By Melodie Anne

Sterno fuel is a lightweight heat source in a can. Use it for camping trips, in areas where a grill isn't allowed or when your power goes out. With a little planning, you can cook over a stove specifically designed for Sterno fuel. Or make your own cooking surface with a few items you may have around the house.

Woman boiling water on portable camping stove
credit: lofilolo/iStock/Getty Images
Close-up of camper using fuel outside to cook

Portable Stove

Purchase a portable stove that works with Sterno fuel. Small stoves hold just one Sterno, while larger stoves hold several of them. The single-Sterno burner generally fits just one small to medium pan. This allows you to cook up eggs, blackened fish or a batch of stir-fry. A larger stove gives you a larger cooking surface to fit a second or possibly a third pot or pan. This way you can have water boiling in one pot, while cooking up meat in a separate pan, for instance.

Makeshift Stove

Use a few bricks and a heavy-duty pan to cook when you don't have a portable stove. Lay the bricks flat in a triangle formation with only the corners touching. Stack two or three layers of bricks on top, depending on the height of your Sterno. Place the Sterno in the center of the triangle, light the flame and set your pan on top to warm. Once it's hot, you'll be ready to fire up your entrée.