When you go camping and use a tent, you have two choices for cooking. You either cook over an open campfire or you invest in a camping stove. Cooking over an open fire can be lots of fun and entertaining to a degree.
However, when you want to get something made quickly and easily, a camping stove is what you need. It can also be used to heat water for showers if you lack a solar camping shower.
Food will be necessary if you go out for days at a time. There are many different things you can take with you for food—canned food, frozen product if you have a portable freezer, or simply hunting and fishing.
While a fire can be enjoyable, it won’t be satisfying enough to curb your appetite. If you want something heavy and hardy, you need a stove.
What to Look For
All stoves are different and perform differently. There are many factors between each that are common and range from bad to great. Whether or not you’re looking for one for your first camping trip or if you’re a seasoned adventurer, we’ll tell let you know which ones measure up to today’s standard.
This is one of the most important factors when it comes to any item used for camping. Nature isn’t always kind and the roads we may take are often rough. Items need to be able to stand up to the roughness to be satisfactory.
Freestanding vs. Table Top
These two options are the most common for portable stoves. Whether or not you want it on a different surface to take out or have a sturdy enough table to hold a large cooking apparatus. The freestanding stoves are often better than tabletop ones considering they can damage your furniture or other camping items.
British Thermal Units (BTUs) or Calorie
The British thermal unit is a traditional unit of heat and heat production. It is the amount of heat that is needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
If you have a Celsius measurement, there is the calorie, which is the same, only it is one gram of water to one degree of Celsius. The higher the BTU or Calorie, the hotter it will get.
Number of Burners
How many people will you be cooking for? If it’s just for you, then only one burner would be sufficient. Some come with two burners, and there are some with up to four. Depending on your camping group’s size, you might need more than one.
Then again, you can just make your friends and family wait their turn, too!
Never leave your stove on! After you’re finished cooking your meals, be sure to extinguish all fires and cool down the heat while keeping an eye on it.
Forest fires are easy to start in the summer and can become raging, uncontrollable fireballs that ravage your favorite campground. Be sure to prevent what you can and do your part.
Get a food thermometer. You don’t want your food burning or being too cold, so be sure to stick it in whatever food you’re making, whether it’s soup or a freshly-thawed hunk of steak. Keep in mind that you’ll need to know specific temperatures, of course, but food thermometers are always beneficial.
Don’t burn yourself. When dealing with portable stoves, it’s easy to get an injury from stoves, especially if their burners are open. Never handle hot pots or food with your bare hands, so be sure to bring a mitten or a pot holder with you.
Camp Chef Outdoor Camp Oven
When it comes to camp cooking in style, this is the one for you. It is powered with a disposable 1-pound propane can or adaptable for a bulk tank (adapter sold separately). It can cook for up to 5 hours on high heat with one 1-pound can of propane. It features matchless igniter range burners and oven. It’s perfect for campers with a big family to feed without taking all day to get it done.
- Two matchless igniter range burners that get to 7,500 BTU
- Matchless igniter internal oven that rises to 3,000 BTU
- Built-in thermometer
- Cooks up to 5 hours on one pound can of propane
Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill
While this might seem to be just a grill, it also has griddle and stove burner add-ons that you can replace the grill grate with. Like the other Coleman products, it has special mechanisms to assist in its performance like PerfectFlow, which assists in consistency. It is easy to transport and roll around, even if you’re doing more than camping.
- Swaptop interchangeable cooktops
- Collapsible stand
- Sliding side tables
- Easy to transport and clean
GASONE Dual Fuel Propane & Butane Stove
This beautiful camping stove will make all the other campers jealous because of its shiny and hi-tech appearance. Not only can this stove burn propane, but it can burn butane as well. Its stainless steel body proves its durability and will last for years and years to come. There are even mechanisms to keep you safe from gas leaks! Be sure to only use it outside, however.
- Dual Fuel system
- Non-stick BBQ grill
- Two burners providing 8,000 BTU each
- Built-in cartridge ejection system
- Gas flow cut-off mechanism
Basecamp Angle Iron Camping Stove
While simple and elegant, this iron camping stove will get the job done. Simple doesn’t mean bad, though. BaseCamp brings us a durable, iron stove that connects to a propane tank that provides two burners with 30,000 BTU. It does not come with a hose, however, so keep in mind that you will have to purchase one separately.
- Two 15,000 BTU burners
- Knobs to adjust heat distribution
- Adjustable legs
- Wielded frame
Stansport Propane Stove
Stansport makes a lot of camping gear and this is a great stove to go along with them. This two-burner stainless steel stove will last a long time and will cook your food as well as any. The cooking grate supports many pots, from smaller ones to heavier ones, making it one of the best for being so durable. The windscreens will keep the breeze away from your food and is big enough to handle all your cooking needs.
- Two burners at 25,000 BTU each
- Control valves
- High altitude pressure regulator
- Operates with 1-pound propane cylinder
Camp Chef Explorer Range
If you don’t have a table top to set your camp stove up on, don’t worry because this one has legs of its own. This stove is not only great to use for camping, but can also double as a backup emergency stove at home if you have a long power outage. The appliance-style knobs will be easy to adjust and move temperature. One twenty-pound tank will keep your stove going for 15 hours.
- 2 Cast Aluminum Burners at 30,000 BTU each
- 448 Square inch cooking area
- Regulator and 3-foot hose for bulk propane tank
Coleman Perfect Flow Grill Stove
If you need something more than a stove and want to get some grilling done, this 2-in-1 stove is the perfect fit for you. Coming with Coleman’s wind block panels, it will help shield your burners from wind. With the technology imbued to make it consistent and efficient, this grill will not let you down and will give you the perfect meal each time.
- 2 Independently adjustable burners
- Removable grease tray for easy cleaning
- 20,000 BTU in total
- 3 Year Limited warranty
Coleman Dual Fuel Compact Liquid Fuel Stove
Coleman has long been a leading name when it comes to camping equipment—their camp stoves are no exception. This particular Coleman stove model operates on clean-burning Coleman Fuel or unleaded gas and one tank gives you two hours of burn time. It is small and its compact size makes it easy to pack.
- 7,500 BTU Burner
- 6,500 BTU Burner
- Runs on Coleman Fuel or Unleaded Gas
- Boil quart of water in four minutes
Camp Chef Mountain Stove
Many people love different environments when camping. From the woods to the mountains, everyone has their own enjoyments. For those that like to go high into the mountains, there are specific items you need for doing it and stoves are no exception. At high altitudes, you need a higher pressure to get the propane flowing. While this stove can be used on the patio or in the woods, it is a great option for mountain camping as well with its versatility and high pressure.
- Two high output burners at 20,000 BTUs each
- Stainless steel drip tray
- Powerful burners fight windy conditions
- Matchless ignition
- Fully adjustable heat-control dials
Solo Stove Campfire
Not all stoves need to be battery-operated or liquid-fueled. Some just need a bit of firewood to get started. Solo Stove is one of the best wood-burning stoves on the market, according to hundreds of reviewers. It comes with some great stainless steel cookware to cook on it as well. The design makes it so that the fuel burns more completely and with less smoke.
- Double wall creates ultra-clean gasification and secondary combustion
- Eliminates need to carry heavy, expensive canisters
- Compact design nests inside pots
- Uses twigs, leaves, wood, and other organics as fuel
- Nylon stuff sack included
GASONE Portable Gas Stove
If you’re looking for more of a personal stove, we’ve got you covered. This single-burner gas stove is fit for one or two people while still retaining a proper temperature to cook food at. It has all the features that make a portable stove great, including a safety shut-off system. The carrying case makes it easy to move around with.
- Completely portable with carrying case
- One burner provides 9,000 BTU.
- Optional wind screen
- Piezo electric starter for matchless lighting