Emergency Cooking with the Flamelite BurnBox

Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: November 24, 2020
Emergency Cooking with the Flamelite BurnBox

Having all of the food in the world is not going to help you if, following an emergency, you have no way to cook it. Heck, even during a short term power outage, having the ability to boil water becomes important.

In my own home, I have a wood burning fire pit, propane stove, charcoal grill, and three different rocket stoves.  Since they all work great, why even bother with another method to use for emergency cooking?  The answer is form-factor, versatility, and portability.

Emergency Cooking with the Flamelite BurnBox | Backdoor Survival

Let me introduce you to the Flamelite BurnBox, the coolest little stove I have seen in a long time.

Not only does it work great, but it breaks down to just under 6” x 4”, weighs less than 13 ounces, and stores in its own pouch that is only 1/4 inch thick.  It can be fueled by twigs, wood, and various types of alcohol, plus, if it is used with a Flamelite alcohol burner, and denatured alcohol, it can be used indoors!

All of that is good but the best part?  I have one to give away along with a couple of Flamelite alcohol burners, and an alcohol storage bottle.  But first, let me show you how the Flamelite BurnBox Box works.

Setting Up the Flamelite BurnBox

Set up is a cinch.  You remove the parts from the pouch and slide them into place.  The instruction book shows a layout of how they fit together and I found that it was useful to lay the parts out in the same manner before putting it together.

Emergency Cooking with the Flamelite BurnBox | Backdoor Survival

Flamelite Burnbox Setup - Backdoor Survival

After the first time, set-up took less than 1 minute to put together.

Using Twigs and Wood to Fire the BurnBox

We keep buckets full of twigs and biomass set aside for emergencies so all I had to do is grab a handful to get things going. I also keep Vaseline-soaked cotton balls on hand to assist in getting a fire started and so I used one of those as well.

Flamelite BurnBox for Emergency Cooking - Backdoor Survival

As you can see, we got a nice fire going and since I had a hankering for a cup of coffee, I decided to brew a pot using an old-fashioned percolator.

Flamelite BurnBox for Emergency Cooking - Backdoor Survival

Using six cups of water, the pot started to “perc” after 20 minutes.  We let it perc for 10 minutes before pouring and let me tell you, the coffee was hot.  And delicious.  The surprising aspect of all of this was that once the twigs were alight and we added a more substantial piece of wood, the fire took very little tending.

Flamelite BurnBox for Emergency Cooking - Backdoor Survival

Using Alcohol and the Flamelite Alcohol Burners

The Flamelite Alcohol Burners come in two sizes.  For my testing I chose to use the smaller burner along with 2.5 ounces of 91% isopropyl alcohol as fuel.  Apparently it is best to use denatured alcohol because it burns cleaner and hotter but since I did not have any, I made do.

The alcohol burners consist of a felt like material in a tin.  The felt material acts as a wick and can withstand heat up to 1800 degrees. The way it works is that you pour the alcohol inside, slip the burner into the BurnBox opening, and light it up.  Easy peasy.

Flamelite BurnBox for Emergency Cooking - Backdoor Survival

For this part of my test I decided to make a pot of rice using inexpensive backpack pots.  Once again, the Flamelite did not disappoint.  I set 1.5 cups of water in the pot to boil.  After 6.5 minutes, the water was bubbling like crazy so I added the rice and gave it a good stir.  I popped on the lid (actually, a second pot that was part of the set).

Flamelite BurnBox for Emergency Cooking - Backdoor Survival

Totally winging it, I let the pot of rice boil for 6 minutes with the lid on, then put the cover back onto the alcohol burner to put it out.  I left the pot of rice alone to steam and continue cooking while I went to do something else.

Flamelite BurnBox for Emergency Cooking - Backdoor Survival

Fifteen minutes later, I returned to find a nice pot of fluffy rice.

The Official Specs

As you know, I am not a cut and paste type of gal, but to keep things simple, here is the official description and specs on the stove:

The Flamelite BurnBox is a multipurpose, multi-fuel survival stove that is perfect for hikers, campers, preppers and when used with the Flamelite Hiker or Ultra it makes a perfect emergency backup stove for your house if the power and/or gas goes out.

It can burn wood very efficiently and its large front opening allows you to load longer pieces of wood instead of having to constantly cut and load small, short twigs to keep the fire going. It also works great with all of our Flamelite alcohol burners as well as most 3rd party alcohol burners including Trangia alcohol burners, the original large Swiss brass alcohol burners, homemade soda can stoves and any alcohol burner whose diameter is less that 3.65 inches and no more than 2.5 inches tall.

Its 5-5/8″ square cooking area allows you to use much larger cooking pots than most other camping/hiking stoves with out fear of your pot falling off but the internal cross braces also allow you to use even the smallest pots. The equally wide bottom insures a sturdy base of support that works well indoors and out.

The Flamelite BurnBox is 5-5/8″ wide x 3-6/8″ tall and weighs 12.3 ounces.  Plus, it is manufactured in the US, in Houston, Texas specifically.

The Giveaway

The nice folks at HowlingRaven.com are holding a Flamelite BurnBox Stove. two Flamelite alcohol burners (one of each size) and an 8 ounce leak-proof Nalgene bottle for storing denatured alcohol.  This package will be awarded to one lucky Backdoor Survival reader.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winner must claim their prize within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

Note:  If you are having difficulty with the Rafflecopter, attempt to clear your browser cache to see if that helps.  Instructions are here:  //www.wikihow.com/Clear-Your-Browsers-Cache.  If that does not work, contact support at support@rafflecopter.com

The Final Word

I  would be remiss if I did not mention a few more things about the Flamelite BurnBox.  First of all, the price point is immensely affordable.  The second thing is that it has a lifetime warranty.  Not that anything will go wrong but still, that is nice to know.

The last thing, and perhaps most important, every question I have sent to the company (Howling Raven) has been answered promptly and thoroughly.  I work with a lot of companies to bring these giveaways to BDS readers, and believe me, sometimes I never receive an answer to my questions.

If you are looking for a lightweight, portable, and budget-friendly stove that can be used for emergency cooking, this is it!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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Bargain Bin:  Below you will find links to the items related to today’s article.

Flamelite BurnBox – Multi-Fuel Stove:  This is a great little stove with a fantastic form-factor.  It can be used with both wood/twigs and alcohol, including denatured alcohol of isopropyl. It burns hot and fast and includes a storage pouch.  It will take up almost no room at all in a bug out bag.

Flamelite Hiker Alcohol Burner and Flamelite Ultra Alcohol Burner:  These alcohol burners are optional but in my experience, extremely handy.  They can be used over and over again your Flamelite or other alcohol burning stove such as the Solo Stove.

Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite 8-Cup Coffee Percolator: Here is a link to my own percolator.  Without question, it makes great coffee.  I also own this manual coffee grinder:  Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill.  Note that whole beans store well when sealed in a Mason Jar (see How to Use a FoodSaver for Vacuum Canning).

Outdoor Pot Pan Cookware: I purchased this cookware specifically for this review and could not be more pleased.  In spite of what some of the reviews say, I found the handles to be sturdy.  The pots easy to use and easy to clean plus they conducted heat well.  If I had to do it all over again, I would probably get this four piece set instead.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter:  The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2 oz.  making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.


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102 Responses to “Emergency Cooking with the Flamelite BurnBox”

  1. Base line food preparation that all preppers should have is cooking over an open fire. Cooking with primitive methods is not the same as using a stove and oven. Open fire cooking requires slightly different prep and a great deal more attention when doing the actual cooking.

  2. I have one and it works exactly Gaye shows it. I am quite pleased with mine although I did not get the alcohol adapter stuff.

  3. I like that this is a lightweight, portable, and budget-friendly stove – that’s the type things I am looking for. Having this would allow me to practice for emergencies and use with my grandsons on the weekends when we camp and prep! Thanks again Gaye for bringing it to us!

  4. Base line food preparation all preppers should have would be some way to cook food and heat liquids if the power goes out in their area. Some skill at lighting fires and basic food safety knowledge would also be helpful.

  5. As a brand new prepper, I currently have no backup source of heating besides our gas cookstove. That includes nothing portable. I love how flat and portable is starts out and seems easy to put together. Definitely a product I’m going to look into. Thanks for sharing the product and your reviews!

  6. I would say practice with all your alternative cooking methods. Bake bread in your sun oven, make rice on your grill, make coffee on your fire pit, cook beans on the rocket stove. Keep practicing!

  7. I love to cook, and have a couple back up plans, but this one looks incredible! Thanks for the info as well as a chance at winning…. =)

  8. Besides just knowing how to cook without electricity, you should keep in mind the type of foods you prepare. Just like normal, you need to serve food with the proper vitamins, appeal, and balance of starches and protein.
    In scouts, back in the stone age, we learned to soap the bottom of a pot before putting it on the fire. Keeps the black down to a minimum and easier cleanup. Is this still viable?

  9. What do you feel is the baseline knowledge a prepper should have in terms of emergency food preparation?
    #1 is to know the basic skill of making a fire. It may look simple but it’s not!!

  10. Basic cooking skills and knowing how to cook over a campfire would be my choice for base line food preparation.

  11. This looks like a great little stove, and I would really like to have one to test for myself and have in case of emergency.

  12. The baseline knowledge a prepper should have in terms of emergency food preparation would probably be how to light a fire without all the modern conveniences and cooking over an open flame.

  13. I feel all preppers need to store dehydrated/freeze dried foods. More importantly is knowing how to prepare a meal with them. Try cooking a meal with them and feeding it to your family. If they dont throw it back into your face, you have the “basic skills”.
    PS. If you can do this on a open fire, then all the better.

  14. We’ve taken our kids camping and been Scout leaders, but it has been a while since I have done this stuff. I think I have the baseline knowledge, but the skills are probably rusty. I definitely need to brush up!

  15. Take a deep breath, common sense, make a fire by more than one way, obtain drinkable water and being capable of heating it to cook.

  16. Now this I would take on our hike in campouts with our Venture troop. Lightweight and portable and the best thing COFFEE first thing in the morning!

  17. I think that you need to practice alternative cooking methods. You don’t want to be trying to figure things out for the first time when you really need them.

  18. Knowing how to use a variety of cooking methods is very important. It is extremely important to practice ahead of time.

  19. The baseline knowledge for emergency food preparation differs depending on your situation, equipment, and level of knowledge. So the most important thing is to learn and practice for your particular situation and equipment. If you have canned food (regular cans or food storage dried foods) make sure you have a non-electric can opener. If you’ve stocked up on food storage items rotate them into your normal meals so you know how to use them and make sure that you have a water supply to rehydrate them. Do your research and know which of your alternate cooking methods can be used indoors and which can only be used outdoors due to carbon monoxide and other nasties that might be produced while cooking.

  20. Cooking over an open fire (and making said fire) should definitely be a baseline skill.
    Practice with the types of food you are planning to have on have in an emergency. If you have stocked up on prepackaged/freeze dried food, heat the water and food using an open fire, etc.

    Learning how to smoke and preserve meat would also be a good skill if you need to start hunting for food. Othing worse than your hard earned food spoiling.

  21. Emergency Food Preparation
    Know how to start and keep a fire going. “Chuckwagon” or open fire cooking is VERY different than using a grill or a Campstove.Know how to prepare your food from scratch, I mean know how to clean and prepare what you may have caught properly. If you don’t know what to look out for, one could contaminate the food accidentally. Know how to “make” drinkable water. Know how to cook from scratch using fresh ingredients, etc.

  22. Knowing how to cook over an open fire. We have a wood cookstove in our house, but would we really want to fire it up in the heat of summer?

  23. I think a baseline would be Make sure that you can use your equipment before SHTF. Learn the setup then practice. Practice cooking on open flame without the convenience of flame control as from a proper stove. Practice trying to make the basics (like your pot of rice or coffee), and practice with dehydrated food packs.
    This little stove looks amazing – so simple to use and lightweight – not like lugging around a camp stove or even a charcoal grill.
    I’m wondering, can you set a grill rack over this? does it make enough flame to cook burgers or hotdogs or s’mores?

  24. Agree with most of the comments that knowing how to build and maintain a fire is very important and don’t forget fire safety. will be taking a class very soon I hope learning how to use dutch oven outdoors.

  25. A baseline skill is learning to make fire to cook (and provide heat) with. Eventually food will need to be cooked, and heat is vital. The light provided is beneficial as well. Along with learning to cook over fire is practicing the skill, learning what works and will be okay in a pinch.

  26. My baseline is to have simple preparation recipes, like one pot/skillet meals ready to go. The cook method can vary, but fuel is the weak link.

  27. I agree with all of the above comments. Knowing how and where to start is required to survive and certainly to be prepared.

  28. How to make a fire and cook over open flame, filter and boil water, and know multiple sources ftom this method to sun oven cooking.

  29. First learn how to safely cook on alternative sources. A campfire requires different methods than a camp stove or home electric stove. Second learn nutritional values of the food you have, and how to prepare it to agree with your and your families likes.

  30. I believe fire safety should be a baseline skill in reference to emergency food preparation. In the event of a region-wide catastrophe there will be many injuries and deaths due to urban and suburban people without a safe way to cook their foods. Without a decent fire safety skill, fatal accidents will occur.

  31. As a minimum, know how to use a couple of different methods of emergency food preparation. Know how to start a fire and cook over the open flame, have a charcoal or gas grill and plenty of fuel, etc. Practice with your different methods and devices so you are familiar with them if needed during an emergency.

  32. For emergency food preparation the most important baseline knowledge would be to know how to build a fire for cooking, and to know how to cook over open fire

  33. Base line is just knowing how to cook. Boiling water, frying, baking and than knowing your equipment. I started using my HERC again. and will start with charcoal and dutch oven.

  34. My wife was a superb cook and now, after she passed away, I try my best to learn to cook but it is slow going. This item might inspire me to gain some much needed skills, enable me to work towards greater preparations for meals.

  35. I’d say you should know how to get a fire going without a lighter/matches & how to sanitize water.

  36. To me- baseline food preparation knowledge would include knowing how to start a fire and how to cook with improvised materials that are on hand.

  37. If by “baseline”, you mean minimum – I would think that you should be able to heat food/boil water using at least one indoor and one outdoor method. That is as an absolute minimum. Being Queen/King of the grill or campfire, or even solar oven isn’t going to be much help if you are restricted to staying indoors due to area conditions.

  38. Everyone should at least be able to light a fire & have some sort of way to boil water over the fire.

  39. Think a baseline for food preparation is being able to cook at two different ways in any scenario. I have ways to cook outside and in the summer it saves on the air conditioning bills. At the same time how do I safely cook indoors if there’s no power? Many preppers work on bugging out, but what about a situation where you can’t go outside.

    If you lose power during a blizzard, having an indoor way to cook is a good thing. As my late grandfather said, you never know when life throws you a curve ball all you can do is swing.

  40. I think everyone should learn the basics of building a fire, and cooking meals, no matter how primitive.

  41. Gaye, what did you use on the table so your glass table top wouldn’t burn/break? I can see me having more than one of these. I so love backups in different places, just in case. 🙂

    • Dee – That is a large piece of ceramic tile we purchased years ago at Home Depot. At the time it cost a couple of dollars.

      In the photos you see it sitting on a tablecloth that is covering a glass table. I can’t tell you how often I pull this old tile out for one thing or another.

    • Thanks for the info. I’ll be heading down to my Habitat for Humanity Resale Store and getting several. I’ll be planting several around to be ready for impromptu meals. 😉

  42. Baseline? Starting a fire, boiling water using more than one method, knowing how to cook more than convenience foods made in the microwave. If you can use a stove, you will most likely be okay cooking with a propane stove or rocket stove. Having gone camping before and cooked even one meal on a fire will put you way ahead of almost everyone.

  43. This looks simple enough for me to use. It would be great to take with us when we go work on the land the family owns.

  44. Since most survival food requires hot water I’d say knowing how to start a fire in multiple ways would be the most basic knowledge.

  45. I think, as a baseline, people should learn to use a cast iron dutch oven, with multiple heat sources, especially wood and charcoal.

  46. Having several ways to start your cooking fire is essential. The vaseline-soaked cotton ball is good tinder. Dryer lint also works. Practice cooking on your “emergency” stoves. Start with something simple, like boiling water for a hot drink or a dehydrated meal pack. Then get adventurous, but remember a wood fire is not as easy to control temperature wise as is your kitchen stove.
    Always consider safety (don’t use your stove on a wooden or flammable surface). I use a 12 x 12 piece if ceramic tile or a pizza stone. And always, never leave the fire unattended!
    I agree with a previous comment that soaping the outside of the pan/pot makes soot clean-up easier, and there will always be clean-up. We used a little liquid dish soap.

  47. I love the adaptability of this stove-using twigs etc AND alcohol. I learned about alcohol burning stoves in Sweden at a Scout Jamboree. The only caveat is-you cannot often see the actual flame, so be alert to others around the stove. Burns can happen.

  48. I think baseline is knowing how to start a fire in less than ideal conditions. Wild edible knowledge for safe variety is a close 2nd.

  49. There’s no such thing as too much knowledge about food and fire – whatever “baseline” you’re starting at, keep learning!

  50. At least one alternative way to cook, with the understanding that weather may hinder your method, think solar cookingduring a sub zero ice storm.

  51. Baseline is meaning that you don’t rely on propane or other things that will rapidly disappear in a SHTF environment. Have multiple methods of cooking using a wide variety of heating materials from biomass to solar as supplies and weather conditions may change.

  52. Dietetics was my first profession so I always think of food safety first and foremost. People trying to stay alive should know how to safely use and prepare food so it’s fit to eat. Not eating poisonous wild food, keeping spoiled food, & fire safety comes to mind. Eating is not rocket science but you need some common sense or it can be dangerous in emergency situations or anytime for that matter.

  53. Baseline – Food safety, proper food handling. If someone can get a fire started, you should be able to cook something. Everyone should learn to cook, from scratch, a few basic things that they enjoy eating. And do it before you are in a survival situation.

  54. The baseline knowledge that a Prepper should know is how to cook with what they have on hand. Making a meal that the family will eat using alternate methods will ease stresses that would be felt during that time.

  55. I, too, am a new prepper. I think knowing how different types of food spoil would be important knowledge.

  56. Baseline emergency cooking skills would include knowing how to start a fire in numerous ways and how to make water safe for cooking/drinking.

  57. Know how to cook from scratch, know how to prepare real food, and know how to/practice cooking over open flames.

  58. With so many small stoves on the market, a rundown is always appriciated! I will be sticking with the solo stove titan for the forsee able future though.

  59. The kids all learned how to use their flint and steel last week. This little stove makes a great next step for them.

  60. You would need to know how to cook over a fire you have built yourself. You would need to know about nutrition & where to find “wild” food.

    Thank you so much for the giveaway!

  61. They need the knowledge to light a fire and cook over an open flame. Proper food storage is also a must.

  62. I would definitely say the baseline would bt to know how to start a fire. Knowing how to cook over an open flame is great, but if you cant even start the fire youre still out of luck.

  63. This is great! I want to teach my little boy how to make a simple dinner for himself if the electric goes out in our neighborhood. This would be a great addition to our packs for deer camp.

  64. Love that it is light weight and portable. Would be great to win and try it out, thanks for the chance.

  65. I really need to get one of these portable bio-fuel stoves. A free one would be great for taking the kids out hiking!

  66. What is baseline for food preparation in an emergency – depends on the emergency. However, in my own preps I am looking at nutritional needs for my age, resources available to meet the majority of my caloric needs, likes/dislikes, and portability. And finally, financial. It does me no good if I can’t afford it – starting slow and building up my stores works best within the bounds of the previously mentioned things!

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