Making a Coffee Filter Muffin with an Epicurean Titanium Esbit Stove

P1010076So, my wife loves me sooooooo much that she let me open a Christmas present early! And of course I said OK! So, she handed a box over and I tore into it like a madman… And what was inside? Well, I will tell you… Inside was a sweet new stove! The titanium Epicurean Esbit stove from Flat Cat Gear to be exact!

Of course I did hint to her that I wanted this stove because after watching all of the YouTube videos of people baking in the outdoors, I also wanted to start trying it out some. Who doesn’t want a fresh-baked muffin after being on the trail for 3 or 4 days? And this stove will do that. The Epicurean stove will allow a single, 0.5 oz Esbit tablet to burn for more than 40 minutes, and with a lower heat output, which is exactly what is required for baking! However, the stove can also be flipped over (with the “crown” side down) and allow an Esbit tablet to burn slightly hotter and faster, which is ideal for boiling water.

The Epicurean stove is designed to work with both, the Flat Cat Gear Snow Leopard System or the Bobcat System, however, the Epicurean stove can also be used with other systems (or as a “stand-alone” stove). Jon suggest that when using the Epicurean stove with other systems “you will need to provide a pot stand that will position your pot 1.8” above the ground.” By doing this, the stove should perform the same as it would when used in one of Jon’s other systems.

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I do have a Snow Leopard system, however, I do not have a baking pan that will fit in any of my pots that will work in the Snow Leopard system. But, I do have a 3 x 5 inch Fat Daddio’s aluminum baking pan that will fit inside my 1.3 L Evernew UL Titanium cook pot and it works with my Trail Designs Sidewinder Caldera Cone.

So, I gathered up everything that I needed to do a trial dry bake run:

  • Epicurean Stove
  • Caldera Cone
  • 1.3L Evernew Cook Pot
  • Fat Daddio’s Aluminum 3 x 5 inch Baking Pan
  • Esbit Tablet
  • 1 Package of “Just Add Water” Triple Berry Muffins
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 Coffee Filter
  • Small Amount of Olive Oil

The first trial run I did with the above set-up, I simply mixed the batter and then poured it straight into the Fat Daddio’s pan and baked it. It turned out pretty well, however, it did stick to the sides of the pan. For me, this would have been more trouble than I want on the trail. So, I decided that I needed something to line the inside of the baking pan with. In the past I have tried Parchment paper which worked very well, however, it was a pain to get it formed to the inside of the pan. So, I started looking for 5 inch wide muffin liners last night… and needless to say, I did not find any. Then I thought about coffee filters… after all, they do look like a big muffin liner.

So, I Googled “Coffee Filter Muffins” and actually found a few sites in which people actually did this! But, I found that in order for this to work, the coffee filters needed to be coated with something. Many of the people said that they simply used the spray on oil or butter, but no way am I carrying that in the field. But, I will carry some Olive Oil in the field. So, for this trial run, I decided to smear Olive Oil all over the filter.

The results can be seen in the following video:

So, I am very happy with the way that the muffin turned out. After baking 2 muffins in this set-up I have decided that about 30 – 32 minutes is enough time to bake the muffin to my liking. After eating the muffin in the above video I found that while the bottom was not burnt, it was getting close and the inside of the muffin was plenty cooked, so 36 minutes was more than enough time. As well, the edges of the muffin did stick to the sides of the coffee filter in a few places, however, I think that if I smeared the oil all the way up the coffee filter, then this would not have been an issue.  Or, I could have let the muffin cool a bit more before removing the paper (but who wants to eat a cold muffin on the trail when it can be eaten hot, or at least warm!) However, I don’t want to put too much oil on the filter to affect the way the muffin taste (although, the extra oil is simply additional calories).

There are still a few things that I still need to figure out a little better while on the trial though:

  • Oiling the coffee filters without getting oil everywhere. I am thinking I can do this while it is in the baking pan, but I will need to try this again to see how it works.
  • Grabbing the baking pan out of the cook pot after cooking. A pot grabber would be ideal in this situation, or even a pair of needle nose pliers, however, I do not carry either of these items.
  • I will need something to dump the muffin out onto after cooking. But, this is not so much an issue, especially if I am not sharing (that would be so mean in a group though). I think that it could just be cut and then handed out…

Either way, I am very excited about this stove! And at only 0.6 oz (19 g) I will definitely be taking this on trips with me. Maybe with this stove I can now lure my daughter out on the trail with me some…  🙂

Thanks everyone for reading! As well, if you have tips or suggestions, feel free to post them below so I can learn from them. Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to check out Jon’s (from Flat Cat Gear) YouTube channels for all sorts of trail baking!

~Stick~

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Disclaimer: This stove was purchased by my wife as a Christmas gift to me. I am under no obligation to “review” it. The above post contains my own personal thoughts after personally using the stove.

EDIT: 12/21/12

After watching my video above, Jon from Flat Cat Gear sent me one of his It’s-A-Snap Bobcat windscreens and the Top Hat to use with the Epicurean stove for dry baking. So, today I gave it a go. You can check out how it went in the following video:

About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
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20 Responses to Making a Coffee Filter Muffin with an Epicurean Titanium Esbit Stove

  1. mmmmm muffins. I got to get this mastered. I want hot treats with my morning coffee.

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  2. BearBurrito says:

    Camdavec is correct. I mix the same muffin mix you are using in a ziplock and cut off the corner with my knife to squeeze it out into my pan. Works great! No mess if you are careful when squeezing. Thanks for the idea of a coffe filter as a liner. I am going to try that next. I too had problems forming parchment paper. I am like you in that I eat out of a ziplock so the only cleanup is washing my spoon and coffee cup. If i could figure out a no cleanup way it would be even better! 🙂

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    • Stick says:

      BearBurrito,

      This is the way I would also do it when on the trail, except I would use a produce bag since it is lighter! 🙂

      As far as the coffee filter, I would suggest to use the parchment paper, but cut out a disc big enough to fit in the bottom of the pan and then oil the sides. There will be a small but of cleanup, but not much. I have been informed that the filter will actually insulate the muffin from the walls and slow cooking time.

      Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your baking!

      ~Stick~

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  3. camdavec says:

    Brim stone has a good idea with the pre-oiled muffin liner, but add to it… Use the ziplock bag to mix your batter.
    After you have removed the liner and put in your baking pan. Into the zip put in the mix and the water, seal it up, and mush it around. Then cut/bite a corner off and squeeze it into the liner. Don’t even have to bring a mixing bowl.

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  4. russ says:

    Nice. Your kids are awesome. Great vid ! Nice to see the CONE.
    I believe we can help you bake with Alcohol using the 12-10.

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    • Stick says:

      Thanks Russ! As far as the Caldera Cone, it is a great system! I love that I can use it for virtually any sort of fire. Concerning the baking though, how would you suggest to bake with the 12-10 stove? I assume that you are talking about steam baking?

      ~Stick~

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  5. Diane Pinkers says:

    Hi, Stick, I think you might want to check the link for the Fat Daddio’s pan. It took me to the Amazon site for a 9 inch round pan; surely you meant the 6 inch pan, to fit inside your Evernew pot? Between you and Brian Green, I’m thinking I might have to pick up one of Jon’s system’s–maybe I’ll get goody money at Christmas that I can play with.

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    • Stick says:

      Diane,

      The Amazon link is correct. Just click on the drop down box to choose which size you want. There are a number of different sizes listed in the drop down box, the 9″ pan is obviously the default though.

      Of course which ever cook pot you have will determine which size baking pan you need. In this video I’m using the 1.3L Evernew “UL” titanium cook pot, and the baking pan I am using in it is the 5×3 Fat Daddio’s. A 4″ pan will also work.

      As far as the stove, it is a great stove and worth checking out. Good luck on the Christmas goodies!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      ~Stick~

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  6. Brim stone says:

    Betty Crocker sez: Parchment paper + origami = any size/shape baking liner.

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    • Stick says:

      Brim Stone,

      Very true, but I will admit, it is a bit of a mess unless just cutting a disc. I tried cutting a piece large enough to line the bottom and the walls, but it wasn’t my cup of tea trying to get it all sorted and lined. Alot of clutter and wasted space, plus in most places it was more than 1 layer thick, which insulated the muffin from the heat more. In the end I am using a simple parchment paper disc in the bottom and oiling the sides.

      ~Stick~

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    • Brim stone says:

      If you’re happy with the parchment paper bottom & oiled sides, great. Or you might use two pieces of parchment: a disc and a separate rectangle rolled into a cylinder for the sides. But the coffee filter looks like it works fine. You can fold the filter into quarters and oil it inside a ziplock for less mess. Maybe the best bet is to carry the filters pre-oiled in a ziplock to avoid messing with it in the field.

      I see no reason why you couldn’t drill a couple tiny holes in the lip of your Fat Daddio and add a thin wire bail to lift it with.

      Have you ever used ‘ghee’? It’s a ‘clarified’ butter used in Indian cooking. It remains a liquid at room temperature and is shelf stable. You can by it in jars, or make your own. Probably perfect for your coffee filter as it will pre-butter that muffin for you.

      Thanks for sharing. Your blog is very cool.

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    • Stick says:

      Brim Stone,

      I thought about doing that too, just cutting a piece about an inch wide and long enough to coil around the inside to keep the muffin from sticking to the walls, however, after hearing Jon talk about not using anything between the wall of the baking pan and the muffin I decided against it. I have found that the oil will still allow a small bit of muffin to cook onto the baking pan, but it is pretty easily removed.

      As far as smearing the oil, I keep my oil in a tiny bottle and then have just been dripping drops all around the top of the baking pan and then using the parchment paper disc to smear it all over the walls, then the paper also has some on it to make peeling it away from the bottom of the muffin easier.

      That is a brilliant idea about adding a bail… I may have to see if I have any drill bits that will drill through aluminum… And heck, while I was at it, I could also drill holes all around the top and drop a tiny bit of weight… 🙂

      I will look into that butter too…that may be useful for a number of things…

      Thanks again for stopping by and commenting!

      ~Stick~

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  7. Bobby says:

    Yes i found out last night after posting this that it releases formaldehyde, ammonia, carbon oxides, hydrogen cyanide and nitrogen oxides when burned. It was just a thought and i was curious if it was toxic and you are correct its not wise to have a flame in a tent. Love your blog and thanks for the reply.

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    • Stick says:

      Wow, I did not realize that those were the chemicals being released…all I knew is that it stinks and it wasn’t good for you. But the flame in a tent…yeah, I have been there done that and don’t recommend it! 🙂

      ~Stick~

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  8. Bobby says:

    I car camp and and have a Kodiak 10 x 14 flex bow tent and was just curious if its safe to use Esbit fuel inside a well ventilated tent. I am aware that some people use sterno indoors but did not know if it was made of the same chemicals. Was just curious if it gave of any toxic fumes. I know its not recommend to cook in a tent but would only boil a cup of water at the least.

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    • Stick says:

      Bobby,

      I would never recommend using an Esbit inside a closed area. The fumes are toxic, plus as I have found out personally, accidents happen, and I don’t like being in an enclosed area with a fire. I would suggest going outside the tent and creating a wind block with a windscreen and even some rocks or a fallen log.

      Hope this helps!

      ~Stick~

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  9. Don Milligan says:

    Chad & Emily, was very fun to watch your video. I picked up a Epicurean stove a few weeks ago and it boils water great. I can’t bake with it yet as I have the smaller Esbit cubes and wrong size Evernew. have you thought about a micro size bottle with spray top to apply the oil or to use wax paper instead of coffee filter?

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    • Stick says:

      Don,

      Great to hear that you also have one of these stoves, they are pretty nice stoves and offer a number of cooking options. As far as the Evernew pot, those Fat Daddio’s come in a few different sizes, so should be quite easy and inexpensive to get a baking pan to match. Just check out the link in my write up. Once you head over you pick from a drop down box which size you need.

      A micro size spray bottle is a good idea. I will have to look into that… thanks for the tip!

      As far as the wax paper, while I have not done so myself, I have heard that the wax will melt in the paper once it heats up, so it may not be a great option. In exchanging emails with Jon, he suggested to simply oil the sides and use a disc cut from parchment paper in the bottom. I actually just tried this about an hour ago and it worked great! The sides did stick a little, but it wasn’t too bad. With a tiny sponge I could clean it up on the trail…

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      ~Stick~

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