Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Esbit Stove Cooking Set

While visiting a nearby military base, I discovered Esbit has a new stove and backpacking cook set. The new Esbit stove is round and one piece compared to earlier folding Esbit stoves. Also, the stove is no longer heavy steel, but lighter weight hard anodized aluminum.

We opened one of the boxes which was a 4 inches cube. Inside we discovered a small drawstring bag. Opening the drawstring bag we pulled out a cup with folding handles. Inside the cup was the stove. We set the stove base on the shelf and set the cup into the stove. Clever.

The Esbit stove has a permanent rectangle inside the bottom that holds one Esbit solid fuel tablet. There is a large opening to allow access for fuel tablets, matches, or lighters. Near the top of the stove are small holes to improve stove burning. It looks like there is room for a small alcohol stove or tea light stove inside the Esbit stove for those who prefer a different fuel. We noted Esbit's catalog does show this same stove available with an alcohol stove, so the extra space is a deliberate feature.

As there was no scale nearby, we don't have a weight for the set. If you purchase one of these you'll need to add a folding spork, lighter and some foil to make a better wind screen. Also, the stove seems almost the correct diameter for holding a Heineken pot, but alas, no Heineken beer can was available for testing.

There are a few other reviews of the Esbit stove set online already:
Esbit Solid Fuel Stove Set Review
Test Esbit stove: Small 585 ml cooking set for a cup of coffee


We went ahead and purchased the Esbit Stove Cooking Set. We killed about an hour measuring, weighing, and playing with its components. Here's some of what we discovered.

Size: The cup is 3.5 inches deep and 3.5 inches across (diameter)

Volume: The cup is marked with 8, 12 and 16 ounce levels, but will hold nearly 20 ounces.

Weight: The entire cook set as sold by Esbit weighed 1/2 pound (232 grams / 8.15 oz). The aluminum cup alone weighs 4.35 oz (129 grams). Dropping the Esbit stove and adding a Supercat alcohol stove and windscreen and the cook set weighs 6 oz (170 grams).

We took the stove outside in about 40 degree F weather, lit our Supercat stove and set the cup with 16 oz of tap water on the stove. Much more stable than our wider cook pot. Due to the close fit of the wind screen, when we first set the cup on the stove, we had a 2-3 inch jet of flame shooting above the wind screen on one side. This died back in about 20-30 seconds. We had boiling water at about 4 minutes.

We also wondered if the new round Esbit stove would fit a Heineken beer keg pot. We dug our Heineken pot out and set it into the Esbit stove. Perfect fit! Extremely stable, like the two were made for each other. Placing the stove over the top of the Heineken keg, we found the stove engulfed more of the keg and almost fit inside our screw top container. We're fairly sure that we can unscrew the four plastic legs and the stove and Heineken pot will fit perfectly inside the container.

We also set a super cat inside the Esbit stove as there is a European version with a brass alcohol stove. The Supercat pushes the Heineken pot up slightly and there's a bit of a wobble with an empty pot. The solid fuel holder is held in place by a single rivet. It looks like, if the rivet were removed, the Heineken pot would fit snugly over the Supercat stove making a complete lightweight alcohol stove system.

We plan to purchase a second Esbit stove cooking set and separate its components so we end up with two 6 oz Esbit cup/stove sets and two Heineken pot/Supercat/Esbit stove sets. That should cover our family of four and allow each child to eventually inherit two lightweight cooking systems.

Watch for two upcoming articles and YouTube videos featuring each cooking system and its components.

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