600ml in 9:57

Trangia Stove Boiling Speed Test and Review [Updated]

If you think that Trangias are slow then you must have been talking to my friends, they’re always telling me how painfully slow they are, and how useless they become at high altitude. The thing is, despite this common criticism, my experience has always been very positive.

Trangia 27-1 UL
Trangia 27-1 UL

I think Trangias are very fast. I can’t prepare the food for it faster than it can boil a pot of water. I’m the weakest link, I’m the bottleneck in the process, the Trangia runs rings around me so here I want to test how fast this cooking stove really is and give my Trangia 27-1 UL review.

Trangia Cooking Speed Test

To solve this age-old debate about the Trangia being slow I decided to boil 600ml of water in my Trangia 27-1 UL and time it.

Trangia Review
The pots, pans, pot handle, ignition sources and more can all be stored inside the unit.

The water from the tap was slightly colder than the ambient temperature outside which is about 7°C. The test was conducted in a breezy spot of my garden and my fuel was diluted with water, which I always do to stop the bottom of the pans from turning so black and to extend fuel economy. This will however have a slight impact on the cooking speed.

Trangia in use
The Trangia is very stable when in use and has a very effective wind shield.

So, with the results in I can tell you that 600ml of water, which is enough water to make two dishes of pasta, or one huge bowl full if you intend to eat the lot by yourself, heated on the Trangia on a chilly and breezy English morning of 7°C will cost 9 minutes and 57 seconds of your time if you keep peeking under the lid as I did to see if it was boiling. From subjective observation I don’t think it even takes that long in warm places; I’m usually always surprised to see my lid floating away as my pasta boils over.

600ml in 9:57
600ml in 9:57, how fast can you slice your veggies?

Trangia Review

I’ve had my Trangia for about 4 years and in that time I guess I’ve cooked perhaps 200 meals on it and although it looks a little worse for wear with dents and dings all over it it’s actually in perfect working condition and cooks as well as it ever did.

Trangia reduced flame
The Trangia uses a simple aperture mechanism to reduce the size of the flame. It’s easy to put over the flame in the first place but it gets pretty hot to handle if you decide you want to adjust it further.

Trangias come in three sizes: there is the ‘mini Trangia’, a 1 to 2 person ’27 Series’ and the 2 to 3 person ’25 Series’. The mini Trangia comes with just one pot whilst the two bigger versions have two pots and a frying-pan as standard. Both the 27 and 25 series come with the option of a kettle and non-stick coatings on their pots and pans.

Trangia burner and aperture ring
Trangia burner and aperture ring

Personally, I think both of these features are superfluous and the non-stick coating is so useless I think it might just makes the Trangia worse, I don’t want to be concerned about the non stick coating when I’m cooking and some sand or grit blows in to my pot, or when the pots boil over and I have to give it a quick scour. Trangias are brilliant because they’re tough; you could knock a big dent in it and just beat it back out without breaking a thing. In fact, I recently witnessed my friends Trangia fall off his bike and roll away from him, cheese-wheel style, across a busy road and narrowly missing a collision with a large camper-van – in such a collision I think the camper-van would have come off best. But his Trangia was fine and he cooked on it for the rest of the tour.

Trangia Burner Flame
Trangia burner flame in warming up stage.

So, in short, the non-stick coating cannot keep up with what travel throws at it and perhaps the last and most detrimental example I can give about why the coating is useless is that when the Trangia is packed away, it’s inside the non-stick pot that the burner, pot’s handle and any other thing you might like to keep in the unit are stored. These get jostled around and end up carving away at the non-stick long before the stove is even unpacked.

Trangia Shared Handle
Trangia Shared Handle

But this doesn’t really matter because the Trangia doesn’t need a non-stick coating, or to be hard-anodized like some of the newer versions, it works perfectly well as it is. My favourite Trangia is the ’27-1 UL’, it’s the perfect size for one or two people with a 1.0L and 1.1L pot/saucepan and a frying pan that doubles up as a lid for the Trangia and the pots. I’m not why a kettle is needed as the combination of a pot and the frying-pan as the pot’s lid is perfect for making a brew. Another thing I should mention is that the kettle has a plastic coating on the wire handle so if you use that you must position it straight up so that it doesn’t melt; another tragic event I’ve watched unfold.

soap and ignition
soap and ignition – fire steel, lighter and matches

A feature of the Trangia I really like, especially when compared to gas burners is that they’re really quiet – there is almost no noise from its flame and after a long day of doing whatever it is that you’ve been doing the last thing I’d want to hear is the noisy roaring of a jet/gas burner.

Another great feature is their simplicity, there is almost nothing that can go wrong with the general mechanism; just place some form of alcohol spirit in the reservoir and ignite. I use a combination of fire-steel, lighters and matches in that order and keep them wrapped up inside the Trangia when it’s not in use. The fuel for alcohol burners is really cheap, a Litre of Methylated Spirits might cost between £1 and £2 and will cook loads of meals if you cook efficiently and don’t let the Trangia burn away to itself too often. For a few recipe ideas try these Trangia Recipes.

Trangia Tips
Trangia Tip – place a sponge or cloth between the lid and the pots to stop the Trangia from rattling around.

So the Trangia, for me, is the perfect cooking companion; it’s quiet, fast (enough), durable and unfussy. I enjoy using it and don’t worry about it letting me down, I recommend them enthusiastically. If you buy yours from the same place I got mine (see following link) it will benefit CycleFar without costing you a penny.

Wiggle Online Cycle Shop

p.s. When I pack my Trangia up I keep a small flannel in one side of my pots and a sponge/scour pad in the other to stop the Trangia rattling when on my bike – silent cooking, silent riding, perfect!

11 thoughts on “Trangia Stove Boiling Speed Test and Review [Updated]”

  1. I’ve had my Trangia since 1982… still going strong!
    With the exception of a pot-holder that I lost, and the sliding brass cover of the burner (corroded and got too stiff after 20 years) there is NOTHING that ever went wrong with it. It’s been everywhere from the Spanish Pyrenees to North Cape, Norway with me. I’m sure it’ll outlast me! It’s cooked all the better in storms – I’ve sometimes had to put a rock on top of the stove to stop it blowing away – but nothing makes it blow out.

    (French ‘Alcool a bruler” burns much cleaner in it than standard blue meths. I once burned 95% alcohol sold as glassware cleaner in it, that worked too.)

  2. Hi and thanks for that review. I bought a Trangia 25 after much deliberation about size, cooking times etc. I have to agree with you wholeheartedly that the stove is way faster than I am. And the silence when cooking is sheer bliss in the outdoors.

  3. The first Trangia kit I got was the model 28 Mini Trangia,when I moved up to a model 27 I discovered that the 800ml pot from the mini Trangia kit will fit inside the pots of the 27 for transport and will fit on the potstands for cooking since the pot base diameters are the same and you can still fit the burner and handle inside when you pack it away,it just gives you another option for cooking or a more versatile substitute for the kettle.

  4. Great review James! I’m getting a Trangia 27-1 ul for Christmas, always wanted one! I had debated which version to have – the plain aluminum, the hard anodized or non- stick. In the end I opted for the plain aluminum version due to simplicity and price (black Friday special ????). Your post put my mind at ease that I chose the right one. Will need to try some of your recipes now.

  5. A big advantage is that you can ensure that there’s enough fuel in the reservoir for the task, and top it up if needed. It’s often hard to tell how much is left in a gas cylinder and they have a habit of running out at awkward moments.

      1. A word of caution when topping-off fuel in the Trangia. ALWAYS wait until all the current fuel fuel has COMPLETELY burned away. NEVER add more fuel to the current fuel while it is still lite or it WILL travel from the burner to the fuel bottle causing severe burns to the hands, etc. For this reason I always carry two burners — one for using and one in reserve if the first one runs out of fuel before I’m finished cooking. It’s easy to pop the second one in and set the first one aside to cool. Having a second burner allows hardy dishes like chili, stews, and cubes of chicken to be cooked with ease. With a second burner (at the ready) you can cook most any traditional dishes with few exceptions. I LOVE the Trangia. I own the 27 UL HA and also the Mini Trangia T-28 (BTW, the Mini T’s lid is the fry pan also, like the larger Trangia lids). I often take both for longer motorcycle touring. The Vespa Scooter, a Trangia Kit, a small cooler, and a great tent — nothing better for a fine get-a-way holiday! Oh! And they make a nice fire ring for when the weather turns ugly — can be a real lifesaver during a breakdown in a remote area.

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