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Coghlan’s Emergency Stove and Fuel Tablets Review

Avatar for Samantha Biggers Samantha Biggers  |  Updated: March 9, 2022
Coghlan’s Emergency Stove and Fuel Tablets Review

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Coghlan’s is a brand that is found at many different camping stores from campgrounds to Wal-Mart. They have been around a long time and produce a variety of budget-priced camping basics.

Matt picked up this little stove and some extra fuel tablets to see just how it would perform if you needed to heat up a meal or boil some water. Both of us went into this review with the expectations that the stove would be okay for heating and maybe boiling water for coffee or tea but not much more than that.

The stove came with 24 fuel tablets but Matt purchased an additional 24 tablets. Each tablet is supposed to burn for 9 minutes. The cost of the stove, included tablets, and extra fuel tablets, totaled $9.61.

There are a few warnings regarding the chemicals contained in the fuel tablets. We wanted to share that with you just to be totally clear. The Hexamine fuel can break down into formaldehyde if you sweat on it so it is important to keep the tablets in something in order to prevent this and to not handle them longer than you need to put them in and light them.

The stove folds down so that you can store 24 fuel tablets within it when not in use. This is how the stove will come to you. My first thought was that a stove like this would be an inexpensive way to heat up basic foods and include in a 72-hour kit.

We are at 3000 feet elevation. This is important to note when testing a stove because water boils at different temperatures at different elevations.

To light the tablets you have to hold a match or lighter to them for a few seconds. They don’t just catch on fire the instant a flame comes in contact.

The Tests

Attempt #1 For the first test, Matt tried to boil 1 quart of water using a single fuel tablet. The water was just a little bit warm after 9 minutes.

Attempt #2 Two tablets were used and after 9 minutes, the water was only 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Attempt #3 For this test we used 4 tablets. After 10 minutes the water started to boil.


This stove would be okay for just getting something warm but not for actually cooking anything. At a cost of $3.21 for 24 tablets with sales tax, or about 13.5 cents per tablet, it cost $0.52 just to get a quart of water to the point where it was boiling.

If I wanted to boil for 10 minutes it would have cost $1.04. That is not a good deal, especially when you consider that a lot of rice and mixes take 15-20 minutes or longer boil time to be edible.

If you just want to heat up a can of soup or a Ready Meal pouch, then this might be okay. Also, if you want a quart of coffee during an emergency, $0.52 to heat up the water to put in your French Press or use for instant coffee, is far better than going without. You can also check out this list of the best survival stoves.

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5 Responses to “Coghlan’s Emergency Stove and Fuel Tablets Review”

  1. Samantha, your review of the Coghlan’s Emergency Stove and Fuel Tablets was helpful. I include the stove and fuel tabs in all of my vehicle emergency kits and get home bags as a back-up to my primary emergency stoves. I do think you should consider the emergency utility of the small lightweight pocket-sized self-contained stove and fuel tabs as part of your get home bag when you need to have the capability to boil a quart of water for safe drinking, and build a fire using only the fuel tabs . Yes, it may be a one time use to boil water, or for available fire source in a survival situation. Agree with your comments, that the stove is limited as a back pack stove.

  2. While it might not be cost effective to cook with just the tablets, you can use the tablets to get sticks burning. They can dry out even wet sticks and once they are dry, you can cook whatever you want. Just think of the tablets as fire starters and not the only fuel.

  3. Great Review!
    Would a can of Sterno fit/work better? Boil faster?
    Is Sterno refillable with denatured alcohol?
    Just asking

    • Sterno is fairly expensive at $3.00 for 2.25 hrs of burn time. It is designed mostly for keeping foods at a safe temperature after they have been cooked and served. I do not have a lot of experience with Sterno but the fact that they say it is for keeping foods in the safe zone of 140 F, tells me that while it can heat a meal up, it is not for serious cooking. I also looked up the dimensions of a can of Sterno and I don’t think that it would fit in this stove. As far as refilling Sterno cans, I would not recommend it. Sterno is a gel so if it gets knocked over it will not spread like liquid denatured alcohol. You could start a pretty devastating fire that way. Thanks for reading!

    • Sterno is about the same in that it doesn’t get stuff to boiling and is only good for warming.
      THIS article right here is why it is very important to use and test your gear before anything happens. Good job!

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