Petrol stoves are particularly versatile, but also more demanding to use. Whoever knows what he is doing doesn’t need to be afraid of contact. In these instructions we explain how a camping stove works safely with gasoline.
Almost everyone has worked with a gas stove – whether camping or on a trekking tour. On the other hand, not everyone dares to use gasoline stoves. To some the handling seems too complicated, to the other the fuel gasoline is too uncertain. It is only a question of how to use the camping stove correctly, which of course needs to be practiced. If you try it out and know what you are doing, you will discover many advantages. Petrol stoves prove to be very reliable, especially on tours in colder and remote areas.
What is a multi fuel cooker?
A multifuel stove or multi-fuel stove is even more versatile than a gasoline stove, because it works with the most common types of gasoline and also with most other liquid fuels such as diesel, kerosene and kerosene.
Multifuel or multi-fuel stoves have the decisive advantage that any type of fuel is always available. Petrol, in particular, is available almost everywhere around the world, but suitable gas cartridges are difficult to find in some regions. But gasoline is not always gasoline, and what is suitable for the car is not necessarily recommended for the gasoline stove.
Which gasoline is suitable for cooking?
For cooking you should primarily use pure gasoline (purified gasoline), because it burns cleaner and does not contain any harmful additives such as “normal” car gasoline. It is available, for example, in hardware stores, paint shops or in outdoor shops (for example the Power Fuel from Primus). Ordinary unleaded car gasoline (or the one with the lowest octane rating) can also be used in an emergency. However, there is more soot when it burns and the affected parts of the stove have to be cleaned more frequently. For a longer life of the stove and health-free cooking, purified gasoline is therefore best.
Advantages and disadvantages of cooking on gasoline
Petrol is very economical in consumption and very efficient thanks to its high calorific value. The calorific value is the amount of heat that can be generated with every gram or liter of a fuel. With pure gasoline, this is around 12 kilowatt hours per kilogram (similar to liquid gas with around 12.8 kWh / kg).
Another advantage of the gasoline stove is that it burns reliably even in very cold and sub-zero temperatures as well as at high altitude, i.e. at temperatures at which gas stoves usually no longer work because the gas no longer evaporates.
However, starting up a gasoline stove requires a little patience. Since gasoline is the most flammable of all fuels, caution should be exercised. However, if you practice beforehand and familiarize yourself with the basic functionality of a stove, you can cook on the go without danger and frustration.
This is how a gasoline stove works
Multi-fuel stoves consist of a fillable fuel bottle and a burner head with a nozzle. Both are connected by a hose. The fuel in the bottle – regardless of whether it is gasoline, diesel, kerosene or petroleum – is in liquid form and must first evaporate so that the stove can burn it. When a substance evaporates depends on the ambient temperature, the air pressure and the volatility (i.e. how easily a substance evaporates). “Liquid gas for stoves or alcohol already evaporates when you let it flow out (at normal temperature). Other liquid fuels, on the other hand, have to be heated so that they evaporate; some less (like gasoline), some more (petroleum, kerosene and diesel), ”explains Till Gottbrath.
So in order to get a gasoline stove going, you first have to preheat it. Before doing this, you have to build up pressure in order to get the gasoline from the fuel bottle to the combustion point. A pump attached to the bottle is used for this purpose. As a result of the preheating, the fuel reaches the evaporation temperature, comes out of the nozzle as a gas and ignites. Once the stove is on, it will continue to burn by itself, as it now always produces enough heat to allow the gasoline to evaporate. If you cook a lot or have to melt snow (the stove burns non-stop for a long time), you have to pump something every now and then as soon as the stove’s performance decreases.
Turn on the multifuel stove
We’ll show you how to preheat and turn on a multifuel stove:
- Connect the stove and the fuel bottle: First, I check whether the valve on the hose and the regulator on the burner are closed. Then I screw the hose to the pump.
- Pumping (= building up pressure): The gasoline in the bottle must be pressurized to boil, which is achieved by a pump on the fuel container. The fuel bottle may not be filled up to the mark, so that there is still enough oxygen in the bottle. If it is full, there will not be enough space to build up pressure. I pump ten to 15 full strokes on a freshly filled fuel bottle. If the bottle is no longer completely full, a little more often.
- Put the fuel bottle in the correct position: Now I put the bottle down (not too close to the burner!) So that the label “On” on the pump points upwards, because only then does the compressed air push the fuel out of the bottle (the The pump is at an angle in the bottle and the fuel flows out in this “On” position). Then I open the valve on the hose fully.
- Ignite: I open the regulator on the burner a little so that some fuel runs into the preheating felt under the burner. Then I close the regulator again. When using gasoline, the felt doesn’t need to be really wet. With other fuels, however, the felt should be properly soaked. Now I check one last time to see if there is a leak in the system before I ignite the fuel to preheat it. Caution: Never hold your head or any other part of your body over the stove!
- Preheating: For petrol, it takes 30 to 60 seconds to preheat, for diesel, kerosene and kerosene up to two minutes – the lower the outside temperature, the longer. Tip: The latter fuels are all quite sooty. I then use a preheat paste or a little alcohol (especially when it’s very cold). When the generator or burner is hot enough, you will hear a slight hissing sound.
- “Step on the gas”: When the preheating liquid is almost burnt, I carefully open the burner regulator (= turn counterclockwise). If I have preheated properly, the stove will burn around and without flickering after a few seconds. The flame is slightly bluish and soon the flame diffuser is glowing.
Tip: What to do if the flame burns unstably and the burner “spits”? Then either the preheating did not work properly or there is too much pressure on the bottle. I’ll wait a little longer. The burner usually reaches the correct operating temperature after 30 to 60 seconds. If that doesn’t work either, I start over, but wait a while before so that the burner cools down a bit.
Instructions: Turn off the petrol stove
Turning off the gasoline stove must also be learned so that no gasoline or other fuel residues remain in the pipe and you can unplug it without worrying. This means that nothing can collect in it, which saves a lot of cleaning and maintenance work. Here we show you how to do this in just a few steps:
- Turn the fuel bottle over: I turn the bottle so that the label “Off” on the pump is now facing up. Now compressed air instead of fuel flows from the bottle to the stove.
- Burning out of the fuel line: It now takes about 30 to 60 seconds until the last remaining fuel has flowed through the line and burned. In order to save fuel, I include this time in my cooking time.
- Turn off the stove: After all, only compressed air flows through the line. The flame goes out or it only licks very small (like a small candle): I just blow it out.
- Close the valve: If I want to put the stove back into operation the next morning in the warehouse, I simply screw the valve on the line (clockwise). The position of the regulator on the burner does not matter. Still, I’ve gotten into the habit of always closing both so that I don’t accidentally “flood” the stove the next time I preheat it.
- Packing the kettle: If I want to pack the kettle (that is, separate the bottle and the kettle), I let all of the compressed air flow out of the bottle before I close the valve. The valve on the hose and the regulator on the burner remain open until it no longer hisses. Now I can unscrew the pump from the line without a lot of “fuel drooling”. I could now unscrew the pump from the bottle, but I leave it in the fuel bottle on the way. There it pollutes the least and is well protected. But at home I take the pump out.
Tip: To refill an empty fuel bottle, I also let the remaining pressure flow out of the bottle as described before I unscrew the pump to refill. Then I turn off the regulator on the burner and the valve on the pump.
Take care when unscrewing the pump: There may still be explosive gases in the bottle, so no naked flames must be in the vicinity! Before you fill the bottle again (note the marking), I briefly check the seal on the pump and the O-ring (seal) on the connection of the fuel line. If the stove is still hot to continue cooking, you only need to preheat a little, but you have to be even more careful so that the gasoline does not accidentally ignite.
A few more notes on safety
What in the worst case leads to a malfunction of a smartphone can be life-threatening with a gasoline stove: Try it out without reading the operating instructions. Please always refer to the operating instructions beforehand! Further safety tips, which, by the way, do not only apply to petrol stoves:
- Practice, practice, practice! Before you leave …
- Never hold your head or body over the stove!
- Never cook in a tent or in closed buildings.
- Be careful when switching from gas to petrol and vice versa.
- Be careful when re-lighting a stove that is still warm!
- If you are using a windshield, never put the fuel bottle or gas canister inside. There is a risk of explosion if overheated.
- Never let pans boil dry. You can burn a hole in an aluminum pot.
- Do not leave your stove unattended while in operation.
- A stove gets very, very hot. Keep this in mind if you have to change it in the company or want to pack it up quickly.
- Transport the stove and fuel bottle separately from food if you don’t want them to taste like gasoline or kerosene.
- Clean the packing bag regularly. There’s always dirt, sand or earth in there!
- Never store fuel near a source of heat.
- Disconnect the stove from the cartridge / fuel bottle for storage.
- Always inform before air travel with fuel!
Our product recommendation for you
Of course, we would also like to particularly recommend a Gasoline Camping Stove. We have already had very good experiences with this Gasoline Camping Stove and are convinced of the quality of the product.