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Sterno Portable Folding Stove

photo: Sterno Portable Folding Stove solid fuel stove


Price MSRP: $19.99
Historic Range: $5.99
Reviewers Paid: $5.95-$5.97


3 reviews
5-star:   0
4-star:   1
3-star:   2
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

A real backpack-able solution to your food cooking problems. A simple folding design that folds flat for easy carrying. Stove will hold a heavy pot. Front door and sides protect flames from wind. Burns Sterno, other canned heat or chaffing fuel. Low cost camping stove for the beginner.


  • Compact
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to light
  • Great temp control
  • Lightweight
  • Very inexpensive
  • Stable
  • Rust-proof


  • Adds some weight
  • Needs to cool off before packing
  • Sharp edges
  • Could warp or bend

It's crude and not perfect, but it's definitely "good enough" for a budget conscious camper or weekend hiker. I don't think the size or style is any different than the Coghlans folding stove. Also, made in USA. America's #1 Brand.

I have always had a folding stove for emergencies. You never know if a thunderstorm zapps the electricity or a quake drives you to turn the gas off. Use it on the tail gate of your truck for hot lunch or at a jobsite or in the mountains.


The folding stove is packaged with safety precautions and instructions. Easy to read and understand. It is low tech, easy to use, easy to clean, easy to set up, sturdy and stable, fuel flexible and will stay folded with a rubber band. You can't go wrong for buying this for keeping food warm. (note: does not come with sterno fuel, sold separately or can purchase kit.)


Stove removes from packaging easy. weight: 1.2 lbs. can store BOB or trunk or in a drawer. It is solid well built, even though it looks like it is made from a soda can. Has the logo design embedded in the flap of the stove. This stove is lightweight and decently folds to small enough size. Has a platform to cook on. Can set up in 3 minutes.


The Sterno stove folds out into a mostly square box with a place to put the fuel and a metal grate for cooking on top. measures: 6 3/8 by 6 3/8 inches. The front flap closes and the heat from the sterno will cook anything. It is a useful grill for cooking.

Virtually, this stove is designed to only heat water. Sterno is not a major heat source. I find that one can of Sterno will easily pack into a pack and work a 3-day camping trip easily. The flame control on the burner is not adjustable but does stay lit, and the side panels keep any wind from blowing out the flame.

I'm not sure how cook time would change in colder climate. I have put a lil butter in the pan to show how the flame can melt. I normally would not carry butter on a backpacking trip. Nor would I carry a frying pan. Best to cook food with a mess kit. Within 2 minutes butter started to melt.


This stove is ideal for cooking food with small fying pan because it covers the entire top of stove and captures all the heat. You can cook enough scrambled eggs for three people or fry an egg in about 18 minutes. It's a little slower than a stove at home, but what the heck... if you're out on the trails, plenty of time to soak in the beauty of the forest!

The Sterno keeps food warm for a long period of time without burning. (note: I wouldn't be backpacking with fresh eggs in my pack.) The stove carefully balances your pot or pan... no worry about it collapsing or falling over. Be sure to use the stove on a flat surface away from anything that would catch on fire. I think this stove is perfect for boiling about 2 cups of water, must have patience for a rolling boil, good for hobo coffee.


I ate an egg sandwich for lunch! Took about 18 minutes to cook and it wasn't runny! I ran inside my house for some bread, lol. It was tasty. I definitely recommend this stove.


I still have plenty of fuel left for a few more cups of coffee. Be sure to extinguish the flame by covering the opening with a lid and notice the heat indicator, HOT! ... the Sterno stove is also hot. It takes about 5 - 10 minutes to cool down before packing.

When the indicator is cooled down and no longer reads HOT then I suggest the stove would not be neither. Also, be sure to seal the canned heat (sterno) perfectly so that you can reassure it will not dry out.

Funny, I don't use Sterno much, just keep in case of emergencies. I learned to make my own chaffing fuel in Girl Scouts when I was a little tyke. You take a tuna can and wrap some cardboard type material in a spiral inside the can. Then you fill in the melted wax in the can and light it and put a coffee can over it. We cooked that way.

This Sterno stove gave me no problems. This stove could be a big luxury while you're out there. Wherever there is. (smiles)

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $5.97


Thanks for the review, Billie. Now, I'm craving an egg sandwich!

7 years ago
B. Frost

Anytime! You got it ...

7 years ago

Nice review, Belinda. Thanks for sharing it.

7 years ago

My first experience with a Sterno stove was when fishing a high mountain lake on Colorado. Probably near tree line but a warm windy day. Tried to cook a can of chile but it was losing heat as fast as the stove could supply it. I finally ate it tepid. Nope, not a good heat source. However, you can use the nifty stove frame with a Trangia burner and get more heat out of it. You just need to carry some fuel for the Trangia, of course.

7 years ago

26+ years ago on my first backpacking we cooked on Sterno. Great memories. I'm more hi-tech now but Sterno has a place in my heart. Very good review!

7 years ago

I have watched video were they use this for a small wood cooking fire. I am sure it would make a good stand/windscreen for alcy stoves as well. I think it is much more flexible than it is given credit for. A real deal at less than $6 for the budger minded beginner. I have one to try out, but still haven't done it yet.

7 years ago
B. Frost

yea. i know. we've come a long ways & stoves have changed throughout time.

7 years ago

This is basically a windscreen and pot holder.


  • Multi-fuel options


  • None

This is basically a windscreen and pot holder you can use with almost any fuel or stove, and it’s cheap and easy to store. I recommend getting one just to have it and leaving it in the car or bob.



Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 12


Welcome to Trailspace, G zama! Where do you use your Sterno?

8 months ago

Awesome as a wood burning stove. OK with recommended canned heat.


  • Large, stable cooking surface
  • Price
  • Awesome wood burner


  • Weak with canned heat
  • Suseptible to underperformance with any wind and canned heat

Brought this bad boy on our first father daughter backpacking trip. Totally awesome... as a wood burning stove.

We dug out a small pit underneath for the coals to accumulate, and it boiled our pork-in-beans in less than 10 mins. The most unique part: I heated TWO canteen cups at a time, and still had room to roast the hot dogs on the sides! Very large, stable cooking surface. Try doing with on a PocketRocket!

We had it backed up against rock wall and it provided a decent amount of warmth with constant feeding that is characteristic of all the wood stoves I have read about. Again something a $100 backpacking stove would not be able to accomplish.

The next day I used it as directed with a canned heat source and it was only able to boil one canteen cup at a time, and took about 15 to 20 mins to achieve a rolling boil. When using the canned heat source it was very susceptible to under performance by the slightest of winds; Using a larger frying pan or tin foil would solve this problem though.

Folding design was light and took up minimal space.

Lots of feeding the fire and blowing to get it up to temp.

For the price... Why not??

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $5.95


Welcome to Trailspace, Tyler.

5 years ago

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