How to use the Trangia Outdoor Stove

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We’ve been getting a few enquiries about how liquid-fuel burning Trangia Stoves work. These stoves are a great way to start cooking in the bush.

In this blog, we’ll show you how to fill it, light it, adjust and extinguish the flame, and cover fuel storage and consumption, plus much more.

Check out my video at the end of this article to see the Trangia cooking system in action.

Trangia Parts

Your typical Trangia Stove components include a fuel-well (with screw-cap and flame controller), and a 2-part assembly kit. The assembly kit has lower and upper parts.

The lower part serves to hold the fuel-well clear of the ground and provide air intake. The upper part serves to shield the flame from the wind, support cookware such as bowls, frying pans and kettles, and ventilate the flame.

Included accessories include nested bowls, kettles, frying pan and – all importantly – the handling tool.

How to use the Trangia Outdoor Stove

Fuel type & storage

Methylated Spirits or denatured alcohol is a preferred fuel for this stove, although other forms of alcohol-type liquids can be used.

Methylated Spirits is relatively cheap, easy to transport and relatively safe to use. Saying this, I recommend a good, sturdy liquid-fuel container for transport in a rucksack – the bottles they are sold in today are only for domestic storage.

Burn times:

  • Fuel-well capacity: 125 ml (this is filled to the recommended 2/3 full)
  • Fuel-well burn time (100% flame): 21 minutes
  • Boil time for 1 cup of water at room temperature (100% flame): 3 minutes*

* As a comparison, I timed my MSR butane/propane gas ‘pocket rocket’ burner 1-cup boil-time at 1 minute 15 seconds, 100% flame.

Flame Adjustment & Extinguishing

The Trangia comes with a flame-adjustment collar for the fuel-well. Without the collar attached, the flame will burn at 100%.

Once the collar is placed on, the flame’s output is lessened. The flame’s strength can be adjusted further by closing the collar’s adjustable cover. The procedure for adjusting the collar can be tricky because the adjustable cover is not easily moved whilst on the fuel-well.

The collar may need to removed, allowed to cool, adjusted, and then placed back onto the fuel-well. This can take some time, and involves taking your food off the heat; a little inconvenient.

Cooking with your Trangia

The idea with liquid fuel is to fill the fuel-well with as much liquid as you think you’ll need. Use the info above as a guide.

If you finish cooking before the fuel is burned, it’s advisable to either let the fuel burn its way out, or extinguish the flame and decant the fuel-well back into your fuel container. The fuel-well isn’t ideal for transporting the fuel, and typically leaks.

Bowls, pans and kettles are placed on the stove using the upper section’s support arms and the handy ‘handle’ tool. Because the tool is metal, try not to leave it attached to your pots and pans while cooking – it will get hot and can cause burns.

Hi play for a demo of how to use this stove.

Tips & Tricks

  • Use your handle tool to grab the flame adjustment collar from the burning fuel-well
  • Always allow a couple of minutes for all stove components to cool off before packing away
  • Adding water to your methylated spirits (approx. 10%) can cause the flame to burn a little cleaner; however, it also reduces the flame’s heat.
  • Maintain your stove components when you unpack after a trip; wash-up your bowls and wipe down before packing away, so they’ll be clean and ready for your next trip.
  • Keep your stove in a cloth bag for protection against dents and scratches in your rucksack.

Conclusion

Your Trangia stove will be a faithful appliance to you for cooking and companionship.

It is both lightweight and generally robust unit which can take several dents, scratches and knocks. And due to its simple operation, it never breaks down. Its flame is silent and natural; ideal for the quiet, meditative camper.

Unlike gas flames, the Trangia flame spreads heat more evenly under pots and pans, minimising hot spots. It is an excellent value purchase, in that the kit can be used for both cooking and eating from, as well as providing wind protection for all-weather applications.

Its fuel is one of the safest available, with the advantage that its volume can be visibly monitored to ensure you stay ‘on budget’ for your cooking needs – something that is very difficult to gauge with gas canisters.

I would recommend the Trangia to any new campers and hikers as a safe, low-cost and highly portable entry-level cooking solution.

Do you have any great Trangia recipes you can share?

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Joined back in February, 2014

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