Flash Boil Stoves

Flash Boil stoves are very small, lightweight stoves designed primarily to boil water. They can boil 2 cups of water in about 2 minutes (at sea level). Most people use these stoves to heat water for freeze-dried meals but they can also be used to make coffee or tea, soups, and small meals. Flash Boil stoves use (or include) these components:

  • The stove burner connects directly to an ISO butane fuel canister to generate heat. Most stoves allow you to adjust the heat output. The burner fits into the cooking vessel.
  • The cooking vessel contains the food or water being heated. This vessel contains heat absorbing fins on the bottom. The burner heats the bottom of the vessel and the fins absorb more of the heat before it escapes. The vessel design with the heat fins makes these stoves extremely efficient.
  • Most stoves include a cap for the heating vessel. These come as either top or bottom caps (or both). These normally double as a measuring cup.
  • The fuel canister is normally purchased separately and fits inside the cooking vessel along with the burner. Most stoves use the small fuel canisters but the larger stoves may accept the medium sized canisters. Be sure to bring enough fuel for your outing and remember that you could use significantly more fuel in high altitudes or very cold weather.
  • An insulated cover protects your hands from the heat and also traps more heat inside the cooking vessel.

These stoves are highly efficient and very lightweight. Some have the option of using standard cookware but many only work with their specialized cooking vessel. Some stoves including the JetBoil and Primus have adapters that allow the stove to use standard cookware. Most include an igniter but always bring an alternate ignition device such as matches or a sparker.


  • Compact, lightweight, and self-contained
  • Boils water very quickly
  • Readily available fuel
  • Fuel canisters last a long time


  • Normally less efficient at altitude or in cold weather
  • Some stoves cannot use standard cookware
  • Requires canister fuel

Stove Models

There are a variety of flash boil stoves from manufacturers including:

Check reviews and stove capabilities before purchasing one.


I heard many rave reviews on a variety of flash boil stoves. I have a Primus that I bought on sale and I have heard many rave reviews about JetBoi. I also have an MSR equipment and have nothing but good things to say about MSR and their products. I cannot give a specific recommendations because there are so many good products. Rather than a recommendation here are some points to consider when purchasing a stove:

  • Adjustable: Some stoves have only one flame setting. This is fine if you only use it for boiling water. I prefer a stove with an adjustable flame so that I can boil or simmer.
  • Size: Be sure to choose the right sized stove for your needs.
  • Cookware: Does the stove allow you to use other types of cookware? My Primus stove has pegs that can be screwed onto the burner and this allows other cookware to be used. JetBoil stoves have a pot adapter that convert the burner to use standard pots. Other stoves only work with their own cooking vessel. You may not need it to use other cookware but if you do then be sure that the stove has an adapter.
  • Measuring Cup: Be sure the stove has some way to measure liquids. Some include a cover that acts as a measuring cup and some have markings inside of the cooking vessel.