I know that Labor Day weekend has come and gone. I meant to do some outdoor cooking over the weekend: specifically I wanted to learn to fry onions over my woodgas stoves.
I did some very good burn tests of two of my stoves on Saturday and Sunday. I mentioned the difficulty I had had with fuel pellets. I tried pouring a bit of Heet over the top of the load before lighting, and it worked. Both stoves were a slow start. The small one (1 quart paint can outer, Progresso soup can inner) took about half an hour to really get going, but then it gave me a good solid 40 minutes. The larger one (#10 outer, large chili inner) took maybe 15 to really get going, and then burned for a solid hour.
I was quite pleased. Here are some pictures.
I should have cooked on them during the test burns, but I confess: I was catching up with relatives I haven’t seen in awhile. Besides, I thought: now that I know these work, I’ll cook on them on Monday!
On Monday I decided I’d make the fire catch on and start pyrolisis faster by soaking some of the pellets in the Heet for a while before putting them on top. Unfortunately, I did two things wrong:
I soaked them too long, and found out that pellets turn to mush in alcohol like they do in water.
I overloaded the stove, obstructing the holes. I tried to clear spaces for the jets, but it wasn’t good enough.
I spent too much time trying to get it to work, and then I gave up and fried my onions inside. The afternoon was wearing on and we had to get ready for a long drive home (through beautiful mountain scenery: every time I drive along I-15 between Ogden, Utah and McCammon, Idaho I want to just park the dang car and go exploring for a few days).
So that is why I don’t have a blog post about frying onions today.