A True Multi-Fuel Stove – But Not Vegetable Oil!

    Multi-Fuel Stove – At Star & Bullock Hardware

    Living off-grid is going to be a real bitch of a time, if it ever happens. Because just when you think you have a system worked out, it can all fall apart. Stored food can be stolen or destroyed. Water all of a sudden is not drinkable. Or perhaps the worst, your CDV meter spikes to a dangerous level, and it’s just time to go.

    In those cases, carrying food will be difficult for any length of time, and carrying fuel also, forget it. You have to plan to find fuel on the road. And while you may actually find some food out there, you will not find a usable stove. I’ll be covering some backpackable rocket stoves shortly, but I figured that it was time to do this multi-fuel stove first. I have had this stove for many years, and there are now some in the country and available.

    By multi-fuel, I mean literally anything that burns and smells like nasty fuel. Obviously this stove will burn white gas (Coleman fuel), but it will also handle gasoline, diesel, and as you can see in the video, even solvents like mineral spirits.

    If you watch the video you will see that I intentionally used fuel that was either oddball, or worse for wear, or both. On the road you could be siphoning cars or trucks, or you could find a can of paint thinner at an abandoned hardware store. I don’t like to get too Walking Dead in this column, but if you are going to be a prepper, accepting that we are not talking about hurricane supplies is pretty important.

    Lighting this stoves is different for different types of fuel. For gasoline, white gas (Coleman fuel), and the cheapest option, E85, you just pump up the pressure, hold the match to the atomizer nozzle, and slowly turn up the stove.

    For diesel, kerosene, and whatever type of solvent you want to try, generally they do not have an ignition temperature within normal ambient. So like glow plugs on a diesel truck, you have to preheat the fuel before it will light. There is a preheater bar accross the burner on this stove to make that easy. It also has a wick in the bottom below the burner. So you let a little fuel out onto the wick until it soaks, then light the wick to heat the preheater tube. After it is hot you then turn the stove up gradually.

    At first it will sputter and flame up, so be careful. It has to get the air out of the lines. But eventually, with not a lot of pumping, the stove will burn steady and ripsnorting hot, and will not show visible flame in daylight.

    The stove comes with a couple extra nozzles, some replacement parts for the pressure pump, and a multi-tool for working on the stove. It is quite a little package. And you can get an adapter from the same place that will also allow you to run the stove on 20 lb. propane tanks.

    You should note that I did try to run vegetable oil in this stove, specifically, cottonseed oil, which is very light. It didn’t work, and it boogered some part of the stove, not sure which part yet. There are stove approaches that will burn vegetable oil, waste oil from changing your car oil, and other thicker oils, but this stove ain’t it. Stick to fuels and solvents and you should be ok.

    Stoves, stoves, stoves, stoves! I can’t stress enough that food and water are not enough. You have to build redundancy in your options for cooking, because the cheapest store-able foods, GRAINS, need to be cooked. A year of flour, rice, beans, pasta and sugar will save you enough money in savings compared to canned food, MREs, and that scammer prepper food to buy two of each stove I have covered, and will cover in the coming weeks.

    Paul Helinski

    Leave a Comment

    • Eric June 20, 2022, 10:52 am Reply

      I like. Thank you for sharing this research.

    • lefty June 20, 2022, 2:42 pm Reply

      So what stoves[and lanterns]can burn gasohol[ethano; 10% or 15%[…if Biden gets way] or diesel or heating oil;non ethanol gasoline is tough to find these days.When SHTF,any fuels-including propane will be tough to find.6- years ago,one could get non chinese Optimus kerosene single burner,111B/8R/SVEA 123 single burner unleaded,non automotive gasoline stoves.Naphtha [same as Coleman duel per SDS]is>$18.00/gallon

      • Paul Helinski June 22, 2022, 12:23 pm Reply

        A regular alcohol stove burns pure alcohol, but I showed you burning E85 in this stove. I don’t understand what you are misundertanding. The kerosene stoves will handle gas, but not propane.

    • Paul June 21, 2022, 7:24 pm Reply

      I realize the demo was to show the “flex fuel” capability of this device, but since you showed a “single use propane bottle” next to it (but not “demo-ed”) I just wanted to know how that that would connect to the unit? The pressure hose would not be necessary, but there was no note of a screw on fitting at the bottom of the stove, just the wick. so how does it connect to the “single use bottles”?? thanks !

      • Paul Helinski June 22, 2022, 12:21 pm Reply

        No you use the same hose. That end that connects to the tank is meant for those small propane tanks they sell at camping stores. sbhardware.com has a lot of propane stoves like that, and the 20lb tank adapater, but this stove is unique that it has the pressure can and the preheater bar.

    • mark August 15, 2022, 3:07 pm Reply

      Thank you for all of the tips. Have you found any cook stoves that you can reliably cook with vegetable oils??? It’s hard to store cooking oils and they go rancid. It would be nice to be able to use those oils for cooking. The only one I found was called a Vedc stove (VEDIC STOVE Ceramic). I just don’t feel comfortable ordering directly from India. https://www.ninadspottery.com/product/vedic-stove-ceramic-a-divine-sattvic-way-to-cook/

      • Paul Helinski August 15, 2022, 3:54 pm Reply

        The wick stoves on sbhardware.com will burn vegetable oil. See the prior article on GunsAmerica Digest.

    • Paul August 23, 2022, 10:39 am Reply

      Paul Helinski articles are always interesting, and informative.
      Semper Fi,
      Paul P.