coke can meths burners?

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Feb 20, 2016
there are a few different designs out there. are any of them actually any good or should I just buy a brass meths burner

ol smokey

Full Member
Oct 16, 2006
If you follow the instructions to make the "penny" stove you will find it OK , But the White box Stove which costs about
20 quid is much better in heat output, and the flame jets work when the pot is directly placed on the stove, where the pot used in this way would smother most of this type of stove. Any of these stoves take a bit of time to boil the water compared to pressure stoves, but they are quiet and economical, plus the fuel is easier to find in isolated places.


Full Member
Mar 2, 2015
Loch Lomond
I made a whitebox style stove from a Poundland water bottle. Works pretty well. I haven't had cause to use it out in the wild yet, as I prefer my wee woodgas stove. But it's always there as a backup


Full Member
May 23, 2014
I'v fried loads of these and my favorites are the starlyte style followed by fancy feast stoves (google)

The fancy feast is the toughest and most versatile. But the starlyte when used with a purpose made cone wind shield/potstand is awsome. I would use either of those on exped no problem at all


Feb 3, 2011
Framingham, MA USA
DIY alcohol burners are good,cheap equipment. There are many types,including many made from coke cans,many of which are more or less copies of the Trangia type. They tend top be a bit fiddly to use,and because of the need to "bloom" (develop vapour pressure to have sufficient pressure to force vapour out of the jet holes) they don;t work very well in cold temperatures. I think that the so called "fancy feest (feast) type stove is the most reliable and simple to use alcohol stove. They even light reliably in -20 deg C. Developed by Zelph(I think) of Here is a video:

Another wick stove using a cat food can puts a wick around the outside of a can:

This also works reliably, and if using a tuna can, has a fairly wide, stable base,

Another favpurite of mine is the capillary action stove, which is really easy to make using just a soda can and a knife (or scissors) if you don't have any wick material readily available. The crimping can be done with a knife blade of some long nose pliers. It blooms much more quickly than most pressure stoves(penny stove, white box, trangia), so is more reliable.

Like all alcohol stoves, they need a good windscreen to work effectively.They are pretty good at boiling water (16 fluid ounces in 4-41/2 minutes) . Simmering/slow cooking require additional tweaks to block off some of the fire ring. It can be fun developing and making those. Lots of you tube videos available.

I use them because they are effective, and very light (10-15 grams for the capillary type) so are good for hiking/backpacking. Even the two can fancy feest only weighs about 30 grams. BTW, you don;t have to use carbon felt for the wick. glass fibre tape works just as well and may be more easily available. I have even used kitchen roll paper and cotton string to make wicks (a thin wick gives a smaller flame for a simmering stove)

Be careful,you may find that DIY alcohol stoves can be a trifle addictive.


Full Member
Jan 25, 2014
The classical self pressurising ones can be a bit sluggish in the cold but had some good experimental results by stuffing a steel pot-scrubber into the vaporising chamber before final assembly. My physics is rusty but the rough theory is that this transfers more heat from the central priming well into a smaller volume of fuel thus bringing it up to operating temperature quicker.


Full Member
Making them is a good skill to acquire.

I made my first one as I was in a remote part of France where alcohol for burning was easier to get than gaz. After several attempts I was able to produce an effective stove and now keep a very small one in my pack in case I run out of other fuel. NB open fire not allowed in Summer round here.

I also made a "Monkeyboy" stove after reading a post on here. As others have pointed out there is a lot of information and a bit of research will show you that there are many "home-made" options as well as the coke can. They are fun to make and it impresses the grandchildren!


Feb 3, 2011
Framingham, MA USA
Heat rtansfer is part of it. the packed wire allow capillary effect to bring liquid fuel into close proximity to the jet holes. If you cut a trangia in half you will see that they have a strip of cloth in the chamber between the inner and outer wall going from the base of the stove which is the fuel reservoir, to a point just below the burner jets. I have seen tests os some "generic" titanium trangia type burners which a extremely slow to bloom. I reckon this is because they do not have the wick between the walls. BTW, the cloth wick, or any wick is using capillary action to transport the liquid fuel to the point where it burns. In the capillary stove referenced below. the narrow gap between the two walls of metal cause capillary action to draw the fuel up to the burning point,making it easier/quicker to bloom. Isn't it nice to know that your high school physics has such useful application in camping/hiking? Here's a video showing the inside wick of a Trangia

So if you make double walled coke can stoves (trangia copies) put a bit of cotton cloth inside to wick alcohol up to the jets to get faster and more reliable blooming.