Weekend Test | Simmering With UL Stoves?

Flat Cat Gear Epicurean Stove MkI

This weekend I’m planning to take a few new UL stoves out with me to test their ‘simmering’ capabilities. This will be a first for me. Until now I’ve only ever used these types of ultralight stoves for boiling water as fast and efficiently as possible. A UL stove (like the Epicurean stoves shown above) that can simmer for over 40 minutes on one Esbit tab will open all manner of trail cooking possibilities, like baking!

Another new stove type for me is the ISO-clean stove (below), made specifically for use with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. I have no experience using rubbing alcohol as a fuel for a stove, so I’m looking forward to seeing how this goes.

Flat Cat Gear ISO-Clean Stove

It’s always fun to test and play with new gear, but it’s even more important to practice on a regular basis with all of your regularly used gear to ensure that you are totally proficient in its use (Rule #4).

So, get out often, go on practice hikes, and know how to use your gear.

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  • Alex Woods

    Brian, very interesting idea! I cook strictly with a Bush Buddy at this point, and I have found simmering to be totally impossible, as a low fire is one that’s in immediate danger of going out. What I generally do with a really chunky soup or something like that is run a high fire and repeatedly take the pot on and off. Looking forward to seeing if you can do a real simmer.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Thanks Alex. I’ve had similar experiences with my wood burning stoves in my attempts to do something more than just boiling water.

      The UFO-looking Epicurean stoves shown at the top of this post are described as being capable of having varying levels of heat output – high and simmer. It uses an Esbit tablet and can potentially make it burn slowly enough to produce a simmer that lasts for 40 minutes or more!

      Simmering opens up the possibility of doing some more traditional cooking on the trail and even baking thinks like simple muffins and breads. I’m geekily excited to see what it can do – is that sad?

  • Alex Woods

    Brian, very interesting idea! I cook strictly with a Bush Buddy at this point, and I have found simmering to be totally impossible, as a low fire is one that’s in immediate danger of going out. What I generally do with a really chunky soup or something like that is run a high fire and repeatedly take the pot on and off. Looking forward to seeing if you can do a real simmer.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Thanks Alex. I’ve had similar experiences with my wood burning stoves in my attempts to do something more than just boiling water.

    The UFO-looking Epicurean stoves shown at the top of this post are described as being capable of having varying levels of heat output – high and simmer. It uses an Esbit tablet and can potentially make it burn slowly enough to produce a simmer that lasts for 40 minutes or more!

    Simmering opens up the possibility of doing some more traditional cooking on the trail and even baking thinks like simple muffins and breads. I’m geekily excited to see what it can do – is that sad?

  • Snctool

    Hey Brian,

    My “universal alcohol stove” made from the bud aluminum bottles, after bringing a pot to full boil, then the simmer ring attached, will simmer for an hour on 3 oz. of alcohol. For baking I use a “Bakepacker” device (homemade by me) a stainless plate with 1/4″ holes drilled thru with 3 stainless 1″ legs attached to hold the plate off of the bottom of the pot. Water is added to the top of the plate. Stir up 2 eggs and other ingredients for an omelet and place in a sandwich bag but do not seal the top. Place bag in pot on top of the stainless plate. Light stove and bring to a boil. Remove pot, add simmer ring, replace pot and simmer for 8 minutes. Remove bag and pour out omelet and enjoy. You can use the same technique for baking biscuits, muffins, steaming cut up potatoes, etc. Works great and guess what, no sticking. Of course the plate has to be made to fit individual size pots. This device weighs less than 2 oz. but could be made lighter, probably 1oz.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Hey Steve, I knew all about your stove from the emails we’ve exchanged, but had no idea it was capable of simmering as you’ve described. Maybe we can chat offline about how I can get one from you to try out?

      • Snctool

        Brian, you can reach me by way of email snctool@bardstowncable.net or cell 502-330-9334. Yep, it will burn wide open, simmer with ring, and can be snuffed out with snuffing cap which also makes it waterproof if it rains. Leftover fuel can be conveniently poured back into your fuel bottle.

        • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

          And why are you not setting up a Kickstarter project to fund the full-scale production of these little beauties?

  • Snctool

    Hey Brian,

    My “universal alcohol stove” made from the bud aluminum bottles, after bringing a pot to full boil, then the simmer ring attached, will simmer for an hour on 3 oz. of alcohol. For baking I use a “Bakepacker” device (homemade by me) a stainless plate with 1/4″ holes drilled thru with 3 stainless 1″ legs attached to hold the plate off of the bottom of the pot. Water is added to the top of the plate. Stir up 2 eggs and other ingredients for an omelet and place in a sandwich bag but do not seal the top. Place bag in pot on top of the stainless plate. Light stove and bring to a boil. Remove pot, add simmer ring, replace pot and simmer for 8 minutes. Remove bag and pour out omelet and enjoy. You can use the same technique for baking biscuits, muffins, steaming cut up potatoes, etc. Works great and guess what, no sticking. Of course the plate has to be made to fit individual size pots. This device weighs less than 2 oz. but could be made lighter, probably 1oz.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Hey Steve, I knew all about your stove from the emails we’ve exchanged, but had no idea it was capable of simmering as you’ve described. Maybe we can chat offline about how I can get one from you to try out?

  • Snctool

    Brian, you can reach me by way of email snctool@bardstowncable.net or cell 502-330-9334. Yep, it will burn wide open, simmer with ring, and can be snuffed out with snuffing cap which also makes it waterproof if it rains. Leftover fuel can be conveniently poured back into your fuel bottle.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    And why are you not setting up a Kickstarter project to fund the full-scale production of these little beauties?

  • Freefreeass

    mmm…I wish your new UL stove can simmer as long as it needs for a  perfect journey,according to another travel site www.my-travel-mate.com/ travelling gears are essential on the way.

  • Snctool

    Brian,

    I have started a website for several outdoor products. http://www.snctooloutdoorproducts.com I do not have this stove beauty advertised on the site yet but I am now ready to do so. I had a snuffing out problem with this stove and after 3 weeks of redesign I discovered I didn’t have a problem but there is a proper procedure to be followed for 100% snuffing out. I did not want to take the chance of someone possibly being burned. The issue has been solved and sometimes out of diversity something good develops. The redesigned snuffing cap now makes the stove waterproof if it was accidentally left out overnight and it rained. I work full time as a machinist and play with the stoves as a hobby.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Fantastic Steve. I’m planning to be one of your first customers!!!

  • Snctool

    Brian,

    I have started a website for several outdoor products. http://www.snctooloutdoorproducts.com I do not have this stove beauty advertised on the site yet but I am now ready to do so. I had a snuffing out problem with this stove and after 3 weeks of redesign I discovered I didn’t have a problem but there is a proper procedure to be followed for 100% snuffing out. I did not want to take the chance of someone possibly being burned. The issue has been solved and sometimes out of diversity something good develops. The redesigned snuffing cap now makes the stove waterproof if it was accidentally left out overnight and it rained. I work full time as a machinist and play with the stoves as a hobby.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Fantastic Steve. I’m planning to be one of your first customers!!!