• Weight of Stove without fuel 93 grams
  • Size packed 120mm X 110mm X 10mm
  • Cost $67.26

Esbit Stainless Steel Solid Fuel Stove

Camp Kitchen


Rating: 5.9 / 10
Ease of Use 1.6 / 2
Boiling Speed .7 / 2
Weight 1.7 / 2
Fuel efficency .8 / 2
Value for Money 1.1 / 2

Esbit Stainless Steel Solid Fuel Stove Review

Esbit is best known for its ‘Pocket Stove’ which was originally developed for military use over 60 years ago but lately this pricing on this unit has become prohibitive. I also own the Esbit Stainless Steel Solid Fuel Stove and at the time of purchase this was the more expensive unit but now the situation has been reversed. Esbit main claim to fame is that they manufacture  their stoves with simplicity and ease of use in mind and as far as stoves go they do this exceptionally well.

The Esbit Stainless Steel Solid Fuel Stove, like the pocket stove, uses solid Hexamine fuel tablets as the fuel source. These fuel cells are a small waxy-looking block of solid fuel weighing in at 4g that sits in a metal frame that also provides a base upon which to sit your pot. While very simple and easy to use, very few hikers use this stove as their main stove. In fact in our stove survey only 2% of recreational hikers choose to use this type of stove type as their main cooking method. Having said that, the Esbit stoves have a place in my hiking arsenal and is usually my stove of choice on overnight or solo hikes when I don’t want the additional weight, or bulk of my Jetboil.

The whole ‘stove’ (excluding fuel but including its pouch) weighs in at just on 93 grams and even when you add a lightweight pot to the system you are still in the ultralight category. My set up which includes the pot from my Trangia Mini set, weighs a total of 187 grams (excluding fuel). Fuel weight is pretty minimal and I find that I will use around 20 grams of fuel each day based on my cooking style.

The Esbit Stainless Steel Solid Fuel Stove requires the four pieces of stainless steel to be assembled to form a windshield unit that protects the flame from wind very effectively. In our testing  this stove took nine minutes to boil water which is very slow when compared to any other stove available on the market by a long way.

To use this little stove just assemble the metal frame unit. This is easier said than done and takes a little thinking though the first couple of times you assemble the unit. Once assembled, place the waxy looking fuel tablet in the small indentation on the base and light with a match or cigarette lighter. This fuel type is not susceptible to cold weather or altitude like other fuel types. While fuel is readily available you will need to ensure you know where your next resupply is going to be or carry enough to last the entire trip. The commonly available fuel tabs weight in at 4 grams each and if you plan on using this stove I would suggest doing a practice run at home first to see how much you will need to carry on a hike.

While reasonably fool proof to use, ensure you have set up your cook site on stable ground and clear away any flammable material to prevent any unwanted fires (this is less of an issue than with spirit type stoves as fuel spillage is not a big issue). We’ve found that this  stove needs the 2 X 4gram  fuel blocks to boil 500 mls of water and is much more efficient than its cousin, the Pocket Stove. If you have finished boiling, the flame can be blown out and the tablets reused next time you cook so I would recommend you have a good quality zip lock bag for storing used tablets.

I typically don’t cook on the trail but instead boil water to rehydrate food and prepare a hot drink. I also have a rehydrated dessert every second day which means my average boiled water requirement is between 1.4 to 1.8 litres each day for two people. This costs about $7.50 for two people which is very expensive compared to my other stove options, in fact this is about as dear as you get for fuel use.

The initial purchase price, is relatively cheap as far as stoves go making this one of the cheapest options on the market but this is counter balanced by the  expensive fuel use. While I’m sure that people can and do use these stoves I have never seen anyone on trail using them in the past 8 years

So why then would you use this stove? In my case it’s an easy option and extremely lightweight for short adventures but take this past a day or two in length then I will opt for my gas stoves without any thought.  In all honesty unless you are a bit of a ‘retro hiker’ that likes to hark back to ‘days gone by’ then this wouldn’t be a stove that I would recommend.

NOTE: Esbit produces a liquid fuel burner similar to that used by Trangia and in doing so you change the whole dynamic of this stove unit and if your are key to purchase this unit then that would be my suggested fuel source.

We Like

  • Cheap to purchase the initial ‘stove’. This unit is under $50 (plus the pot price)
  • The fuel tablets have an indefinite shelf life if stored correctly
  • Relatively windproof for a solid fuel stove
  • Easy to manage on the trail, almost fool proof
  • Physically small and lightweight with the ‘stove’ and my pot choice (excluding fuel) weighing in at 187 grams. Fuel weight will be pretty minimal even for a extended trip
  • This stove unit can also be used in conjunction with the Esbit alcohol burner if you don’t want to use hexamine fuel. Doing so will change the whole stove dynamic
  • Can be used with the Esbit Liquid fuel burner if you don’t want to use the more expensive Hexamine fuel

We Don't Like

  • Mainly for heating up water for rehydrating but not so great for cooking
  • Can be a health hazard in an enclosed environment however this is an issue with any stove fuel
  • The fuel smell can be off-putting but is not noticeable in ventilated areas
  • Leaves a residue on the pot and stove unit so you need to store both in a bag to ensure you don’t transfer this residue to the rest of your equipment
  • Relatively slow compared to Jetboil type stoves. Nine minutes to boil 500 ml of water
  • You may not be able to use this stove type in times of total fire bans so check before you go. Some parks, or sections of parks, may not allow open flames
  • Availability of fuel can be problematic with many outdoor stores not stocking this stove fuel

The Esbit Stainless Steel Solid Fuel Stove with pot boiling water. This picture was taken in a sheltered area with a slight breeze. There was very little impact from wind on this unit compared to other liquid fuel stoves

Best uses

Great for solo hikers or couples on a short trip

Buy One

You can purchase the Esbit Stainless Steel Solid Fuel Stove from Amazon Australia. Please note that if you search around you may find this model available at a cheaper price.

You can purchase the Esbit solid Fuel  from Amazon Australia. Please note that if you search around you may find this model available at a cheaper price.

Disclosure:  We may earn a small commission, at no additional expense to you, if you click through and make a purchase. Please note that our affiliations do not influence, in any way, the independence of our reviews. If we don’t like a product, you’ll hear about it from us!


Stove – AUD $67.26 RRP

Fuel – AUD $58.54 RRP (20 X 4 gram fuel tablets)


Esbit 4 gram fuel tabs

Esbit in its pouch. I would recommend putting this pouch in a ziplock bag when you have finished cooking to minimise the fuel smell permeating your pack

Esbit pieces not yet assembled. this unit comes in its own small pouch

Esbit liquid fuel burner. This unit changes this stove to a liquid fuel stove similar to the Trangia stoves

Other Versions

Esbit produces a wide range of cookware although not all of it is available in Australia


This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by Australian Hiker

Last updated


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