Do Soda Can/Alcohol Stoves Work in Hot Climates?

Soda can stoves can handle heat...but they aren't right for all cooking scenarios.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.


I’m getting ready for summer and have been really interested in the soda can stoves. The only concern I have is whether the alcohol fuel can stand up to the South Carolina heat. Any thoughts?

Submitted by – MollyP, Greenville, SC


Dear Molly,

It’s not the heat you have to worry about with alcohol stoves. They work peachy-keen in hot temps; it’s in cold weather that they fall flat. Ultralighters love alcohol stoves because they’re superlight, simple to use (no priming), and maintenance free. They’re also wicked cheap to make and run (denatured alcohol is one of the cheapest, if not THE cheapest types of fuel). But alcohol stoves are not the way to go if you demand fast boil times, or if you’re favorite recipes require long periods of simmering.

There are loads of interesting DIY designs out there, but the best place to go for all the alcohol stove minutia you’d ever want to read is The site has stove templates and instructions on how to build them, plentiful chemistry lessons on how and why they (and all other types of stoves) work, materials lists, and tons of other links that will help you determine what type is best for you.

Happy cooking!