Long gone are the days when camping equals eating gross, dehydrated foods. With the camping stoves on the market today you can cook meals just like you would if you were at home. Perfect for simple dinners as well as three-course meals, the greatest camping stoves can do it all. But just like other pieces of travel gear, the market is saturated with options which means that far too often people settle for low-quality products and end up being disappointed. We’re here to fix that. Read on to discover what to look for in a portable camping stove and which ones we consider to be the best.
Comparison Table of the Best Camping Stoves
Below is a list of the best portable camping stoves. Click on the name to read reviews and check prices.
What to Look for in a Good Camping Stove
There are several types of camping stoves on the market to fit every travel personality, so here’s what you need to keep in mind when you’re searching for your next camping stove…
1. Burner Power
The heat output will be measured in BTUs, or British Thermal Units. For some, this is the main consideration when purchasing a camping stove because higher BTUs means cooking more food faster.
2. Fuel Type
Most camping stoves you’ll see run on propane. This fuel works well in most conditions and is easy to find. However, as temperatures start to drop below freezing, you will see its performance begin to diminish. If you tend to do a lot of four-season camping, then you’ll want to choose a liquid fuel stove. White gas will give you the best results in harsh conditions, but you may have a hard time finding a full-size stove. Butane is also a great option for three-season camping. If you’re not interested in being bothered with fuel, then just go for the best wood camping stove option.
3. Grate, Grills, and Griddles
The most common stove you’re likely to see will have two burners and a single grate. If you want to do a variety of cooking, be sure to look out for stoves that either include a grill or are compatible with grill and griddle attachments which you can purchase separately. Some other fun attachments you may want to consider are pizza ovens and barbecue boxes.
4. Ignition Type
If you’re looking for convenience, go with a button ignition. This will keep your fingers and eyebrows safer than if you were to go with the traditional match ignition. But the button ignition does come at a price, so that is something to keep in mind when you’re shopping for a camping stove.
5. Number of Burners
For some, two burner stoves are perfect. While others just want the best lightweight camp stove, meaning they’ll probably be okay with only one burner. Others still, who are going on a group adventure will likely be in the market for a three-burner stove. Obviously the three burner stoves give you more cooking area, but they also take up more space and are heavier. The number of burners which will work best for you is dependent on your travel style and what type of cooking you want to do.
6. Simmer Ability
When you spend more money on a higher quality stove, the simmer control is likely to be better. Simmer control is very important so you don’t end up with cold spots or scorched food. A stove that’s efficient at low heat will also offer better fuel efficiency and save you money in the long run.
7. Stove Type
The two types of camping stoves on the market are freestanding and tabletop. The one that works best for you will definitely be dependent on your travel style. Freestanding stoves are typically larger and have a higher output. They usually stand on four legs which are removable for convenience. If you’re heading to the backcountry, then a freestanding stove is likely not the one for you due to weight. These stoves are generally heavier, so they’re great for car camping and cooking for groups. Tabletop stoves are typically more lightweight and easier to transport, but they can be limited when it comes to cooking performance and power.
8. Weight / Size
If your car will be within walking distance, then weight and size probably won’t be a big concern. But if you’re backpacking or have limited space in your camping tent, then you should really be concerned about size. The more burners, the larger the stove will be and the more it will weigh. If you’re going backpacking then you know every pound is crucial. If you’re heading to the backcountry, we’d recommend trying to keep the weight around or under 10 pounds. Some of the freestanding stoves can be more than 30 pounds, which is fine if you’re car camping, but not if you have to hike with it.
9. Wind Performance
It would be terrible to finish a long day of hiking only to discover the wind is too strong for your stove and you can’t cook anything. Because flames are so sensitive to wind, many stoves will have a windshield on three sides. Windshields are an absolute must even if the weather forecast looks perfect.
Best Camping Stove Reviews
Now that you have in mind what you need, we’ve laid out the different options for you below.
Camp Chef Everest 2-Burner Camp Stove
Burners: 2 x 20,000 BTUs
Weight: 12 lbs.
Thought to be the best 2-burner camp stove on the market, Camp Chef Everest offers all the heat you need while only weighing 12 pounds. It has a matchless ignition system and two high-pressure 20,000 BTU burners. The heat control dials are completely adjustable and it has a three-sided wind barrier. The steel cooking grate is more than strong enough to hold your pots and pans and the stainless steel drip tray makes cleaning up a breeze. It measures 13.5″ x 23.5″ x 4″, and it has a locking lid and convenient handle to make it easy to carry to your campsite. The weight and compactibility make the Camp Chef Everest a no-brainer for your next camping trip.
Camp Chef Explorer 2-Burner Camp Stove
Burners: 2 x 30,000 BTUs
Weight: 36 lbs.
When it comes to versatility, this is one of the best camping stoves you’ll find. This stove is just the baseline as you can mix and match a variety of Blue Flame Camp Chef accessories to complete your outdoor kitchen. A barbecue box, grill griddle, and dutch oven are only some of the choices you can add to this camping stove. Each of the cast aluminum burners offer 30,000 BTUs and you’ll have a total of 448 square inches of cooking space. The stove stands at 29 inches, but the legs are detachable for tabletop use and adjustable for use on uneven ground. Additional features include a three-sided wind screen, a regulator, and a three-foot hose. The Camp Chef Explorer 2-Burner measures 34″ x 9.5″ x 16.25″ and weighs 30.5 pounds. Great for camping, tailgating, emergency preparedness, and more, this stove can offer 15 hours of cooking time on one 20-pound propane tank. Choose the Camp Chef Explorer 2-Burner and enjoy the outdoors with a full belly.
Coleman Classic Propane Stove
Burners: 2 x 10,000 BTUs
Weight: 12 lbs.
A household name when it comes to outdoor products, Coleman has another star product in this camping stove. This durable, rust-resistant stove offers 20,000 BTUs of cooking power and is able to simultaneously fit a 10-inch and 12-inch pan. The two burners are individually adjustable. Some of the technology this stove uses, like the PerfectFlow and PerfectHeat technologies, are part of what makes this stove stand out. PerfectFlow is a pressure control technology that allows for consistent performance by providing steady heat regardless of whether the fuel is low, you’re at a high altitude, or the temperatures have dropped. PerfectHeat delivers more effective cooking heat to the food while using less fuel thanks to the fuel combustion process. Using a 16.4-ounce propane cylinder, this stove can last for one hour with both burners on high. If you’re searching for the best propane camp stove, don’t overlook the Coleman Classic Propane Stove.
Stansport Outfitter Series 3-Burner Propane Stove
Burners: 2 x 25,000 BTUs; 1 x 10,000 BTUs
Weight: 16 lbs.
Whether you’re cooking for a group or just enjoy cooking several things at once, this Stansport stove is the superstar when it comes to 3-burner camping stoves. The two outside burners give off 25,000 BTUs while the middle one offers 10,000 BTUs. Each of the outside burners has its own individual windscreen to keep the heat focused on your pot or pan. The burners are easily controllable to keep your food cooking at your preferred temperature. The stainless steel drip tray makes for quick and easy cleaning after each meal. On top of all of that, this is a really cool looking stove that you’ll love having with you on your future camping trips.
Jetboil Base Camp Stove System
Burners: 2 x 10,000 BTUs
Weight: 9 lbs. 14 oz.
When you’re on the hunt for the best portable camping stove, it’s inevitable that you’ll come across the Jetboil Base Camp Stove. It folds down and comes with a storage bag to help with easy portability. Each burner has a heat output of 10,000 BTUs and the stove has an engineered valve for advanced simmer control. There’s also a reliable and convenient level igniter. The Jetboil Base Camp Stove only weighs around six pounds and can boil a liter of water in around three minutes. It’s among the best car camping stove choices you’ll find, and it’ll work perfectly whether you’re setting up camp in Big Sur or taking some time to caravan through the UK. Another convenient feature is the Jetlink™ port which allows you to expand the cooking system and provide fuel to compatible stoves and Luna satellite burners. A great way to double your camp cooking output is by choosing the Jetboil Base Camp Stove.
MSR WindBurner Stove Combo System
Weight: 1 lb. 13 oz.
Doubling as the best camping stove for backpacking, the MSR WindBurner Stove Combo System offers an all-in-one stove and cookware system which makes cooking outdoors simpler than ever. It operates with maximum efficiency as the heat exchanger and radiant burner deliver faster boil times and more fuel efficiency. It’s also in the running for the best winter camping stove thanks to its windproof performance. The enclosed design and internal pressure regulator work together to make the stove virtually unaffected by weather. Packing and assembly are easier than ever because the system sits inside the pot. Weighing less than one pound, the MSR WindBurner Stove Combo System is an ideal option for all outdoor adventures.
Coleman Triton Series 2-Burner Stove
Burners: 2 x 11,000 BTUs
Weight: 10 lbs. 2 oz.
Designed with rugged cooking conditions in mind, the Coleman Triton Series stands out for its durable construction and large cooking area. The stove measures 21” x 12.5” x 4.25” and can fit a 12-inch and 10-inch pan at the same time. The heat output is 11,000 BTUs per burner and the PerfectHeat Technology ensures the temperature is just right. The heat controls are independently adjustable and allow you to choose heat settings anywhere between simmer and boil, with the average boil time being around three minutes. The Coleman Triton Series is also liked for its fuel efficiency, it has a one-hour run time on high when using a 16.4-ounce propane cylinder. It’s lightweight and has a built-in handle for carrying, making it an easy choice when you have to pick a camping stove.
Camp Chef Tahoe 3 Burner Stove
Burners: 3 x 30,000 BTUs
Weight: 43 lbs.
The Camp Chef Tahoe is going to be your best choice if you’re cooking for a group. No matter how many people you’re camping with, this stove can handle it. This stove has three 30,000 BTU burners and 608 square inches of cooking area. The heat-control dials are fully adjustable and the burner housing limits cold and hot spots while also allowing for extra wind protection. The grill stands at 30 inches high, but the legs are removable for convenience. The Camp Chef Tahoe features a matchless ignition and includes a regulator and hose. What many people love about this stove is that it’s compatible with other accessories like grills, griddles, and pizza ovens. This is the perfect highlight to your outdoor cooking station and truly an ideal stove for all of your group outings.
Gas One GS-3000 Portable Gas Stove
Burners: 1 x 9,000 BTUs
Weight: 3.3 lbs.
Even though it’s small, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see this stove among the best petrol camping stove options. It measures 13.5” x 11.2” x 4.4” and has an output of 9,000 BTUs. It’s easy to use and can be transported almost effortlessly. The Gas One GS-3000 Portable Gas Stove operates using eight-ounce butane canisters, which are surprisingly inexpensive. It also boasts several safety features to ensure your trip doesn’t go up in flames. The automatic safety shut off feature will shut off the gas flow when irregular pressure or flow is detected, while the built-in cartridge ejection system will eject the butane fuel canister for the same reasons. Along with being lightweight at only 3.3 pounds, it’s also sleek and looks great, so it’s hard to argue against it being the best ultralight camp stove. For a light, simple, and powerful stove, go with the Gas One GS-3000 Portable Gas Stove.
Eureka Gonzo Grill Cook System
Burners: 1 x 10,000 BTUs
Weight: 14 lbs. 3 oz.
The Eureka Gonzo Grill Cook System exhibits versatility at its finest. You’ll be able to choose from endless food combinations as this system includes a stove, grill, and griddle, making it the best camp stove grill combo on the market. The burner offers 10,000 BTUs and the advanced simmer control has four full turns of flame control so you can cook exactly the way you want to. It was designed to ensure your food doesn’t dry out or get scorched by preventing hot spots and maximizing radiant heat transfer. There’s even a port that allows you to connect multiple Eureka and/or Jetboil grills or stoves running from a single propane fuel source. It measures 13.75” x 11” and weighs just over 14 pounds, so it’s not great for backpacking but it is the best camp stove for car camping. No matter what food you’re in the mood for, the Eureka Gonzo Grill Cook System will have you covered.
You should never underestimate the benefit of having a quality camping stove. This investment is one your stomach will definitely thank you for later. When you choose any of the best camping stoves from our list you can be sure you’ll be happy and full on your next camping trip as you explore the great outdoors.
Jacques Tyrell says
Nice list! Although I would prefer stoves that are lightweight and have room for alternate sources of fuel like wood so we wouldn’t have to worry about carrying too many canisters or tanks during the trip.