Guest post by RightWingMom. This is a review of the two models of EzoZoom stoves, the Versa and the Dura.
Disclaimer: Our EcoZoom demonstrations were conducted while on a camping trip in Colorado. The elevation at our camp site was 7703 feet. The morning temperature was in the mid 40’s. As with all meal preparations, cook times will vary depending on elevation and outdoor temperature.
The Versa is a duel fuel stove. It can burn both wood and charcoal. The Dura is a wood only stove. For this head-to-head comparison, we used charcoal as the fuel for the Versa. We prepared the same about of quick oatmeal, however the pot sizes were different because we were camping and did not have access to 2 pots of equal size. We used a 2 quart pot on the Versa and a 1 quart pot on the Dura.
Igniting the stoves
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Starting the fire for the Versa, we used 15 charcoal briquettes (Kingsford original). We soaked them in 2 – 3 tablespoons of lighter fluid for 2 minutes. When loading the briquettes, make sure the large upper door is closed. We dropped the briquettes from the top. Next, we opened the small lower (vent) door and ignited the briquettes with a lighter wand. We left the small lower door open for ventilation. A rocket burn was almost immediate and once the lighter fluid burned off, within 1 minute, we were able to put the pot of water on the burner.
We had a similar experience starting the Dura’s fire as with our Mac and Cheese with Spam demonstration. The only change was the use of paper towels for kindling rather than leaves. Next, we used similar twigs and small limbs to build the fire until we achieved the rocket burn. As before, the Dura’s rocket burn was ready in about 7 minutes. There was some smoke until the wood was fully engulfed….then virtually none. At the 7 minute mark, we placed our pot of water on the Dura stove.
Cooking on the stoves
We placed 2 ½ cups of water in both pots and surrounded them both with EcoZoom’s metal sleeve. This sleeve focuses the heat and increases the efficiency of your cooking.
The pot of water on the Versa came to a gentle boil in 18 minutes.
The Dura’s pot of water came to the same gentle boil in 25 minutes.
The final step was the same for both stoves. We added our pre-measured oatmeal and a dash of salt. Because this was quick oatmeal, it was ready almost immediately for both stoves.
As an extension of our test, we placed a second pot of water with 2 ½ cups of water on the Versa. The burning charcoal was able to bring the second pot to a gentle boil in 19 minutes. The Versa simmered the water for an additional 15 minutes before cooling. Total burn time for the 15 briquettes in the Versa was 52 minutes.
The Versa and Dura both performed very well. Choosing a unit may be a simple matter of where you live or your personal preference. If you are in a heavily wooded area where fuel will never be an issue, you may choose the Dura. If you need to stockpile charcoal as an alternative fuel source, the Versa is very efficient in its consumption of charcoal. The Versa has the added benefit of burning wood also. After burning wood on both the Versa and Dura, we found they were about equal in their performances. In our opinion, the Versa gets a slight edge on the Dura because of the ability to burn duel fuels.
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