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Emberlit UL

Discussion in 'Cooking' started by Keith_Beef, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. Keith_Beef

    Keith_Beef Native

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    Way back in 2013, I got an Emberlit UL (Ultralight, the titanium version) second hand from somebody either here in BCUK or on the now defunct BB forum...

    I posted a thread of my first burn in it, but I'd not paid much attention to what wood I had used for fuel, or how long it had taken to get a pot of soup up to full heat.

    Now I vaguely remember that I had promised to do a follow-up, paying more attention to the fuel and the time it took to boil a pan of water. And then I forgot all about it.

    Five years later, after moving house, I remembered what I had promised, and went digging around for the stove... to no avail. It should, logically, have been on a shelf down in the cellar, with my set of pans. I found the pans, but no stove. (I couldn't find my tent, either, but that's another story.)

    My special magic technique to make a disappeared object reappear is to go and buy a replacement article; this always, always works. So I went and ordered a Solo Titan with the 1800 cooking pot that it can fit inside of. And of course the next day, I found the Emberlit stove: in the cellar, hidden under a bag of split cane (for making woven cane seats and backs for chairs).

    So some time in between now and the end of next weekend, I will do what I promised to do five years ago: a more careful Emberlit UL test.
     
    #1 Keith_Beef, Sep 2, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
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  2. Keith_Beef

    Keith_Beef Native

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    Well, the washing machine decided to spill its water all over the laundry room floor on Saturday morning, and SWMBO decided that I should trim a load of ivy off the wall on Sunday, so between those two events and horse riding on Sunday, I didn't get the burn test done.

    But I managed to find the time to chop up a load of kindling and fuel wood, and yesterday I picked up the Solo Titan from the Post Office.

    So next weekend, all being well, I'll do a test of both, with a 1L water boil race between the two.
     
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  3. Tony

    Tony White bear (Admin)
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    This still going ahead Keith? Interested to read the results!
     
  4. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    The gasifier surely will be the fastest of the two? The Emberlits are more fun though. :)
     
  5. Keith_Beef

    Keith_Beef Native

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    It's going to happen... I was too busy yesterday (guests came over for supper; I was tidying the bar and dining room all morning and then in the kitchens all afternoon preparing seafood gumbo) and then today we've had really blustery weather with occasionally heavy showers ever since I got back from the stables...

    I'm going to assemble the Emberlit wearing some leather gloves with thick winter lining, to answer a criticism I've seen on some Youtube reviews, where the reviewer thinks that the fact you have to fit together the pieces would make the Emberlit a no-go for really cold weather (like below -15°C). I don't think it'll be a problem, even though I've not had a go at assembling it for the past five years.
     
  6. Keith_Beef

    Keith_Beef Native

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    So, here goes...

    Hardware:
    • Emberlit UL titanium stove,
    • Gloves, thick leather and thick lining,
    • Decathlon cooking set, comprising of:
    • 1.4 litre aliuminum pot and lid
    • two aluminium plates
    • two plastic cups
    • Kleen Kanteen 64oz Growler,

    Consumables:
    • kindling (trimmings from a lilac tree and twigs fallen from maple and plane trees)
    • split firewood (mix of oak, hornbeam, chestnut)
    • matches

    Supplies:
    • 1 litre of water at 14°C
    • miso paste,
    • 220g salmon loin (well, that's how it's described on the packet),
    • half a big onion
    • a few slices of salo (slices off a cube about 1cm by 1cm)
    • 1 cup of basmati rice

    Assembling the stove, including installing the two cross-pieces, took 3 minutes 20 seconds, wearing thick gloves. Considering that this is the first time in five years, and only the second time ever that I've assembled this stove, I think that just about dismisses the idea that it can't be done in cold weather. These gloves are considerably thicker than what I would wear outside at -15°C.

    I wanted to shoot a video for this, so wanted things to be above floor level; I also wanted to measure the temperature below the stove, to find out how likely it is that the ground would get scorched. So I laid a floor of firebricks on a wooden table, and then installed a K type thermocouple up through slats in the table and up between the firebricks, so that the tip was poking up just above the level of the firebricks. Then I started loading up the stove with kindling.

    It took me a few attempts to get the fire going well. My kindling was not very dry (it's been drizzling since before dawn) and this is the first time I've touched the stove in five years).

    Around 13h50 I got the fire going well, and put in a load of pieces of mainly lilac, at about the thickness of my little finger, and let that burn for about seven minutes.

    When there was a good flame coming out of the top, I decided that I didn't need to feed from the top any mores so I put the cross pieces back in, and laid a piece of split wood across in front, so I could start feeding in longer, fatter pieces of wood through the front feed hole.

    At 14h, so ten minutes after the fire was burning well, I measured the temperature under the stove as 39°C and the surface of the stove as 350°C. At 14h02 I put a pan containing 1 litre of water at 15°C on the stove.

    With the pan on the stove, I went in the kitchen and sliced half an onion and cut a few slices off a chunk of salo (salted pork fat). At I came back out at 14h04 to find that the fire was a bit low, so I added some more smaller pieces through the front feed hole and some really think pieces through the air holes, and blew into the embers a bit, to get theùm going.

    At 14h10 the temperature under the stove was 56°C and the pot was at about 85°C. I had a bit of trouble getting it up to 100°C; at one point I lifted the pot off the stove and the flames grew higher and the heat jumped up quite a bit. I think that the pan must have been smothering the fire.

    I went back inside and sliced up around 220g of salmon and mesured out a cup of basmati rice, and brought these out along with the onions, slices of salo, a pot of mixed turmeric, ginger and chilli, and a jar of black miso paste. then set about feeding th efire some more with small lengths of the split firewood. Thinking that too much heat was being lost from the surface of the water, I put the lid on the pan and waited a bit longer...

    In the end, it took until 14h28 to get a good strong boil going, so almost forty minutes since getting the fire going properly.

    What I did next, was to pour the boiling water into Kleen Kanteen vacuum jug. Then I put the now empty pan back on the stove and put into it half the slices of salo, the chopped onions and about a soupspoon of the mixed spice.

    Then I put a spoonful of miso paste into a cup and poured hot water from the Kanteen onto it, to have some soup while cooking the rest.

    When the onions were well sweated, I added the cup of rice, and stirred a bit more. Here, I realised that there was a bit less fat than I would usually have had in the rice.. After a couple of minutes, I measured two cups of hot water from the Kanteen into the rice, put the lid on, and left it to cook gently, lifting the lid to check on it now and again and only adding a little bit of fuel when necessary to keep the liquid simmering.

    I finished my cup of miso soup, and made another from the hot water in the Kanteen.

    It took about twenty minutes for the rice to absorb all the water, at which time I took the pan off the heat and put an aluminium plate, to serve as a frying pan, on the stove with the rest of the salo. When that had started to melt, I added the slices of salmon and cooked them rapidly, before tipping them onto the rice, covering again off the heat to allow the residual heat to to make sure the salmon was cooked all the way through. I didn't want to leave it for too long in the pan, because I find it almost impossible to control the heat with any degree of accuracy.

    By now, I'd almost finished my second cup of miso soup, so it was time to think about sitting down to eat the rice and salmon.

    In retrospect, if I were to do this again, I'd change a few things...

    1. I'd prepare my kindling better, and keep it dryer; I'd prepare the fuel for the main burn better.
    2. I'd use a more enclosed pan or, better still, a kettle to boil the water.
    3. I'd not bother frying the salmon; I'd add it to the rice while it was still on the stove, and when half cooked I'd remove the pot of rice and allow the residual heat to finish the cooking.
    4. At the end, I'd put a full kettle of water on the stove, bring the water to the boil, and use that to fill the Kanteen, so as to have a store of near-boiling water to start the next meal or for a brew of coffee or tea. Today's test has reminded me that in a format as small as the Emberlit, even what seems like a strong fire has trouble bringing a litre of water to the boil. It's going to be much easier if the water already at 60°C or 80°C.

    The Kleen Kanteen 64 ounce Growler is a stainless steel vacuum jug with a swing-top stopper. This version holds 1.9 litres; the manufacturer claims that it will keep a iced liquid cold for 120 hours and a cold liquid cold for 40 hours... I don't know how reliable these claims are, but I poured boiling water into it from the electric kettle and took water from it 24 hours and it was scalding hot; 48 hours after filling, seemed like it was still justr as hot. I didn't have a thermometer to hand, but I'm convinced that it does a good enough job.
     
    #6 Keith_Beef, Oct 7, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
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  7. mikehill

    mikehill Settler

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    Great write up Only thing is the link is to a single wall Kleen Kanteen ?
     
  8. Keith_Beef

    Keith_Beef Native

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    Thanks for pointing that out, Mike. I fixed the link, and also an error I made reporting the claim... I misread the label on mine; the claim is for iced liquids or cold liquids, not for hot or cold liquids.

    I've not found a claim for hot liquids on the site.

    By the way, this might be useful for those people looking for a way to keep fresh milk while hiking and sleeping out.
     
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