Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by James Freer, Sep 10, 2020.
The Fox is more of an Optimus 77 clone than a Trangia.
If I were buying a Trangia to be carried around in a large lorry, I would probably get the larger 25. While the 27 is perfectly capable of cooking for one person, the larger pots and pan of the 25 are sometimes useful, and the extra weight and bulk would be of little or no importance to a trucker.
Of course the 25 costs a bit more too, but the price difference is modest.
+1 on the Duossal recommendations.
A couple of you asked me to let you know I have got on since. I suppose it would be wise to start from the beginning.
I started off using an outdoor burner and gas bottle as I had them at home - which was ok except for the windshield.
I did get a camping stove from Halfords which many folk use for cooking inside... there is not much room in a cab. They are good but the canisters earn one long looks as they clank from other members of staff. They clank like cans of drink which I was not so keen on.
But the left leg is pathetic and had to be replaced with a bit of aluminium angle for daily use and I#d recommend anyone else did the same.
as you can see i used an aluminium instrument case to protect it which was worthwhile. I did give my Bluet a try but the canisters C206 are hard to get hold of now and £6-£9 each in the UK. But I've always liked the Bluet as the burner has a lovely homely roar to it - and was fine for the cab.
I used a tile from the garden to provide heat insulation.
The meths burner sits inside for winter use and is ideal for outside summer windy use and yes I do put the lid on most of the time. So the choice was a meths stove mainly because I have NO sense of smell which did concern me. Gas can leak and I would not be able to detect it before.......!
I did experiment with burners. I found the brass one that came with the stove did make much more soot than the Trangia one or the stainless ones I tried.
Supplied brass burner
I got a stainless one as they are £4 each and was pleasantly surprised that one got less soot on the bottom of the pans. But found out they were 80mm wide not 70mm like the supplied one and Trangia item. The supplied item was fine apart from the soot it seemed to create.
The wide stainless item I would avoid as it was nothing like as good as the Trangia or supplied item but it does have a larger reservoir (presumably it is for the coffee machines). I did enlarge the holes hoping that would make a difference but it didn't.
I did get one of the other stainless one that have a double ring burner. BUT they are 3mm less in diameter (67mm compared with Trangia at 70mm) but do burn very much faster - although with the negative of a smaller reservoir. So I drilled out the top of the original one and did some filing to make a holder which worked well. So the Chinese got something right but not the outer diameter.
With this burner the meths almost boils and does boil a pan of water in almost the same time as a gas burner so it is very much worthwhile although due to reservoir size a shorter time. I just get my supper done on it.
I can't compare this stove with a Trangia but the thought did occur that this is a vertical venturi. I do wonder if this was what was in the designer's mind. It does draw the air very well. With physics in mind I would have thought better than the Trangia.
i did explore with a cutlery container and it doesn't work the same - why there are so many meths stoves with straight sides out there I don't know because I can't think they work as well as this does. below was my little experiment - used paper to cover the middle holes and top and bottom rows to draw the air. Just doesn't work.
So the meths stove is ideal and fits neatly in a saucepan for protection.
For me the 16cm saucepans work fine. Just the right size to balance on the truck steps. The aluminium ones may be fine but not for long day after day use. I don't know how the Trangia 25 can be considered for 4 persons. For me it is very much an every day cooker - maintenance free and no working parts. can't say the control ring is worth the bother tbh. I use a 400g bean can to extinguish the flame as I have burnt myself with the ring and car hub caps. This is just the right height I find. i don't bother with teh lid - I just put enough in to boil water for coffee or full when I do supper.
Running costs? Well a meths cooker using meths from a DIY store or similar in the UK sold in 500ml bottles costs £4.50 each which is £9 per litre. Not cheap despite the claims that it is. before buying the stove I looked at bulk buying Amazon offer the best deals
£22 per 5L which is £4.40 per litre - i bought 10L
£62 4 x 5L which is £3.10 per litre.
So far I have used about a litre per week The Halfords stove gas cannisters are about £3 each which I used 3 off. I already had a petrol fuel bottle to use from my Coleman peak days and would recommend anyone does the same as a plastic bottle could easily get punctured particularly if one has to change cabs during the week and one's mood tends to be agh... - I utterly hate taking all the kit out transferring to another.
If one was going to use a meths cooker to cook raw food - one I'd say does need two cookers as the meths tank runs out and needs to cool before refilling. I like it but it's not for everyone. The best stove to have I think is a paraffin stove but I think the only one's available new these days are the Japanese make... £200+ is not what I want to spend at present but after a year or so I might think otherwise. Gas I don't consider an option due to my sense of smell.
Many thanks for your help. I did try 10% water in with the meths to reduce soot but found it minimal improvement.
I should add that meths is a useful product. At home I use it for cleaning labels off items, emergency car windscreen wash (useful for trucks too), cleaning grease off door handles and such, cleaning engine block/head for headgasket failure, furniture before polishing, as well as cleaning all switches and almost every surface in a truck for covid.
Fantastic James, thank you for the update. You'll put more use on your stoves in a month than most people will in a lifetime, and it really makes your input valuable.
Great post - Thank you!
Regarding the “almost boiling meth” - that can’t be good for the run-time?
I wonder what would happen if you stuffed your latest burner with some Carbon Felt? - Like the Optimus 81 Trapper has some sort of “hollow foam/fibre filling in the tank/fount for keeping the meth stable?
(Be happy to send you a piece?)
I would be grateful for a pic - not sure I follow you.
Thought I would do a burner comparison this afternoon. The double ring one is in fact titanium not stainless as I said earlier. The rear right is the chinese burner that came with the stove (burns with a lot of soot and yellow flame), front right the Trangia one. It's obvious which is the better bet the Trangia or if you want the hot option the double ring. As for the meths boiling in fact both the Trangia and the double ring do but only when it gets down to about a 1/3.
Carbon felt is soft and comes in sheets of various sizes and thickness - It can be cut with a scissor and can be mounted inside the burner and by that absorb the meth and give a more stable vaporisation (no boiling). Carbon felt can take a LOT of heat - so it will not melt or otherwise change shape.
Meths will often boil over in these burners if they are placed on a hard surface which will reflect heat back to the burner. They are designed to be suspended in air - all the trangia stove designs have the burner off the ground and kept cool by the incoming air flow.
Adding carbon felt will also prevent this as it slows vaporisation by itself. More efficiency but less speed. With these burners it’s either one or the other. With a good windshield for the pot as well, you can get as much of both as possible. I like the trangia burner for being acceptably fast with still good efficiency. If I can wait and want better efficiency on a hike, then I will use the simmer ring but leave it still wide open. That really helps use less fuel. The Trangia 25 is also a bit more efficient due to the size of the pots - the original and best as they say!
One thing I didn't mention was meths quality. The first i tried was Bartoline from a builder's merchant. 2nd lot was SupaDec from Amazon which i found left deposit on the burner's holes. The latest was Barrattine and this was more like the Bartoline no deposits on the burner.
It would seem quality is something to watch out for.
I agree with what you say. To compare them i just put these on a tile in the kitchen to save the worktop. Under the stove I have 5mm of airspace (don't know how that compares with the Trangia). In use I found that the double ring still boiled a little. I will be using the Trangia burner this next week as it is not so hot. But have enlarged the holes a little to save them getting clogged. I found the hole size made little difference.
I have two Chinese knock-offs that I use in my kombi, and I used one in my house every day for two months before leaving on my trip to get used to how it cooks.
There's not much air gap under the burner on one (more trangia-like) and the other is just a solid stand with bits for the mini-pots to sit on (less stable but great for a quick mini-kettle cuppa as you don't have to mess around setting it up.
It's slower than LPG (propane) to cook on, but legal in the kombi (don't ask where I used to store the gas bottle, it came that way and I was 19 and naiive). In Australia I have to add a little water to the metho, it burns with soot otherwise... I don't know why this helps but it does (I read it on a metho-stove forum).
I got both on ebay... what turned me off the trangia was I don't like cooking in uncoated aluminium (it always sticks!) and I do cook proper meals for one or two people... not just reheating hiking food... I have even used a small "normal" saucepan/ steamer set on the solid one. Little wobbly but rice (in the bottom) salmon and veg (in the top) for two people cooked just fine without refilling.
I have never known the metho to "almost boil", but they do have to be on something heatproof as it all gets hot. I have a trivet on a stainless steel bench top in the kombi, but mostly cook outside (why not? lol)
It was so cheap compared to a "real" one, the solid one was like $15AUD delivered (pots were separate) and I am using them a lot... they have gotten tarnished but work well and I will be curious to see how long they last.
If I wanted a fast stove for small spaces I would get a jetboil, a friend has one and it's amazing how long the mini gas tank lasts. I prefer the metho (big bottles are cheap and it's alcohol not petrol-based).
Back to square 1 and what resources to work with on low budget.
Do you still have the Coleman Peak 400?
What issues does it have and can we help source a generator?
Ledmark - Meta 50 clone alcohol stove
Similar was sold through ALDI if I recall.
I've got a clone that does a good job.
Looks like you are getting used to this.
Very interested to hear from someone else using a storm cooker for real cooking rather than just warming up. I also tested at home before using away. My steamer is the type that take two sizes of saucepan i.e. 16cm or 18cm
You may like to consider getting one of these which are widely available in the UK and in stainless. I've bought them at car boot sales - I don't know why but many folk don't use them... presumably use a microwave instead. I have several as I have steam cooked veg for many years and wouldn't be without them. For pan stability you may like to try my Bain Marie ring idea upside down to support pans which I like. I found myself hunting around shops to get a decent fitting saucepan - it's surprising how much they vary. I took the top windshield and burner ring into the stores with me. Food sometimes gets burnt on the side of stainless pans though as aluminium ones are thicker. You said you didn't like aluminium but I take it that is the bare aluminium instead of Teflon coated.
For me with everyday cooking the negatives are:
- One needs two - as the meths gets low, one needs to transfer the pan to another cooker once lit and 'bloomed'. As one cannot refill the hot burner immediately.
- Its slow compared with propane/butane gas or petrol/paraffin
- meths is only cheaper bought in large quantities
But this is outweighed in my view by no maintenance issues other than carrying a spare burner just in case.
Just in case anyone is thinking of buying a storm cooker - UK folk. I noticed today that amazon are selling the Trangia 27 £39 post free, Trangia 25 £45 post free. Best price I have seen for the standard cook set.
As the clone burner is chinese and not so good - so a clone and trangia burner comes to the same price. Already my clone is beginning to show signs of wear - the windshiekld gets knocked about a bit.
Perhaps I can take this opportunity to ask forum members to purchase ANY amazon products through SMILE amazon - as a percentage goes to a named charity. Perhaps I can dedicate this post to the charity "greyhound gap" that I had my beautiful Saluki Collie cross from. She had been owned by gypsies who beat her and kept her outside for two years until she was rescued and placed in the hands of Greyhound Gap (they specialise in rehoming all sighthounds not just greyhounds).
I lived at my mothers when I had her and we had an annexe where she could initially live with my other sighthound until I could gradually introduce her to the house. She was a very poor beaten up dog and it took 3-4 months to introduce her to the house as she was frightened of humans. She turned into a lovely happy girl but it took almost 6 months year to get her fully settled.
This pic is 5 years later showing her lovely smile as she asked to go out. So sort of goes hand-in-hand with smile.amazon.co.uk. I sadly lost her 2 yrs ago when she was 11/12 yrs as she developed a tumour and heart condition, and lost my other dog the same week (14 yrs) when he lost control of his front legs (quite common with sight hounds but normally the rear legs).
That Amazon price must be UK only. I do not find it here.
I've used Barrettine in the past - and liked the fact that, when I was using an alcohol stove a lot, I could buy it from my local stockist in 5 litre containers. Currently I'm mostly using paraffin and petrol stoves on Aspen 4, and only use meths for priming - but I've noticed that the Supadec meths which I'm using at present does leave a lot of sticky gunge on the primer bowls and which spills over onto the tank top on my Optimus 80s.
When I've used it up, I'll go back to using Barrettine, and check if that's better - though, like you, I've found that the burner makes a big difference, both in terms of the flame and the soot produced. I recently bought a Trangia clone burner, which never properly got to the 'ring of blue flames' stage, even after 10 minutes running - it was still producing yellow flames about 6 - 8 inches high, and lots of soot.
According to Barrettine's website, if you contact them, they will let you know which stockists are still open at the moment:
Contact us | Barrettine Products
If there's not one close to where you live, there's bound to be one you'd pass on your travels. That way, you wouldn't have to pay shipping charges, and if 5 litres isn't enough, Barrettine also do it in 25 litre plastic containers and in 45 gallon drums . . .
With best regards,
just a two cent suggestin: in Italy at list there is a perfect spirit stove fuel sold for chimneyless fireplaces, it is called "Bioethamolo" and is exactly what the word says: debaturated ethilic alcohol.
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