Pot choice is important to maximize fuel efficiency and cooking performance. All backpacking stoves (not just alcohol stoves) apply heat only to the bottom of the pot. A wider pot base diameter means a broader bottom surface area for heating, resulting in shorter boil times and better fuel efficiency. When comparing different pots of equal capacity, one that is shorter and wider is always preferable to another that is taller and narrower. You may have to consider replacing the cook pot you’re currently using with another that will maximize the efficiency of your new Brasslite stove. A tight-fitting lid and properly used windscreen are also essential for successfully operating any alcohol stove. It’s also recommended that the windscreen be set up with a minimum 1 inch (2.5 cm) opening around the pot to prevent excessive heat formation, which can result in reduced burn time and wasted fuel.
The Turbo 1D has a pot stand that is 2 inches (5 cm) and the Turbo 2D has a pot stand that is 2.5 inches (6.25 cm) in diameter. The Turbo 1D can be used with cups such as the Snow Peak 600 and similar vessels with a base in the 4 inch (10 cm) range. For best results with the Turbo 2D, a pot with a minimum base diameter of 4.0 inches (10 cm) is recommended. Narrower cups may have a problem with flame spilling out the sides and into the air, wasting fuel and lengthening boil times. The flame profile may be controlled by adjusting the simmer sleeve. Unless optional stand extensions are added, pots with base diameters more than 6 inches (15 cm) are not recommended with the Turbo 2D because of possible stability/tipping problems.
Is Alcohol A “Better” Stove Fuel Than White Gas?
Alcohol stoves have some definite advantages over white-gas stoves. The most important advantage is reduced weight. One of the lightest white-gas stoves currently available is the MSR Simmerlite, which still weighs 3 times as much as the Turbo 2D. The second most important advantage is simplicity. Alcohol stoves have few or no moving parts, pumps, seals or other components that can fail. Denatured alcohol is very clean-burning and will never deposit soot on the cook pot. Alcohol is also less volatile and therefore less prone to “flare-up”. Finally, in some remote areas alcohol may be easier to find. Brasslite stoves make efficient use of the available fuel energy found in alcohol, but alcohol does not contain the heating value (BTU quantity) of white gas or gasoline, as noted in the chart below: