I was preparing to attend the Overland Expo in Arizona and needed a simple method to cook that would fit in a suitcase. My normal camp stove was too cumbersome. The primal search for fire was a foot……
Pick up any backpacking, outdoor style magazine and they advertise these lightweight compact cooking units. Hmmm, if they’re small enough for a backpack, they should be perfect for a suitcase. They looked really nice in the ads and then I went in saw them in person. Wow, these things are tiny!! About the size of the palm of my hand if not smaller not including the fuel canister. I’m sure they work well, but that was too small for my tastes. Plus, most were $$$; that was more than I wanted to part with. The search continued…..
I was in Walmart picking up some last minute items and I noticed a small box labeled Coleman Perfect flow single burner stove. (I’ve also seen them in Target) The stove uses the familiar small, green propane canisters and consists of two parts; the top burner and the base. Screw the propane bottle into the base of the burner. Then slide the base onto the bottom of the propane bottle. A black knob just below the burner controls the flame from barely visible to a bright blue and hot. Measuring 8 inches in diameter and only $24, I had to try it.
It survived the trip to Arizona easily and turned the trunk of my rental car into a thriving kitchen. Soups, mashed potatoes, canned vegetables, etc. Warm oatmeal on those chilly mornings was perfect. I barely used one of the green propane cylinders, but they can be purchased just about anywhere, including grocery stores.
Back home, I’ve used it just for fun. The other day I went to a friend’s house after a run and cooked an omelet and grits on the porch. Didn’t dirty anything inside the house at all.
Large enough for regular size cooking pans, under $30, commonly available fuel, and compact enough to take in a suitcase. A great find!