep, I'm gonna go for it. Already ordered the u-cup washer so I can get some pressure in the tank, but it seems like once I do, it should be fine. I think it just sat too long and rubber tried out.
                      Aquatic Muse
                      Mount Vernon, WA
                      MMSI: 367498870
                      '79 Bayliner Santiago w/ Mercruiser 470 power and drive

                      Comment


                        #12
                        telebob wrote:
                        Nothing wrong with cooking with alcohol. I prefer the cannister type over the pressureized but hey, use what you got. Be aware of the safety issues involved with using pressureized alcohol and be prepared to continually pump it up. Also be prepared to put a big metal lid over the flame when it flares up and starts licking at the cabin overhead LOL (been there, done that, damn near burned down the boat).

                        But most of the time...it works just fine
                        never had to continually pump mine up, cooks wild rice soup just fine and that does take some time to cook. Runs just fine on one pumping before use. I do it exactly as the manual says.

                        If you ever have a fire go out of control, a wet towel will do the trick. I have not had flames go near that high, though my 3055 has pretty high clearance, i suppose if you had a low roof you could have that issue. Never had this issues really though, love my preasurized unit. I prefer it over canister style anyday

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Just an update... I probably need to get another check valve and the silly tool to replace it, but i'll wait and see after the u-cup washer is replaced. After sitting for a day with alcohol in it, the current u-cup revived and I was able to pressure up, but I may have over pressurized as some gas came back up the pump. I have the stove in my carport so I played with it a bit today after reading the manual... I gots to say, I like it. A couple of quirks and getting used to but I really like the safety factor. I mean it's an open flame, but unlike any of the other solutions, its self contained and for the most part, anything that can go wrong can be cured with a wet towel... which I used a few times today.

                          Basically I can boil a quart of water in just under 15 minutes, which is fine. I noticed that unlike in the kitchen the material the pot it made of really plays a big role. I have a nice little stainless steel percolator that when camping we just use to heat water for coffee to use in a French press. Well, that's back in storage now. An aluminum pot or aluminum tea pot works great. It's actually probably hot enough for coffee in about 10 minutes but it took 15 to make it whistle. That's fine. Anything else would be 5-10 minutes, so an extra couple of minutes is nothing.

                          One pumping at the beginning worked fine. I ran both burners for quite some time, just experimenting and see how hot things get. At some point a "rebuild" kit for each burner might be in order, but for now, it seems to work just peachy.

                          Anyway.. thanks for the input from everyone. I think the real key to effective use of an alcohol stove, although I'm far from an expert, really is reading the instructions. It does not operate like ANY other type of stove but after reading the two paragraphs in the manual called "the theory of how an alcohol stove works" I found it much easier to use.

                          1. Pump 15-20 times (no more... no less)

                          2. Open valve for a 3 count (no more no less)

                          3. Close valve and light what's in the cup.

                          4. Wait until the residue is all burned out. Not almost completely burned, not for "a while", but until it's done.

                          5. Open valve about half-way (it will be hissing now) and light.

                          I noticed flare-ups happen when re-lighting. It's seems best that if you turn a burner off, then change your mind... It's best to let it cool. If the tank has already been pressurized, maybe the other burner is still on and in use, no need to add more. Just start at step #2. I noticed that if you don't repeat the pre-heating process... the pressure pushes out fuel instead of vapor causing.... whoooosh... flare up. This was the key info from the "theory" section. The "fuel" doesn't burn. The vapor escaping from the valve from the boiling fuel in the tube burns. If the fuel in the tube isn't boiling first, you just get fuel coming out the valve... and that's what the flare up seems to be.

                          Anyway... that's what I learned today

                          and... I like this stove ....
                          Aquatic Muse
                          Mount Vernon, WA
                          MMSI: 367498870
                          '79 Bayliner Santiago w/ Mercruiser 470 power and drive

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Looks like you got through the learning curve ok. Once you figure them out they are great stoves.

                            One thing as you know you can get rebuild kits foe them. Of one part is dried out the rest of the seals probably are too. Not real difficult to rebuild and when working properly work great. Mine will hold pressure all winter long until I restart it in the spring. I noticed it was still up. Yours should do the same.
                            1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge
                            twin 454's
                            MV Mar-Y-Sol
                            1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop ocean express.
                            Twin chevy 350's inboard
                            Ben- Jamin
                            spokane Washington

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Got the new U-Cup today to put on the pump. Very cool. The old one was really worn and I only "thought" I was pumping up the pressure. Wow, what a difference.

                              Put the stove back in the boat... noticed right away that putting on a pot of water would knock the morning chill out of the cabin in a heartbeat. Value added... cool.
                              Aquatic Muse
                              Mount Vernon, WA
                              MMSI: 367498870
                              '79 Bayliner Santiago w/ Mercruiser 470 power and drive

                              Comment

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