How to Make a Volcano Stove

Written by b. ellen von oostenburg
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How to Make a Volcano Stove
Cook outdoors with a simple handmade stove. (feu de camp image by dead_account from

For camping, a volcano stove comes in handy. They are small, lightweight and a highly efficient heat source for cooking. It only takes around 3 minutes to boil a cup of water with one. A volcano stove can be made from recycled materials you may already have around your home. For a heat source, use a small alcohol burner or burn small twigs.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 425gr. empty baked bean can
  • Can opener
  • Tin snips
  • Sandpaper
  • Electric drill
  • 1/4" drill bit
  • 1/2" drill bit
  • Ruler
  • Marker
  • 3/16" diameter wire
  • Metal container to fit inside stove
  • Dry twigs
  • Alcohol burner
  • Matches

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  1. 1

    Remove the paper from a 425gr. baked bean can. Cut the top off with a can opener and the bottom off with a tin snip. Sand the cut edges smooth.

  2. 2

    Drill 1/2-inch diameter holes 1 inch below one of the edges of the can. Space them about 1 inch apart all the way around the can.

  3. 3

    Measure the can from top to bottom and mark the centre point. Drill three sets of 1/4-inch holes--two holes per set. Evenly space the three sets of holes around the midpoint of the can. Each of the two holes should be drilled about 1/2-inch apart from one another.

  4. 4

    Cut three lengths of 3/16-inch diameter wire. Make each 4 inches long. Bend each wire at a right angle 1/2-inch in from the end of the wire.

  5. 5

    Push the straight end of one of the wires through one of the 1/4-inch holes. Angle the wire so the point can be pushed out through one of the holes of an adjoining set of holes a third of the way around the can. Repeat this two more times with the remaining two wires. When looking down inside the can the three wires form a triangle shape. The bottom of the metal container holding food or water to be heated on the volcano stove will rest on this wire triangle.

  6. 6

    Light a small bunch of dry twigs or a small alcohol burner. Set the volcano stove over the burning twigs or the lit alcohol burner with the ring of 1/2-inch drilled holes positioned nearest to the fire source. Set a smaller metal container into the top of the volcano stove. Pour in water or food and wait for it to heat.

Tips and warnings

  • The wire used for election lawn signs is a perfect size wire to use for the volcano stove.
  • This volcano stove can be created out of any size can you want to use. Simply adjust the length of wire to be cut accordingly.
  • Carry waterproof matches for lighting the stove. For extra protection, carry them in a plastic bag.

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