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Dec 24, 2013 10:06 AM

Sterno Toronto

A little off the beaten track however. I just went through about 3 days of no power. I found myself heating canned chilli and soup over a candle. Now that the horse is in the next county I wonder if it is possible to get a safe heating source for the next time. Does anyone know about Sterno I know they make a fuel but can it be used indoors? Who sells them in the Toronto area? Any other information about what seems like a vital cooking aid would be appreciated. Lets not get moved to Home Cooking or Cookware --we want Toronto information not Miami.

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  1. Sterno is often used to heat buffet serving dishes. It is made from jellied methanol. You can cook indoors with it, but don't drink it if you run out of beer or wine. (some people have been known to use it as a alcohol substitute )

    1. Sterno will produce carbon monoxide, but not very much.

      I think a simple $800 GE gas stove is best in a power outage. The authorities don't complain about it, and you can use a CO detector nearby to warn you when the CO gets too high. The only problem is bypassing the electric ignition when there is no power: I use a match and a flashlight.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jayt90

        Is there a way to get the oven part working on Gas Stoves without electricity? I think they all have ignitors that glow hot to be able to heat up right? Just curious more than anything.
        My parents were down for about 8 hours but they had their gas stove... and me to run around bringing them groceries.

        1. re: ylsf

          You want to use the oven in a gas stove when there is a power failure? I doubt that will work as most ovens have safety interlocks which check a few things before opening the gas valve. I know my oven checks that the ignitor is actually working and if not, the gas is not supplied to the burner. If your oven is a very old one that does not have an electronic interlock, you may be in luck. Some older ovens may use a different system. The stovetop burners can be lit and there is no interlock on those.

      2. I'm curious, roughly how long did it take to heat a can of soup Herne?

        1 Reply
        1. re: millygirl

          Hi millygirl. It took about 20 minutes and 2 sore arms for a can of soup.

        2. Small gas stoves fueled by small butane canisters are available at most Asian supermarkets. They're usually used for shabu shabu / hot pots, so they are inexpensive and definitely work indoors.

          3 Replies
          1. re: GeeDee

            Thanks GeeDee. I usually go to an Asian supermarket once a month but never thought of the butane burners. Probably because I know nothing about Butane. You are sure Butane is safe indoors?

            1. re: Herne

              for short term use, the $20 butane stove from the Chinese store and even the propane camp stoves are perfectly safe for indoor use just crack a window open if you are planning to cook for long periods of time. with plenty of O2 in the air propane's by product is just water and carbon dioxide. i have also used those propane ceramic heaters indoors with no ill effects, used em for years. But if you are really paranoid about CO levels in your home Order up a box of MRE with the heaters from costco for the next time there is a power outage, they have a 5 year shelf life.


              1. re: youdonut

                I regularly use these stoves for hot pot or Korean bbq dinners lasting hours and have never encountered any issues aside from cheap canisters that easily run out of gas and a serious case of food coma. (The stove I use is a Japanese model that is now probably more than 20 years old.) Asian restaurants also use these stoves for tableside cooking, or to keep certain dishes warm.

                As youdonut mentioned, it should be relatively safe to use these stoves for a short period in a power outage situation as long as you're in a well ventilated area (e.g. you're not heating up soup for hours while holed up in the closet).

          2. A terra cotta flower pot over a few tealights works wonders. Also produces a surprising amount of heat to a room. We got power back lastnight, thank the higher powers!!

            2 Replies
            1. re: LexiFirefly

              Sounds like a good idea. I imagine when you put the flower pot down you could rest a small sauce pan on it.

              1. re: Herne

                They taught us that in girl guides for indoor use.:) you can also put a can of chili or soup straight on top.