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Cooking With Three Candle Flames. It Works.

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After heating up spaghetti and ravioli with a single candle flame, two different types of oil lamps and a shortening lamp I decided to try cooking on a three wick candle.  I bought a bunch of these candles on clearance at Walmart.  This one looks to me like it was made for emergency cooking.  Look how nicely that thing from my gas stove fits on top of the candle.  So in an emergency situation I will need to:

Get one of the candles.
Get the matches and the stove thing.
Light the candle.
Assemble the stove: (put stove thing on candle).
Get pan, lid, spoon and soup and start cooking.

 That should take about two minutes…..


For tonight’s instructable I decided to venture away from the usual chicken noodle soup and selected a savory Italian Style Meatball soup instead (Progresso18.5 oz.)

The soup took about 15 minutes to be hot enough to be warmed up soup since there was a slight bit of steam.

After 30 minutes there was a slight bubbling / sizzle sound and there was a lot of steam. The soup was officially hot and ready to eat.

There was some actual bubbling after 40 minutes. The soup was at “blow on it” hot.

More bubbles at 45 minutes. The soup was at “better let it cool before you eat it”.


Soup’s Ready

 This will work well for canned foods like soup, spaghetti, ravioli, chili con carne, vegetables and other things like hot coffee, tea and cocoa.

This will probably not work for foods that need to be fried. For that you will need a small propane stove. If you have a propane stove, cooking with a candle will make your propane last longer because you can save it for foods that really need it. 

When you need to bring water to a rapid boil (making water safe to drink), my past testing indicates that you can save about 40 percent of the propane you would normally use by using candles to pre-heat the water first. I need to find two spare stove things so I can put one in each car along with a candle (“bug out “stuff).

 Another good thing about cooking with candles is that they are safe to use indoors.

Here are a few other thing you can do with this setup: If your emergency situation includes a severe snow storm you can melt snow for drinking water or better yet, coffee. You can also heat up water to put in hot water bottles. It would be nice to be able to wash your hands with warm water. 


Boiling Water

You can use this setup to boil water. It took a little less than an hour to start boiling. Your results may vary depending on:

Ambient temperature and the temperature of the water.

The size of the flames and how close the flames are to the pan.

The size of the pan.

The amount of water.

I boiled 16 ounces of water four times.


 Another 3 Candle Setup

I also bought several of these candles that were on clearance. These are much larger than the other ones. There is no glass container to support the pan which is a good thing because the candle can be moved up and down independently of the pan. I made a holder for the pan using 3 hangers and some tie wraps. I adjusted the height of the candle using a can of tuna, a plate (to catch any wax that may drip), and a few 3.5” floppy discs. I could also use more plates. If I need to raise the candle after cooking a few meals I can add a plate to the stack.

I could also support the pan and stove thing on some bricks.


Run Time

I burned this candle for another hour and determined that it burned 0.0225 pounds of wax (about 10 grams).  Based on the weight of the candle there should be more than enough wax to boil 16 ounces of water 127 times.  The only problem with this candle is that the wax near the sides does not burn.  This wax needs to be removed with a knife or razor blade and added to the liquid wax when the candle is burning or saved to be melted and made in to another candle.

As always use caution with fire.  I would suggest not leaving open flames unattended.


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