Saturday, March 9, 2013

Alternative Fuel Cooker

     I was out yard saling today, and picked up a QWIK cook grill.  It is an alternative fuel cooker that was endorsed on infomercials in the '90s by football player Dick Butkus.  I suppose I should feel for the woman who never used it and sold it to me for three dollars.  She had it marked $5, but I can be like that sometimes when I tilt my head and say, "welllll, I s'pose...." and then the price tumbles.  Sure, I'll try it, I say and I give her three dollars.  

     I don't even feel a little bad for her that I came home and checked it out on Ebay only to find others are offering their 'vintage' new in the box grills fro a price of $399.99 to $59.99 to 'buy it now'!

     I will not be offering mine for sale on Ebay. I will not even let it get to be summer before I give it a try.  I have some hamburger thawed in the fridge and I'm thinking the grandson and I will make burgers tomorrow.  What little boy doesn't like making fire?  Under supervision, we will wad up some paper according to directions, even though I think I can do it without a diagram, and we will just burn some burgers! 

     I already pulled the thing out of the box and it so reminds me of the cooker my sister made when we were young and unsupervised, back in the days when we were told to go outside and play, and we went.  My sister's design was more simple and only a coffee can big, but I want to include this drawing as a reminder of an earlier post I made.  We used dried grass and small sticks as fuel.  If we had thought of newspaper, we could have opened a little rascals style restaurant!

      I have looked into several energy efficient, smoke reduced cookers.  It is and has always been a problem in under developed nations that the women who cook, die young from lung diseases due to a life of inhaling cook fire smoke.  Who needs cigarettes to kill you when poor ventilation and an inefficient cook fire will do the job?
     This is a picture of a rocket stove.  This stove is made of soup cans, a coffee can and cat litter.  A hole is cut in the bottom of the larger coffee can side, three soup cans are used to make an L shaped tube.  The cat litter, which could just as easily be substituted with dry pea gravel, is used to stabilize the tube in the can and to absorb heat as well as insulating the tube forcing the heat up to the pot and causing the gas from the wood to combust making for a hotter flame.  The heated litter then maintains heat after you stop feeding the bottom with sticks or grass pellets allowing a simmer time or a stay warm time on the stove without fuel.

     A little more costly to fuel than the paper burning cooker is the duel fuel cooker.  This cooker allows for the use of both propane and white gas fuel.  If you have any questions about the pros and cons of using this kind of stove or these fuels, please go to this site and read their reviews of various fuels and stoves.  It is very informative and does not appear biased to me.  The site offers this duel fuel cooker for $89.99.  The same stove is available at for $79.99, and they sell the fuel in stores as well.
Sportster® II Dual Fuel™ 1-Burner StoveColeman Dual Fuel 2-Burner Stove The double burner model is $98.  But, as you know,  I will recommend you yard sale this item and save the difference.  I have purchased the double burner propane stove for $8, and for $7 on two separate occasions.  They are in good working order, one looked as if the cook spilled some stew and didn't clean it immediately, the other had some water damage on the lid, easily  sanded and painted with a can of barbecue grill paint to protect the metal from rust. Big deal! Black stove!  

     Just for fun, and a bit of danger, (this site comes with a legal disclaimer, so don't get stupid and burn yourself!), here is a site with many alternative fuels and stoves and the how to's to make and use them,  Research, experiment and DON'T burn yourself!



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