Introduction: Pocket Alcohol Stove - "Jet Stove" (Camper's Guide)

Picture of Pocket Alcohol Stove - "Jet Stove" (Camper's Guide)
Today I am going to show you how to make a "Jet Stove". A stove that can fit right into your pocket! The stove can be powered by hand alcohol or anything similar. There are tons of useful applications for it. You can use it for camping, for winter warming, during brownouts, when you run out of LPG tanks or for emergency purposes. Just follow the simplified instructions and you will do fine.

What Is A Jet Stove?

A jet stove is a small piece of contraption that uses alcohol as its fuel. It works when the can gets heated by the burning alcohol around it, heating the can causes the alcohol inside the stove to evaporate into flammable fumes, the fumes now exit the holes, the fumes now ignites into flames. It is a cycle.

I used an  Apple, iPhone 4G to take pictures of the project.

Here Is My Video:


Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials

Step 2: Washing the Cans

Picture of Washing the Cans

Be sure to clean the whole can by rinsing it with water. You wouldn't want impurities to mix with your alcohol. Mixing impurities with alcohol will degrade the stove's performance. After rinsing it with water dry it with a piece of cloth.

Step 3: Marking the Can

Picture of Marking the Can

Use a marker to mark the can, try to use a flat base like an eraser as a guide to your marker, rotate the can in a circular motion until you complete the markings. 

Step 4: Cutting the Can

Picture of Cutting the Can

First, puncture a small hole on the upper part of the can. Then use your sharp scissors to cut your desired measurements. Remember start cutting from top to bottom and the other can must be shorter than the other one (as shown in the last picture). After cutting both of the cans, sand the cans until the label wears off. Be sure to sand the label off the cans. If you don't sand it, the label will somehow melt and turn black thus ruining your stove's appearance. 

Step 5: Putting the Cans Together

Picture of Putting the Cans Together

This is now the tricky part, sticking both cans together is the most painstaking task you will encounter in making the stove. I advice you to bend the shorter can's edges so it would be easier to insert the short can to the long can. Insert the short can into the long can. Use your Dremel tool for grinding the sharp edges left by the can.

Step 6: Applying Super Glue

Picture of Applying Super Glue

Try to apply super glue into the small gaps left . Be sure to seal it or else flames might exit an unsuspected areas. Keeping the stove airtight as possible is a "must". Let the glue sip in the gaps. Notice that the super glued area should be the bottom part, Shorter can facing downwards and the longer can should face upwards. Flip the can after gluing it. Don't forget to let it dry for about an hour.

Step 7: Drilling Some Holes

Picture of Drilling Some Holes

Drill you holes using a Dremel tool or just simply use a sharp object to puncture the can. Pleas do not make you holes too big nor too small. Don't forget to use a tape measure to guide your holes. Do not make your'e holes too big nor to small. Use a drill bit that is used for PCB making.

Step 8: Sanding Everything

Picture of Sanding Everything

Sand every last ink of the printed label, ink from the label usually burns then turns into a black substance. You wouldn't want to mess you stove's appearance.

Step 9: Learning How to Make It Work

Picture of Learning How to Make It Work


1st.) Pour alcohol into the stoves fuel inlet.
2nd.) Cover the inlet with a coin or magnet.
3rd.) Pour alcohol "around" the stove.
4th.) Set the alcohol around the stove on fire.
5th.) Wait until the jets works, you will hear a boiling sound.
6th.) Your'e done! Have fun modifying it :))))

Step 10: Your'e Done!

Picture of Your'e Done!

Good job. I will be posting updates and videos about this stove soon. 


burnerjack01 (author)2012-02-02

Angelo, great job. You are a very talented young man. Best wishes.
One thing though, about the hole size, you state "not too big, nor too small".
Might be a good idea as to state what size you made yours. you can always say "It's not too critical, but mine were 1mm or 0.042 in.". just sayin'. Always a good idea to give exact information when instructing so the person learning will know to expect it to work as good as yours, if not, because they failed to follow instructions. But, hey, still a great instructible and hope to see more from you.

ASCAS (author)burnerjack012013-05-16

Thanks! Oh yeah about that, I used 0.8mm drill bits for my holes.

bobschwarz (author)ASCAS2017-07-25


bobschwarz (author)burnerjack012017-07-25

I was going to ask the same question! Why not give an exact size if it's so critical the warning was given twice, one right after another!

Macworldwizardz (author)2012-02-02

I love the idea! To be quite honest, I am going to go buy the stuff tonight to build it (because this is the only thing I've ever found that you don't have to spend crazy money on and it's worth it to use!)....

But, how is it a "stove"? What can you "cook" with it? I thought anything to "cook" would crush the little can... so what could you use it for? I am by no means trying to disappoint you or upset you or be rude... I just would like some ideas on what to use it for (I got the idea for a little heating source lamp type thing)...

Going camping so I will use this when I go.

It seems that any wire frame would work to hold the pan. Then making this a little bigger might help with fuel time. I also would add

bigger holes for the fill area. And a magnet will not hold since it's non ferrous metal

ASCAS (author)Macworldwizardz2012-02-03

You can cook foods that takes 30 mins to cook. It boils water for about 5 mins. I tried cooking instant noodles, boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, hotdogs, sausages, fried fries. The amount of alcohol and the size of the stove affects the operating time of the stove. Mine is a bit small so it works for about 30-40 minutes.

I've made 10 different styles - this one is the best by far. The top of the bottle is inverted into the bottom and JB welded. (JB Weld is a cold weld that you mix and apply with a Q-tip to seal and bond the metals together) Holes on the inside and outside. Good clean and well rounded flame. No need for a "Pre-heater" either. there are 3 holes in the bottom - so the outer chamber fills up. light the center and it heats the outer ~ voila. Hardware cloth is the pot holder - make any size / hieght needed.

Thanks for the reply.. I might try this. I am a student and I couldn't see the YT video yesterday (iBoss Filters) but I did yesterday at home and I see the "cage thingy" pictures. That is actually a nice idea/addition. If it is around the can, you can set the small pot on top of the rack thing around it to stabilize it. Thanks for the help!

I will try to do something like this in the near future...

ASCAS (author)EggHead1012012-02-03

I did the cage thingy about a year ago. I will try to take pictures of mine, besides that, yours is great.

I made mine very similar to this design. How ever I made a pot holder out of hardware cloth (Metal wire) in a circle and then put a square on the top. It will hold a good sized pot with ease. I will have to post a picture. Also Make more than ONE - when one runs out of fuel - simply insert the next one to keep cooking. Mine runs about 7 minutes too.

I have a Swiss volcano stove that you can use any type of burner / fuel in. This works great. I used to use the small cans of Sterno in it but at times it would burn out before the water was boiling. Now I only use one of these. I use the Fuel line defroster known as "HEET" it works absolutely perfect and it is cheap. I buy mine at Walmart for $1.39 per 12 oz. bottle. Also if you take a small coffee can and cut the top and bottom out then using a old style can opener "the one that punches out triangle holes" punch holes all around the top edge and a few around the bottom for breathing holes, it makes a great wind break and pan support.

Oh and Great Instructable, this has many uses and could cook food during a power outage or other disaster.

metqa (author)Macworldwizardz2012-02-02

just like gas powered stove top has a metal plate for the pot to rest above the flame, you would need to supply some sort of elevated support and not put the pot directly on the stove or it may be crushed. In the video he had the stove inside a larger pan ( looked like a cookie tin) and on top of that placed a metal wire ...dunno what it's called...and sat the pot on top of that. This is a good question to ask because I've seen examples where people placed the pot directly on the stove and that seems very unstable and dangerous to me.

dread (author)Macworldwizardz2012-02-02

Three rocks of the appropriate size and in the right locations around this burner will keep your pot stable, but they will also stop the flame holes from being blocked by the pot. They may also be oriented to provide a wind shield if that is an issue.

BlackSheep1 (author)2012-10-23

Simple trick for easier sanding-off the paint:
BEFORE you wash out the cans, fill them half full of water and freeze them.
Now, you have a solid core to back up the can while removing paint -- can even buff it off with a wire pad on a power drill if you want.

Let them stand and thaw, pour a drop or two of soap in and shake to foam, wash the cans out and proceed ...

kevin.mencer (author)BlackSheep12016-03-29

You could fill it almost full, freeze it, and then use a power saw to cut it. Since it's frozen, the saw won't destroy the can.

ASCAS (author)BlackSheep12012-10-25

That's a great idea! I've never thought of that.

Kimmied (author)2012-02-11

Very cool! I wouldn't have thought about using a soda can!

james.recee (author)2012-02-02

this is the most practical one i have ever seen, and surely simple to make. Well done.

ASCAS (author)james.recee2012-02-03


MrRedwood (author)2012-02-02

By the way, the site has many, many, many variations on these little stoves.

dkerber (author)2012-02-02


heqichen (author)2012-02-02

one year ago...

ASCAS (author)heqichen2012-02-02

That's pretty nice!

DavidGladstone (author)2012-01-31

Nice stove, what does the coin do?

ASCAS (author)DavidGladstone2012-01-31

It seals the holes in the middle, it prevents the flames from getting out in the middle part.

hellaroms (author)2012-01-30

how longs it burn? looks like a cool lamp, ad some scented oil and you have a centerpiece.

ASCAS (author)hellaroms2012-01-31

15 ml of alcohol burns for 7 minutes.

fozzy13 (author)2012-01-30

Cool and interesting. I've seen a lot of alcohol stoves, but I don't think I've seen one like this before. Good job.

pj63 (author)2012-01-30

Great.... well done.. I make these when i go fishing.. A few tips I use which you may find useful (or Are.... If you place a full can gently in side the first cut piece and press down you will stretch the cut can. Then the second piece fits nice and tight so you dont have to glue it... Also I use a piece of 'Roof Insulation' (the yellow fibre glass stuff) inside to soak up the FUEL,so if you knock it over it doesn't spill everywhere... Oh its SAFER to hold the 'stove' and warm it underneith with your lighter until it gets to hot to hold and light the fumes.. Good Instructable....

Orngrimm (author)pj632012-03-05

I do the same and they fit perfectly. Will never come apart and are AIR(!)tight.
However, i ran into some troubles on the way...
So here are my additional hints for expanding the cut cans:
- Use a full (and prefferably pressurized) can to expand the cut one.
- Press the full can in the cut one and not the other way around (Cut over full)
- You can press quite hard if you add the water (see next point) to expand almost all of the cut can. I normally expand 2 third of the height of the cut can.
- Always put 5-10 drops of water in the cut can and dont turn them (The full and the cut can) over if they are inside each other. Now if you want to have them apart, simply hold your lighter under the cut can and the steam-pressure pops them right apart. If you expanded more than a few mm you have no other way to separate them again.

I often repeat the expanding 2 times till they really fit snuggly.
If you press the 2 cut halves together (one expanded, one NOT), be sure you have at least one hole already drilled to let the air escape.
It also helps to have both cut cans the same height: If the inner & top (hole-containing) can is around 1mm away from the cut line of the lower & outer can you know: This is the end ynd you shouldnt go any further.

I once made such stoves just for fun out of Coke and Redbull-cans... till i found out that a lot of people found them cool and i made a ton of gifts. :)

bobschwarz (author)Orngrimm2017-07-25

Thanks, some great points!

bobschwarz (author)pj632017-07-25

Thanks, I was thinking the same thing. Now I have the answer!

Roof Insulation.

andrewbaker (author)2012-04-07

Three helpful hints for anyone making this.
1: Use a wire brush attachment on your dremel to remove the paint from the can.
2: If you don't have a drill bit small enough for the outer holes, use a small nail.
3: If you get superglue on your hand, nail polish remover removes it with ease.
Hope i helped some of you out.

bobschwarz (author)andrewbaker2017-07-25


vweinhaus (author)2017-02-05

Works great!

Rubens?? (author)2016-10-13

Aren't the cans made out of aluminum? Don't they melt?

WVHunter129 made it! (author)2016-08-23

Very nice instructional information. I have made several versions of the alcohol stoves. What you have called a "Jet Stove" I have seen called the penny stove. I have also made lids for various stoves to be used to snuff out the flame if needed.

J to the T made it! (author)2016-02-19

So cool! It was more challenging to sand than i thought it was going to be. Also, i had such a good fit between the halves i didn't glue them together.

i-am-steve made it! (author)2016-01-24

Thanks for the instructable! I made one and it worked well.
I did not find it necessary to use the coin. Without the coin, it just has two
more jets. I may make a second one with smaller holes (I used 1/16" drill and
that might be a little large for clean burning, from what I have read). I used
8 holes around the perimeter. Might use 16 next time. And I think only one
center hole is needed, although it would be slower to fill. I was not sure if
the superglue would hold up to the heat, but it seems to be doing okay. Thanks

buck2217 (author)2015-07-01

Terrific idea for a small stoway in your daybag

don.bahrman (author)2015-02-21

I'm sorry am I the only one that noticed on step 4 , punch holes in top of CAN, not, holes will go in the top of burner part, don't do like I did poke hole in both ends, put two tops together , they are hard to separate, once there put together.. have fun

TP_inc (author)2013-12-05

What's a "BROWNOUT" I have heard of "BLACKOUT" but never "BROWNOUT"

billiam7787 (author)TP_inc2014-12-27

blackout is a general term for power outage of any kind and/or complete outage of all kinds.

Brownout refers to a power outage where the phone landlines are still up, which most of the time btw have an electrical charge running through them rated at 40-70 volts, no idea about the amps though.

ASCAS (author)TP_inc2013-12-06

They are the same. Brownout is the traditional way of saying blackout in our country.

TP_inc (author)ASCAS2013-12-06

Thanks for clarifying that

BenBronze (author)2014-08-12

Works really well. Thank You

ASCAS (author)BenBronze2014-08-13

I'm glad you like it! :D

jsatou (author)2014-06-12

Thanks for idea and design, we will be using it this coming weekend for the freedom Climb... :) the best talaga inventions mo thumbs up!!!

jsatou (author)2014-06-12

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi I'm Angelo! I am a 18 y/o college sophomore taking my majors in BS-ECE at the DLSU. I use my course as ... More »
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