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




About: Hi I'm Angelo! I am a college student taking my engineering majors in BS-EE/ BS-ECE at the DLSU. I use my course as an inspiration for making my current projects! I've been posting projects here ever since I...
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:


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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Step 2: 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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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!

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

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98 Discussions


7 years ago on Step 9

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.

3 replies

Reply 6 years ago on Step 9

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


Reply 2 years ago

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!

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.

9 replies

Reply 2 years ago

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


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

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.

Stove 1.jpgStove 2.jpgStove 3.jpgStove 4.jpg

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...


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

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.

Swiss Volcano Stove.jpgHeet.jpg

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

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.


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

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.


6 years ago on Introduction

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 ...

2 replies

Reply 3 years ago

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.


7 years ago on Introduction

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


7 years ago on Step 9

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

1 reply