tyro nomads

Yves · Some rights reserved · 2 min read

How to build a pop-can alcohol stove

This stove is build out of a simple soda can, it has numerous advantages, grab a coke and keep on reading.

Advantages of this alcohol stove:

  • Very cheap, about 1€ initial cost.
  • Ultralight, ~15 grams (0.5 oz), aluminum.
  • Easy to replace, if it were to break, cans are available pretty much anywhere.


  • Requires open-flame proof cooking equipment.
  • Caution is required due to its design, spilled alcohol can result in wildfires.

Recommended tools for this hack:

  • A pocket knife
  • A soda can
  • 90% alcohol (pure ethanol)


  1. Begin by cutting out the inner top part.
  2. Cut the can horizontally in the middle, giving you two pieces of similar height.
  3. Take the upper part, and with a knife, notch (do not cut through) the wall in its full height, go around and repeat at a distance of approximately 1cm.
  4. Insert the upper part in the lower part.
  5. Fill with a bit of alcohol, ignite with a match (caution: the flame might be transparent).
  6. To extinguish the fire, put a yogurt cup over the stove to cut of the oxygen (This same pot can be used as a carrying container if it comes with a lid).


We have used this design for more than a month, we consumed about 1.5L ethanol during this time. It is particularly useful in ultralight, wet, or mountaineous conditions, carrying alcohol does not require a pressurized container and can be poured in a simple plastic bottle.

We store the can-pop stove in a plastic container, this avoids soot smears and alcohol spills on our belongings.

Buying pure ethanol is fairly simple and cheap in most countries, it may be more of a challenge in countries that restrict alcohol consumption.

There are many more pop-can designs out there, let us know what you think of ours and which one you use in the comments below!

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