Our Jet-boil cooker is brilliant but we found that gas canisters were sometimes hard to find. And, if you go into a outdoor shop you do feel that you are paying a wee bit extra. Whereas liquid (Meths) is cheap and easy to find while touring anywhere in the world.
We were looking for something else to cook with, along with more pots and pans. We also considered a wood gas stove. I might get that, too, as I like making fire.
So I settled on the Trangia 27 liquid fuel burner, simply because it has been tried and tested for years (since 1925) by millions of cycle tourers, campers and other lovers of the outdoors.
I picked up the Trangia 27-1 which has two 1L saucepans, one 18cm frying pan, an upper and lower wind shield, the brass burner with simmer ring and the “grippy handle”. All in one nice little compact unit. I even learned today that the wind shield can also be used for the Trangia gas burner: a nice little touch I think.
Getting fuel for it is pretty easy anywhere in the world. Just makes sure it is not petroleum based. Over on mark-ju.net web site they have an extensive list of what fuel to use almost anywhere in the world with details ranging from colour, to taste, to the fuel’s name. Just be careful, some fuels burn without any colour in the flame, so you could easily burn yourself. On trangiastove.co.uk they have three good pages which are well worth reading before you start with liquid fuel cooking, Trangia Fuel Information, International Trangia Fuel Names and Safe handling of Methylated Spirits.
Cooking with the Trangia is very easy, if you have cooked with gas before it’s even easier, though a little slower. A pot of half a litre of water takes around eight minutes to boil. So bit longer wait to get our tea ready compared to the Jet-boil. The saucepan also works as a lid and can be used to keep cooked food warm while you cook other things.
I have cooking down to a fine art now on the Trangia and one pot fits just nicely for two portions of porridge for our breakfast. However, it struggles to contain a good-sized evening meal in one saucepan. The Trangia 27 does not take enough pasta for two hungry stomachs*. If you want to stir in some sauce or extra veggies you will have pasta all over the place. The only way around this is to cook twice or get the Trangia 25 which has a 1.5L sauce pan.
*) See I got fooled again, Trangia 27 is for 1-2 person and the Trangia 25 is for 3-4 persons. I should have known better since we do like our food.
When using the frying pan, or a bigger pot, I need to figure out how to get the burner closer. Since the three “legs/arms/stands” that you fold out to fit the frying pan on to the wind shield make the distance too far and you end up with sooting on your pans and not the best heat transfer.
The Trangia wind shield is great and works as a very solid stand too. I have cooked with it on two rather windy days and had no problems with the flame and sooting on the pots. Even if you should manage to dent the pots or windshield the aluminium makes it easy to bent/knock into shape again. I haven’t really used the simmer ring yet, but it is easy to adjust the heat. Just one word of warning, this bit gets rather hot and does not change colour when hot! So just tap it with your grippy handle or the spoon you are cooking with.
When cooking with Trangia and the aluminium pots use a plastic or wooden spoon, as you can easily scratch the pots and that makes it harder to clean.
What lets the Trangia down is that it rattles even when packed down nice and small. So, I use a scouring pad and a mini dish cloth to wrap everything up in to stop the rattling.
Probably the best cooker I have used while cycle touring, nice, light and very compact. Just get the Trangia 25 if you like you food as the Trangia 27 is just a tad too small.
Link : http://www.trangia.se/