Solid Fuel Tablets
About Solid Fuel Tablets
A heat tablet is a form of solid fuel in tablet form. Solid fuel tablets are made of a flammable chemical compound derived from Hexamine as its main component. Fuel tablets were originally developed by the military as a portable fuel source. Today they are used for both warmth and cooking by campers, the military, and relief organizations.
Fuel tablets are simple, compact, and ultra-lightweight compared to other stove options. There is no canister to hook up or carry with you.
Hexamine fuel easily boils water, heats up canned foods and soups, and can be used to cook certain foods. (Always use a tight fitting lid when heating or cooking your food.)
How to Use Solid Fuel
Solid Fuel Stove
Stoves that use solid fuel tablets as their primary source of fuel are called solid fuel or pocket stoves. (Some pocket stoves may also be compatible with other types of solid fuel, such as wood or charcoal as well.)
These stoves are small, lightweight, and foldable, making them easy to pack and carry. There are a few different solid-fuel stoves on the market, but they all do the same thing. They are designed to hold a solid fuel tablet or two and provide a stable base suitable for cups, pots, and pans. These stoves are very affordable and will give you the easiest user experience.
However, if you'd rather not purchase one, and you have the inclination and time, you can make your own.
You can make a disposable cooking stove for solid fuel tablets by using any-sized aluminum can. First, punch a few holes in the side to provide an oxygen supply. Cut off the bottom and turn it upside down to support a fuel tablet. Set the can on a level, fireproof surface, and place your pan of the can. If you are unsure at all about stability, provide some kind of fire-proof support like chicken wire or metal tent pegs.
Cleaning your pots and pans
Hexamine fuel tablets can leave a sticky dark residue on the bottom of pots and pans. To clean the residue, you can try filling the pan with a mixture of vinegar and water and bringing it to a boil. Then, discard the liquid and wash the pot with a scouring pad.
How much do I need?
Hexamine tablets can quickly bring liquids to a boil in minutes. The number of tablets needed for cooking purposes will depend on the strength of the tablet being used, what you are trying to accomplish, the heat output, and the stove that is being used. Here are some general guidelines.
Hexamine tablets have an approximate burn time of:
- 5 minutes for a 4g tablet
- 7 minutes for a 5g tablet
- 12 minutes for a 14g tablet
Esbit Solid Fuel Tablets
Coghlan’s Fuel Tablets
- Is extremely lightweight and more compact than other fuel systems; the entire stove system, including fuel, can be stored inside a small cooking pot.
- Is easily portable and takes up very little storage space
- Produces a strong heating output which makes it an effective emergency heat source.
- Does not smoke or liquefy while burning, and leaves no ashes .
- Is sensitive to wind and dampness, so a simple windscreen should be used.
- When burned, the chemical oxidation of the fuel yields noxious fumes. Use a pot or pan with a tight-fitting lid.
- Spent tablets leave a sticky dark residue on the bottom of pots so try to use an older one. Cleaning directions are included above.
- The heat given off cannot be easily adjusted, so water can be boiled, but cooking requiring simmering is more difficult.
Solid fuel tablets can be used indoors for short periods and in well-ventilated spaces to prevent the buildup of toxic fumes. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Care should be used not to burn yourself as the flame is extremely hot.
Keep in a sealed, dry container. There are no storage limitations when the product is kept intact. If they are not, the product will evaporate.
Solid fuel tablets are shelf-stable and have almost infinite shelf-life if stored properly.