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#108090 - 12/20/08 11:52 AM IMUSA Products
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I am sure that many of you are already aware of the IMUSA line of aluminum cookware. It is available in the Hispanic cooking section of WalMart and many of the” mom and pop” Hispanic grocery stores, at least in the “Sun Belt”.
For lightweight hikers, they make three items of particular interest: Two of these items are “mugs”, the other is a “grease dispenser”. All three of the IMUSA products are shown in the attached photo together with a Snow Peak Mini Solo cook set added to provide comparison.

From the left in the photo are the grease dispenser, the small mug , the large mug and the Mini Solo. The lid on the small mug is originally from the grease dispenser; it fits both items. The lid shown has been modified by replacing a heavy plastic lifting knob with a light 3/8” wooden version. The large mug has been modified by removing much of the handle, by adding a stiff wire bail and fabricating a lid of aluminum flashing. The capacities and weights are as follows:

Grease pot: capacity 28 fl oz; wt. w/lid 3.7 oz 28
Small mug: capacity 22 fl oz; wt. w/lid 3.2 oz 22
Large mug: capacity 32 oz; wt. w/lid 3.6 oz 32
Mini Solo w/ cup: capacities 28/10 fl oz; wt w/lid 5.5 oz

None of the IMUSA products shown costs over $5.00 at WalMart. IMUSA has a website you can visit.
All of these items have their advantages and disadvantages. The aluminum mugs and grease dispenser are light but drinking hot liquids from them is hard on the lips. I carry a light plastic cup with any aluminum pot. The handles on the grease pot and mugs can interfere somewhat with packing though I do not find the handle to be much in the way. I prefer the rigid handle to the somewhat shaky folding handle on the Ti Mini Solo. Adding a wire bail increases the utility of the aluminum containers and only adds about a gram. I use electric fence wire; it is stiff, thin and light. With a wire bail, you can cook over an open wood fire if the mood strikes you.
I have been using the large IMUSA mug with its modifications for nearly four years now and recently purchased the Mini Solo as its replacement. As it happens, I find that I prefer the aluminum mug to the much more expensive titanium pot set. I will be using the small mug with handle and with a wire bail attached in the future if I can convince myself that the ˝ oz. weight savings is worth the 10 fl. Oz difference in water capacity.


Edited by Pika (12/20/08 11:56 AM)
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#108133 - 12/21/08 09:21 AM Re: IMUSA Products [Re: Pika]
hoz Offline
member

Registered: 10/31/02
Posts: 138
Loc: midwest
Thanks for putting all the beta on IMUSA products in one post. I recently bought the small mug and after cutting the handle off I'm happy with the way it fits into my backpacking kitchen.

Now I'm looking for an alky stove design with a flame pattern (besides the tea lite) that will fit the 4" bottom.
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#108141 - 12/21/08 01:09 PM Re: IMUSA Products [Re: Pika]
jasonklass Offline
member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 551
Loc: Denver, Colorado
I've had several IMUSA mugs and while they are a great value and certainly light, they are not made well. I've had at least 3 mugs start to leak at the handle where it's connected by a rivet. Too bad too becasue I liked them otherwise. BTW, nice lids Pika! What's the handle on the second to last one?
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#108142 - 12/21/08 01:26 PM Re: IMUSA Products [Re: hoz]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By hoz

Now I'm looking for an alky stove design with a flame pattern (besides the tea lite) that will fit the 4" bottom.


Yeah, that's always been a problem for me with narrow canpots or tall skinny pots. All the stove designs I like have too wide a flame pattern to really work well with them. I have had success with a canpot using the bottom of an empty pantene pro-v hair mousse can (which my daughther produces in great numbers) sawn off about an inch tall and used like a tealight stove (with or without a wick.) - it was enough bigger than a
tealight that it worked good with 2 cups of cold water.

However in the end the durability of the canpot rig was an issue for me so I gave up and went back to the AGG 3 cup pot
I usually carry. - wasn't enough of a weight difference to matter.


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#108147 - 12/21/08 02:50 PM Re: IMUSA Products [Re: phat]
Cesar Offline
member

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 217
Loc: El Paso, TX
I made a stove that is similar to Mini bull design Atomic or Nion where the jets are on the inner part of the bottom of a coke can so the jets point to the center. When I setup my windscreen and light it up I get only a few flames riding up the side. Ive had good luck with this setup so far.
It kinda looks like this


I was thinking of attaching some wick to the handle of my imusa grease pot so it wouldn't be so hot to pick up. I don't know how much weight that would add though.


Edited by Cesar (12/21/08 10:40 PM)
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#108153 - 12/21/08 05:07 PM Re: IMUSA Products [Re: jasonklass]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Jason, the handle you asked about is just a short piece of aluminum strip bent into a triangle shape and fastened to the flashing lid with a 1/8" aluminum pop rivet.

I have had the IMUSA mugs start to drip at the rivet too. I just put the inside rivet head on the horn of my anvil and bump the rivet tight again.

I suspect that it helps that I cut the handle off the mug and in particular cut it off quite close to the lower rivet. Being cut off keeps the handle from working against the rivet and loosening the joint. I left the upper handle part a little longer to use as a tab to grip while pouring.
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#108154 - 12/21/08 05:19 PM Re: IMUSA Products [Re: Cesar]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I like that idea, but never have managed to make one like that that would stay lit decently in slightly cool weather. That sort of design works well for you?
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#108165 - 12/21/08 11:14 PM Re: IMUSA Products [Re: phat]
Cesar Offline
member

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 217
Loc: El Paso, TX
I changed the image and put one of my stove:
Anyhow I use the potstand as a priming pan also. I pour some fuel in it then light. I know its not exactly light weight. I light some fuel in the priming pan/potstand then hold the stove over for about 5 seconds and set it in(using a mini multi-tool. Wick around the stove might be easier Ive been meaning to try it.
The screw in the middle covers the fuel intake hole via a threaded rivet. I left it long so the flame from the jets heat up the screw which in turn helps heat up the fuel below. Sounds good in theory. : ) might be better if I put the screw in an angle near one of the jets, since the fuel pools to the sides and the center is elevated. I also have fiberglass insulation in the stove.
I haven't tried it without. I live in texas so I haven't really tested it in what you would call cool weather.
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#108166 - 12/21/08 11:31 PM Re: IMUSA Products [Re: phat]
Cesar Offline
member

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 217
Loc: El Paso, TX
Ok I outside and tested my stove. it was about 36*f and it took a little less then 9 mins to get 2 cups of water from the fridge pitcher to a boil off of 1oz of fuel. I usually take the greasepot with me since my windscreen fits great in it along with my stove and potstand but my wife used it for its actual purpose so Im using the lid with the smaller mug.

I guess I do get a quite a bit of flame up the sides. I turned the flash off so you can see the flames.


When I reached a boil, The meat probe thermometer was just to measure the temp outside. I completely forgot it has a built in timer, so the timer on the right is the time it took. Its kind of hard to see with the flash but it was 8:59 when i took the picture. Its also hard to see the flame with flash. I also should have turned the potstand a bit so you can see the flame more. Also


btw the 122*f on the display is for the alarm when cooking and not an actual temp.
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