Do you like to go on long hikes, take your camper van on holiday or go on a boat trip? A spirit stove allows you to easily prepare hot meals and drinks on all your adventures.
With our spirit stove test 2021 we want to help you find the best spirit cooker for you. We have compared single-flame and double-flame cookers and listed the advantages and disadvantages of each. This article should make your purchase decision as easy as possible.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Spirit Stove in the United Kingdom: Our Choices
- 4 Buying and evaluation criteria for alcohol stoves
- 5 Decision: What types of alcohol cookers are there and which one is right for you?
- 6 Guide: Frequently asked questions about spirit cookers answered in detail
- 6.1 What is a spirit cooker?
- 6.2 Who is an alcohol cooker suitable for?
- 6.3 How much does a spirit stove cost?
- 6.4 What are the alternatives to an alcohol cooker?
- 6.5 What are the safety risks of cooking with alcohol?
- 6.6 How do I operate a spirit cooker and how is it refilled?
- 6.7 What accessories do I need with my alcohol cooker?
- 6.8 How do I clean an alcohol cooker?
- Spirit cookers allow you to cook on the go without complications. It is perfect for camping holidays in a caravan, hiking trips lasting several days or short excursions.
- Basically, you have to decide between single-flame and double-flame alcohol cookers. The two alternatives can be used in different situations.
- Single-flame spirit cookers are very small and light. They are perfect for long hikes, bike tours and outdoor camping. Two-flame cookers allow you to cook comfortably on holiday with your camper van or boat.
The Best Spirit Stove in the United Kingdom: Our Choices
Buying and evaluation criteria for alcohol stoves
In this section, we will show you which criteria you can use to compare spirit cookers. In this way, you will easily find the perfect spirit cooker for you. The criteria that you can use to compare spirit cookers with each other include:
In the next chapters, the evaluation criteria for alcohol cookers will be explained in more detail.
Size & weight
Since alcohol cookers are mainly used on camping trips, the weight and size of the cooker is a decisive evaluation criterion. Especially if you like to go hiking and cook on the go, small weight and volume is an advantage. Nevertheless, smaller and lighter is not always better.
If you want to cook for several people, you need a larger hot plate. It is important that you buy a cooker that matches the size of your cooking utensils. When choosing a cooker, you should also consider the size of the pans and pots you would like to use.
The most commonly used material for alcohol cookers is aluminium. Aluminium is a light metal with a silvery-white colour. Aluminium is not only very light, but also extremely conductive, which is especially important for camping pots.
Many spirit cookers are also made of titanium. Titanium is actually heavier than aluminium, but can be processed very finely because of its stability. This property makes it possible to make lighter products from titanium than from aluminium.
Another common material for alcohol cookers is stainless steel. This material is heavier than titanium and therefore less suitable if you like to travel light. However, stainless steel is stronger than aluminium and about as strong as titanium. This makes it well suited for immobile spirit cookers. Stainless steel is also a lot cheaper than titanium.
Some manufacturers have made their newer products partly from "Ultralight Aluminium". This is a harder alloy that makes it possible to use thinner materials. Ultralight aluminium can reduce the weight of the cooker by about 20 - 25 percent.
This criterion is especially important for beginners and hobby campers. Because even though spirit cookers are basically very easy to use, the models are different and there are a few things to consider. Above all, you need to know the safety risks of the cooker. Although alcohol cookers are rather simple, accidents happen all the time.
Tip: Make sure that the alcohol cooker is soot-free before you buy it. This can save you a lot of maintenance.
You should also consider how easy it is to clean the product and how well you can store it in small storage spaces. For example, if you buy a spirit cooker as a set, you can usually store the pots and the cooker inside each other and take up very little space.
Before buying, make sure that the spirit cooker is soot- and odour-free. If this is not the case, you will have to expect more maintenance and a bad smell during and after cooking.
The burning time of spirit depends on the cooker and the ambient conditions. Generally, 20 ml of spirit is enough for a cooking time of about 12 minutes. Depending on the model, the fuel volume and thus also the possible burning time varies.
Dishes such as risotto or lentils take a long time to cook. Pasta or canned dishes, on the other hand, are quick to prepare.
Although alcohol cookers are very easy to use, there are still great risks involved in cooking. To ensure safety, it is important that the alcohol cooker is of good quality. It should be made of robust material. If the cooker is damaged after some time, this can have a negative effect on safety.
Tip: If you buy a single-flame cooker but want to cook with larger pots, you should choose a model with an external fuel supply line. They are more stable and therefore safer.
An important criterion for the safety of an alcohol cooker is certainly a secure stand. If it is not stable, it can easily tip over. Under certain circumstances, this would lead to the burning spirit spilling out and setting fire to a large area.
Decision: What types of alcohol cookers are there and which one is right for you?
If you are interested in a spirit cooker, there are two different types you can choose between:
|Single-flame||Handy, lighter, suitable for hiking||Only for one pot, more unstable|
|Two-flame||Easy cooking, suitable for campers or boats||Heavy and large, immobile.|
The handling and use of the two different cookers each bring advantages and disadvantages. Depending on what you prefer and what you want to use the alcohol cooker for, a different type is suitable. The two alternatives are presented in more detail in the following sections.
Guide: Frequently asked questions about spirit cookers answered in detail
What is a spirit cooker?
However, their disadvantage is that they only offer low efficiency. Their heating value is lower than that of other camping cookers.
Who is an alcohol cooker suitable for?
Two-burner alcohol cookers, on the other hand, allow you to cook comfortably and easily in your motorhome, on your boat or on camping holidays lasting several days. You can also cook for several people and easily heat two things at the same time. Spirit stoves are generally very easy to use.
They are also very widespread in Europe, which makes it very easy to organise spirit on the road. It should be mentioned, however, that spirit cookers are not suitable for cooking in cold conditions because of their low calorific value.
How much does a spirit stove cost?
|Single-flame spirit cooker||approx. 15 - 50 euros|
|Two-flame spirit cooker||50 - 150 euros|
Most alcohol cookers are sold as part of a camping cooking set. If you don't already have cookware, these sets are highly recommended. This way you can be sure that your pots and cooker will fit together and that you can store everything inside each other to save space.
Ethanol itself is very cheap and costs about 5 - 10 euros per litre, depending on the type. On average, you need about 25 ml per heated meal for one person and about 10 ml for heating a drink.
So if you want to prepare about two hot meals and one hot drink per day for two people, you need about one litre of methylated spirit per week.
What are the alternatives to an alcohol cooker?
|Spirit cooker||Robust and almost indestructible, cheap fuel, easy to use||Unsafe because spirit can leak, low calorific value|
|Gas cooker||Flame easy to regulate, low-maintenance operation||Gas cartridges not available everywhere, heavy fuel container, lots of waste|
|Petrol cooker||Suitable for sub-zero temperatures, high heat output||Large and heavy, smelly, noisy, high maintenance|
Gas cookers are very good alternatives to spirit cookers. They are somewhat larger and heavier, but also very suitable for hiking and touring. A big advantage of gas cookers is that you can easily regulate the temperature.
Unfortunately, however, the gas cartridges are not available everywhere and there is a lot of waste.
Petrol cookers are a good alternative for professionals. The advantages of petrol cookers are that they can be used in sub-zero temperatures and that they have a very high heat output. However, you need to be trained to use them, they require a lot of maintenance and they are large and heavy.
What are the safety risks of cooking with alcohol?
- Spurting flame when refilling: When refilling the cooker, a pilot flame can occur if the cooker is still switched on or hot.
- Flammable spirit spilled: Flammable spirit can easily be spilled when refilling.
- Cooker tipped over: If a spirit cooker is tipped over, the burning spirit will spill out
- High flame: When lit, a very high flame can be produced that lasts until the cooker is warmed up.
- Invisible flame: The flame is often barely visible, so it is easy to forget or overlook it.
To avoid these safety risks, be sure to observe the following basic rules:
- Secure stand of the cooking set
- Sufficient safety distance
- Check cooker for damage
- Pack a fire blanket
- Escape route when cooking in a tent
- Observe regional fire regulations
- Proper maintenance
How do I operate a spirit cooker and how is it refilled?
In addition, be aware of all the safety hazards and basic cooking rules described above. Ethanol is very flammable and careless cooking can be very dangerous.
What accessories do I need with my alcohol cooker?
- Frying pan
- Gas burner
- Tongs and straps
It may be worthwhile for you to buy a whole cooking set including an alcohol cooker. This way you can ensure that the pots and pans are ideally suited for your cooker. In addition, sets are usually produced in such a way that you can store all the parts inside each other to save as much space as possible.
How do I clean an alcohol cooker?
Tip: The sootiness of the spirit can be reduced by adding 10 percent water to the fuel. However, this also further reduces the heat output.
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