CAMPING & HIKING

Kerosene Stove: Heating Your Food and Yourself

Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

Traveling through the wilderness is something you probably enjoy doing at least once in a while. You want to get out with your friends and family and have some fun, but you also want to make sure you have all the tools you need in order to make it a successful and enjoyable trip.

One of the things you’re going to want is a kerosene stove, which will help everyone in your party have a great meal each day and each night. After all, not having hot food is one surefire way to start off on the wrong foot.

Choosing a Kerosene Stove

If you’re going to start looking for a kerosene stove you want to make sure you’re looking at all the right features. You want something that is going to last a long time and you definitely want to make sure that it’s going to give you the quality food you’re looking for.

kerosene cook stove

Of course, there’s more to it than just that as well. So make sure you are looking at all of these things to help you figure out what you need when you choose that next kerosene stove.

Size

The first thing you want to know is how big the stove is going to be and what it’s going to be able to heat. You need to know what type of dishes to take with you after all and if your camping stove is too small for the pots you’ve taken along you’ll have a really hard time getting your dinner all ready.

You’ll end up with not enough food cooked at once or parts of your meal getting scorched while the rest is still cold. Not to mention you’ll be taking things you don’t need and that’s never a good idea when it comes to camping and backpacking.

Lifespan

You’re going to want to look at how long the unit lasts as well. Of course, it’s really going to be the lifespan of the kerosene you put it in rather than the unit itself, but the important thing is that you have enough lifespan that you can easily cook at least a few meals for your family while you’re in the wilderness.

Cooking with stove

This is even more important if you’re going to be stranded out in the wilderness or if you find yourself attempting survival in the wild on your own.

Canister

Not all stoves like this are going to include their own canister but some of them will. This can be a benefit to you because it means you don’t have to worry about trying to find a pot that will fit with your stove.

Rather, you have to make sure you take the right canister with the unit and you’ll be able to get started right away. This is definitely going to be a benefit for you and it’s going to make sure your food is always cooked just the way you want it to be.

Liquid Versatility

Many liquid stoves are actually able to use a variety of different materials and allow you to switch between them with little effort. You’ll want to consult with the manufacturer specs but for the most part you can switch between things like gasoline, kerosene and even diesel or jet fuel.

Using outdoor stoves

It’s not recommended that you use a range of fuels one after the other, but if you find yourself in a survival situation where you can’t get anything else, they’re all going to make sure your stove continues to run.

Products You Shouldn’t Live Without

Alpaca Kerosene Cook Stove

Alpaca Kerosene Cook StoveSpecific Features: 8,500 BTU, 16 hour lifespan, 1 burner

Best Use: The Alpaca Kerosene Cook Stove holds a 4 qt. tank which can easily keep running for up to 16 hours. This is definitely long enough to make up any meals for your family and can keep you all well fed and warm for a longer amount of time than nearly any other camping stove on the market.

It has only one burner, but that’s plenty to heat up just about anything your family wants to eat. You’ll also have no problem keeping the unit clean because it has a tray that catches spills then detaches easily to clean.

The fiberglass wick is designed to last a long time without you having to do much of anything and that means you’re definitely going to be glad you got it started. When you head out into the wilderness this stove is a moderate weight, which makes it easier to carry around with you and it’s small enough that it takes up less room in your pack that really needs to be allocated to other things. You’ll be able to get everything you need in your bag alongside this stove.

Able to put out 8,500 BTU’s of heat, this stove is actually great for more than just cooking. It’s also designed to make sure you and your family are able to stay warm when you’re sitting out in the wilderness for an extended period of time and that 16 hours of heat can definitely make a difference for everyone. You’ll want to check this one out for yourself and you’ll be glad for the moderate price that’s under $150 as well.

WinnerEco Handy Portable Outdoor 8 Wicks Kerosene Burner Camping Stove Heaters

WinnerEco Handy Portable Outdoor 8Weight: 15 lbs.

Dimensions: 18 cm x 16.5 cm

Specific Features: Green color, 8 burning holes, 1 liter fuel, 6.5 hours continuous duration

Best Use: If you’re looking to make food for between 5 and 8 people then the WinnerEco Handy Camping Stove is the one for you. It has 8 burning holes to provide plenty of heat for the food that all of you are going to need and it is extremely easy to use.

You can choose to light it up with kerosene, diesel oil or a variety of other liquids so you’re never going to run out of the right type of fuel for you. That way, even when you’re in a less than desirable situation, you’re going to be able to heat up your food just fine.

The stove itself is moderately lightweight, which makes it easy enough for you to carry along in your pack when you’re heading out into the wilderness and it has a moderate size that also makes it easy to store or set up even when you don’t have a lot of space.

Don’t let the size fool you however, it’s capable of putting off plenty of heat and cooking just about anything you could want in a short amount of time. In fact, it takes only about 5-7 minutes to get your water up to a boiling temperature, the perfect heat for most of your camp meals.

This unit is much cheaper than a lot of the others, priced under $20, and that means you’re going to love it if you’re looking for something that’s a little more budget friendly but still provides you with the amount of heat and power you’re going to need for an extended trip. This versatile unit is definitely going to be worth the price you pay for it.

Ezyoutdoor Spirit Stove Alcohol Burners Spirit Burner

Ezyoutdoor Spirit Stove Alcohol BurnersWeight: 1.25 ounces

Dimensions: 2.36” x 5.91” x 5.91”

Specific Features: Lifetime guarantee, money back guarantee, fits any size pot/pan, boils water in 6 minutes

Best Use: The Ezyoutdoor Spirit Stove is designed to get you plenty of burning time with just a small amount of fuel. In fact, only 2 ounces of fuel will give you up to 30 minutes of burning time, more than enough to boil the water you need for your next meal (which takes only 6 minutes).

That means you’ll have plenty of time to heat up your meal for yourself and your entire family before your 2 ounces of fuel has even burned out and that’s going to be important if you find yourself trying to make that fuel last as long as possible in the wilderness.

Lightweight, this unit is only a little over 1 ounce, which makes it super easy to take with you when you’re heading out onto the trail. You don’t have to worry about how you’re going to fit it in your pack alongside all of your other gear because it’s super small and you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to carry the extra weight. You will hardly even notice that extra 1 ounce that you’re stuffing into the bottom of your sack.

Because of the design of this unit, you can actually use it with just about any size or shape of pot or pan you may have. That means you can choose something that’s going to be more versatile and easier for you to carry and you won’t have to worry about how well it’s going to match up with your heating source.

This super inexpensive tool is less than $10 and it has a full money back guarantee you’re going to love. There’s even a lifetime guarantee that says this tool is going to last.

Large 1L Outdoor Picnic Camping Portable Home Kerosene Oil Stove

1L Outdoor Picnic Camping StoveWeight: 1.65 lbs.

Dimensions: 18.5 cm x 17.5 cm

Specific Features: 8 combustion holes, 1 liter capacity, smoke-less unit

Best Use: The Large Outdoor Picnic Kerosene Stove is capable of heating just about anything you want. Designed to work for your next picnic or social gathering, this is no doubt an excellent tool that will work well when you’re out in the wilderness, as well.

It can warm your food quickly and it’s super easy to carry around with you because it’s lightweight and moderately sized. This makes it much simpler to pack it up or carry, even when you need to carry along extra fuel to keep it lit as long as you need.

The unit itself is reusable for an extended period of time, so you can make sure you’re never going to be without a source of heat for yourself or your food. Not only that, but it looks nice and is easy to operate with a simple power level switch that lets you control just how much fire you really want, depending on what you’re going to be doing with the heat that’s coming out. Either way, you’re going to have everything that you’re looking for when it kicks on.

You’ll consume about 0.15 liters per hour with this unit which can provide you with up to 6.5 hours of fuel and heat with just one load of kerosene. The high brightness wick means that you’re not only going to be warm, you’re also going to be able to see well with this kerosene stove, and that’s always a benefit when you’re in the middle of nowhere.

All you have to do is turn it up as high as you need and you still won’t have to worry about smoke because this unit is smoke-free.

Advanced Outdoor Picnic Camping Portable Home Kerosene Oil Stove Survival Heater

Advanced Outdoor Picnic Camping StoveWeight: 2.3kg

Dimensions: 22 cm x 22.5 cm

Specific Features: 2 liter capacity, 10 combustion holes, 0.15 liters per hour, 11 hour duration

Best Use: The Advanced Outdoor Picnic Kerosene Oil Stove is ready to be not just your cooking source, but your heater in times of trouble as well. It is entirely smoke-free and allows you to get plenty of heat if you find yourself suffering in the cold. You won’t have to worry about your survival because if you turn this unit on it’s going to help you last a lot longer than you would without your heat and it’s going to do it super easily as well.

When you’re looking for something that’s going to cook your food you won’t have any problems here either because this stove has the ability to cook a lot of food very fast. It heats up quickly and the 10 combustion holes ensure that the heat is evenly distributed across the entire cooking surface. This is important because it warms up your food evenly and it ensures that you’re not going to get scorched areas no matter what type of pot, pan or snack cup you decide to use.

Able to hold two liters, this unit has an extremely bright wick that makes it easy to see what you’re doing at all times and when you use it you’re going to have plenty of heat for you and your food. That’s definitely going to be important when you’re not sure what is going to happen next.

Butterfly #2641 Basic 10-Wick Kerosene Cook Stove

Butterfly 2641 Basic 10Wick StoveSpecific Features: 7,000 BTU’s, 12 hours of burning time, larger unit

Best Use: Super inexpensive and moderately lightweight, this Butterfly Kerosene Cook Stove is designed to give you just the right amount of power. The smallest option from the company, this one still gives you 7,000 BTU’s and holds 2 quarts of fuel at a time.

That gives you enough fuel for over 12 hours of burning time; plenty to heat up your meals and keep you warm at the same time. In fact, it can be used to heat up your tent (under close supervision of course) no matter where you are.

When you’re ready to use this stove it’s super easy to get started because you can set it up, light it and start cooking in just a few minutes.

It’s moderately weighted, which means you can carry it with you without a whole lot of problems and a whole lot of added weight to your pack, but when you see how well it works you’re definitely not going to have a problem with the added weight you will have with it or the size of the unit itself. It’s going to be well worth what you’re taking on.

The Butterfly Kerosene Cook Stove is a little larger than some other units which is good because you can easily set up your pots and pans right on top without having to worry about them balancing strangely or trying to get them to heat as evenly as possible.

You also have the ability to use different types of liquid fuel in this stove to make sure that it’s going to run even when you are running low on options and aren’t sure where you’ll be able to find that next bit of kerosene for your next meal.

Conclusion

Hopefully, all of this helped you figure out the exact type of kerosene stove that you’re going to want for your family and hopefully you’re ready and able to get out there on your next camping trip. We definitely want you to have a great time and enjoy yourself with the family and with your friends as well, but we also want to know more about your favorite pastime.

Kerosene stove indoors

What type of kerosene stove do you use? Are there features of your stove that you really like or that you look for that we didn’t mention? What’s your favorite thing to cook on your camp stove when you’re out in the middle of nowhere?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dennis Owens
Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.

  • Sam Mitchell

    Has anyone done a boil time test so that we can compare the boil time of other stoves? I actually did a test on my stove. Water started to boil after about 8 minutes, although it was very cold when I poured it in. Most of these products have good reviews, but what about their efficiency?

    • Dennis Owens

      The selections in this article are generally efficient, but you should also put into consideration the external environment where you are using the kerosene stove. These stoves can tackle mild to moderate environmental weather challenges, and can maintain their boiling time in most cases.

  • James Phillips

    The Butterfly stove you described in this article is one of the things I became attached to. I bought it long time ago and it went everywhere with me. It served me perfectly. My favorite routine was drinking first morning coffee made on it. It’s easy to set it up, easy to cook on it and easy to pack it away. It really can prepare any type of food you need, wherever you are.

    • Dennis Owens

      The Butterfly stove is one of my most recommended kerosene stoves because, like you’ve said, it is one of the kerosene stoves where setting up is a breeze, and packing it for storage is even easier.

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