How to Use a Liquid Fuel Stove: MSR Whisperlite Universal

We used the MSR WhisperLite Universal to see how easy it really is using a liquid fuel stove.

Having worked years in outdoor retail shops I know what the trends are when it comes to consumers picking stoves. Generally speaking, people opt for the all-in-one system like the Jetboil Flash system or the MSR Reactor system. You get everything you need in a nice little package and it easily boils water and provides a bowl or cup to eat or drink out of. It is kind of a no brainier solution, I have one and I love it, but…

MSR Whisperlite Universal kit on rock

A Step by Step Guide to Use a Liquid Fuel Stove

In the past when I have brought up liquid fuel stoves there have been a lot of grumblings about how difficult it is, how many parts you need, the whole scary white gas thing… Well kids I’m here to tell you that there is nothing to worry about! The process to prepare, light and operate a liquid fuel stove is easy and has some advantages. In this article I want to show you the ease of using a liquid fuel stove like the MSR WhisperLite Universal.

What's in the Box?

  • Stove
  • Liquid Fuel Adapter
  • Canister Adapter
  • Fuel Pump
  • Gas, Canister & Kerosene Jet
  • Jet and Cable Tool
  • Control Valve O-Ring
  • Base
  • Canister Stand
  • Fuel Tube O-Ring
  • Pump Cup Oil
  • Windscreen & Heat Reflector
MSR Superfuel being poured into canister

Step 1: Prepare Fuel Bottle

  • Fill fuel bottle to fill line
  • Close control value on pump
  • Insert pump into bottle – tighten firmly
  • Give the pump 20-30 pumps to pressurize bottle
MSR Whisperlite Universal fuel line tightening

Step 2: Prepare Fuel Adapter

  • Check system for leaks
  • Install correct fuel adapter with tool (MSR WhisperLite Universal)
  • Set up stove in safe area
  • Place heat reflector if needed
MSR Whisperlite Universal fuel line

Step 3: Insert Adapter into Pump

  • Place fuel bottle with control valve facing up
  • Lube end of adapter with pump cup oil if needed
  • Insert adapter end into pump
  • Latch catch arm firmly in groove
MSR Whisperlite Universal flame

Step 4: Prime Stove and Light

  • Open control valve 3/4 turn to allow a small amount of fuel to drip into the priming cup
  • Close control valve
  • Light priming cup

There will be a large flame coming from the stove, it is normal. Be sure it stays away from anything flammable.

  • Once the flame has reduced in size, turn the control valve 1/2 turn to introduce fuel again

Step 5: Adjust Flame to Operate

MSR Whisperlite Universal on rock

Now a small blue flame should be present

  • Set up the windscreen if needed
  • Add approximately 10 strokes to the pump for every 10 minutes of cooking
  • Turn the control valve completely off when done cooking
  • Unclip the fuel adapter and remove it from the bottle
  • Depressurize the fuel bottle when finished by slowly twisting the pump off the bottle, slowly releasing air

You’ve done it! You have successfully heated water, cooked a steak and made a side of taters with a liquid fuel stove! See, not that intimidating. With a little practice everything becomes second nature.

Be sure to store your fuel in a safe place for future use. Keep your eyes peeled for a review of the MSR WhisperLite Universal. This stove was incredible to use as a liquid fuel stove, I can’t wait to change out the adapters and try a canister fuel bottle on it.

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