When going camping a big concern would be the food that you eat. When camping, one may think of prepackaged food and unsatisfying meals but with the right equipment such as the best camping stove, you may be pleasantly surprised.
A camping stove can make your experience very pleasant and one that your family or group enjoys. You can even pack ingredients to make your favorite meals while on the go.
There are many stoves you can choose from that all provide different benefits. There are freestanding stoves that can make your cooking experience feel like you are in your own outdoor kitchen while there are other stoves that can be easily packed away and set on a table to do some cooking.
There are also many stoves that have auto-ignition which makes it easier when trying to get your cooking started rather than fighting against any windy weather that may blow out your matches. You need to take all your needs into consideration before you make a final decision on what design is best for you.
Many factors such as price, packability, and power can influence what stove would be ideal for your trip. When looking for camping stoves you will notice that quality stoves tend to be more expensive. If you intend to use your stove more often, buying a higher-quality stove that is more expensive may be the right choice for you. There are also many other options on the market for stoves at a lower price point that may work just as well for those campers who do not want to overextend their budget.
Packability is another factor that will greatly impact your buying choice. You need to keep in mind how much space you have to store your stove as well as how you will transport it to your campsite. If you are camping in a large group then more heavy-duty stoves may not pose a problem but if you are in a smaller group then a small lightweight stove may prove to be a better option for you.
Power is another important factor when choosing which camping stove is a better option for your trip. The power of camping stoves is measured in British Thermal Units. The more British Thermal Units a stove has, the more powerful its heat. The typical tabletop camping stove has approximately 10,000 British Thermal Units per burner. If you are going in larger groups then you would look into stoves with higher British Thermal Units so you are able to cook a larger quantity of food to satisfy your group.
There are many things to keep in mind when choosing a camping stove so make sure to do your research and choose the best camping stove for you!
Top 10 Best Camping Stove List
1. Coleman Classic Propane
The Coleman Classic Propane Stove is a great option for campers who are looking for durability and affordability. It is not a stove meant for large groups of campers who are going into extreme weather since it has limited heat output with two 10,000 British Thermal Unit burners. It also does not have auto-ignition which many campers look for in their stoves.
The Coleman Classic Propane Stove provides smart fuel efficiency and allows a wide variety of things to be done such as boiling water, grilling veggies, cooking up steaks, or whatever recipes you wish to make. The Coleman Classic Propane offers two adjustable windscreens that help with wind resistance and is a great choice for many campers since it is very easy to pack.
Sample Customer Review…This was a great addition to our camping gear! In the daytime, the burners can be tough to tell if they’re lit if you don’t pay attention when you light them. You might hear the gas and feel the heat but that doesn’t mean the burner is lit. Or maybe we’re idiots. Regardless, it’s propane and fire so be careful. I love the carrying handle although the edge is a bit sharp I guess I’m being picky again. Set up and take down is easy. We cooked eggs, chili, and paninis and everything came out great. The side panels are decent enough protection from wind although you can use bigger pots/pans if you don’t use them.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
2. Camp Chef Explorer 2-Burner
The Camp Chef Explorer 2-Burner is quick to assemble and has individually adjustable legs that can help when camping on uneven ground. This stove comes with large dials that are easy to use in the same way as a home cooktop, but due to its size, the stove is on the heavier side.
The Camp Chef Explorer 2-Burner weighs around thirty-six pounds which makes it less ideal for camping in an area where you will be moving around constantly. But if your group wants to have a variety of food and cook your favorite recipes then this stove is perfect since it can fit full-size pots so you are able to cook anything you desire.
Sample Customer Review…This thing is simply amazing. The BTU output is impressive and setup (and igniting) is a breeze. Everything is high quality for the price and the cooking area is amazing. I would definitely recommend purchasing the carry bag along with this since it is bulky. I recently used this at a camping trip with 10 of my friends (along with the double burner griddle) and cooking was a breeze. Sausage peppers and onion, burgers, grilled cheeses, eggs, bacon, pork roll, and home fries were all cooked on this over the course of two days and this thing handled it all beautifully. Definitely, a must-buy if you are big into camping, tailgating, or simply cooking for larger groups.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
3. Camp Chef Pro 60X
The Camp Chef Pro 60X is recommended for larger groups since it is on the heavier side and has a large cooking top to accommodate these larger groups. It is a very sturdy stove since it has adjustable legs and is equipped with two thirty thousand British Thermal Units per burner. Its two side tables provide extra space for food preparation which is an added benefit.
The Camp Chef Pro 60X comes with windshields that help keep your stove on but the vents on the side of the stove can prove to not be a match to really strong winds. The stove can prove to be a little difficult to set up since it weighs approximately forty-five pounds and in order to open the legs, you either need to flip it upside down or on its side. There are a lot of steps to take in order to set it up correctly but once you have done it once the process should be rather simple to follow.
The stove is on the pricey side, but if you are looking for something of good value, and it fits your needs, then it is worth the extra expense.
Sample Customer Review…Bought this stove with the BBQ Box, Griddle & Pizza Oven. BBQ cooked steaks & seared well, griddle cooked crispy bacon & sausage but had temperature variance across it. Still worked well just move stuff around. The Pizza Oven is amazing! Cooked biscuits in the morning, pizza in the evening, and cinnamon roll the next morning. All were perfect. We will not be using the oven in the RV anymore. The burners are restaurant quality and the construction is solid.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
4. Eureka Ignite 2-Burner Camp Stove
The Eureka Ignite 2-Burner Camp Stove has excellent simmer control which many campers look for in stoves as well as wind panels to fight against windy weather. Its weight is reasonably light making it easy to transport and have on the go just weighing around ten pounds.
The performance of the stove when compared to other stoves on the market falls short on overall performance and power but sometimes power is not everything if the stove does not offer control which the Eureka Ignite 2-Burner Camp Stove does offer. The stove also has rubber feet which offer security when cooking, knowing that the stove will not move suddenly.
Sample Customer Review…I’m more and more impressed with Eureka camping products. They are producing durable, good quality products that are affordable and this stove is no exception. Set up is fast and easy and it will easily hold two 8-10 inch pans, it is tight with the wind flaps in place but that is to be expected. You can use a typical screw-in propane cylinder or you can purchase an additional 20lb propane tank hose if you want to have enough fuel for a much longer cooking session. The stove heats very uniformly and is easy to clean up, the stainless steel drip tray is easy to access and clean as well. It will also fit a small griddle which I find very handy when camping. Overall, I actually like the size and functionality of this stove better than my Coleman which I never thought I’d hear myself say. I don’t think anyone who uses this stove will be unhappy. Like most camp stoves of this kind, it is a bit on the heavy side so only really useful if you are car camping or setting up a base camp.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
5. Camp Chef Tahoe
The Camp Chef Tahoe is a very powerful stove compared to many others in the market. It has three 30,000 British Thermal Unit burners which allow ample space to cook a variety of meals and has enough power to do multiple things at once.
Features aside from the cooking power include push-button ignition, side wind rails, and protected housing for their burners. The legs of this stove are also adjustable, allowing you to steady the stove if you’re camping on uneven ground.
One downside of the stove is the weight, with it weighing around forty-three pounds it is very difficult to transport and have on the go. The stove also needs a propane tank that can be up to five gallons which adds extra weight and makes it harder when transporting.
Sample Customer Review…This grill is very well made. I have it set up to connect directly to my RV propane and outdoor kitchen. The burners are large yet I can turn them down really low without them going out. I also purchased the Camp Chef 3-burner griddle for this grill as well. It works great with this grill and allows me to make several different items all at once. I can vary the heat between the 3 burners to have each set to what is needed for the item I’m cooking. I recommend the carrying bag as well. The only thing I would like to see Camp Chef improve upon is the overall weight of the grill. It is built solid and strong however it also has some weight to it. Would be even better if it were a little lighter for traveling. This is an outstanding grill though and highly recommend it.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
6. Jetboil Genesis Basecamp System
The Jetboil Genesis Basecamp system is a portable propane stove with a dual-burner design. It can function as a standalone camping stove, or it can also be used with other Jetlink-compatible stoves or a Luna satellite burner to work as an outdoor cooking range.
The system has a 5-liter camping pot with strainer lid, and 10-inch nonstick fry pan that are easily stored. The pot can be used to boil water in about 3 minutes which is convenient especially in cold weather. The Jetboil stove also comes with an attachable windscreen that allows the system to function in almost any weather.
Overall, the Jetboil is a great stove to use when going camping. Although it is compact, it comes with the cooking necessities that will make your camping trip even more pleasant.
Sample Customer Review…The Jetboil Genesis Basecamp System gives you the same experience as cooking from home wherever you are! We decided to buy this system for many reasons: it’s compact, lightweight and very portable. This system has everything you need: stove, skillet, pot, one lid that fits both the skillet and pot that has the ability to strain the water. The only thing missing is the cooking utensils which you can buy separately, and I’m sure you can store them in the same compartment at the top where you store the fuel regulator (don’t quote me on that though). What I like best about this system is how easy it is to light (literally one click on), the variable temperature control, and how dependable it is. Even with wind gusts in the 30 mph range on an extremely cold morning, we had no issues lighting the stove to boil water (very, very quickly) for much-needed coffee to keep us warm and a delicious breakfast of pancakes and eggs for a family of five. Note that may be obvious to some: the skillet is non-stick but the pot is not…. so don’t use the pot to cook eggs. Trust me.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
7. Gas One GS-1000
The Gas ONE GS-1000 stove is a basic stove to have on any camping trip. It is very compact and easy to transport with it only weighing around four pounds. It can do anything from cooking to boiling water and at its current price, most see it as an offer they cannot pass on. The stove also offers the option of using both butane or propane which many people see as a plus.
Sample Customer Review…Bought this not expecting a lot for the price. Bought this for a camping trip. Wow though, you can’t touch something like this for under $60 in a store in the US. Everything works, exceeding expectations. The piezo start means “one-click” no lighter start-up, and the little butane canisters are convenient. The safety shutoff/locking features and carrying case are a great bonus. This now stays in my truck as part of my camp gear but also is part of my hurricane preparedness kit. I highly, highly recommend this little stove!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
8. Coleman Triton Series
The Coleman Triton Series is a very reliable and powerful stove that will improve any camping experience. The stove comes with two strong 11,000 British Thermal Unit burners that are essential when wanting to cook diverse meals.
The weight is another important factor to consider and the Coleman Triton stove is light enough to transport just weighing around eleven pounds. The stove does have limited space compared to other tabletops but can easily accommodate two ten-inch pans side by side. It has windshields on the side that moderately protect against any gusts of wind that may occur but does lack auto-ignition which many campers look for in their stoves.
Sample Customer Review…This is a must-have item when going camping!! It makes frying so much easier than trying to maintain proper temps than using the grill or an open fire. Don’t get me wrong, I love the grill when I camp and will NEVER not use a grill but there are some items that I would just rather use a frying pan and stove to cook on. Eggs for example are much better in the frying pan than on the grill. Using this stove with the Coleman griddle that is made specifically for it is the HOT ticket!! Get it? Hot? 😉Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
9. Stansport Outfitter Series 3-Burner
The Stansport Outfitter Series 3-Burner stove has three 10,000 British Thermal Unit burners that make it more compatible with larger groups that are cooking for a greater number of people. The large cooking area allows campers to cook a wide variety of foods and the burners are powerful enough to just about cook anything.
The Stansport Outfitter Series 3-Burner when compared to other camping stoves does fall short in quality, with it feeling less sturdy and having more problems when it comes to the finished product.
Sample Customer Review…I bought this stove as a replacement for a 20-year old Coleman stove. I wanted a camp stove I could connect to a standard propane tank. When put to use I found this stove to be very good quality. It’s well made. Set up is quick and easy. Once connected to the propane tank it lights easily. For me, the best feature is the heat output, it cranks the heat so boiling water to ash dished is fast. But it is also easy to modulate the heat and get a very nice low setting for scrambled eggs and the like. The lack of a built-in handle makes a carrying case kind of a necessity. That will also give you someplace to store the hose to connect to the propane tank. The stove was easy to clean up. I will am looking forward to the next camping trip and putting this stove through more trials.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
10. Camp Chef VersaTop
The Camp Chef VersaTop is the stove for you if you prefer having your meals cooked on a griddle rather than in pots or pans. The stove comes with a matchless ignition making it easy to turn both on and off, with a non-stick flat top, and cooks evenly throughout the entire surface.
The Camp Chef VersaTop does limit what you can cook and if you wanted to cook a variety of meals you would need to invest in separate accessories which would come at a serape cost. For example, the stove is compatible with Camp Chef’s Artisan Oven which would allow you to cook homemade pizza, gourmet burgers, or even bacon and eggs. The weight of the stove is another factor to keep in mind, with it weighing around twenty-four pounds, it is very hard to transport.
Sample Customer Review…Friends of ours introduced us to the two-burner griddle, but we opted for the one-burner so we can easily store it in the bed of our truck while on the road. In fact, we purchased our one-burner while on the road and it was quickly delivered to a friend’s house en route. It is easy to set up, use, and clean and we look forward to many years of good eating while we’re out and about.Review from Campchef.com
11. GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540
The GSI Outdoors Selkirk is a durable portable camping stove that is efficient yet compact weighing in at around 10 pounds and is able to produce 10,000 BTUs. This stove is able to boil fast and cook hot, but with some learning, you can simmer your dishes with its adjustable flame dial.
More features of this stove are the wind guards that are able to block mostly all light winds. It has a handy and easy push ignition button but in case a lighter might be needed. With the adjustable flame dial that comes with it, it is able to precisely cook almost any dish you need. After all said and done it is able to clean easily when you are finished, and when you are moving it comes with a built-in handle that is able to collapse in on itself for a compact look.
Overall it is a great portable stove that seems to be able to handle any meals that you decide to throw at it. If you are considering an outdoor trip, this stove may make a great partner in heating up all your next dishes!
Sample Customer Review…I love everything about this camp stove. I saw it in the Men’s Journal Gear of the Year issue and made the purchase. It is easy to carry with an integrated handy handle, stores nicely in the car, and cleans up easier than past stoves I’ve owned. My wife loves the bright orange color and how there is room for two large pots on the flat surface. It’s quality built with heat controls and cooks evenly and fast. Would recommend.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
12. Eureka Gonzo Grill Cook System
The Eureka Gonzo Grill Cook System is recommended for small groups due to its size being easy to transport. The stove is a three-in-one design that easily converts to a griddle, grill, and stovetop. The cooking performance is limited due to its size and power only being six thousand British thermal units but gets the job done when cooking your meals.
The Eureka Gonzo Grill Cook System does have a smaller cooking top measuring approximately one hundred and thirteen square inches which are just about the size of a large pizza. It is recommended for groups of two due to its size. The heat resistance in this stove is another upside since it seems to put up a good fight against wind and keeps your food protected.
Overall this is a great stove for smaller groups and will give you many options as to what recipes you will like to try.
Sample Customer Review…This is a very versatile little grill. We needed a very small one for our tiny trailer. I love that this has cast iron surfaces which makes it sturdier and provides more even cooking. I have used the flat side for making grilled cheese and frying veggies and the grill side for grilled meats. Then the open flame pot holder allows you to heat up a kettle or coffee pot. It is small, so it won’t feed the hordes, but it’s big enough for one or two. It does take a bit longer to heat up the surfaces because they’re heavier. But it’s not cheap material. I find the cleanup to be superior. The base comes off for washing in the sink and you can even add water to it while cooking to make cleanup even easier. My old Road Trip grill had that feature and I have missed it. I’m really glad I bought this grill.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Purchasing a Camping Stove
Number of Burners
If you are a frequent camper, it may be a good idea to get a two-burner. Aside from being the standard option, this stove is especially useful when you must cook two meals simultaneously!
Three-burners are useful if the camping party is large. That way hungry campers can get food quicker. One-burner stoves are not as common but are available if that is your preference.
Freestanding or Tabletop
Freestanding camping stoves usually have legs attached. However, if they are placed on a table/bench, they could take up a lot of space. They are much heavier than the tabletop stoves; however, most freestanding stoves have removable legs that could make the system more transportable.
The tabletop models are more compact and thus preferable. They are also much lighter. However, you should prepare to have something to set this stove upon once you reach your camping site.
BTUs: Burner Power
BTU or British Thermal Unit is a measure of heat output. It gives an idea about the performance potential of a gas stove.
The lower the BTUs, the lower the heat used for cooking (adequate for light cooking or simmering). Contrastingly, higher BTUs (>10,000) are used for high-heat cooking (e.g., best for longer cook times).
Generally, though, higher power allows for quick food preparation or boiling. It is thus recommended that you use a higher BTU stove (>20,000) when you have a large camping group.
Boiling Time and Simmer Control
At bare minimum, your camping stove should be able to boil water. However, the boiling time varies; it can be as short as 3 minutes or as long as 10 minutes. You should note that a stove with an igniter or a lightweight one may have a longer boiling time.
Aside from boiling, you may need your stove to be able to simmer to prepare a delicious broth on your camping trip. For effective simmer control, you should be able to manage fuel regulation and keep a flame stable even at low heat. High-end models usually allow for good simmer control. In addition, a good windscreen can help keep a low-heat flame strong which also helps with the control.
Performance under Windy Conditions
In your camping adventures, you may find yourself in a setting with windy conditions. A stove that comes with a windscreen would definitely be an ideal choice when going to a windy area, but make sure to check out a few customer reviews to ensure that the stove is effective with the windscreen. It may also be worth investing in a stove with more BTUs in order to combat the wind.
Weight and Packed Size
Weight does not matter as much when choosing a stove. If, for example, you are looking for a two-burner stove, you probably will not go for a one-burner simply because it may be lighter. It is, however, important to get a nice balance between the stove performance and its weight.
For the packed size, the stove should be able to pack down nicely into a case or with a cover, so that it is easily stored. Consider whether things like the grill and the fuel line are stored together with the stove itself or separately.
There are three main types of fuel: Solid fuel, Liquid fuel and Canister gas.
Canister gas stoves are the most popular. Not only are they easily ignited, but they also offer good flame control.
Stoves that use liquid fuel can work with a variety of fuels including paraffin, solvents and petrol. Such stoves are best if you are going camping at high altitudes(2000m+).
Solid fuel stoves are best used for light duties like boiling water. Although they are relatively easy to use, they do not function too well under windy conditions.
Strikers (i.e. auto-igniters or piezo igniters) are buttons that produce a spark making use of electricity to ignite a stove. In general, an integrated igniter is more convenient (although it comes with a little extra cost) but flint or metal strikers and matches can also be used.
Cooking Griddles, Grates, and Grills
The traditional two-burner camping stove comes with one large cooking grate. For grilled cheese or pancakes, you may want to get griddles, which are separate attachments that go over the top of burners. You should also consider how much space on the cook top that a grill takes up. Your decision may also be determined by the type of meals you think you will be making on your camping trip.
When planning your camping trip it is important to have all your essentials. A camping stove is an item that can improve your trip drastically. Before choosing the best camping stove to buy, there are many things to take into consideration.
You need to know what purpose you want your stove to serve and what you will be using your stove for. The size of your group is an important factor in choosing what stove is best for your strip. Another important factor is what you will be trying to cook on your getaway. There are stoves meant for many different types of uses so make sure to read all the reviews carefully so you can have a successful trip.
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Written by Paola Valdez, Steven Nguyen and Christine Quist