I like to use a pot which is 8.9 cm wide (3.5 inches) - because anything bigger would be a waste of space and weight for my needs. It's identical to a Toaks 750ml titanium pot.

Most of the stove systems I tried, are inefficient with that pot since they produce a flame that is too wide, goes over the border of the pot, and wastes fuel by heating the sky rather than my water.

I am experimenting with some DIY alcohol designs to find which is more efficient with that pot, but I wanted to know if someone already made some tests and came to a conclusion.

I am quite skilled with DIY so a complex design wouldn't be a problem. Living in Europe, availability of some source materials, could (like, aluminium red bull bottles are almost impossible to find here).

  • You would need a top burner design. Which ones have you tried? That one could fit the bill: zenstoves.net/BasicTopBurner.htm
    – njzk2
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 16:56
  • I tried several designs inspired by youtube videos but I don't know their names. For sure non of them looked like the one you suggested, which looks interesting, thanks. I was also wondering about this, where the jets are actually blowing inwards :youtube.com/watch?v=wTp5zTOYPHQ
    – Dakatine
    Commented Dec 19, 2015 at 20:04
  • that one is really nice! I have been using a similar one, the top notch (randonner-leger.org/wiki/doku.php?id=top_notch_stove) which I like. I find the problem with top burners like the one you linked is that you need a stand for your stove, which is an extra piece. Whichever you choose to make, please tell us about how it went!
    – njzk2
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 20:59

2 Answers 2


The original Penny Stove has been popular for over a decade as a DIY alcohol stove designed for ultralight backpackers. Its trademark is the use of a penny as a fuel regulator.

Independent tests document that it heats faster, uses less fuel, simmers longer, and packs lighter than any commercial alcohol stove.

The 2.0 version achieves the same performance as the original but uses regular beer or soda cans instead of the now-discontinued Heineken kegs (which were more indestructible).

Penny Stove (closed)

With simmer ring:

Penny Stove (with simmer ring) Penny Stove (cooking)

See some reviews on the main page. It's touted as a great base camp, boat, camper, or winter stove.

The quality/comprehensiveness of the documentation is also excellent in my opinion.

This may or may not fit your needs, but I felt it worth a mention. Notably, there is also a version for smaller pots that keeps the burners focused in a narrow radius: Penny Stove (small pot version)


If you are not specifically looking for a liquid fuel thing: I always fantasized about making one such thing. But I have never tried.

  1. Get a tin
  2. Make something that looks like below.

enter image description here


  • Tins are easy to find and so are those solid fuel tablets
  • If you break it, worst case you will be at loss of money worth a burger and time worth an afternoon nap.
  • 3
    Don't burn the chick pleeeease!!!
    – Wills
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 16:55
  • 2
    @Wills: I am a vegetarian, mate.
    – WedaPashi
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 17:23
  • I am actually quite happy with the efficiency of my current esbit solution, but this one looks indeed more efficient, assuming that the esbit would be ventilated enough to burn at full heat. Maybe I'll give it a try, the point is, I avoid esbit overal because of the soot and smell. I use it for alpine overnighters though.
    – Dakatine
    Commented Dec 19, 2015 at 19:37
  • @Dakatine: Yeah, makes sense. Actually I am at fault. I posted the answer and as soon as I did, I saw the tag "liquid-fuel-stoves". I even had a thought whether I should delete the answer or not for it being not applicable to liquid fuel stoves.
    – WedaPashi
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 4:57
  • Just leave it, it might be helpful for some.
    – Dakatine
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 9:33

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