Lighting the Classic Kerosene Stove
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Lighting the Classic Kerosene Stove

HOW TO LIGHT THE CLASSIC KEROSENE STOVE First, check that there is kerosene in it.
Kerosene’s the best fuel to use. Lamp oil also works. Then fill the spirit cup with denatured alcohol. I’d forgotten the denatured alcohol, so here we’re using rubbing alcohol. You can also use Esbit solid fuel. Try and
keep the wind away from the gentle flames. One thing you can use as a windshield would
be an old tin can with the top and bottom removed, and then slit it down the side and wrap
it around the burner. That helps keep the flames coming up through the flame ring. Once
you see the flames themselves start coming up through the flame ring, you can close the
air valve and start to pump gently. I started pumping a bit too early here, and you’ve
got what’s called a flare-up. That’s a flare-up. Open the air valve straight away, let the
flames die down, close the air valve and start pumping again gently. What happened is that
liquid kerosene has come up through the jet nipple instead of vapor, and we’ve got these
big, sooty, yellow flames. Pumping too hard too soon will result in too
much kerosene going through the not quite hot enough burner tubes. So wait until the
spirit flames begin to die down before you really pump it up to the kind of flame you
want. Pump more for a higher flame. If you want
to lower the flame, you just open the air valve very briefly just to let a bit of pressure
out of the tank so that you can regulate the flame to either a real high roaring flame or a lower flame for cooking things like bacon and eggs. So you can have quite a gentle flame. And when you’re done, just open the air
valve and let all the pressure out. These are great stoves! They’re simple to
operate once you get used to them, and they’re very reliable. They hold their own against
more modern stoves, and they will last a lifetime.


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