Best Camping Stoves
When packing for your next camping adventure with the family, one piece of gear is essential as it gives you the ability to cook family breakfasts, hotdogs, and hamburgers or lunch, and spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, and that is the camping stove. The camping stove allows you to cook home cooked meals in the comfort of the outdoors without issue, and this will come in handy especially if you have quite a few people camping with you. A camping stove is usually compact and easy to transport and makes all the difference when it comes time to eat, as it gives you the ability to cook quality meals, rather than sitting over the campfire with a hotdog on a stick waiting for it to cook. If you are in the market for a new camping stove, then the guide below is for you.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 13 hrs of research
A great option for larger groups or families
Easy to move
Top Ten Camping Stoves
1. Coleman Road Trip
A great option for larger groups or families
Easy to move
Might be too large for smaller camping units
The reason the Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill LXE is on this list is that it has shown time and time again that it is a popular choice among countless testers and reviewers alike. It is popular for good reason, because of the durability and simplicity to use.Read more
This camping stove is quite stable and has a well made support base to ensure that the stove will not move and stay upright while you are cooking.
With the Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill LXE in tow, you are sure to create some memorable camping meals. This stove is simple to use thanks to its lock and lift safety systems that it has been designed with. And in order to strike up the flame, all you need to do is push the fire-start button.
This stove is decently powerful with its 20,000 BTUs of robust cooking power. And to really keep your cooking game on point, the Road Trip Propane Grill LXE offers a PerfectFlow Pressure Control system that ensures your meals are cooked evenly, with no hot or cold spots.
This stove from Coleman is quite safe to use and is built to reduce accidents. The stove can get hot so be cautious while cooking so you do not burn yourself.
This propane camping stove comes to you at a price of around $190, which is a great price for the features and size of this stove. Along with space, great design for simple cooking, and features like a slide-in table, this portable camping stove also is made from porcelain and cast iron, which are both easy to clean. Adding to the Road Trip's merits is the fact that you can fold it up and add wheels for easy movement.
2. Stansport High
Ignition may be hard to use at times
Propane stoves are among the most popular when it comes to camping. This Stansport High Output Propane unit is one that you should consider if you do a lot of cooking outdoors, whether you're going to a camping site or at a tailgating party.Read more
This camping stove is one of the toughest. Even if you went camping multiple times a year, you'll barely see any wear and tear over several seasons. Everything from the cooking grate to the burners to the wind blockers is well-constructed, and you'll get the feeling once you start using it that you have really quality equipment in front of you. This Stansport is one of the best camping stoves you can get for your money and is very reasonable.
The camping stove has 12,000 BTU's per burner, so you can heat up some hot coffee or tea in just a short while. It comes equipped with a Piezoelectric lighter, so you don't have to worry about having any matches. The clean stainless steel makes this stove look really slick and attractive, and at first sight, you're going to be itching to cook on it.
There's also a lot of room on the cooktop, and you really won't realize how much space there is until you actually set your pots and pans on the burners. For example, you can have an eight-quart stock pot and a big twelve-inch skillet on it at the same time and still have space around and in between them. The wind guards also flip up and down quickly and stop those sudden gusts from coming in and blowing out your flame, especially when it's cut down low. When it's not windy, you can flip down the guards and use them as extra space on the stove to place cooking spoons and other utensils.
This lightweight camping stove is pretty well safe to use, the only thing to consider is that you are dealing with an open flame and the burners can get hot, so be careful not to burn yourself.
This stove comes to you at a price of around $120, which is a great price for the quality and easily portable stove. This model has the ignition switch. When camping, sometimes trying to get the fire to catch while using it may take a few clicks. But this is mainly because of wind in most cases. All you have to do is flip up the multipurpose wind guards before trying to light the burners, and you'll be good to go.
3. Coleman Classic
Effective wind blocking panels
Evenly distributed heat
Uses up small propane cylinders fast
If you're a novice camping cook running around the outdoors store in your town looking for a good camping stove, you may not know where to begin or exactly what kind you want. At times like this, it may be best to stick with the classics, and this Coleman Classic Propane Stove may be just what you need to start out.Read more
Overall, if you’re new to outdoor cooking, and simply want a dependable camping stove that is going to last for years, the Coleman Classic is what you should take on your first upcoming trips.
This portable camping stove is a classic and vintage design and one of the most popular camping stoves Coleman sells. If you are looking for a reliable and efficient camping stove to last you years to come, check this stove out.
Whether you're a beginner or expert camping cook, you're going to spill something. The Coleman Classic has a chrome plated grate that's very easy to clean, and so is the rest of the stove. Once you lift the grate off, you can wipe around the wide space between the burners in a jiffy. The cooktop is aluminized steel and repels stains wonderfully, plus its rust resistant.
It's just not smart to go buy the highest priced brand of camping stove when you’re just getting into outdoor cooking. Coleman's good name guarantees that you have power and quality at the same time, and this stove is evidence of that. It packs 20,000 BTUs, so whether you want to heat up something quickly or take your time simmering, the wind's not going to hurt flames with that much power behind them, especially with the effective wind guards.
4. Camp Chef Oven
Comes with stovetops and oven
This is a unique designed camping stove, as it does not only come with the option to use as a stove top but also comes equipped with an oven to allow you to bake goods while camping for your family as well.Read more
The fact that this camping stove has an oven attached makes it quite stable as it sits flat on a table or ground without issue. This camping stove/oven might be one of the most stable portable stoves on our list.
This camping stove not only comes with two stove top burners to allow you to cook two things at once but it also gives you the option to use an oven if you need to bake any goods as well. The option to have an oven comes in handy and is a great addition.
This camping stove runs off of propane, so with any propane gear be careful not to use it near any heat sources and make sure you completely turn off the propane when you are finished using. Also, be cautious as this device can get hot, so take proper precautions not to get burned while using.
This camping stove comes to you at a price of around $200. This is a little pricier than other models on our list but with the option to use the two stovetop burners and an oven makes it worth the price. This device will allow you to feel as though you brought your kitchen with you camping.
5. Coleman Powerpack
Easy to set-up
Only has one burner
This is a great and easily transported camping stove from Coleman. It is an original and vintage design but still is quite effective at providing you with an efficient stove top to do your camping cooking. If you are in the market for a camping stove and do not want to break the bank, this may be the stove for you.Read more
This stope burner is quite stable as it sits quite low to the ground. it is best used on a table or flat surface and will not shake or move while being used.
This camping stove has a vintage design to it but still holds up great as a camping stove as it is simple to use and easy to set up. This camping stove is also quite small and compact which makes it a great stove to carry around with you and transport.
When dealing with any propane fulled gear, always be careful you do not have open heat sources around propane canister. Also, the stove can get quite hot, so be cautious and avoid burns.
This stove is quite affordable as it comes to you at a price of around $35. This is a great price for a Coleman product and will not break the bank but provide you with an efficient and durable camping stove that you can use for years to come.
6. BioLite Basecamp Wood Burning
Doesn't leave burn traces on the ground
Can charge your electronic devices
Limited cooking area
The smart engineers at BioLite believe that there is clean energy all around us, but most people and companies don't know how to use it correctly. This is the thinking they incorporated into the making of the BioLite Basecamp Wood Burning Camp Stove and Grill, one that has features that are both environmentally friendly and will make your camp trip more electronically convenient.Read more
This camping stove could be a tad more stable as it is resting on thin supports. Overall you will have no problem using this portable stove, but it is recommended that you use it on flat surfaces.
The wide-open top grill is almost 140 square inches, and the heat can be used precisely how you want to. There's a lever that you can switch for both grilling and boiling options that evenly distributes the heat all over the grill or dead in the center where you can set a big pot. This is a very cool off-grid grill that uses only wood to generate energy. It's also very portable with the handle over the top that lets you lift and carry it easily. This camping stove is also pretty tough being made out of stainless steel and comes with all the accessories needed, such as fire starters.
The main question from people who first see this extremely innovative Biolite camping stove is 'How does it charging up my smartphone?' Well, the heat from the fire uses a thermoelectric generator to create electricity. This all happens in that orange power pack on the side of the grill. A built-in fan then enhances combustion by blowing air back into the burn chamber, then electricity is sent to the USB port that you use to charge up all of those devices that you don't want to do without on your camping trip, like your smartphone, tablet or laptop. There is even an attached USB light that lets you see what you're cooking at night. Some models of this wonderful energy producing stove even have a dashboard that lets you monitor how hot the fire is, and it will tell you exactly how much electricity you are generating.
Since you are dealing with an open flame as you are burning organic material to generate a flame, you must be careful not to burn yourself.
This camping stove comes to you at a price of around $200 which is a little high but the ability to charge your phone and how this stove uses organic fuel is a plus and makes up for the price as you do not have to buy propane.
7. Camp Chef Explorer
Not compatible for 16 oz propane canisters
Do you ever worry about setting your food on simmer and having the wind blow it out? If you don't want to make multiple trips back and forth to your food checking the flames, the dependable Camp Chef Explorer 2 Burner camping stove is one that you will want to use each and every time you cook outdoors.Read more
Camp Chef made this 2-Burner Explorer, especially for heavy-duty use. There's a bottomless design that's easy to clean up, and any debris will fall straight to the ground. The aluminum frame can normally be wiped clean with a wet cloth, it and doesn't hold stains easily.
The way that this camping stove is designed will have it out of your car up and ready to go in a matter of minutes. There's a huge cooking area of almost 450 square inches, and one of the things consumers really like about this camping stove is that it actually has windscreens on each individual burner. It's already burning at a whopping 30,000 BTUs, but the fact that each burner is protected from the wind gives you even more peace of mind as you mingle with your fellow campers while the food cooks slowly.
This camping stove has a lot of open areas to be safe when using this camping stove and be sure to mind the open flame. Also, the propane tank sits on the floor, so be sure to not put it near open flames or hot heat sources.
This camping stove comes to you at a price of around $100, which is an excellent price for such a heavy duty camping stove. This stove is also multi-purpose so it can be used for tailgates, in your backyard, etc.
8. Coleman Triton Series 2
Easily adjustable windscreens
Only weighs 10 lbs
Lower BTUs make simmering harder
Coleman has always been a brand that has produced quality equipment of many kinds. And, if you were to choose one of their camping stoves for your next outdoor expedition, you would be just as satisfied with the dependability and toughness. The Coleman Triton Series 2 Burner is a durable and effective stove that will meet or exceed your outdoor cooking needs on your next trip.Read more
One of the things that consumers want out of their camping stove is the ability to move it around freely without it getting in the way of the rest of the camping equipment. Still, some people feel as if a lighter stove will not be as powerful as a heavier one. That's simply not the case with this Coleman Triton. It weighs just over 10 lbs but still performs wonderfully when cooking outdoors.
One of the most loved things about this camping stove is that it doesn't use up a whole lot of propane at a time. Some people may say that 11,000 BTUs is low output, And depending on the weather that you're cooking in, it may seem that way. But, if you go camping in decent weather (where it may be a kind of windy but nothing major) then you'll be just fine using this great Coleman Triton.
This camping stove puts out 11,000 BTUs on each of its burners. You can store the propane adapter conveniently inside the stove after snapping the lid shut. When you get ready to hook up your propane tank, all you do is easily screw on the adapter to the side of the stove. What compliments the BTUs are the windscreens, which flip out to the side after opening the stove, and you can secure them nicely in place as you cook.
This lightweight camping stove comes to you at a price of around $60 which is a great price for Coleman product.
9. Camp Chef Tahoe
Lots of cooking space
Plenty of heat with 30,000 BTUs
Uses fuel quicker
There's nothing better than cooking in the beautiful outdoors with lots of your friends and family. The only problem is, do you have a camping stove that's big enough to feed all of them? Well, if you have this Camp Chef Tahoe 3 Burner that won't be a problem for you!Read more
This camping stove comes with stable supports to hold up the camping stove without issue while camping. You will have no issues cooking on this stove and it will stay stable the whole time.
This large camping stove is so fun to use, and it won't be only at your camping expeditions. The three burner stove is also great for all types of at home get-togethers with large amounts of people, such as big family picnics and birthday parties. The manufacturers at Camp Chef really outdid themselves this time with all this extra room to cook on this huge outdoor stove. It allows you to do so many things at once, so you can have multiple courses of the meal being prepared simultaneously.
Although this camping stove may use propane faster than others, that's understandable with those very powerful 30,000 BTU burners that'll have your hot, tasty dishes rolling out back to back.
This camping stove comes to you at a price of around $200 which is a reasonable price for such a great camping stove. It is great for not only camping but tailgates, backyard cooking, etc.
10. Ohuhu Portable Stainless Steel
Convenient carry bag
No batteries or chemicals
Might be too small
Made from high-quality stainless steel that can stand high temperature and weight, the Ohuhu Portable Stainless Steel Camping Stove is a great option for a small, inexpensive, yet sturdy and functional camping stove.Read more
The Ohuhu Portable Stove promises stability and versatility in a very small package. The 3 arms pot support system creates a stable cooking platform even for larger pots and helps to distribute heat evenly.
These canisters are disposable but work well for a quick flame source if you need to cook a meal in a hurry. They are also lightweight and easy to transport, so maybe a great option for backpacking or hiking.
One of the main selling points for the Ohuhu is that there are no fuel canisters or chemical emissions which both give a better cooking experience while also keeping the weight down during transportation. This means that you'll need wood and experience starting your campfires (a good skill to have anyway). This might be a turn off for some though, while others love that there's less to bring in (and take out), and nothing to worry about as far as having a full supply of propane or fully charged batteries.
These camping canisters come to you at around $20 per canister which is a little expensive as these are disposable. They are good if you do not go camping often, but if you do you rather invest in a camping stove that you can use for years to come.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The camping stoves that stand on their own (up to about your waist level) normally come with adjustable legs. Before you even begin cooking, be sure that these portable stoves are stable or you could end up with an entire meal on the ground. It’s good to use your intuition as a cook here, and not set things that are too heavy on one side, and things that are too light on the other side, creating uneven weight. Most of these standing stoves are very stable, and tip-overs are rare, but you still have to exercise common sense when operating them. Even if you went camping multiple times a year, you'll barely see any wear and tear over several seasons. Everything from the cooking grate to the burners to the wind blockers is well-constructed, and you'll get the feeling once you start using it that you have real quality equipment in front of you.
The kind of stove that you choose for your camping trips will depend on your preferences as a cook. For example, some cooks prefer to use propane instead of fuel because of its price and clean burning properties. On the other hand, there are those cooks who would rather use liquid gas because of how well it performs in cold weather. There are also wood camping stoves that allow folks to do their outside cooking more in the traditional way. Cooking over wood allows you to experiment with different flavors (such as using hickory, maple or mesquite wood) to enhance the taste of your meats. For power, you can use a propane canister fuel source that twists on easily, or you could get a bulk hose adapter and hook it onto a large propane tank. Hooking up the larger tank will allow you to cook for days because even with all those BTUs pumping out this camping stove is surprisingly good on fuel. Many of those stoves are wonderful for car camping.
The last memory that you want to create from your camping trip is a forest fire. If the camping location that you are planning to visit is one that you didn’t find on your own, and you are going to a more commercial one, you need to see if they have any regulations in place about camping stoves before purchasing one. It’s pretty rare to find a place that doesn’t allow you to do any cooking at all with your stove, but many places have certain rules to follow, so find out beforehand what they are. Camping meals are ones that your friends and family will remember years after the trip. That being said, you always want to get a camping stove that has good wind barriers on it, so that you could set your pots on simmer and not worry about the flame blowing out when you’re not paying attention. Simmering is very important to cooks who are trying to prepare meals with a great flavor, and it’s going to be a needed feature on your camping stove because you want to keep large stews and other meals warm while you relax at the campsite. The stoves with the highest BTUs can hold a low flame the best, but another tip is to use liquid fuel if you’re going to be doing a lot of simmering and slow cooking.
When determining how much to spend on your camping stove, you should base it on approximately how many times on average per year you plan on camping. There are some outdoorsmen who make camping, hiking, fishing, and other activities a year-round thing. These folks would very likely invest more money into a product like a camping stove because they would need one of high durability and quality. But, if you’re just planning on taking one or two trips a year, say, during the spring and summer months when the children are out of school, then you could look for a more reasonably priced camping stove that would suit you just fine.
Camping is just not that fun if you don’t have at least a few of your favorite friends and family members with you. And, even if they never ever help you cook while you’re back at your apartment when they’re visiting, they will want to help you on your outside stove because these products are just irresistible and fun to use! That being said, don’t be surprised if a few of them show up with their own camping stoves. If you don’t have one of the larger three burner stoves, or at least one of the standing ones with a lot of cooking space, then them bringing theirs will be a good thing. All of your stoves can be used simultaneously to make a large meal – just be sure there’s enough fuel and you’ll be good to go.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
There will very likely be all types of pre-packaged camp food that your friends and family will bring with them on your outdoor expedition, and all they will need is boiling water in order to get a quick meal. Boiled water is also essential on a camping trip for hot beverages, especially if you’re camping in the fall or winter months. The camping stoves with high BTUs (20,000 or 30,000) can boil a couple of gallons of water in 5 or 6 minutes. You’ll likely find yourself doing what many cooks with new camping stoves do, which is the ‘boil test’. All you do is set a timer, put a large pot of water on to the stove, hit start on the timer, and see how long it takes to come to a rolling boil. See how yours matches up to your friends’ camping stoves!
When looking for a camping stove for your camping adventures this summer, keep in mind how far you are going to get to your campsite and get a camping stove that will not be a hassle to get there. If you are doing more backpacking and hiking where weight is limited in your backpack, you may want to look for a smaller more compact stove. If you are driving up to your campsite, then you get to look at the bigger models that will feed more of your guests.
Other Factors to Consider
When examining the different weights of the camping stoves that you like the most, you should also be looking at how durable they are. Of course, the heavier ones in many cases will be somewhat tougher, but you want one that is light enough to take in and out of your car, up and down the road, and in and out of the basement and attic easily. If you plan on having a lot of big groups, then you’d want to get a larger camping stove. The larger standing ones can weigh well over 20 pounds, but in cases when you need to feed a lot of people you won’t be so worried about the little extra weight of the stove, just it’s overall performance.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How large or small should my camping stove be?
This depends on a lot of things, such as how many people will be on your trips, and how often you’re going to use the camping stove. There are larger freestanding ones with lots of cooking room, multiple burning eyes, and extra accessories. Then, there are the more recognizable two burner camping stoves that are very portable and sometimes can have up to 30,000 BTUs. They usually function just fine on a flat surface or table.
If you have less than 5 people in your group, then a two burner stove with a large propane tank should prepare enough food, and be just fine to use for your entire camping trip. If you have a little more people than that, then you will probably need more space, and the free-standing camping stoves normally provide that.
q: What’s the difference between a camping stove and a backpacking stove?
You’ll likely use both of them on your trip (spending time at the campsite and backpacking on hiking expeditions), but they are essentially two different types of stoves. A camping stove is generally used to prepare a meal for a group of campers there at the campsite. These stoves are portable and can be used on a camping trip, a tailgating party at a football game, or just to cook outside at home.
A backpacking stove can definitely be used on a camping trip, but they are not officially named “camping” stoves, probably because they’re just not big enough to cook enough food to feed the entire camping group, just an individual backpacker or a small group of backpackers. If, for example, you’re hiking in the cold weather, and you want a quick meal to warm you up, you could use the backpacking stove to warm a cup of hot soup quickly and easily. These small stoves can also be used back at the campsite as extra flames when you need them if, for instance, you have too much food to cook for your camping stove to hold at one time.
q: How many BTUs should my camping stove have?
If by chance you don’t know what BTUs are, they’re British ThermalUnits. It’s a measurement used in the United States to determine the output of energy. To paint a clearer picture, if you light up one match, that’s the equivalent of 1 BTU. How many BTUs are on your home stove? How many are in the camping stove that you’re about to buy, or that you’ve already bought? Whatever that number is, it’s the equivalent of that many matches burning at the same time.
The campus stove that you choose should be strong enough to cook on your camping trip whatever you would normally cook at home. Although it is true that external factors such as wind can limit the amount of cooking power you have on the outside camping stove. For example, it may be hard to let things simmer on a camping stove when it’s windy because the low flame could blow out easily. The higher the amount of BTUs your stove has, the lesser the chance that flame will blow out, especially if you have wind barriers that are built on to your camping stove. But remember, the more BTUs you have the more fuel you’re going to use. So it’s a good idea to know beforehand approximately how much cooking you’ll be doing the entire trip.
q: What type of fuel should I use for my camping stove?
The first thing you should find out is not the type of stove that you want, but if the place where you’re going to be camping allows them. The last thing you want to do is buy a brand new stove with accessories then not be able to take it to the place where you’re planning your trip because of regulations. Many people choose propane over liquid fuel because it burns cleaner. One instance where a group would probably choose liquid fuel over propane is if it’s cold out, being that the liquid produces a much stronger flame in those types of rigid or windy conditions.
Still, for camp cooking, one of the most popular fuel choices is the 5-gallon propane tanks that are so easy to refill. Refilling this tank you’ll always come out better money-wise than buying a whole lot of those 16 oz canisters of propane. Those small canisters are good for backup, but primarily you want to depend on the tank for your major cooking. I mean, think about it… you can fill up your propane tank for about $5 a gallon. To get the same amount of usable propane with all those small canisters, you’ll probably pay five times as much. Plus having all those cans is just going to produce extra waste.
q: What kind of camping stove do I need?
When making this decision, the first thing to ask yourself is what you will be using the camping stove for mostly. Where will you be doing most of your cooking, away from or at the campsite? Many people find out after taking a few camping trips that they need both a backpacking stove and an on-site camping stove. For example, let’s say that you plan on taking a lot of camping trips this year where you will do a lot of hiking. If you don’t know anything else about the kind of camping stove you want, you do know at that point that you’ll need at least a few portable ones.
That’s not to say that you won’t have a bigger, primary camping stove that won’t move away from the original campsite. But you will still need smaller ones that you can carry on those long walks through the mountains or woods. You may want to stop and heat up something (like a warm cup of tea or coffee) while you’re out hiking, or you may want to warm up a prepackaged meal that you brought with you from the campsite. This is where very light and easy to use backpack camping stoves come in handy.
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