Best Camping Stoves
Whether it’s breathing in heaps of fresh air, sleeping like a rock after hiking all day, or jumping into a lake on a summer’s day camping brings so many joyful moments into many outdoor lover’s lives. No matter what your favorite part is about setting up camp in the wilderness for a night or two, most can agree that one of the best parts of camping is the meals. There is something unmistakably satisfying about spending the day outdoors doing what you love and then being able to sit down to a dinner that has been cooked over an open flame. Most avid outdoor lovers have a dependable camping stove that they bring on every camping trip, so they can slice, dice, and chop there favourite outdoor meals and cook it to perfection.
When it comes to choosing a camping stove, there are endless options out there to choose from. Sometimes it can be hard to decide on the stove that will best suit your needs and provide the best cooking surface to cook your favourite outdoor meals. We have lent a hand and done the research to bring you the top ten camping stoves on the market, and why they are the best of the best. We have also listed some criteria to keep in mind when looking for a camping stove to fit your needs, so check out the list and next time you sit down to enjoy a great meal outdoors, know you made the best choice.
- COLEMAN CLASSIC PROPANE
- Wind block panels
- Great cooking power
- Everest High Output 2
- Powerful burner
- Reliable ignition
- BioLite Basecamp
- Energy efficient
- Electronic charger
10 Best Camping Stoves
Coleman Classic Propane
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.
Easy to Clean
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 it's rust resistant.
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.
- Effective wind blocking panels
- Evenly distributed heat
- Uses up small propane cylinders fast
Camp Chef Everest High Output 2
You're going to run into some wind when camping, and at times those sudden gusts are going to mess with you while you're trying to cook. It's inevitable. This is why it's imperative that you always get a camping stove that has wind barriers. Without them, trying to boil water and do other simple cooking tasks can take double the time.
One of the best things about this Camp Chef Everest High Output stove is that it has two burners with 20,000 BTUs piece. This is considerably higher then other camping stoves in its class. It makes for very efficient heat under your pots and pans, flames that will not be blown out easily by the wind.
Easy to Use
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.
This is one of those stoves that is wonderful for car camping. Whether you decide to use skillets, pots, or put a couple of cast iron grills over top of your burners, you'll appreciate the good amount of space that you have to use.
The wonderful mix of power and easy usability makes this a camping stove you won’t regret getting.
- Powerful 20,000 BTU burners
- Reliable button ignition
- Goes through small propane canisters quickly
BioLite Basecamp Wood Burning
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.
Overall, this is one of the most innovative grills/camp stoves on the market, and you'll have fun with it each and every time you use it.
- Energy efficient
- Doesn't leave burn traces on the ground
- Can charge your electronic devices
- Limited cooking area
GAS ONE GS-3400P Dual Fuel Camping Stove
This stove comes with features that offer safety, such as non-slip rubber legs to keep it firmly in place while your boil up some water for pasta. It also has a Piezo Electric ignition which eliminates the need for the use of lighters. And a bonus feature of this is that the ignition cuts off gas fuel when no flame is detected.
Overall, this stove is simple to use for the average camper. The simplicity with the ignition, simple design, single burner means that cooking an easy camp meal should go off with little to no extra effort on your part, at least where the stove is concerned.
- Great safety features
- Adjustable heat setting
- Duel fuel
- No wind resistance
Stansport High Output Propane
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 are 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 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 Piezo electric 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.
Good Amount of Cooking Space
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 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.
- Multipurpose windshields
- Powerful burners
- Ignition may be hard to use at times
Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill LXE
This stove is decently powerful with it's 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.
And for the chef who loves a good amount of space when firing up the camp stove, you can't go wrong with this selection. This stove includes 285 square inches of cooking space.
Along with the space, great design for simple cooking, and features like a slide-in table, this 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.
- Great option for larger groups or families
- Easy to move
- Might be too large for smaller camping units
Camp Chef Explorer 2 Burner
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.
Easy Clean Up
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.
Overall this Camp Chef Explorer is a great choice for avid outdoorsman as well as those folks who only go camping every once in a while.
- Easy setup
- Reasonably priced/Great value
- Not compatible for 16 oz propane canisters
Coleman Triton Series 2 Burner
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.
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 wind screens, which flip out to the side after opening the stove, and you can secure them nicely in place as you cook.
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.
Overall, when you use this nice camping stove, you’ll realize that how light it has no effect on its productivity.
- Easily adjustable windscreens
- Reasonably priced
- Only weighs 10 lbs
- Lower BTUs make simmering harder
TMS Portable Military Camping Wood
Many outdoorsman look at using wood for their fire as preserving the essence of what camping is all about. They don't want upgrades or flashy things... they purposefully stick to the basics. This camping stove can definitely heat you a nice big stew or boil water easily, but the other convenient uses of the intense heat may surprise you.
Let's say that for some reason you come back to the campsite completely soaking wet. Your biggest problem at that moment is drying your clothing before they begin to smell. This camping stove has racks that you can flip out to hang up shirts, socks, gloves, and other small items to dry, and they do, quickly. This camping stove is also a heater for the inside of your tent, and safely keeps in there warm and cozy all night.
Long Burning Fire
With other wood camping stoves, it can be kind of hard trying to keep the fire going all night. This TMS one is closed, let's in just enough air to keep the flames burning, and takes several hours for the fire to completely burn out.
For a very authentic camping experience, the TMS Military Portable Camping Wood Stove will provide all the multiple uses and essentials you need for camping off the grid.
- Only 20 pounds; portable
- In tent heater usage
- Long supply of heat
- Certain types of wood may clog the pipe
Camp Chef Tahoe 3 Burner
This large stove is so fun to use, and it won't be only at your camping expeditions. For example, if you are the type to attend lots of sporting events, this is the perfect accessory for your tailgate party. Whether you have a large pot of gumbo or if you decide to use some cast iron grills for burgers or brats, this high powered stove will add to your wonderful time at the game.
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.
Excellent Cooking Space
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 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.
Overall, if you have a large crowd to feed, the Camp Chef Tahoe 3 burner is what you need.
- Lots of cooking space
- Plenty of heat with 30,000 BTUs
- Great for all types of large events
- Uses fuel quicker
Criteria Used For The Evaluation
Your Camping Stove’s Stability
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 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.
Fire Bans and Regulations
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.
Types of Camping Stoves
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.
Camping Stove Use in Cold Weather
Some camping stoves are just going to be stronger than others and work better in cold weather. If you make it a point to regularly camp in cold, snowy, or windy weather, then you should definitely get one with 20,000 to 30,000 plus BTUs, no question about it.
The Price of the Camping Stove
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.
Weight of the Camping Stove
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 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.
How Well the Camping Stove Boils
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!
How Well the Camping Stove Simmers
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 stove because you want to keep large stews and other meals warm while you relax at the camp site. 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.
Cooking for a Large Group
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.
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 backpack 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.
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 weather 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 are 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: How many BTUs should my camping stove have?
If by chance you don’t know what BTUs are, they’re British Thermal Units. 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 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’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 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 stove. There are the 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.
Now that you have some more info as to what makes a great camping stove and what the best of the best on the market look like, you should now have a better idea about which camping stove will fit your needs and camping style. Remember, depending on what type of camping you will be doing, or what you are planning on cooking will determine what camping stove will be best for you. So do the research, check out the stove you are interested in and enjoy all the outdoor grilling to come!