[Charles] sent in a tip about an alcohol based stove built from beer cans and a penny. The burner is efficient, lightweight, and tiny all while still packing a pretty big punch. It can boil water for sterilization, cook some rice for your meal, or make a spot of tea. The penny is used as the regulating valve. The cup in the burner has a hole in the center where the penny is placed using gravity to create a seal. Denatured alcohol is then poured into the cup and outer ring and lit on fire. As the burning alcohol warms up the cup, it starts to leak under the penny and into the fuel cup where it then begins to boil. This boiling alcohol expands as gas and exits the small holes around the outside of the burner, creating flames similar to the ones you use on your gas stove at home.
The genius here is that everything needed to make this is cheap and available anywhere. The basic build tools include a knife, drill bit, hole punch, two beer cans, a penny, and denatured alcohol. In a bind, you could complete the build using a pocket knife and without the drill bit or hole punch. It is also a nice alternative to hauling around a disposable propane canister when camping or backpacking. We’ve covered an aluminum can stove quite a while ago but that old link is dead and we think this is just as fun the second time around.