Winters in many parts of the U.S. can be unpredictable. Though temperatures overall are rising, weather events are becoming more extreme. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for the worst. In addition to basic survival items, such as tools, flashlights and nonperishable food items, it’s a good idea to have some cold-weather-specific items. Along with hats, gloves and blankets, an indoor stove can make winter power outages less threatening and more comfortable. And InstaFire offers an excellent option with the self-powered Vesta Stove.

About the Vesta Stove From InstaFire

The all-steel Vesta Stove weighs only 7.6 pounds and is 11 inches long, 7.5 inches wide and 10.75 inches high. It is powered by readily available and easy-to-use standard six-hour “canned heat.” Canned heat is shelf-stable jellied, denatured alcohol packaged in an aluminum can with a built-in wick. The containers can be resealed after use and are not subject to spillage. They also produce minimal fumes or odor, so the Vesta is safe for indoor use. InstaFire includes two canisters.

The Vesta Stove comes as two parts. The bottom half has a sliding steel tray that can hold up to three cans of heat. It also includes two large side-mounted carry handles. Above the tray is a chrome-plated heavy cooking grate. The lower unit is capable of acting as a stand-alone cookstove.

The top half contains a heat-driven automatic convection fan, which gently blows the heat into the room. A tab fits into a slot on the lower half to hold it in place, and the top is easily removed to gain access to the cookstove. A flat, paddle-shaped steel “snuffer” tool is included to safely extinguish lit canisters. It also has a hooked end to use for pulling out the tray.

How to Use the Emergency Space Heater & Stove

The Vesta comes ready to go and completely assembled. I set mine up on some bricks in front of our fireplace, which I kept closed up. Promotional photos show the space heater/stove running on table- and countertops. The bottom stays cool while running, so the Vesta Stove can be used almost anywhere.

While the Vesta can run well with either two or three containers of canned heat, I’ve been testing mine with three containers for maximum heat delivery. If you use only two cans, make sure you push the rear can all the way to the back of the tray. This way it rests directly under the fan assembly. Without sufficient heat production, the convection fan won’t run and efficiency is reduced. When using the Vesta as a cookstove, two canisters are likely all that are needed, depending on the size of the pan or pot used.

To load the Vesta, unscrew the caps of the containers and slide them into place in the extended tray. You don’t need to do anything to the wicks except light them. Once lit, gently slide the tray all the way back into place. And that’s it! Prepare to be warmed. With three cans generating heat, the fan started pushing out heat in around three minutes. It reaches its advertised air velocity of 4 mph in an additional 5-8 minutes and is almost totally silent when running. The Vesta can warm up an area of 200 square feet and can increase the temperature by up to 35 degrees.

Is the Vesta Stove Worth Buying?

I’ve run the InstaFire Vesta Stove in our living room during some pretty cold days. It puts out a good level of quiet heat to keep the living room comfortable. My wife gave the Vesta her stamp of approval as the canned heat smell is unoffensive. As well, she can run it by herself even though she is totally blind.

The exterior of the Vesta Stove stays relatively cool during operation. While you wouldn’t want to hold on to the front of the canned heat tray for an extended time, neither are you likely to get any sort of burn when touching it, which is an important safety feature if you have children or pets around. currently has the Vesta available for $99.95 with two six-hour containers of canned heat included. You can purchase additional canisters from them as well, or from bulk retailers like GFS or Costco. For $175.25, offers the stove and 24 containers of canned heat. Store the additional canisters in a cool dry place to ensure they will last for many years.


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