by Case Turner
A while back I wrote to you about the Stovetec stove. I purchased one of the two door models and thought you might like to include a brief write up on its performance. Granted, this is an outdoor stove, but it works great for cooking and would be a fantastic alternative for those who don’t want to put a traditional kitchen into their small abode. This camp season it will be our number one cooker. In preparation for camping season we have been using it weekly in the backyard burning up every little stick we can scrounge up.
First, and foremost I would like to mention that I have no connection with this company. Admittedly. I do have a fetish for outdoor cooking equipment. I peruse garage sale, surplus stores, thrift shops looking for outdoor stoves and cooking gear. I have been lusting over the Stovetec stoves for a while. At our annual sportsman show this spring, Stovetec had a booth and I couldn’t resist. I purchased the two door model and headed straight home. I hurriedly unpacked my new toy and immediately scrounged up every limb, stick, and a pile of pine needles I could get my hands on. I grabbed the tea kettle from the camper and 10 or so sticks later I had boiling water. I spent the next several hours in the backyard burning sticks and boiling water. At the end of the session I dampened everything down and simmered water for a good half hour!
The wood that I have been primarily burning is lodge pole pine. I split these from our wood pile. The sticks end up being about 1 in x 1 in x 18 inches . Lodge pole burns good and hot, but a bit fast. If one was to use hardwood you would have a better fire for simmering. The sides and the bottom of the stove do get warm, so be careful. After a hour or two of burning they are not, however, excessively hot to the touch. As you can see in the pictures I have my stove set on OSB. I wouldn’t advise this setup, just because embers and such could jump out create a fire hazard. Aside from that I would have no problem setting this on a stump or picnic table and using it. I have since replaced the OSB with Metal. This stove is not a good candidate as a heat source. Obviously the open chimney wouldn’t work in a confined space. It also holds its heat and doesn’t like to give any of it away.
I’ve been experimenting with different methods of lighting the stove. I primarily have been just using whatever tinder I can find no paper. We have lots of pine needles right now. The best result I’ve had is to place a small amount of tinder in the fire chamber, then lay 4-5 sticks in, then fill the chimney with more tinder and light at the bottom. So far this method works with one match every time. After the wood gets going you just keep pushing the sticks further into the chamber. Adding more as needed.
The stove comes with a heat ring that can be put on top. I use this whenever using a pot, kettle, or wok. It speeds up the cooking process quite a bit. I have found that stainless steel and cast iron are my favorite camp pots to use. The soot is easier to get off the stainless. The cast iron of course holds heat better. We have been stir frying in a wok, which works fantastic. Traditional camp food can be made too. After all, there’s just something about roasted hotdogs and marshmallows. One of our all time favorites though are grilled ham and cheese sandwiches in the pie iron!
The Stovetec stove is going to be my go to stove this camp season. The places we like to go are full of fantastic sticks so fuel will be free!