Sterno or LP camp-stove? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Does anyone have experience using both sterno stoves and small camp-stoves? I see 2 cans of sterno for $6 at the grocery which burns for 4 hours (2 hours each can), but don't know how long a 1lb bottle of LP (at about $3) will burn using a Coleman camp-stove (1 burner).

Any campers out there?

-- Anonymous99 (, February 10, 1999


Go get a Coleman Duel Fuel 2 burner camp stove ($55 at Target). It will burn either coleman fuel, or unleaded gas. It's pretty fuel efficient, and if you keep your car tank full, you probably have a 6 month supply of fuel sitting in your driveway. Add a $15 gas syphon pump from Pepboys, and you're set!

-- Online2Much (, February 10, 1999.

You don't want to use any of this stuff indoors - fumes. I recommend gelled alchohol, or a stove that burns liquid denatured alchohol. No fumes, just burns up your oxygen a little.


-- E. Coli (, February 10, 1999.

E. Coli,

I'm curious about the Ahlcohol stoves. Are they burly enough to boil water? Where do you get one? I like the idea, but I've never seen one...


What is your situation - are you in an apartment or somewhere else that limits your options? E. Coli is right about fumes, at the least you need to have good ventilation, and a fire extinguisher handy. Can you cook on a patio or something? Sterno has been known to be used indoors (for chafing dishes) but will not boil much (if any) water should that be a need.

-- Online2Much (, February 10, 1999.

There's a thread in Older Messages under "Food" - search on "chafing dish". Here's one bit of it:

Sam's has the Safe Heat brand. Cans remain cool to the touch and burn for 6 hours each. The fuel is said not to evaporate. A case of 12 sells for $11.99. Used after Fran took out the power, we were able to have coffee within 10 minutes. We also made scrambled eggs and heated soup with no problems. If you can't find a Sterno stove, you can substitute a small, cheap barbecue grill (few dollars at the drug store). Note: before you char the enamel on your gourmet cookware, buy a mess kit, some old pots from thrift stores, and/or iron pots for all your open-flame cooking. If you don't usually barbecue, make sure you have long-handled utensils too.

-- Old Git (, February 10, 1999.

IMO: Avoid gasoline/dual-fuel stoves like the plague - they present both a carbon monoxide and explosion hazard. Alcohol fuels such as Sterno has a very low energy density compared to fossil fuels. I'd recommend a two-burner propane camp stove. Can be used inside a dwelling, produces little CO2 (still, crack a window), and is safe providing all connections are tight. You can attach the disposable 1 lb. bottles if you like, but a few 20 lb. tanks, the kind used on BBQ grills, are cheaper overall. Camp stove dealers should also have, or be able to obtain, the necessary hose and adapter for using the 20 lb. tanks with the stove. Using the stove for an hour a day, a 20 lb. tank will last about 2 months. Propaner stores well, and most places let you store up to 60 gallons (220 lbs.) of propane - check with local authorities.

Hope this helps.

-- Why2K? (, February 10, 1999.

Has anyone ordered the little cookstove from BriteLyte?

-- Mitchell Barnes (, February 11, 1999.

Use the Sternos when you have ran out of everything else. I bought 2 Sterno stoves for my sister at WalMart. You can use a fondue pot setup in place of the Sterno stoves. Two large cans of the Sterno sell for $3.99 at WalMart. I bought 6 cans just as a back up - last ditch effort to keep things cooking.

-- bardou (, February 11, 1999.

Sterno (Canned Heat) is $1.00 per can at Sams. It has its purpose (mainly heating food). And 6 hours of heating for one buck ain't love but it ain't bad! I have the britelyte stove (in box) which will use most any fuel you can get (kero is best). I read it is a great stove and the price is fair (around $66.) I have bought a lot of y2k items based on what others have said and I have yet to test any of them for myself. I will try to have a back-up on everything to cook I have a small propane stove....the britelyte stove....canned heat....charcoal/cooker.....wood fireplace. and lots of matches and lighters

-- ronbanks (, February 11, 1999.

Instead of Sterno Use either a Stove in a Box by Choice Products, canton, OH 44705

or Easy Heat from Hallowick's, avail at any restaurant supply house.

both are propylene glycol, emit minimal fumes, and get REALLY hot. Can boil on them, and on the adjustable wick from Hallowick's, i would suspect that frying is NOT out of the question.

(Hallowick's, Manlius, NY)


-- Chuck, night driver (, February 11, 1999.

I guess I have to defend the coleman dual fuel stoves just a bit. Depending on your circumstances, it can be the ideal cooking alternative. In my case, I live in Florida, where cooking on the patio year round is no problem. My patio is in a very private, fenced back yard, and is covered, but not screened, so fumes are not a problem. As for the fire risk, I've been using one of these (that uses coleman fuel)for 20 years, and have never had any problems. As a matter of fact, I have never even heard of one catching fire (although it wouldn't surprise me) let alone exploding. I switched to the dual fuel when they first came out (91?) and used it after hurricane Andrew in 92. I also use it 6-8 times a year for tailgating at the stadium.

Would I want to use one in a northern, airtight house in January? Probably not, but if it came down to that or nothing (if it was my back-up to my back-up) I would.

Remember, one size does not fit all. If I were to argue against stocking up on firewood, you would call me nuts. But from MY perspective, I would be absolutely right. Here, firewood is almost non existent, and very expensive. Not to mention the fact that heating is the least of MY particular problem.

-- Online2Much (, February 11, 1999.

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