Having now done 20 weeks on the bike and cooked over 100 meals on our Optimus Sove we feel we can do a quick review.
We’ve been very happy with the stove. We have mainly been burning kerosene in it as it is very easily available in Asia and is a much cleaner fuel than diesel (all your pans will be black if you use diesel).
The stove is very compact and we keep the fuel bottle in one of our bottle racks on the bike (check the size of your racks we had to buy a special one to fit the fuel bottle).
It’s very easy to use and cooks everything we’ve done pretty quickly.
The best thing about the stove is its simple design – it’s easy to understand how it works and it’s pretty simple to take apart. If you start having problems (keeps going out or flame lickers) remove and replace/clean the small filter in the bottle tube. You’ll need some pliers to get it off. We ran out of filters about 4 months in and have been using a tiny piece of cotton rag instead! This has worked just as well.
With your stove comes a metal tool which opens the nuts and bolts and has a strong magnet incased at the top. Do NOT lose this tool!
Use this (run it along the bottom of the stove) to ensure the small pin in the main body is moving up and down through the fuel hole. The pin clears the hole so fuel can escape while under pressure.
After every use, before connecting the stove pipe to the bottle we open the green tap and let any fuel in the metal tube run out. We connect it all up and then run the magnet along the bottom of the stove.
If this small pin section breaks or you lose is as we have done don’t worry. The stove will still work without it. You will need a very thin piece of wire to poke in the hole to clear it though. We use some thin wire from an old it of electrical wire.
When we got to China Kerosene was much harder to find so we switched to using diesal – the stove doesn’t burn petrol. Because diesal is much dirtier than kerosene your pans tend to get blacker. The stove tends to take longer to prime on diesal too but apart from that it burns well.
We needed to clean the stove a bit more after we started using diesal. Note that after a while all multi-fuel stoves need some tlc…
We also lost the metal plate for the stove and now use a flattened steel bottle top. Works brilliantly!
Don’t panic if the stove stops working – calmly dismantle it and check for blockages by blowing through the connecting tubing and clearing the small outlet hole. Remove the filter if you need to and ensure there’s enough pressure and fuel in the bottle.
Avoid dragging the connecting ends of the stove on the ground and clear out remains of old gritty fuel from bottle once in a while!
Optimus customer service is brilliant – we lost the small brass bolt for the bottom of our stove and within days we had had a new one sent free of charge to our home address in the UK.
P.s It doesn’t burn meth or petrol