So, 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.
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!
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.
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: