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12 Ways to Boil Water Without a Stove

Most people understand the importance of boiling water when the time involves purify it of dangerous germs. This is very imperative in all styles of wilderness survival situations, but equally as essential in case your local water service has been disrupted or damaged.

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And sure, boiling water is a chunk of cake so long as you’re at home, have a stovetop and electricity or gas to operate it. But things get rather a lot tougher when your stove is out of commission for whatever reason.

You don’t must worry, though, should you know some alternate ways to boil water. I’ll show you 12 stove-free ways to do this below.

1. Fireplace

Boiling water using a fire is a standard, effective and reliable indoor method, especially when one doesn’t have access to a kitchen stovetop.

It provides a considerable amount of warmth, greater than able to boiling water efficiently. However, this method requires practice to make sure safety and efficiency should you aren’t used to cooking over open flames.

For instance, botching the position of the pot or use of long-handled tools might cause accidents.

Furthermore, regular maintenance of the chimney is crucial to forestall smoke and carbon monoxide buildup, which will be harmful or deadly.

If you’ve gotten a fire in your own home that has been collecting dust, it’s best to look into getting it tuned up and inspected because it may possibly be an enormous resource within the aftermath of any disaster.

wood burning stove

2. Woodstove

A woodstove is one other excellent indoor alternative for boiling water and not using a stovetop. Not only is it highly effective, nevertheless it’s also generally safer than using a fire.

Many woodstoves include cooktops designed for this purpose, making the method much more straightforward.

You can very literally get a hearth moving into your wood stove after which just set a pot of water on top if it has a cooktop until it involves a roiling boil. But should you don’t have a pot, please take a look at this text on boil water and not using a pot for other suited solutions.

But identical to fireplaces, woodstoves require regular maintenance to make sure they function safely and efficiently.

Cleaning out ash and soot, checking for leaks, and inspecting the stovepipe and chimney are all crucial to maintain your woodstove in top condition and keep your living quarters protected.

If you reside in a colder region, or simply one with rough winters, the precise wood stove could possibly be an ideal option to keep warm and make sure you’ll at all times give you the option to boil water in a pinch.

3. Campfire

A campfire is an obvious outdoor method for boiling water that gives true flexibility and the comfort of knowing you’ll be able to boil water anywhere.

A campfire will be built anywhere it’s protected to achieve this, and should you are in an actual jam you’ll be able to burn multiple varieties of fuel, including wood, charcoal, and even paper and cardboard.

However, boiling water on a campfire does require a bit of additional preparation, and it’s a skill you’ll must practice if you need to do it safely and reliably.


You’ll also must balance the pan or pot over the flames, which could require additional materials like rocks or a grill grate to attain. Materials that needs to be in no short supply, sure, but not at all times!

Despite its basic prepper appeal and flexibility, a campfire is just not probably the most efficient option to boil water as a result of massive heat loss to the open air.

You’ll be using rather a lot more fuel than you’ve gotten to with a purpose to boil water, so it’s best should you are already using the hearth for warmth, light or cooking…

4. Rocket Stove

For those looking for a super-efficient approach to boiling water at home or in the sector, a rocket stove is a wonderful alternative.

These stoves will be crafted from natural materials as nothing greater than a hole in the bottom with a few angled intake holes in a pinch, or used as a standalone cooking appliance and there are various made for portable and semi-portable use.

functioning rocket stove
a functioning rocket stove

Rightly renowned for his or her super-efficient fuel use, rocket stoves can bring water to a boil in a short time and achieve this using dramatically less fuel than a campfire or fireplace, and in addition while admitting little or no smoke and other combustion byproducts.

However, they’re barely more intricate to establish in comparison with an easy campfire. The design and implementation of a field rocket stove requires careful attention to make sure proper airflow and maximum heat generation.

But once mastered, a rocket stove is a highly effective and fuel-efficient alternative for boiling water whether you’re bugging in or bugging out.

5. Solar Oven

Believe it or not, you should utilize the ability of the sun alone to boil water. Well, the ability of the sun together with a solar oven!

A solar oven is a protected and cost-effective solution, one which will be used anywhere there’s clear sky and abundant sunshine. Some ovens can be packed down small, making them an incredible option for camping or outdoor activities.

small DIY solar oven with tray of cookies baking inside
small DIY solar oven with tray of cookies baking inside

However, this method does have its downsides… It’s often not super quick unless you might be boiling a small quantity of water in ideal conditions, and boiling water should be done during daytime for obvious reasons.

Moreover, effectiveness is significantly reduced on cloudy or overcast days, enough that you just may not give you the option to boil water in any respect, although a highly efficient and maintained solar oven could still pull it off.

Regardless, solar ovens are an incredible ace in the opening on the subject of boiling water, and are must-have capability should you live in an area with a really high annual UV index.

6. Hot Plate

I understand it appears like cheating, but a hot plate is distinct from a stove, you understand. A hot plate offers a convenient and quick option to boil water, working well in any location with counter space.

This makes it an incredible alternative for those living in small apartments or dormitories, or for individuals who need a semi-portable solution for in-home use.

However, hot plates do require a considerable amount of electricity to operate, which implies they’re only going to be viable should you still have electrical service wherever you might be, or should you’re making your individual with a generator or other personal electrical infrastructure tech.

But, assuming you’ll be able to maintain those few requirements, a hot plate will certainly maintain it.

7. Tea Lights

Tea lights are tiny candles, often used for ambiance or warming snacks, and area highly portable and adaptable method for boiling water, especially when power is out.

Although not probably the most efficient use of candles, they will be good in a pinch and are best used indoors as a result of their small size and lower heat output.

cooking an egg over tealights
cooking an egg over tealights

The process will be slow as tea lights don’t produce a variety of heat, but with patience and careful arrangement, they’ll definitely be used to boil a smaller quantity of water in an affordable period of time.

8. Camp Stove

A camp stove is one other highly portable option that gives a faster option to boil water in comparison with tea lights.

However, this method does require a dedicated fuel source comparable to propane or butane, though there are some which can be designed to make use of twigs or biofuel.

a functioning MSR Whisperlite camp stove
a functioning MSR Whisperlite camp stove

While it’s quick and effective, a camp stove is usually only suitable for small containers, limiting the quantity of water you’ll be able to boil without delay.

While they will be used indoors, it should be done with caution to forestall carbon monoxide poisoning or fire hazards, and it’s generally advisable to make use of them in well-ventilated areas or outdoors.

Still, they’re a reliable and easy-to-use option in a pinch, and are good for excess of just mountain climbing and camping.

9. Hot Rocks

The hot rock method is an ancient and versatile option to boil water while camping, especially in outdoor survival scenarios. This involves heating rocks over a flame after which dropping them right into a sturdy container of water to rapidly bring it to a boil.

While this method is indisputably fast and effective, it does include its own unique challenges.


Handling heated rocks will be highly perilous as a result of the chance of severe burns, and heating damp rocks could make them explode into dangerous shrapnel!

Also, the addition of rocks makes the water container much heavier within the meantime, and displacement of now-boiling water can also be a problem to contemplate, as adding rocks will cause water levels to rise. The risk of burns is just not something to take evenly!

10. Grill

A grill, particularly a charcoal one, offers a convenient and easy-to-use method for boiling collected or tap water in times of trouble. Charcoal grills are versatile, capable of use various fuel sources including charcoal, wood, and even biomass briquettes.

They can boil water quickly, especially when run extremely popular, but this tends to be inefficient as a result of high fuel consumption. One major limitation of grills is that they’re not usable indoors as a result of CO and potential fire hazards, meaning they’re an outdoor-only option.

And in fact, you’ll be able to definitely use a propane grill for a similar purpose if that’s what you’ve gotten. Any sturdy steel cookware that’s protected in your stove top needs to be protected in your grill. Just be careful for plastic parts!

11. Sterno (with Modifications)

Sterno cans, commonly used for catering or camping, aren’t typically hot enough to boil water on their very own. But with some clever modifications or especially designed stove for the aim, they will be made to achieve this.

One way is by placing multiple Sterno cans inside a specially designed “inferno” stove, which helps concentrate the warmth from the cans, and thus make your water boil.

Another improvised and borderline-unsafe modification involves wrapping the Sterno can or cans with an aluminum foil “chimney” to trap and channel the warmth.

Despite these modifications, making Sterno cans a viable method for boiling water, there are still significant drawbacks.

Sterno cans will be relatively expensive and heavier than you would possibly expect for his or her size, meaning they’re a giant weight investment for a short-lived option when afield.

They will be used indoors and outdoors (depending on the kind), but as with every open flame, caution needs to be exercised to forestall terrible accidents.

12. Microwave

Of course, we are able to’t ignore that trusty kitchen standby, the microwave! Boiling water in a microwave takes only a minute, perhaps more, so long as you’ll be able to provide power and have a microwave-safe container for the water, preferably a glass one.

Your microwave can boil a smaller quantity of water in nearly 60 seconds and a bigger quantity in a few minutes, making it a beautiful option when you have to purify that water in a rush.

But, obviously, microwaves need tons of power and aren’t really portable for surviving outdoors. Nonetheless, don’t ignore them should you still have electricity.

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