We had this mammoth gas stove on long-term test for 4 months, during which time it was our only stove (we were renovating our house) and thusly it got a lot of varied use.
You can see from the picture what we’re dealing with here. This is a car-camping, family holiday kind of stove. The type that you hook up to a big bottle of gas (we had it on butane) and take time to find the best spot for it to live for a while. It’s a small kitchen, rather than a stove.
Unfortunately, when it arrived, our test stove had suffered from being a little abused in transit, and the rivets holding the hinged-lid on its hinges had popped out. This gave it a bit of a wonk and meant it had to be placed against a wall to support the floppy lid. A close look at the rivets might suggest that they’re not all that good in the first place, and fairly easily popped out, so despite its size the stove has to be treated with fairly kid-gloves.
The two big burners each come with removable grill-plates (shown in the first picture), under which sit a pair of enormous and powerful burners. Campingaz call these Xcelerate burners, and they kick out a whopping amount of heat. Boil time is pretty low.
However, we also found that the sheer power of these burners was a negative at times. Simmering was almost impossible – the heat seemed to be adjustable from bloody hot through to SERIOUSLY hot, and at the latter end of the scale a huge amount of heat and flame licked up the side of even a 7 inch kitchen pan. The latter meaning that metal-handled pans needed a pot-holder or oven-glove to handle them, rather than bare hands. Oh, and the control knobs get damn hot after a while too.
Other than the lid, the construction of the 600SG is solid. The stove packs down in to its own lid, and can be transported really easily.
The telescopic legs are solid, and the two shelves beside the burners are strong enough to take a pan of water without worry.
So, whilst this is a big, sturdy stove for serious meals, it has a few issues which we’d reckon would put us off from resurrecting it as a summer barbeque grill. The lack of finesse in the heat, and the floppy lid on ours were things we got used to because we had no alternative, but they weren’t ideal and would probably stop me getting the stove out again unless I had no alternative.
Price: £140 rrp