Old School: How to cook with a Trangia

November 14, 2018

Using a Trangia is easy

A Trangia is a light-weight aluminum cooking ‘system’ that traditionally burns Methylated Spirit, or ‘Meths,’ that you cook over.

I call it a ‘system’ as your Trangia set comes complete with pots, pans, kettle, burner, and windshield.

We recently rediscovered our Trangia.

For those of us that went camping with Scouts, Guides, or School may remember using a Trangia. With all the gas and multi-fuel stoves, you may have thought it was a thing of the past.

Well, think again.

We recently rediscovered our Trangia. There’s also a lot of new models from Trangia as well.

How to cook with a Trangia

How to cook with a Trangia

Cooking with a Trangia is easy.

  1. Unpack your Trangia and find the stand.
    This is the bowl with holes in. Turn it upside down and place on level ground.
    Unscrew the burner and slot into the hole.
    Fill the burner with Meths, but don’t fill more than 3/4 full.
  2. Light the meths in the burner.
    The flame will be difficult to see so keep the little people away.
  3. Find the windshield.
    This is the largest bowl that has a big hole in it and clips on the side. It slots onto does the base and does a good job of protecting the flame from the wind.
  4. One of the lids of the Trangia’s burner has a sliding top.
    You use this to control the amount of flame.  Set it and place on top.
    Warning: it does get hot (of course), so use the tongs/pot handle to adjust if necessary.
  5. Cook.
    Depending on which Trangia set you have, you can use either a kettle, frying pan, or pot.
  6. Once finished put out the flame.
    One of the lids with the burner can seal the Meths in the burner (when cooled).
    (see notes below on carrying Meths).

Why use a Trangia?

Compared to the easily adjustable burners of modern lightweight camping stoves, cooking on a Trangia can be clunky (but note that the adjustment on some lightweight stoves are sometimes all or nothing anyway).

The modular Trangia system

The modular Trangia system

  • The Trangia is very simple with no moving parts.
  • It has a built-in windshield. Anyone trying to use a small backpacking burner without one is just wasting fuel.
  • It comes with pots and pans that pack inside one another like a Russian doll, which saves on space.
  • It is very lightweight.

Would we use it for family camping? No, we would have our kitchen and campfire.  However, for day camps or picnics, where you might, hike somewhere and stay the day, it’s ideal to throw in the backpack, and also ideal for any canoe or bike tours and a solution for making a brew or warm food.

Buying and Carrying Meths

You can buy meths from most DIY or hardware stores.

It usually comes in a plastic bottle, but that’s the problem.  Plastic bottles tend to get crushed in backpacks, split, and leak.

Meths is not something you want leaking.

The solution is to get a liquid fuel bottle.

There are lots available on the market, including one from Trangia.

Types of Trangia available

The ‘standard’ Trangia set is the 25 or 27. This gets you the burner and stand, windshield, kettle, two bowls, and a frying pan.

The pans are aluminum, so if you burn things, you may need to do a bit of scrubbing.  However, Trangia also do a non-stick version, or for a little less weight, a hard-anodised set of pans.

You can also get a ‘mini’ Trangia Triangle if you wish to go ultra-lightweight.

You can revive an old Trangia – lots of parts are available

If you have an old Trangia somewhere, and perhaps the burner has seized up or some pans have seen better days, you can buy individual replacement parts… or even add enhancements such as a gas burner.


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Gav Grayston
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Gav Grayston Contributor

Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

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  1. After it took 20 mins to cook 3 minute noodles on a cheap unshielded metho burner someone suggested a trangia, so i got one and have never looked back.

  2. I really like using the Trangia sets, especially with the ‘Duossal’ pots and pan. These are a bit heavier than the aluminium, but nicer to cook with and sturdier.

  3. hi there I really like those stoves own two of them with gas conversions or meths burners like the stability when using also converted all the cooking pans to non stick recommend this cuts down cleaning time

  4. Good site simple and honest .great to see the old trangia back out.

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