Mexican on the Stove

I thought I would give a quick try out of the Trangia style alcohol stove that I plan on taking along this weekend. [I’m also going to carry a soda can stove just to see how it performs out in the winds and wilds.]

Last night I took a few minutes and trimmed a section of aluminum roll flashing into a very nice windscreen that should work with all the stoves… even the little “FireAnt” woodstove when it arrives next month. The flashing I had was 6 inches. I trimmed an inch off of the long dimension so that it would fit under the handles of my cookpot. Then I rounded off the corners so that nothing would poke me, and drilled a series of vent holes around two thirds of the perimeter at the bottom to allow air in for efficient burning. I made a “key hole” in one front edge and a single, smaller hole in the opposite side. I took a copper nail and trimmed it down to a quarter inch on the shank, and then peened the stem over into a rivet once it was inserted in the smaller hole. The large, original head slips right through the keyhole to secure the screen in a complete cylinder. I flexed the whole sheet into a wider cylinder that just stands open around the stove and pot for less windy conditions. When it’s secured closed, it allows for about three quarters of an inch between the pot and windscreen, which is supposedly about the best to allow it to both”breathe” and to reflect heat back against the pot without overheating the stove and wasting fuel. When you’re finished cooking, the whole thing rolls up, and drops right in against the outer wall of the cook pot, taking up almost no space at all.

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You can get an idea of the cooking set up from the above photo.

My stove is from a Chinese manufacturer called ALOCS. It is nearly identical to the Trangia version, but with a slightly different set of flame jets. My biggest consideration was that, sold together with the small anodized pot support that does not come standard with a Trangia, the ALOCS only cost two thirds as much. It also has a much better designed damper-cap [the silver lidded doobie] with a longer handle. That means you’re much less likely to burn your fingers trying to swivel the damper plate.

Using the Olicamp XTS pot and 1 ounce of HEET as fuel, I had this Dollar Store chipotle burgoo coming to a bubble-boil within two minutes. [the stove had”bloomed” within 30 seconds and stabilized to a steady flame within one minute- “bloom” means the interior of the stove has pressurized and the jets have ignited]. I damped down the flame and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, while stirring occasionally. The stove will hold much more fuel than I had put in, and the 1 ounce of HEET was exhausted within another minute after I had taken the pot off the fire. So that gives a total burn per ounce of fuel right at 15 minutes. That doesn’t seem to me to be too bad. I know from past experience with the stoves, that once they have bloomed, you can get 8 ounces of water to a full boil in a good bit less than four minutes… 16 oz. in six.

I’m also happy to report that the $1 Mexican food was actually pretty tasty. Very spicy, and the corn and beans had rehydrated fully. It wasn’t the least undercooked and chewy. So, it made a really nice lunch as well as the demo. There was even more food than I needed to eat. And best of all, that black plastic bowl weighs next to nothing, is relatively sturdy, and is going right in the cook kit for the weekend so that I don’t have to eat out of the pot.

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One thought on “Mexican on the Stove

  1. Pingback: Smallwood-fired Tin-can Gasifier Stove | Moosenut Falls

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