According to global statistics, 95% of outdoor campers carry readymade food to the campsite. We took it upon ourselves to find out why this is the case. As far as the results were concerned, the majority of these people either do not know about the existence of camping stoves, or they simply are not willing to go through the trouble of finding one. Are you in the 95% of people who carry packed food to the campsite? If yes, then you’re in the right place. Our article covers the camping stove reviews, which means you will have access to all the necessary information to help you make the right choice of a camping stove. We shall be reviewing best camping stoves after which we will share a buying guide and some useful information.
Related: Best Camping Cookware Sets of 2020
Table of Contents
- Our Camping Stove Picks
- Camping Stove Buying Guide
1. Jetboil Genesis Basecamp Camping Stove
Number of Burners: 2
Cooking Surface Area: the capacity of a 10-in. Jetboil frypan
Power Source: Propane
This is one of the most compact outdoor stoves we have reviewed. It’s a compact two-burner basecamp-style stove that folds in half to make it even more portable. With a power rating of 10,000BTUs, you’re guaranteed to have 1 liter of water brought to its boiling point in approximately 3 minutes when using a proprietary 5-liter flux pot.
When it comes to compatibility, be informed that the Genesis basecamp is equipped with the capabilities to offer you both versatility and flexibility. For starters, it’s compatible with a propane bottle. As if that is not enough, it also has a Jetlink output port to allow you to connect with multiple stoves at once.
2. Camp Chef Explorer Double Burner Stove
Number of Burners: 2
Cooking Surface area: Approx. 450 sq. in.
Power Source: Propane
Here’s another offering from Camp Chef. The Explorer comes with 2 cast aluminum burners giving out a total power of 60k BTU/hr. It’s one of the most portable stoves from Camp Chef because of its detachable legs that stand at 32”. With its 3-sided windscreen, you can rest assured that this camping stove will stand any outdoor condition.
3. Coleman Portable Butane Stove with Carrying Case
Ignition: Automatic matchless ignition
Number of Burners: 1
Cooking Surface Area: Fits one 10-in. pan
Power Source: Butane
Coleman is one of the renowned makers of camping stoves. Most of the company’s stoves use butane as the source of fuel and they are usually quite efficient and portable. This model is fitted with the insta-start ignition feature, which is meant to facilitate matchless ignition. What’s more, despite being a single burner stove, it’s large enough to fit a 10-inch pan.
We were particularly impressed by the consistency of the flame despite there being no wind protection mechanism. The outside features a durable porcelain grate coating that makes it easy to clean. When it comes to portability, the Coleman butane camping stove has an aluminum burner that is not only lightweight but also rustproof.
4. Reehut Ultralight Portable Camping Stove with Piezo
Ignition: Piezo ignition system
Number of Burners: 1
Cooking Surface Area: Small-scale cooking
Power Source: Butane/Propane
If you’re planning to go out camping with a small number of people not exceeding 3, then the Reehut ultralight portable camping stove is what you need. It’s compact and lightweight thanks to the combination of materials used in its construction. Furthermore, it’s considered a highly efficient stove especially when it comes to the effectiveness of combustion. The all-in-one-design makes this camping stove very easy to carry. Its ultralight nature makes it ideal for a wide range of outdoor activities including hiking and mountaineering.
5. Jetboil MiniMo Camping Stove Cooking System
Number of Burners: 1
Cooking Surface Area: proprietary 1L cooking cup
Power Source: Propane
Outdoor cooking differs from its indoor counterpart in so many ways. But, one thing is a fact, the number of factors affecting the process of cooking in the outdoors is almost twice as large compared to indoor cooking. The MiniMo camping stove is ready to meet you halfway in your outdoor cooking endeavors. It features the FluxRing technology to enhance fuel consumption. Perhaps this is to make up for the fact that it’s a single burner. It comes with an incremental heat adjustment feature that allows you to cook a wide variety of cuisines.
6. Stansport Outfitter Series Propane Camp Stove for Camping and Outdoor Cooking
Ignition: Electronic button/matchless
Number of Burners: 3
Cooking Surface area: Large scale outdoor cooking
Power Source: Propane
If you’re looking for an outdoor stove for large scale camping, then the Stansport 3-burner propane Stove is what you need. It comes with two large 25k BTU burners and one small 5.5k BTU burner.
Power aside, the stove is designed to withstand the outdoor weather. It features a three-sided windscreen and a high-pressure regulator. What’s more, you do not require a matchstick to light it up thanks to the presence of the electronic igniter.
7. Camp Chef Tahoe Deluxe 3 Burner Stove
Number of Burners: 3
Cooking Surface Area: 16-in. cooking pan
Power Source: Propane
The camp chef Tahoe deluxe 3 burner grill comes highly recommended both as a portable and easy to set up camping stove. After just 3 consecutive uses, we can comfortably admit that it’s hard to dispute these claims.
First, the stove is quite powerful for its size. It boasts of a 90k BTU/hr. rating, which is distributed evenly across the three burners. The stove’s construction features 3 cast aluminum burners with 3 heat control dials. When fully set up, the camp chef Tahoe deluxe 3 burner grill stands 30” high and What’s more, the packaging includes a regulator and a 3ft hose. Since the stove is designed for outdoor use, it has a three-sided windscreen to protect the flame from blowing winds.
8. Camp Chef Mountaineer Aluminum 2 Burner Camp Stove
Number of Burners: 2
Cooking Surface Area: The capacity of less-than-10-in. pans
Power Source: Propane
The Mountaineer camping stove is quite suitable for a small group of campers who set out to have uninterrupted fun in the outdoors without breaking the bank. It features a combination of functionalities that make it fit for this purpose. For instance, its design features a suitcase-style latching lid and a 5-ft hose. With its simplistic construction of welded aluminum material, the Mountaineer camping stove is both lightweight and durable.
- The Top 6 Things to Consider When Buying a Camping Stove
- Safety Tips when Using a Camping Stove
- Types of Camping Stoves
Buying the right camping stove can be a huge challenge whether you’re buying for the first time. The market tends to be flooded with new products every day and this could overwhelm a buyer. Besides, it’s not always a straightforward affair even for seasoned buyers. That is why you need to update your knowledge from time to time. This buyers’ guide is a collection of factors that you need to consider when buying a camping stove.
Now let us look at each of these factors individually to understand how and why it should influence your buying decision.
Number of Burners
It’s a valid question, perhaps the most important one, to ask; how many burners do we need? A universal truth concerning the number of burners is that the higher the number of burners, the higher the number of meals you can prepare simultaneously. This goes hand in hand with the number of people in a group going out camping. If your group comprises a large number of members, it only makes sense to carry a multi-burner camping stove.
Despite facilitating simultaneous cooking, multi-burner stoves are often bulky and less portable compared to their single burner counterparts. Besides, such burners usually weigh heavier than the small ones. However, the market is stocked with all sorts of options to suit your unique needs. For instance, there are single burner camping stoves that come with output ports like the Jetboil Genesis Basecamp stove. With such functionalities, you do not need to overload a single person with the responsibility of bringing a bulky camping stove to the camp.
Generally, if you’re planning on going camping with a small group of people, it’s preferable to purchase a stove with fewer burners. The two-burner stove is relatively more popular in large scale camping because it offers optimum features.
Source of Fuel
The two most common fuel sources for camping stoves are propane and butane although there is a third source that is coming up fast and that is wood. Quite the majority of camping stoves you will find on the market use propane as the source of fuel. Here’s why; propane is readily available and can perform optimally in a wide range of temperature conditions. Butane, on the other hand, is less readily available and does not perform well in certain conditions.
These fuel sources are usually packaged in 16-oz. tanks. Depending on the period for which you intend to camp, you can bring with you either several or just a couple of these tanks. However, it’s also worth noting that the high-performing camping stoves tend to burn a lot of fuel in a short period. Ensure you go for fuel sources that promise high efficiency.
Some camping stoves are designed to allow the use of wood as the source of fuel. However, it’s worth noting that wood as a source of fuel cannot provide strong enough flames to facilitate quick cooking at the camp. Whether you’re going to camp for days or weeks, it’s always advisable to select a camping stove with a fuel source that will stand through the test of time.
Tabletop or Freestanding
Camping stoves come in two main categories; tabletop and freestanding stoves. The tabletop design of camping stoves is known for its high portability because it is generally lightweight, compact and most importantly, takes up a very small real estate on the work surface. The same, however, cannot be said about the freestanding design. Most, if not all, freestanding camping stoves are huge and bulky. They are heavier than their tabletop counterparts and this makes them difficult to carry around. More often than not, freestanding stoves are usually associated with large scale camping where the number of people is huge and there is a designated chef.
There is no denying the amazing benefits of freestanding stoves. They offer simultaneous cooking and are energy efficient. If you are not willing to give up these benefits for the sake of portability, you should know that there are options for you. Today’s market will provide you with the option of selecting a freestanding stove design with detachable legs. Removing the legs makes it much easier to transport it to the camp. The challenge of carrying a tabletop camping stove is that you will have to come with a work surface. To be on the safe side, you should carry a small table just enough for the stove.
See also: Best Camping Tables of 2020
Also referred to as burner power, it is the most essential determinant of the performance of a gas stove. Burner power is measured in BTU (British Thermal Units) and it is the amount of energy required to heat 1 pound of water by 1-degree Fahrenheit. Most camping stoves have burner ratings ranging from 10,000 BTUs to 90,000 BTUs.
Large scale camping stoves have high power ratings and this explains why they consume a huge amount of fuel. If you are using a camping stove rated at 10,000 BTUs and then you upgrade to a 20,000 BTU stove, you will notice the difference. First, the boiling time will decrease, which is to your advantage. In general, the next time you go shopping for a camping stove, let your choice of burner power be guided by the number of campers. It would be unnecessarily expensive to buy a highly rated camping stove if you intended to go camping in a small group of 2 or 3 people. But you will have your meals ready in a short time. Also, take into account the energy requirements of a high-power camping stove. If you are using a 16-ounce fuel canister, you will need a couple of them to fuel a stove with a rating of, say, 25,000 BTUs.
Some of the most common advanced features of a camping stove include a windscreen, simmer control, automatic igniter, and stove width and extra aluminum cookware. They are not necessary but their presence serves to enhance the usability and effectiveness of the stove.
The importance of a windscreen in a camping stove cannot be emphasized enough. Since the stove is used outdoors, it is extremely important to guarantee continued use even in the event of a windy atmosphere. It is, however, worth noting that not all camping stoves have this feature. For this reason, ensure that you put into consideration the kind of camping environment you intend to visit before buying the stove. If the weather allows for outdoor cooking without the need for a windscreen, then you can buy any of the camping stoves. But you cannot go wrong with a windscreen-fitted stove.
The other advanced feature is the presence of an effective simmer control. This feature, although not highly essential in a camping stove, it can go a long way in enhancing your user experience. Simmer control allows you to seamlessly adjust the strength of the flame when using the stove. A well-built simmer control puts the control of the stove into your hands.
The automatic igniter is another useful advanced feature in a camping stove. Buying a stove with this feature takes away the worry of having to look for a match while at the camp. Even though the presence of such a feature can increase the price of a stove, it is worth having it. Last but not least is the size of the cooking surface. Wider cooking surfaces tend to increase the efficiency of the stove. This is because it increases the surface area of the contact between the heat and the pan.
Portability is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a camping stove. Your stay at the camp is temporary, which means you will have to carry the things back home. You must carry things that you are comfortable carrying. If you buy a camping stove that is too heavy or too bulky, it will be hectic carrying it and this will negatively impact your camping fun.
Portability relies on two things; the size and weight of the camping stove. Ensure that the camping stove you select is compact enough to fit into your car or whichever means of transport you intend to use. Most of the two-burner stoves can fit in the boot of a standard SUV or station wagon. In the case of a large group of campers, you might want to get a truck or double cabin pickup to fit all the camping equipment. When it comes to weight, it is always good to select a stove that is not too heavy and it shouldn’t be too light either. Depending on the type of material used in the construction, most of the standard two-burner camping stoves weigh between 30 and 50 pounds. Such stoves are made from aluminum and stainless-steel alloys.
Putting into consideration the above factors does give you an upper hand when you are on the market for a new camping stove. Pay attention to the above six factors and you will not go wrong with your purchase.
The prospect of cooking on a camping trip can be a big deal especially for those who are health-conscious. However, it is worth noting that the dangers associated with cooking can multiply once you are out of the conventional kitchen. For this reason and several others, you must take extra caution to avoid any unforeseen eventualities. To help you with the precautions, we have compiled a list of recommendations to help you have a safe camping trip.
Positioning the Gas Canister
The first and most important precaution is related to the placing and positioning of the gas canister. It is important before you begin anything to ensure that the gas canister is slotted the correct way. This will prevent it from coming out abruptly and any leakage will also be avoided. The gas tank can fall over especially if the surface on which it is placed is not even. Inspect the surface and if possible, level it up just to be sure it won’t fall over. Be sure to always disconnect the cartridges once you are done with cooking for the day.
Be careful of Wind Direction and the Flames
Another important safety precaution is taking note of the direction of the wind before lighting up the stove. If the camping stove does not have a windscreen, it is safe to place it in a position that is less susceptible to turbulent winds. Before you turn the ignition knob, take your time to find out the direction of the wind. Not only will this help to save your fuel but also it will accelerate the cooking process. It is important to always remember to turn the stove off after you are done with the cooking.
Dealing with Flammable Camping Tents
If it starts to rain, please, by all means, resist the temptation to cook from the inside of the camping tent. Here’s why. Tents are known to have very high flammability. With open flames inside the tents, the chances of the tents catching fire are quite high. Do not even convince yourself that you will keep an eye on the stove the whole time.
Personal Protection Measures
For starters, familiarize yourself with the working of the stove before you start anything. This will save you a lot of the risks like burns and other minor injuries. During use, avoid touching the stove with your bare hands. Also, no matter how confident you are, do not use your hands to test the power of the flame. It is highly likely for the flames to be colorless in the outdoors and this can be easily underestimated. Once you are done using the stove, it is important to wait until everything cools before you can remove the gas cartridge.
Caring for the Camping Stove
The performance and durability of the camping stove rely heavily on the care you give to the stove regularly. First and foremost, ensure to clean the stove regularly, preferably after every use. Remember that this is the only way to enhance the durability of the stove. Also, ensure to store the stove in the right place. It is recommended to store it in a clean dry place.
There are four main types of camping stoves and we are going to look at them one by one. Here they are;
This is one of the most popular modern types of camping stoves, which comprises of pressurized fuel inside a compact canister. They are popularly known for being lightweight, portable and very easy to use. The fact that this type of stove uses compressed fuel inside a canister makes it even more portable because you can easily carry it around without worrying about fuel spilling out. An example of a canister stove is the Jetboil MiniMo.
Liquid fuel Stoves
This is the heavier and bulkier version of the canister stove. The stove fuel tank stores fuel in liquid form, which makes it susceptible to spills. However, it is still widely in use, especially in cold weather conditions. The biggest disadvantage of this type of camping stove is that it does not store the fuel for a long period compared to the canister stoves.
Solid Fuel Stoves
Just like the name suggests, this type of stove uses solid fuel. It is a small lightweight and compact ignition tablet that can be lit and extinguished once you finish using it.
Wood burning Stoves
Although not very popular, some camping stoves use wood as a source of fuel. Recently, this type of camping stove has reduced a lot in popularity, something that can be attributed to its diminished ability to produce a reliable flame. It is one of the cheapest types of camping stoves because it uses readily twigs and scraps of wood to fuel the stove.
Best Camping Stoves Comparison Chart
|Product||Price||Ignition||Number of Burners||Cooking Surface Area||Power Source|
|Camp Chef Tahoe Deluxe 3 Burner Grill||$$$$$||Matchless||3||16-in. cooking pan||Propane|
|Jetboil Genesis Basecamp Camping Stove||$$$$$||Matchless||2||The capacity of a 10-in. Jetboil frypan||Propane|
|Camp Chef Mountaineer Aluminum 2 Burner Camp Stove||$$$$||Matchless||2||The capacity of less-than-10-in. pans||Propane|
|Jetboil MiniMo Camping Stove Cooking System||$$$||Pushbutton/Matchless||1||Proprietary 1L cooking cup||Propane|
|Stansport Outfitter Series Propane Camp Stove for Camping and Outdoor Cooking||$$||Electronic button/matchless||3||19 lbs.Large scale outdoor cooking||Propane|
|Camp Chef Explorer Double Burner Stove||$$||Manual||2||Approx. 450 sq. in.||Propane|
|Coleman Portable Butane Stove with Carrying Case||$||Automatic matchless ignition||1||Fits one 10-in. pan||Butane|
|Reehut Ultralight Portable Camping Stove with Piezo||$||Piezo ignition system||1||Small-scale cooking||Butane/Propane|
We have gone to extreme lengths to share with you some of the most valuable information regarding the best camping stoves. This has been achieved by compiling eight camping stove reviews that cover just about everything you need to know to make an informed decision. Having read through the individual reviews as well as the buyer’s guide, we are confident that you will buy the a camping stove that will give you the best value for your money. In addition to making a satisfactory purchase, it is also important to get the best out of it. To do so, you need to put it into good use and we have shared some safety tips that will help you stick to the right and safe way of using your camping stove.