Nothing is more joyous when out on a camping trip than cooking a sumptuous meal just outside the tent. How about boiling water for a hot, sweet drink after a long, tiresome day of adventure! Does this sound like heaven to you? To realize all this goodness, you need the best camping stove.
Just like head torches, camping stoves come in an array of prices, styles, and sizes. Additionally, they sport a variety of features that not only protect them from wind, but also ensure they remain rust-free for longer. What is more, they come with a huge variation in terms of fuel types and performance. The smaller ones are perfect for multi-day hikes and backpacking trips as you will need to drink and/or bite something while on the trail.
Camp Chef Explorer 2 -Best Overall
2 x 30,000 BTUs
Jetboil Flash Personal Cooking System - Premium Pick
2 x 10,000 BTUs
9 lbs. 14 oz.
Jetboil Flash Camping Stove Cooking System - Best Portable Camping Stove
2 x 10,000 BTUs
Coleman Classic Gas Stove - Best Cheap Camping Stove
2 x 10,000 BTUs
2 x 30,000 BTUs
2 x 10,000 BTUs
Camp Chef Explorer 2 - Best Camping Stove
This freestanding camping stove offers numerous cooking options at a friendly price. The explorer 2 is sturdy, and the sizeable cook-top space can be used with or without its legs for unique versatility. It is excellent for feeding a big crew, so quite common to find it used as a backyard or patio stove.
In the middle of camping, you can use its legs, like that of a table. The two 30000 BTU powerful burners are fantastic for cooking up large meals quickly and can be finessed for excellent simmering control. The heaters can accommodate both small pots and oversized pans.
If you dream of having a platform like that of a chef in the wild, then this is a great option to consider.
This camping stove is an excellent choice if you have a large entourage. It is so easy to set everything up and needs little maintenance. A downside is that it lacks an auto-ignition system, so you must move it aside and relight, which will happen a lot in windy conditions because of the open-air design the stove has.
It is large, and the burner sits farther away from cookware, so the wind can sneak in much easier, wreaking more havoc than on a compact model. It has a sturdy build and is easy to clean: make sure to store it properly away from rainwater, which might offset rust. The Explorer is great if you cook for larger groups regularly.
Campfires are hard to tame and generate a ton of smoke — fuel canisters tent to give out at the untimeliest moments. However, an alcohol stove works well under any weather condition, and comparatively, it creates very little smoke or soot. These types of cookers are usually light, and this is not an exception to this fact.
It is hard to fault this stove because it provides so much convenience for cooking out on the trail. With a pot of nearly 1-liter capacity, you can cook sizeable meals for two. The burner is made from brass and allows for a high variance in temperature.
The working mechanism is intuitive, and just about anyone can pick up and start using. All you need to start cooking is the stove, its pot, some fuel, and a source of the fire. The cooking pot has a 33-ounce capacity, which is large enough to cook meals for two.
The fuel it uses is also cheaper than alternatives: therefore, it saves you money in the long term. It has negligible weight, comes with two pots, and all you need to start cooking is the cheap denatured alcohol that is also readily available.
The cook set nest compactly inside the larger pot included and is so light, which is a joy to every camper. The larger pot has an indicator, and the smaller one can also serve as a lid for it. A lightweight, protective case is also included.
Jetboil Flash Personal Cooking System - Premium Choice
- 1.0 Liter FluxRing cooking cup with insulating cozy
- Cozy features color-change temperature indicator
- Adjustable burner with efficient igniter design
- Stabilizer tripod included
- Insulating drink-through lid and bottom cover
This stove is designed to capture and focus heat more efficiently than traditional cooking systems. It can bring into a boil two cups of water in under two minutes. It has an easy to use electric igniter and a built-in windscreen.
The well-insulated pot keeps food and drinks warm long after heating. You can even consume your hot foods and drinks from the pot, adding to its versatility. The flash flame logo changes color to indicate the temperature, which is a nice touch.
It turns red as water edges towards the boiling point. This feature lets you save fuel, especially when heating water for tea or coffee, and you do not need boiling water for that.
The only downside is that the insulation does not work well enough. To counter this issue, be sure to use it in a sheltered place, where the elements will not affect its working. Because it is designed for speed, it does not simmer particularly well.
Nevertheless, this is an excellent companion for a short backpacking mission, if you like food that only requires boiling.
This is a simple stove that will make your camping experiences seem more legitimate. With other options that use gas or electric power for heating, this uses wood, bringing you back to the basics. It is affordable, useful, and effective in the woods.
It is much lighter because of its small size and does not need you to carry gas cylinders for fuel. Firewood comprising of branches, leaves, and barks is readily available in the woods compared to gas. You will save space, and everything fits nicely for transport purposes.
You can store small items inside and use it a makeshift bag. This stove is a great buy and is excellent to have as a backup even when not camping.
Jetboil Flash Camping Stove Cooking System - Best Portable Camping Stove
- Optimized for efficiency, the Jetboil Flash boils water in a lightning-quick 100 seconds, making it the fastest Jetboil ever.
- Jetboil's 1-liter FluxRing cooking cup with insulating cozy makes boiling water—and keeping it warm—a breeze.
- Start heating instantly with the convenient, reliable pushbutton igniter, and verify that the water's ready with the thermochromatic color-change heat indicator.
- Compatible Jetboil accessories, such as a coffee press, hanging kit, pot support, skillet, FluxRing cooking pot, and utensils make this a necessity for your next backpacking adventure.
- Includes fuel canister stabilizer; bottom cup doubles as a measuring cup and a bowl; easy to pack and carry at only 13.1 ounces. One-year limited warranty.
The Jetboil Flash camping stove cooking system is highly optimized for efficiency. When it comes to boiling water, it does so within a lightning-quick 100 seconds. Impressive, right?
Use it for all kinds of adventure – from a weekend trek to the alpine expedition. It will provide you with all the cooking you need. When you are exploring the backcountry, this efficient and compact stove has got you covered no matter the type of meal you want to prepare.
This stove can collapse to a compact size, and you can carry it in your backpack without it consuming too much space. It is made of high-quality stainless steel, making it quite durable. There are two variants of this stove.
The only difference is that one lets you add firewood without picking up the cookware. It is designed to get the most out of any fuel source and has high thermal efficiency.
The stove may not be the most modern, but its convenient use cannot be overlooked. Nobody looks forward to having an empty propane canister while out in the wild- so this stove can be a lifesaver. Just find some wood, set up the fire, and you are good to go. Also, wood is much cleaner than fossil fuel, and the canister they come in are no better.
The flame is highly adjustable and simmers splendidly. It is made of materials that are highly resistant to corrosion and rust. The four serrated supports hold all sizes of cookware without an issue. It can withstand high temperatures and pressure from cookware.
This stove is quite durable despite having an unbelievable price. If you want to cook complex meals for many people, then this is the best burner you can get.
It is also helpful to have in case of emergencies or as a backup. You would be more environmentally friendly when using wood instead of fossil fuels. Finally, the body of this stove has thick double-walled stainless steel, sits comfortably on patch surfaces. You can check Jetboil Mini cooking system Vs MSR WindBurner
Coleman Classic Gas Stove - Best Cheap/low budget Camping Stove
- Cooking power: Up to 20,000 total BTUs
- 2 adjustable burners: For precise temperature control
- Wind-blocking panels: Shield burners from wind
- Pressure regulator: Pressure-control technology for consistent performance, even in extreme conditions
- Runtime: Up to 1 hour on high on one 16.4 ounce propane cylinder (sold separately)
This is a simple and straightforward camping stove, which performs admirably across the board and is budget-friendly. It comes with adjustable windscreens providing excellent wind resistance. The windshields can also widen the cooking surface to accommodate larger pans.
It does not have features that blow you away but does everything you need a stove to do in a timely and proficient manner. It boils water fine, blocks strong winds, and simmers food splendidly despite not having the highest BTUs r boiling times.
This stove is satisfactory to many campers who do not want to spend too much on such an appliance. 10000 BTU per burner, you would think that it would take you eons to cook anything. However, that is not the case when strong winds are blowing, and in other variants without the wide windscreens, the flame is blown off.
There is a massive discrepancy in camping stoves when it is a calm day or windy. The downside to having such a compact stove is that you cannot use two large pans at the same time, and when you place two small ones at the same time, a hot spot occurs at the center.
Setting up a camping stove is easy, but the Coleman Classic takes it further with a fuel adapter that is easy to screw on. There is a hole-nesting the fuel adaptor, which collects bits of food over time. For that, you can remove the top cooking grate, letting you access the drip tray underneath for cleaning purposes.
Taking care of this stove is easy thanks to its simplistic design. Its portability is unmatched due to its compact size. The Coleman Classic is ideal for people who want something simple, that not a hustle to move around with.
Camp Chef Explorer Double Burner Stove - Best Value for Money
This camping stove makes light work of a meal, so do not let its price tag fool you. Even though it only has a single burner, you can buy three of them, and they will still surpass more expensive dual burners in many aspects. In other words, you can buy two of these at half the cost of many two-burner camping stoves.
Additionally, it has excellent simmer control; it is easy to take care of and transport. This single burner stove barely weighs over four pounds. A glaring downside to this stove the lack of wind protection, and it also requires butane rather than propane, which is more accessible.
On its own, it is not that great when you are cooking for a large group, but its affordability allows you to purchase more of it. This single burner is great for a small camp, and it is always good to have it around in case of emergencies.
It is an exceptional supplement to larger heaters. Its weight and compactness make up for the low cooking speed. After use, lift the drip pan for easy cleaning.
The flame turns off quickly in windy conditions, but you can work around the issue by adding some windscreen around the stove. Do not use it indoors, because butane creates harmful methane. Unlike most other camp stoves, this one has an auto-igniter dial. You will not have to worry about hurting your hand while removing a pot when the flame goes out.
Also, the control is comparatively accurate, and you can keep your food warm, which is a luxury while camping. For many camping stoves, you may boil water fast, but a low flame does not stay alight in most cases. With this one, you will not have burnt eggs or over-crisped bacon because the flame control on this little gem is fantastic.
MSR Pocket Rocket 2 - Best 2-Person Camping Stove
- Modular stove system includes WindBurner Stove, 2.5-liter ceramic-coated aluminum nonstick pot, and 8-inch ceramic-coated aluminum nonstick skillet
- Boils 1 liter of water in just 6.2 minutes
- System perfectly nests all components; stove is optimized for all WindBurner cookware
- Anti-topple stove features a remote canister design and self-centering pot
- Measures 8.5 x 8.5 x 6.25 inches; weighs 1 pound 13 ounces; manufacturer’s 3-year limited warranty; made in the USA
If you are aiming at traveling light and using minimum real estate on your travels, this is the stove for you. It comes with a carrying case, or you can as well slip it inside a coffee mug (if you wish), all thanks to its minuscule size. This latest version of the Pocket Rocket is now lighter and smaller than its predecessor.
The first version was one of the most popular canister stoves for many years, because of it being one of the smallest and lightest, so you can imagine. It is reliable, incredibly compact, and powerful. It is perfect for minimalists.
This stove is so small it even requires a wind clip windshield, which prevents the burner from being blown out by strong winds. The burner control is sizeable, so you will not have to worry about burning when finetuning the flame.
One MSR Isobutane canister lasts about 60 minutes (mostly affected by ambient temperature and altitude) at full output. It even has a windshield to ensure it still performs efficiently in windy conditions. A litter of water comes to boil in about 3 minutes.
It is easy to set up this stove; you do not have to prime, preheat, or pressurize it. This camping stove exceeds expectations, despite being barely noticeable in your backpack.
This is a compact and light camping stove with a large burner. It comes in at only 3.9 pounds complete, so you probably will not feel its dead weight in your backpack. It is not a burden to carry and can fit almost anywhere.
It works well with any butane or propane canisters, so you can find the fuel you need just about anywhere. All you need to do is fit it with any of the two canisters. Setting it up is so easy; the manufacturer sees no need adding a user manual for it.
Primus – Kinjia Stove
- LIGHT AND COMPACT - Weighing only 8.1 lbs, Kinjia is lighter, smaller, and more compact than most two burner stoves, and it does this without compromising performance or capacity.
- ROBUST - Made of die cast aluminium, coated heavy duty powder coating and detailed with a brass and oak carrying handle, this stove's robust design will ensure years of reliable service.
- CONVENIENT - Compact and lightweight, this stove is the perfect size to take with you on camping trips.
- EASY TO MAINTAIN - The grids and the drip tray are easily removed and can be machine washed, making cleanup easier than ever.
- HEAT OUTPUT - Each burner is capable of putting out 7,000 BTU’s (British Thermal Unit), giving you the same amount of heat as if you were cooking at home.
This camping stove features a rocket-like design, which lets you burn any dry organic matter. Such fuel is readily available in the wild in forms such as twigs, leaves, pinecones, and small pieces of wood. The design looks sleek and well made, a newbie backpacker and camper can readily get the most out of it. It uses secondary combustion, which essentially means that the fire is steady, and burns for longer.
It is made of high-quality stainless steel, making it strong enough to support heavyweights, as well as stand up to harsh weather conditions.
This stove gives as much energy as any gas-powered stove. As a result, you can boil water, cook food, and even warm the area you are sheltered. Setting it up is straightforward, and you do not need a manual for that. This portable stove is also collapsible, so it takes up little space.
The circular base is surprisingly stable on flat surfaces, and the three arms hold your pots up well. You can even adjust the clamps to hold onto small-sized cans. However, its best suited for the lone camper due to its low load-bearing capacity. It comes with a storage bag for you to store or transport the stove easily.
It is distinguished as a high performance, minuscule canister stove. What makes it stand out is its excellent performance in windy conditions. It still manages to keep the flame alight, while also being fuel-efficient. This is a full-featured model, having all you can expect in a canister of its weight plus much more.
It is easy to regulate, and you can make elaborate meals for a large group. Simmering with this camping stove is a breeze, thanks to it having a large burner head that distributes heat across the cookware better. It is so easy to work with it and can handle cookware larger than a liter.
The piezoelectric igniter works like a charm. The control valve is about 1.5 inches long, making it easy to regulate the gas, but large cookware can cause an obstruction. This stove will fire you up, whether you are an avid trail chief extraordinaire or simply want to boil some water in your backyard.
Given its performance in wind, efficiency, weight, and expediency in boiling, this is one of the best in the market without a doubt.
Are you in the marketing for the best camping stove? Well, to settle on the best one, you need to have criteria to follow. The following are some of the top factors to consider when looking for a top-rated camping stove:
Camping stoves comes in three main types. They are:
- Canister gas stoves
- Liquid fuel stoves
- Solid fuel camping stoves
Solid fuel ones are handy for very light duties like boiling water. One great attribute about them is the fact that using them is relatively simple. Their only drawback is that using them in high winds can be challenging if not impossible.
Liquid stoves burn different types of liquid fuels – from paraffin to petrol and solvents. These are excellent for longer expeditions. On top of boasting low running costs, you can also use them in remote places where fuel is scarce. They are the only choice for the higher altitude areas as their lower pressure does not affect them. You can use them in full winter conditions where the gas canisters might freeze up and lose pressure. One of their downsides is the fact that they need regular maintenance. Secondly, operating them is fiddly, although the modern ones hardly need the lengthy priming operations associated with the older ones.
Canister gas stoves stand out as the most popular choice. On top of being extremely simple to light, they also have great flame control. These range from heavy catering appliances to the incredibly lightweight burners. Literally, you can get a gas stove for every situation.
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Weight and Size
What is the main purpose of your camping stove? If you are searching for a stove for tailgate parties or outdoor grills, then the weight and size of the stove is normally not an issue. Some of the important things you need to consider in this regard is the number of people you intend to cook for and the kind of cooking you plan to do.
Most freestanding stoves are usually the larger ones with 2 – 3 burners. They offer more freedom in the sense that you can place them anywhere. On top of that, many of them have a larger cooking surface to accommodate bigger pots and a set of other accessories such as griddles or grill plates.
Freestanding stoves tend to be more accommodating for stockpots, especially if you desire to utilize a camping stove for the additional space when deep-frying or canning. You can use some freestanding stoves without legs. Although that might be the case, the legs normally detach for effortless storage and transportation.
You need to set up tabletop models on the ground or tailgate or a table. They are available from 1-3 burners. A compact burner usually is enough for four users. On the other hand, a single burner is enough for 2 people provided they keep their cooking basic or fast meals.
If you are looking for a camping stove to take hiking, then a smaller and lighter one is the best since you will need to carry a fuel canister. Ideally, the one that packs into a single package is better mainly if it features a spacious room to store a tiny pan with it.
The other factor you need to consider after the type of stove is its stability. If you have the misfortune of cooking full dinner on the floor, especially when out in the wild, then you understand how devastating it can be. Do you have little ones running around a camp? If yes, then it is prudent to avoid the lighter traveling camping stoves and settle for the heavier and stronger tabletop alternatives.
Efficiency and Power
Camping stove’s heat power is measured in British Thermal Units or BTUs. The BTU value is simply a measure of power. It represents the amount of energy that is needed to cool or heat one pound of water by 1-degree F.
The more BTUs your camping stove as, the more heat it puts out. Nonetheless, the stove design, burner size, air temperature, placement, and wind resistance all have an impact on the output of your stove. Therefore, it is important to always view the BTU output as the optimum output particularly if the weather is right.
Stove efficiency is simply how your stove is great at directing heat to the pot you have placed outside. Well, the more efficient it is, the less time it takes to boil, which also translates to less fuel needed.
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Many camping stoves run off propane. Some use butane, while others run on solid or liquid fuels. The best advantage of propane is the fact that it is clean burning and does not need pumping for pressure unlike many liquid fuels. Most importantly, it lights instantly. In addition to that, propane boasts a much lower boiling point compared to butane. It tends to perform better in colder climates. The only drawback is the fact that it starts to perform inconsistently when a tank is almost empty.
If you desire convenience, you need to go with a camping stove that features a button ignition. Buying such a stove keeps your eyebrows and fingers safer compared to if you were to settle for the conventional match ignition. The only downside of a button ignition is the fact that it comes at a price. Therefore, it is something you need to keep in mind when in the market for a camping stove.
Griddles, Grills, and Grate
The most common stoves have a single grate and two burners. Planning to do an array of cooking? If yes, then these are the best ones to choose from. They either come with a grill or tend to be compatible with griddle and grill attachments that you can buy separately. Some of the other accessories that you might want to buy are barbeque boxes and pizza ovens.
Simmer control is better on higher quality stoves. The quality of a simmer is highly important as it ensures you do not end up with scorched food or cold spots. A camping stove that is efficient at low heat goes miles to offer better fuel efficiency as well as save you tons of money in the long term.
Number of Burners
To some people, a two-burner stove is perfect. Others prefer the best lightweight stove which means that they are okay with only a single burner stove. If you are heading out for a group adventure, then it is prudent to settle for a three-burner stove. Three burner stoves offer a more cooking area but also take up more space. Three burner ones are also heavier. The number of burners is dependent not only on your travel style but also on the type of cooking you desire to do.
The last thing you want is to finish your long and tiresome day of hiking only to find out that the wind is too strong for your stove to cook anything. Therefore, you should consider wind performance when buying a camping stove. Since flames are sensitive to wind, many camping stoves feature a windshield on three sides. One of the most important features of a camping should be a windshield. In fact, they are an absolute must even if the weather seems to look perfect.
Just like with any other purchase, it is important to consider your budget. Having a budget is just the starting point. You must make sure that you stick to it no matter what. You do not want to spend a dime for something that you will only be using once a year. At the same time, you do not want to buy something on the cheap only for you to have to spend more money on the purchase of another. What you need to do is strike a balance between cost and benefits. Doing so will ensure you settle for a valuable camping stove at a reasonable price.
How To Get The Most Out Of Your Camping Stove
One of the most important things you need to do is to take your time to ensure you assemble a new stove before you use it. Doing this at home before heading out on a trip will prevent you from struggling because of things such as bad weather when out on a trip only for you to find a missing or faulty part.
Is your camping stove an old-timer? You should take some time and conduct a burn test before packing it for your trip on the road.
After returning from your trip, separate the fuel supply and check the fuel level. Is the tank empty? If yes, then you need to hook it back to the camping stove, turn it on and then leave the outdoors for the last bit of vapor and fuel to empty. Once the flames have died out on the stove, leave its tank open for a little longer to release the final vapors.
Once cold, shot the strove off and then disconnected the tank.
Note: It is also very useful to maintain a fuel backup if it is possible when on your road trip.
Whether you want to use your camping stove when spending a day on the beach or during a hiking trip, there is no limit to how much it can be of great help. If you want to melt snow by the mountainside or knock up a quick family meal on the campsite, you need to have the best camping stove.
After extensive research and countless hours of testing, we finally settled on Camp Chef Explorer 2 as the best camping stove from the countless ones available. In addition to being sturdy, and sizeable, you can use its cook-top space with or without its legs for unique versatility. Secondly, it has excellent simmer control.