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Topic: Anyone have Whisperlite Universal?, How well does it simmer on White Gas?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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booyah Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 1:12 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Looking for input from anyone here who has one.  I'm in the market for a new white gas stove, and I'm giving serious thought to the whisperlite universal, or possibly the dragonfly as I need a stove that simmers well.

My breakfast of choice is pancakes, and we will often fry up fish, or caramelize apples we find, so I absolutely need a stove that simmers well.  

Previously I've sworn by my old Coleman Apex, but parts are getting awfully hard to find these days for it, and its in need of repair.

So, opinions from anyone who owns a whisperlite universal, can you get it to a really low simmer?  Would you consider it a real cooking stove?

I know you can make a normal whisperlite simmer, but its very touchy, and needs to be closely minded.  I dont want to deal with that if I dont have to.

Thanks, I've already searched but couldnt find the info I was looking for so I thought I would just ask directly.  I know a dragonfly will do what I want, but the burner head looks small, and if a whisperlite universal will do what I want I'd rather the larger burner head.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 1:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've made good pancakes on a Whisperlite with white gas, but I used a cast iron griddle. (I've also made bad pancakes with a packpacking pan).  It's not great at simmering, but if you carefully ride the fuel supply it can be done.  It wouldn't be my first choice.  I don't know what to recommend.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 1:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Edit:  Nevermind.  I see they've added a "simmering" feature to this Whisperlite Universal stove.  Although they say it simmers great with isobutane and propane, but only "good" with white gas.  I have no personal experience with how well "good" means.  Best of luck!

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 1:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GoBlueHiker @ Jan. 28 2013, 1:35 pm)
QUOTE
Edit:  Nevermind.  I see they've added a "simmering" feature to this Whisperlite Universal stove.  Although they say it simmers great with isobutane and propane, but only "good" with white gas.  I have no personal experience with how well "good" means.  Best of luck!

Yeah they've changed the design of the preheat loop, so it sorta catches the heat better under it.  Apparently it makes it run more reliably at low flame, but not knowing anyone who has one I don't have one to borrow to see if I can make my pancakes   :D

My old apex really excels at that, big burner head, extremely good flame control, made the best back country pancakes ever.

Last time we were out it was on Isle Royal, we picked a bunch of wild blue berries for the pancakes for breakfast.  After dinner we picked raspberries and thimble-berries to make a jamb to fill crepes for desert!  Next day we picked some apples growing near Chippewa harbor browned them up with some sugar and had those on top of the pancakes for breakfast.  Now thats some eating!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 7:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The best simmering WG stove I ever had was the Optimus Nova. Tried several others but they were more like on or off - good for boiling. Never tried the Universal but I'd go a different route.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 1:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Whisperlite Universal is the best simmering Whisperlite since the shaker jet Whisperlites came out.  I have been able to get very good simmers even on kerosene, which is tougher to get a good simmer with than white gas.  I've got a lot of photos and such on my blog:  Adventures In Stoving.

HOWEVER, you do have to employ tricks (bottle half full, only 1/3 the regular number of pumps) if you want to simmer.  For really good simmering, you need a stove with a valve at the burner like the Primus Omnifuel or the MSR Dragonfly.  The Optimus Nova also has such a valve but went through a recall a couple of years ago.  Supposedly they've got the problems worked out now.  If it were me and I wanted to do real cooking on white gas, then I'd go with a valve at the burner type stove (like a Coleman Apex).  Oh, and the new Primus OmniLite Ti has a valve at the burner, but it's a bit pricey.  I have reviews of the Nova and Omnifuel on my blog.  I haven't yet reviewed the Dragonfly or OmniLite Ti.

HJ


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 10:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks Jim, I saw your videos/blog while I was googling for this info.  I also emailed your gmail account on it  :D

I'm leaning towods the dragonfly at this point for my needs, but I wanted to eliminate the whisperlite first.

Thanks again
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 9:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I know someone with a whisperlite universal and it is a bit of a chore to get it to simmer. I have a dragonfly and it does simmer well.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 2:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(booyah @ Feb. 07 2013, 7:27 am)
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Thanks Jim, I saw your videos/blog while I was googling for this info.  I also emailed your gmail account on it  :D

I'm leaning towods the dragonfly at this point for my needs, but I wanted to eliminate the whisperlite first.

Thanks again

Sorry if didn't reply.  I get an awful lot of questions, and I haven't been blogging much lately.  I've needed to focus on finances.

The Universal is a good stove, and it simmers WAY better than the Whisperlites of a couple of years ago, but there's no comparison to the Dragonfly.  The D'Fly simmers like a dream.  The Dragonfly does require more maintenance though and is a less reliable (mean time between maintenance) stove.

HJ


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 09 2013, 1:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(HikingJim @ Feb. 08 2013, 2:28 pm)
QUOTE

(booyah @ Feb. 07 2013, 7:27 am)
QUOTE
Thanks Jim, I saw your videos/blog while I was googling for this info.  I also emailed your gmail account on it  :D

I'm leaning towods the dragonfly at this point for my needs, but I wanted to eliminate the whisperlite first.

Thanks again

Sorry if didn't reply.  I get an awful lot of questions, and I haven't been blogging much lately.  I've needed to focus on finances.

The Universal is a good stove, and it simmers WAY better than the Whisperlites of a couple of years ago, but there's no comparison to the Dragonfly.  The D'Fly simmers like a dream.  The Dragonfly does require more maintenance though and is a less reliable (mean time between maintenance) stove.

HJ

You sounded knowledgeable on MSR stoves, so: I've fried an early MSR Multi-fuel (heat melts things), I've a 20 year old Whisperlight (It works fine) and I just bought MSR Dragonfly. How do I make it simmer? Is this accomplished by reducing the first stage of the regulator or the second stage? How'd you do it? Interesting you mentioned that it is high maintenance. Thanks for any suggestions.

PS: I bought a new stove (Dragonfly) to try something different. I'm unhappy about the large pot surface area it requires. I carry it around to make espresso and cappachino a couple times a week. It doesn't handle small pots well. I'm looking for a cure.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2013, 8:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Uberman @ Feb. 09 2013, 10:12 am)
QUOTE
You sounded knowledgeable on MSR stoves, so: I've fried an early MSR Multi-fuel (heat melts things), I've a 20 year old Whisperlight (It works fine) and I just bought MSR Dragonfly. How do I make it simmer? Is this accomplished by reducing the first stage of the regulator or the second stage? How'd you do it? Interesting you mentioned that it is high maintenance. Thanks for any suggestions.

PS: I bought a new stove (Dragonfly) to try something different. I'm unhappy about the large pot surface area it requires. I carry it around to make espresso and cappachino a couple times a week. It doesn't handle small pots well. I'm looking for a cure.

Sorry not to reply sooner.  Missed this one.

The Dragonfly simmers like a dream; all you have to do is adjust the valve at the burner, so I assume you mean how do you simmer with a Whisperlite.  Simmering with a Whisperlite is typically not easy, although it's better with the 2012 and later version of the Whisperlite Internationale and the Whisperlite Universal.

Here's how to get the best simmer possible (again, it's not a great simmer):
1.  Only fill the fuel bottle about half way.
2.  Only pump the bottle 1/3 the normal number of pumps.  You should give it less than 10 pumps.
3.  Prime it well, open up the valve, and let it get good and hot.
4.  Then start turning it down in small increments.  Pause after each increment and let the flame "catch up."

If you turn it down too far, it will go off.  Open up the valve slightly and quickly relight before the stove cools.

You can get a sort of simmer this way.  If you attend the pot closely and do some stirring, then you can usually do some decent cooking.  The Whisperlite Classic and pre-2012 Whisperlite Internationale just aren't all that good at simmering.

HJ


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2013, 9:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd go with the Dragonfly as I've been reading some posts on a canoeing forum and a lot of people that use the Outback Oven use a Dragonfly.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 01 2013, 7:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(QCHIKER @ Feb. 28 2013, 6:41 pm)
QUOTE
I'd go with the Dragonfly as I've been reading some posts on a canoeing forum and a lot of people that use the Outback Oven use a Dragonfly.

So would I, but as Uberman wrote above:
QUOTE
I bought a new stove (Dragonfly) to try something different. I'm unhappy about the large pot surface area it requires. I carry it around to make espresso and cappachino a couple times a week. It doesn't handle small pots well. I'm looking for a cure.


A W'lite will handle small pots better, especially if you have an MSR Espresso Star.  The trick is to get it to simmer, which it can do if you're willing to play with it.

HJ


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