How to boil water without a stove?

In this brief guide we will address the question, “How to boil water without a stove?” while keeping in mind the pros and cons of each method involved in the process.

How to boil water without a stove? 

There are many ways in which you can boil water without a stove. The main purpose of boiling is to get rid of all the harmful bacteria that can potentially have adverse effects on your body and health. Let’s move on to some appliances and methods that we can use instead of a stove to boil water. 

Electric Kettle

If you don’t have access to a stove, you don’t need to worry. Because water is a liquid that will take the shape of any container that you put it in, boiling is an easy task. A common appliance that can be used in case of unavailability of a stove is an electric kettle. Most electric kettles come with a thermostat that will automatically go off once the water has reached a full boil. 

Electric kettle is a great replacement for everyday use when you want to boil water for a cup of coffee or tea. They are also covered from the top, which means you will be able to reach the boiling point quickers, saving you both electricity and time. 

Electric kettles can even be used for boiling small portion sized food products like eggs. So they are a good replacement strategy for a stove. 

Make your own stove

You can do this by aligning some bricks and using wood as a source of fire. Just like the old fireplaces that used wood for combustion. This will transfer heat to the pan that you are using, and the water can easily be boiled. You can use any heat conducting material for this purpose, and then ignite wood at the bottom. But remember, this can get messy!

It is best if you have a food thermometer to monitor the temperature of the pan, since you can not maintain a steady temperature in the absence of a stove. Even if you don’t have a food thermometer, you can still check the temperature by being aware of the steps of boiling. You can read about the stages of boiling here

Putting a lid on top will facilitate the boiling process and your water will boil considerably quicker and maintain the boil for a longer duration than without the lid.

Gas cylinders

Well, you have an electric stove and the electricity is out. To add more to your misery, you don’t even have access to raw wood or you don’t want that kind of mess in your home or in the backyard. What will you do then?

Simple, just use a gas cylinder. Gas cylinders are easily available in the market, and with slight modification, they can be used like a stove. These cylinders can be portable for your adventure and camping time. Moreover, they can also be used in areas where there is lack of electricity or gas. They are easy to refill, and you can buy the combustion source like methane or butane of your choice. 

All other dynamics of your boiling process will remain the same – use a food thermometer, otherwise read the steps of boiling here

Boiling using plastic bottles. 

I won’t be talking exactly about boiling water in a plastic bottle, because that is just crazy! However, we will talk about ways to disinfect water, which is the main purpose of boiling.


Boiling with plastic bottles? Yes! It is quite possible and perfectly safe. This method, also known as solar disinfection method, was developed in the early 1980s as an inexpensive way for disinfecting water. Also referred to as SODIS, this method utilizes sunlight to kill the harmful pathogens that may be present in your water. This is the most reliable method when it comes to disinfecting water in plastic containers. 

In SODIS, water inside the bottle is exposed to natural sunlight for a day, or 2 in case of overcast conditions. The rays from the sun kill the harmful organisms inside water, which can then be consumed later on. An important thing to note is that this technique is only effective when water is in small quantities – 2 or 3 litres at maximum. 

However, the water will not be as hot as with a fuel source. This method was developed particularly for third world areas, but it can be used in times of need. Also remember that this is a lengthy and time consuming process that literally takes days, so it might not be your best option, but it can definitely be your last resort.


In this brief guide we have addressed the question, “How to boil water without a stove?” while keeping in mind the pros and cons involved in the process. 


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.