I went to a Japanese Nabemono (Chankonabe?) place, in Tokyo. The meal was basically a hot pot. But instead of the typical small candle or small methanol pot/gel I've seen used elsewhere, they had a sort of gel that came wrapped in a foil. Unwrapped, it stood on small metal legs.

Once lit, it burned like crazy. Scary even. Nothing like the run-of-the mill methanol burners for fondue. Brought the pot from refrigerator cold to boiling in under 15 minutes. It also happened to stop burning just at the right moment, so I figured it was sized accordingly to the pot. I'm looking for the name or description of this burnable material. Search engines don't seem to bring up anything with this level of power output. I can only find the usual candles or small gels I've seen used in North America.

Anyone familiar with these? I feel really bad now for not having taken a picture. (I tagged the question fondue, but the level of power would definitely be too high for cheese fondue. This is something for water-based hot pots)

  • Are you sure it wasn't a small gas cooker that has foil to keep the heat directed at the pot?
    – bob1
    Jan 9, 2019 at 23:01
  • Yeah, server took it out of a pocket and lit it with a match after unwrapping it.
    – Jeffrey
    Jan 10, 2019 at 2:03
  • 1
    Googling "hottest chafing fuel" got me this blazeproducts.com/blaze-products/… but it sounds like this isn't what you're talking about. Was the stand part of the fuel canister? Is it possible it was just a stand that was a separate piece? Jan 10, 2019 at 19:02
  • Everytime I've had Nabe (in US or Japan), it's been on a butane or propane burner, so no idea.
    – FuzzyChef
    Jan 10, 2019 at 19:38

1 Answer 1


Sounds like they were using タブレット型固形燃料 taburetto-gata kokeinenryou, literally "tablet-shaped solid fuel":

enter image description here

(courtesy メシ通)

The market leader is a company called Nitinen, who offer a wide range of different sizes and shapes. The primary ingredients are methanol and alcohol, blended with fat in much the same way as soap.

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