The 9 Best Alcohol Stoves of 2021

Whip up your camp coffee and hot dogs with these top-rated cooking tools

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Trangia Spirit Burner with Screwcap at Amazon

"One of the best alcohol stoves money can buy — though it’s not going to put you too much out of pocket."

Best Budget: Redcamp Mini Alcohol Stove at Amazon

"The entry-level price makes it great for those who are just starting their explorations."

Best Lightweight: Evernew Titanium Alcohol Stove at Amazon

"Practically featherweight, weighing less than one ounce."

Best for Fuel Efficiency: Toaks Titanium Siphon Alcohol Stove at Amazon

"This is pretty much as good as it gets when it comes to ultra-light stoves."

Best for Bonus Features: Out-D Stainless Steel Alcohol Stove at Amazon

"This can hold a lot of fuel for a longer burn time."

Best for a Fast Boil: Solo Stove Alcohol Burner at Amazon

"Lets you leave unused fuel in the stove so you don’t have to empty out the canister each night."

Best Compact Stove Set: Esbit 5-Piece Trekking Cook Set at Amazon

"This is a great introduction to alcohol-stove cooking."

Best Luxury Stove Set: Trangia Ultralight Anodized Stove Set at Amazon

"The set isn’t only light but virtually indestructible and easy to cook on."

Best Solo Stove: Esbit Alcohol Burner at Amazon

"The screw top with rubber seal is great, because it means you don't need to dump your unused fuel."

When it comes to purchasing gear for a backpacking trip, you’re definitely going to want to put some thought into how you’re going to be cooking. Alcohol stoves, lightweight and portable, are a classic go-to for lots of campers and hikers, and for good reason. The setup only entails adding the fuel (the best is ethanol; methanol also works), lighting it up, and waiting for the flames to come out of the jets around the rim of the stove. The downside is that there’s no way to adjust the temperature, so you’re going to want to stick with easy-to-cook foods — think things that involve boiling (leave the gourmet recipes at home). We've researched the top options to help you have the energy you need for your outdoor adventures.

Read on to learn more about the best alcohol stoves available.

Best Overall: Trangia Spirit Burner with Screwcap

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Simmer ring

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Hard to adjust simmer ring while in use

  • Short handle

Scandinavians are among the best when it comes to designing for the outdoors, and this alcohol stove is no exception. Made in Sweden, it’s consistently received top marks as one of the best alcohol stoves money can buy — though it’s not going to put you too much out of pocket. It takes about eight minutes to boil one liter of water, with an output of 1,000 watts. Uniquely for an alcohol stove, the included simmer ring lets you adjust the output from full, to simmer, to totally shut off. It also comes with a twist-on cap with an O-right that seals a burner, meaning you don’t have to empty out unused fuel each time you’re done with cooking. The cap is part of what accounts for its 3.8-ounce weight, but it makes toting this on the trail a lot more convenient. As an added bonus, this little stove is super-versatile: You can use this stove with a gas, multifuel or gel burner, too. Infrequent campers, don’t worry: The metal more than holds its own over time, even with leftover alcohol still stored in it.

Weight: 3.8 oz. | Material: Brass | Dimensions: 4.1 x 3.1 x 2 in.

Best Budget: Redcamp Mini Alcohol Stove

What We Like
  • Entry-level

  • Fuel cover

  • Carrying bag

What We Don't Like
  • Heavier

  • Not the sturdiest

Redcamp's alcohol stove is one of the best-value alcohol stoves on the market. The entry-level price makes it great for those who are just starting their explorations into alcohol-stove camping, though be warned, if weight’s an extreme consideration, this might not be the model for you: It weighs 5 ounces, an ounce (or five) heavier than some on this list. You can expect about 50 minutes of burn time per 3.3 ounces of alcohol. Keep in mind it’s not the most sturdy, so you’ll want to make sure that whatever you’re setting this on is super-stable. On the plus side, it has a cover that seals the stove completely, so you don’t have to empty out the fuel before you pack up. This stove also comes with a carrying bag and a one-year limited warranty.

Weight: 5 oz. | Material: Aluminum | Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 1.8 in.

Best Lightweight: Evernew Titanium Alcohol Stove

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • No need for separate burner

  • Wide-burning flame

What We Don't Like
  • No cover

When we talk about lightweight with alcohol stoves, it’s pretty hard to narrow down the field — after all, one of the perks of an alcohol stove is that it is light. Evernew's take on the popular backpacking stove, however, is practically featherweight, weighing just over one ounce. With a side-burner design, the pot or pan you’re using to cook will sit directly on top of the stove — there’s no need for a separate burner or attachment of any sort. (Another bonus is the design that purposefully allows for wide-burning flames, so you can use up to a fairly large-size pot with this stove — long as the ground is solid and it’s not very massive.) It has a 60-millimeter capacity and measures in at 1.73 x 3.07 x 2.99 inches. There's also an option to purchase a lightweight stand so you can prop the stove up higher so the alcohol burns more efficiently.

Weight: 1.6 oz. | Material: Titanium | Dimensions: 1.73 x 3.07 x 2.99 in.

Best for Fuel Efficiency: Toaks Titanium Siphon Alcohol Stove

What We Like
  • Feather light

  • Fuel efficient

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • No cover

  • On the expensive side

Looks can be deceiving, and that’s certainly the case with Toaks’ Titanium Siphon Stove. Although it looks like a small drinking cup, this stove has a lot going for it. First and foremost, there’s its weight: At .7 ounces — yes, you read that correctly — this is pretty much as good as it gets when it comes to ultra-light stoves. Where it really shines, however, is with fuel efficiency. Tiny holes let the perfect amount of flames bloom, so energy is used as efficiently as it can be. One ounce of alcohol will burn for about 11 minutes and can get a pint of water heated in less than six. Another plus with this small-but-mighty stove is its durability: It takes a lot to knock around titanium, and this stove will last for the ages — barring you throw it off a cliff. The major drawback of this stove, however, is that it has a pretty small surface to perch on, so you’ll want to make sure whatever you’re cooking on is stable. Also, what you see is what you get: in this case, only the stove itself. You’ll need to purchase the windscreen and pan (included with some other models on this list) separately.  

Weight: .7 oz. | Material: Titanium | Dimensions: 3.58 x 2.09 x 5 in

Best for Bonus Features: Out-D Stainless Steel Alcohol Stove

What We Like
  • Can hold a lot of fuel

  • Carrying case

  • Versatile

What We Don't Like
  • Lid isn't seal tight

  • Heavier

No, this stove isn’t going to win any awards when it comes to weight — it’s a relatively massive eight ounces — but when it comes to having it all on the trail, this stove delivers. Although it’s not a stove set, which inherently offers more versatility, this stainless steel stove brings a lot to the table on its own. We love the built-in support arm set, which you can put in a position to either make the stove more stable or to create a pot rest. With a 100-milliliter capacity (about 3.38 ounces), this can hold a lot of fuel for a longer burn time. However, you’ll still want to empty out the fuel — the lid seals tight enough to put out a fire once it’s going, but not tightly enough to ensure any leftover fuel won’t leak out. Most say that denatured alcohol works best on this stove, but you can use even cheap alcohol in it. Keep in mind that the case is slightly too big for the stove, so you might want to use a pair of socks or bandana if the rattling in your backpack drives you crazy.

Weight: 8 oz. | Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions: 4 x 3.6 x 3.5 in.

Best for a Fast Boil: Solo Stove Alcohol Burner

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Thoughtful design

  • Twist on cap

What We Don't Like
  • Shorter burn

The Solo Stove model has a simmer lid that has a fold-out handle, which allows campers and backpackers the still-rare ability to adjust the amount of fuel being burned, and, therefore the temperature food cooks at. Also, like some other models, it comes with a twist-on cap, which lets you leave unused fuel in the stove so you don’t have to empty out the canister each night, though some say that the cap isn’t as leak-proof as some comparables. Going full speed, this stove has a slightly faster boil time than others on this list, with a five to seven minutes for a liter of water. It also weighs slightly less, at 3.5 ounces. If you want more from it, pair it with the Solo Stove Lite wood-burning backpacking stove for even more nuanced cooking power. 

Weight: 3.5 oz. | Material: Brass | Dimensions: 2.9 x 2.9 x 1.8 in.

Best Compact Stove Set: Esbit 5-Piece Lightweight Trekking Cook Set

What We Like
  • Comes with full cook set

  • Can also be powered with methanol

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Heavy

This little set has a lot going for it. Namely, it comes with two pots: one large, with a handy volume indicator, that holds almost a full liter of water (it’s 985 milliliters or about 33.3 ounces), as well as a smaller, 470 milliliters one that doubles as a lid. It also has a brass alcohol stove, stand, base for solid fuel should you choose to use it, and a mesh carry bag. The cook pots are made out of durable-but-light anodized aluminum, and the alcohol stove, in line with the best ones, has a fold-away handle that allows for a range of temperature control, and its screw-on top seals tightly enough to hold leftover alcohol after the cooking is wrapped up. All in all, it weighs about 15 ounces. At just under a pound, it’s not the lightest means to cook with, but for those who don’t want to go totally bare-bones, this is a great introduction to alcohol-stove cooking. Although it’s made for alcohol, keep in mind that you can also use methanol in it. 

Weight: 14.81 oz. | Material: Brass and aluminium | Dimensions: 6.5 x 5.38 x 5.13 in.

Best Luxury Stove Set: Trangia 27-8 Ultralight Hard Anodized Stove Set

What We Like
  • Comes with everything you need

  • Easy to use

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Heavy

Well, no one’s claiming this is going to come cheap, but for cooks-on-the-trail who don’t want to go without a good meal just because they’re roughing it, Trangia’s stove set is incredible. It comes with the Swedish company’s best-overall alcohol stove, plus two one-liter saucepans, a frypan with pot grip and a kettle — basically everything you need to make a meal for one to two people. The pans look small, but they cook a surprising amount of food — and quickly too. There’s also two wind shelters to keep the flame protected from breezes and keeps flames where they should be: focused on cooking your food, which helps maximize fuel efficiency. Just like the Trangia stove sold solo, the one included in this pack also allows you to store fuel in there, making this whole set a convenient, easily useable — if expensive — breeze. Thanks to the brass construction of the stove, as well as the anodized metal of the accouterments, the set isn’t only light but virtually indestructible and easy to cook on, meaning no harm, no foul if it gets banged around a bit on the trail.

Weight: 1 lb. 13.12 oz. | Dimensions: 7.6 x 4.4 x 7.5 in.

Best Solo Stove: Esbit Alcohol Burner

Esbit Alcohol Burner
What We Like
  • Screw top with rubber seal

  • Fold-away handle on flame regulator

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Snuffer hard to readjust when hot

When you're hiking or camping alone, you just need a little something to get your food and beverages fired up. The Esbit Alcohol Burner is lightweight and easy to use. The screw top with rubber seal is great, because it means you don't need to dump your unused fuel and don't have to worry about it leaking in your bag.

Weight: 3.25 oz. | Material: Brass | Dimensions: 2.91 x 2.91 x 1.81 in.

Final Verdict

If you're in the market for a cooler that's leak-resistant, lightweight, and easy to use, check out the Trangia Spirit Burner with Screwcap. Weighing only 3.8 ounces, this versatile camp stove can boil a liter of water in about eight minutes and you don't need to dump your leftover alcohol when you're done. But if you're searching for a all-in-one option, we recommend the Trangia 27-8 Ultralight Anodized Stove Set. It's significantly heavier, but convenient.

What to Look for in an Alcohol Stove

Weight

The reason why alcohol stoves are so popular with thru-hikers and ultralight backpackers is because of how lightweight they are. Other types of stoves are certainly less messy, easier to cook with, and frankly, less dangerous. The fewer ounces, the better.

Versatility

For the most part you'll likely want to use fuel that is alcohol-based for your stove. But it's also possible to get a stove that can use other types of fuel (like wood or gas), which could be helpful, depending on your camping style.

FAQs

What kind of fuel do you need?

While other stores use gas or a liquid fuel, alcohol stoves use various types of alcohol. We're talking methanol, denatured alcohol, or ethanol.

Are alcohol stoves safe to use indoors?

Generally, if you keep an eye on it and be careful, yes. Though it is still an open flame and should be constantly monitored.

Are stands necessary?

Some are designed to be used without a separate pot stand, but most aren't (and putting your pot directly on the mouth of the stove will snuff out the flame). It's helpful to have the pot stand for added stability (and therefore added safety).

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