How to Build a Portable Cook Stove

When you find yourself in an emergency and you need some fast heat to cook or keep warm, what we’re about to share with you could be a life-saver. In this tutorial, we will save you from the misery of starving yourself from your dream camp by making an alternative portable cook stove out of soda cans. 


Step 1: Gather all the materials needed for this project:

  • 2 pcs. soda cans
  • Denatured alcohol
  • A piece of coin
  • Cutter or Swiss knife
  • cotton
  • pin
  • scissors
  • lighter
  • cotton

Step 2:  Cut the bottom part of the soda can.  This should be 2 centimeters tall.  This will be can #1

Step 3:  Smooth out the edges using a scissor.

Step 4: Cut another soda can halfway of its height.  This will be can #2.

Step 5:  Pinch small holes around the edges of the top part of the can #2.  Use a pin to do this and make sure that you have an equal spacing for each hole.

Step 6:  Make a medium hole in the middle of can #2. 

Step 7:  Add additional small holes on the sides of the medium hole made in step 6.

Step 8:  (stove photo 8)  Put considerable amounts of cotton on top of the can #1.

Step 9:  Carefully slide the can #1 inside can #2.  This will be quite tough but make sure that both cans are properly aligned so that it will make the sliding easier.

Step 10:  Press the cans firmly on the table top to push the can #1 further inside can #2.  Continue doing this until can #1 is totally inside can #1.  Make sure that the cans are snug fit, since we need a considerable amount of pressure in between the spaces inside later.  This will be the portable stove ready for set-up.

Step 11:  Fill the portable stove with denatured alcohol through the holes made in the middle.  3 to 5 ml. would do.

Step 12:  Cover the mid holes of the stove using a coin.

Step 13:  Heat the bottom butt of the stove or the can #1 on the portable stove.  Do this for 3 to 5 minutes or until you smell the alcohol fumes radiating from the small holes on top.

Step 14:  Start lighting the portable stove on the side holes of it.

Step 15:  Blue flame out now!  You can now put your cooking pan on top of the portable stove!

The 5-ml. denatured alcohol will last up to 20 to 30 minutes of cooking.  This is enough to boil your soup or even fry your bacon.  You can add more denatured alcohol if you need to cook longer.  This is very portable and easy to operate. 

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About the Author: Red Neckistan