I recently got in touch with White Box Alcohol Stoves to see if we could get a sample for testing. Bill Ballowe, the company owner and stove designer, kindly agreed and sent a Next Generation model stove over so I could take a look and give the stove a whirl.
The stove was in my hands in less than a week. As you might guess, it arrived at my house in a small white box. There wasn’t a whole lot of un-necessary packaging used to ship the product. The stove itself is really sturdy and so a protective box and a few packing peanuts are all that is required to get it and the included windscreen safely to your door.
White Box has been manufacturing stoves in Montana since 2006, and their website says they have sold over 14,000 alcohol stoves. The Next Generation alcohol stoves are made from heavy duty recycled aluminum bottles. White Box removes the painted on labels from the aluminum so you don’t have to breathe any smelly burned paint fumes.
Alcohol stoves like the White Box use denatured alcohol or methyl alcohol (Heet in the yellow bottle) for fuel. Pour the fuel into the center of the stove and carefully light it. The fire will initially come from the center of the stove. Once the fuel and the stove itself are heated, fire will begin to come out of the side holes in the body of the stove. Now place a pot on top and wait. White Box recommends a pot of at least five inches in diameter.
With its fuel capacity of 2.5 fluid ounces, White Box says the stove will burn up to 20 minutes, and will boil up to 8 cups of water with one fill of fuel. Temperature has a big effect on the performance of alcohol stoves. The colder the fuel and stove is when started, the longer it takes the stove to get up to temperature and start working. Of course, when the water used is colder, the stove needs more time to heat it up.
I ran a couple tests of the White Box stove. For each test, I sat the alcohol, stove, and 2 cups of water in a pot outside to reach ambient temperature. I used 2 ounces of fuel in both tests. The stove takes longer to prime when using larger amounts of fuel, because everything has to heat up for the stove to prime. The lows on the nights that I tested were about 43 and 51 degrees. In both tests, the stove primed and was ready to cook in 60 to 90 seconds. The stove boiled the two cups of water in five and a half to six and a half minutes from the time the alcohol was lit, and the stove continued to burn for a total of ten and a half to eleven and a half minutes. My pot measured just over 4.5 inches in diameter, so my setup may have been a little inefficient. The pot needs to be big enough to keep the flame on the underside or the heat just rises up the side of the pot and is wasted.
The White Box Next Generation stove measures approximately 2.25 inches high and 2.25 inches wide and White Box says it weighs just over 1 ounce. The stove is built really well, and it looks great. There are no moving parts to break, and really nothing to clog either. It can be purchased directly from White Box for $20. You get the stove and the wind screen, plus free shipping is included. Go and check them out here.