DIY Stoves That Anyone Can Make

Take a quick look at your emergency supplies checklist. If you have food, water, ammo and clothing to last at least a few weeks, you’re off to a good start. But you may be forgetting something so important that it could spell the difference between life and death. Many people overlook a heat source when creating their emergency stockpiles. But you need heat to cook your food, boil your water and keep you warm in freezing weather.

Before you go out and purchase a bulky wood-burning fireplace that you may not be able to carry with you in an emergency, consider creating a DIY stove that is more portable and can be made with simple, affordable supplies that you probably already have in your home. Here are a couple of DIY stoves anyone can make in a jiffy with just a few basic tools and items that you can purchase in advance, if necessary.

Kitchen Utensil Holder Stove

If you have a stainless-steel kitchen utensil holder lying around, you already have almost everything you need to make a DIY stove. Here’s how.


  • Stainless steel kitchen utensil holder

  • 4 nuts and bolts (approximately 2” long)


  1. Insert the bolts into the holes through the bottom of the utensil holder so they are sticking out of the bottom. Try to keep them equally distanced to create four “legs.”

  2. Add tinder to the bottom of the holder. A paper towel will do nicely.

  3. Insert kindling into the holder above the paper towel. Pack it in as tightly as you like.

  4. Ignite the tinder and watch your stove light up.

  5. Use the can for heat, to cook food or to boil water.

Keep in mind that the flames will likely burn fairly high with this little stove, depending on how much kindling you add. Keep it away from flammable materials. It should burn for about 15-20 minutes with a single load of kindling. Allow the stove to cool down for a few hours after you’re done with it before handling it.

Cat Can Stove

If you have a cat, you probably already have everything you need to make a DIY cat can stove. Here’s how to do it.


  • 3 oz. can of cat food.

  • Hole puncher


  1. Clean out the cat food can.

  2. Punch a row of holes along the top of the cat food can, just beneath the lip. Leave gaps between each hole (the gaps should be slightly bigger than the size of the holes themselves).

  3. Punch one more row of holes directly beneath the first row. Stagger them so the holes in the lower row are centered between the holes in the upper row.

  4. Fill your can with denatured alcohol until it reaches just beneath the holes. Use a lighter or match to light the alcohol through the holes (don’t attempt to light the fuel from the top or you could burn your hand).

  5. Give the stove approximately 30 seconds to get warm before you put your pot, pan or kettle on top.

Make sure your cat can stove is on level ground so it doesn’t tip and spill when in use. You can use an empty pot to snuff out the flame, or pour water directly onto the stove. You should know, though, that once you pour water into your can, the alcohol will no longer be very flammable.

Give Them a Try

These DIY stoves are exceptionally easy to make, but you should still practice before you are forced to use one out of necessity. Give them both a try today to make sure you have the hang of it, and you’ll be much more prepared for an unexpected emergency.

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