SOTO Muka Stove

The MUKA stove is a liquid fuel stove that will burn either unleaded petrol or 'White Gas', (White Gas is a particularly refined petrol sold in outdoor shops, hardware shops and other outlets in various countries - in the UK it is most often seen as 'Coleman Fuel'). From the outset I'm going to say that its a wonderful piece of engineering that addresses all the 'dislikes' about using a liquid fuel stove.

Benefit #1 - No Priming Needed - Unlike other liquid fuel stoves you don't have to warm the burner before you light the stove - this takes away some hassle and a potentially dirty stage in using your liquid fuel stove. By using a higher pressure than normal the fuel is sprayed out the burner head and is easily lit.

Benefit #2 - Rotating, removable fuel line - The fuel line connects and disconnects very easily (but securely) to the pump and is able to rotate in its housing - this makes it very easy to set the stove and fuel bottle on the ground without having to fiddle about manipulating the fuel line so that the stove rests securely.

Benefit #3 - Air release valve on the fuel pump - When you stop using a liquid fuel stove there will be some residual pressure in the fuel bottle - with most stoves this needs releasing and the usual method is to carefully unscrew the fuel bottle until the pressure is released causing a spurt of fuel onto your hands. The Muka stove has an air purge valve that allows you to release the pressure in the fuel bottle without unscrewing the pump - thus keeping the fuel inside the bottle where it belongs.

Benefit #4 - Working Pressure Indicator - With conventional liquid fuel stoves you have to guess how many pump strokes are required to bring the fuel to the required pressure, and this will vary depending on how full the fuel bottle is. The Muka has a pressure indicator that clearly shows when the pressure is reached so there's no guesswork.

 

Its true that the Muka works at a higher pressure than other liquid fuel stoves so there will be more pumping required to get it to a working pressure but for me this disadvantage is easily outweighed by the advantages outlined above.

In Use

We tested the Muka at -4 C and it was easy to light and worked smoothly whenever called upon. I was able to cook dinner then re-light the stove for another cup of coffee which would have involved another round of priming with other liquid fuel stoves. I was burning Coleman fuel.

When you first light the Muka you get a tall yellow flame which means you can't really use it in a porch, though that's no different to other stoves. When in 'RUN' mode there was no flareup or any other issues with the flame. Although mainly used to boil water I wanted to test it for cooking so I decided to have one of Adventure Foods 'Farmers Omlette' which requires frying akin to 'scrambled eggs'. The stove is easy to turn down and I didn't have any issue with it being too hot, I have read reviews which state that its pretty useless for simmering but I felt it was fine in this regard - though you can't turn it down as far as a gas stove.

I love the idea that you only need to unscrew the pump from the fuel bottle to refill it - meaning that you could easily go a full trip without having to remove the pump at all.

As you can't change the jet on the Muka it doesn't have the range of fuel options that some other liquid fuel stoves have so this would be a limitation in some areas of the world where kerosene is the norm for example. Having said that unleaded petrol is pretty widely available but you would need to check your own destination.

 

The Last Word

Liquid fuel stoves have the advantage over other types of stove when it comes to cold weather performance, high heat output or when your gas canister is less than half full, but they are heavier than the other options and less convenient than gas, however if you need the advantages then the Muka stove is a really good option - perhaps the best option out there if you don't need the flexibility of burning diesel or kerosene.

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