Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Review: Gas One Dual Fuel Portable Stove

Since beginning this enterprise afloat some three years ago, we've used a little butane catering burner as one of our primary cooking tools .  The little stoves work really well, have a high heat output, are self igniting, and in general, are very low hassle items.  They are not, however, without their drawbacks:  Butane cans can be rather hard to find (unless you have an asian market near) and pricy if you're getting them from a big box store or marina (we've seen them as high as $7.00 a can, which is absurd).  While the Butane burns hot, it doesn't like low temperatures.  Below 50 degrees it really doesn't want to work very well, and then, of course, there is the disposal of the cans issue.

So I was intrigued when I noticed on them interwebs that Gas One made a dual fuel (butane and propane) version of the stove.  As our old stovetop, after over four years of use in a variety of circustances (including camping, vending, and here on the boat) was getting rather rusty and battered looking, I picked one of them up for about $40.  Like it's predecessor, the stove is pretty solidly made, and sports a large pot ring, which is good because, as noted, we cook a LOT.

The Gas One dual fuel. 

The new stove is a pretty simple setup and is virtually identical to the original Gas One butane stove, with a single exception.  The nipple around the fitting where the butane can usually pugs in is threaded to take a hose adapter.  The hose, about 24" of it, has the adapter on one end and a regulator on the other.  To use it, you pop out the butane can, screw in the hose, screw a propane bottle into the regulator on the other end, and cook.
Here's the normal Butane bottle position.
The dual fuel stove comes with this hose adapter, which is quite solidly made.

The hose itself is rather stiff, and we had a bit of a wrestling match to get it to not coil back up over the stove itself, but once we did, it rather settled down.  Doing the installation is pretty simple, though do be careful because the little metal tongue that slots into the butane cylinder can be sharpish.  Once installed, you start the stove like normal.
The hose threads through an opening in the rear of the stove and screws into the gas manifold.

BTW this iteration of the stove has something it's needed:  a thermocouple to keep gas from flowing if there's no flame.  If you're used to the older ones, it might take a moment to accustom yourself to holding the starter on for a ten count before releasing (otherwise known as "why isn't this burning?") in order to keep the gas flowing.

We had a couple of hesitations regarding the propane unit.  Propane is less energy dense than butane, so we thought it might burn appreciably cooler.  Plus the hose and bottle takes up counterspace that we didn't really want to lose.  Fortunately, these proved needless worries.  The stove worked fine from the get-go, happily cooking meals and roasting coffee (which is a moderately long and high temp process) without complaint.  As the mornings are starting to get cool here (and the propane is far less temperature sensitive than the butane) it was nice to have a stove up at full power for morning coffee.  Plus, of course, the 16.7oz bottles last longer.

Fortunately, our oven fits perfectly as well.
I'm pretty confident, having used their nearly identical stove for years, that the Gas One Dual Fuel will work just fine.  What we've yet to determine is if the Propane, which is somewhat easier to find locally (though a bear if you want them shipped) is more economical or easier to deal with than the butane, with which we've had few problems. One nice thing is that this little stove does seem to have the capability to be tied into a larger, refillable bottle. We'll do a follow up review after we've had a month or so experience with the thing.  Also as we move into cooler weather, we'll also have our woodstove as a cooking source, and, of course, we've still got our kero stove as backup.  We'll see.

Now the rains have stopped for a bit, we're enjoying the clear, cool, beautiful weather of early fall here on the Middle River  It's some of the best boating and outside time of the year.  Get out there and enjoy.

Hey, Morgainne has new stuff over at Life, Art, Water  and I've book sales going on on Kindle and at Wild Shore Press.  Check em out, if you'd be so kind.

More Later, enjoy the Fall



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