Recently a friend suggested using gelled fuel in a cat can stove instead of liquid alcohol. Since a cat can stove works by using pressurization to create the "jets" it seems flawed, but has anyone tried?

  • 1
    Good question - I haven't tried it but my gut feeling is the same as yours, it wouldn't work.
    – berry120
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 15:09

2 Answers 2


Gelled alcohol has problems even in its "native" setting of a Sterno can. Gelled alcohol burns at a lower temperature. A standard Sterno can take 20 minutes or longer to boil water and is typically more expensive than liquid alcohol fuel.

Some good information on different fuel sources for alcohol stoves.

Information on Sterno.


If it's an open top cat stove (or any open top container) you can use gel.

If it's a trangia style stove with tiny vents - no. Well, yes you can - the gel will still burn out of the trangia fill hole but it will clog up the vents.

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