One part of camping that is often underrated is enjoying a warm meal.
While there is nothing wrong with cold beef jerky, a warm meal can give you the boost you need at the end of a tiring day of climbing or trekking.
A reliable stove helps you stay warm with a hot cup of tea in the morning, or rice and chicken in a pot in the evening. A hot meal gives better nutrition, which is important due to the physical exertion from all the weight carrying and rigorous activities you may undertake during the day.
It also helps when your body temperature gets cold, which can easily happen at night if you camp during spring, autumn or winter.
- PORTABLE GAS STOVE COOKER BRUNER CAMPING GARDEN + 4 BUTANE...
- EASY TO CARRY - The base camp stove gas comes with a sturdy...
- SAFETY LOCKING MECHANISM - The gas burner camping stove is...
- ENAMEL PAN HOLDER - Cooking with a pan or a pot on the gas...
- ADJUSTABLE TEMPERATURE - The camp gas cooker has a simple...
- Compact and powerful: Easy to use table cooker (2200 W) with...
- Maximum safety: The enhanced cartridge safety locking system...
- Practical design and protection: Runs on Campingaz gas...
- Worldwide availability: Campingaz has a global distribution...
- Dimensions: 33 x 28 x 9 cm; gas consumption 160 g/h; running...
- Powerful: Two high-performance, fully adjustable 1.5 kW...
- Compact and practical: Easy to use gas cooker with push and...
- Enhanced design: The lid covers the cook top for protection...
- Worldwide availability: Runs on Campingaz gas cylinders...
- Size (open/closed): 60 x 40 x 35 / 59.5 x 32.5 x 8.5 cm, gas...
1. Best Multi-purpose Stove
Key features: A highly efficient, compact stainless steel wood-burning stove
The Solo Stove Woodburner cleanly cooks foods using burning wood as fuel.
It is designed to produce a powerful flame that quickly boils water, grills burgers, roasts marshmallows and handles other stove tasks efficiently.
It is the perfect compromise between compactness, portability, price and performance.
This model has a unique burn cycle and secondary combustion for a more complete burn with a hotter fire and less smoke.
The stove has a standard cooking ring, with a folding/removeable three-litre bail, a nichrome wire grate to hold fuel and aid airflow, and an ash pan to collect ash and prevent ground scorch.
One litre of water can be boiled in under five minutes and the double-walled body is insulating yet lightweight.
As well as cooking, the Solo Stove doubles as a good general camp fire to sit around, providing enough heat to warm your hands and toes.
In terms of starting the fire, this stove is brilliant. It starts with ease first time, every time. Even soaking wet wood pulled out of the rain can be used to burn, which is unusual for most campfires.
Although it takes up quite a lot of space in a backpack, it is actually quite light, weighing in at 2.6 kilograms. Best suited to cooking for four people, the stove comes with a carry bag that fits everything into it.
The stove itself is a stainless steel canister that is easy to clean. The only gripe would be that it consumes fuel quickly so you may find yourself needing to interrupt cooking to refuel.
If you’re looking for a compact burner that is safe, contains the fire, and produces hardly any smoke, look no further.
2. Best for Groups (4-6)
Summary: A convenient table top stove with two strong burners for speedy cooking.
The Campingaz Series Xcelerate stove has a functional design that allows the user to cook multiple dishes at the same time.
It is equipped with two powerful burners with 1.5W each and a downward radiant burner with 1.5W.
You can cook two meals on the burners on top and grill a slab of meat or toast a slice of bread at the same time (in theory).
The top burners heat up pretty quickly and cook food efficiently.
Besides that, the flame is protected from the wind on one side with the metal lid that acts as a windbreak.
A downside is that it only protects one side (the back of the unit), which is not great if the wind shifts.
The stove is not hugely lightweight but it does fold flat like a briefcase when you have finished cooking, with handles for added convenience for storage and transportation.
The piezo igniter allows for matchless ignition and the stainless steel makes for easy cleaning and a rust-free life guaranteed.
You can use butane gas, but propane burns too hot and could melt parts of the system. Simply connect from your bottle via a tough hose and use a regulator to keep things safe.
The toaster is a nice idea but doesn’t bring much to the table thanks to a flawed design.
Our biggest issue is the construction quality. Although it works extremely well when left constructed on a flat surface, the plastic underneath appears flimsy, the plastic knobs feel cheap and the rubberised ring around them rotates – so you might think they’re turning but they aren’t.
Summary: A compact stove that offers multiple cooking options.
Campingaz has been around for a long time and they are known for their stove quality, and the Campingaz party grill 200 is no exception.
With this stove, you can choose between cooking with the interchangeable stove top – a cooker, grilling grid, and griddle. So cook stew or soup, grill your barbecue, and use the griddle for your pancakes and bacon, all in one day.
The best part is that at the end of the day, all these elements and some other parts can fit inside the stove.
The detachable stands are also a big plus. They are used on a flat surface for support and can easily be assembled/disassembled and afterwards stored within the water compartment of the grill. The total weight of all these parts is 3.4kg.
Safety was also considered. It is equipped with a protective lockable lid that clicks on the top of the stove. Powerwise, it doesn’t disappoint and can boil one litre of water in just about four minutes with it’s 2000W.
The water compartment doesn’t only store the stands, its primary work is to prevente grease and other oils from sticking to the stove. But sadly, the coating doesn’t last long, therefore defeating the whole ‘non-stick’ idea.
Another downside is the lighter. While it comes with an automatic lighter, we advise that you take yours with you because the lighter doesn’t work 100% of the time.
3. Best for Fighting the Elements
Summary: A solidly built and stable stove that delivers heat and fuel efficiency even in wind and rain
Jetboil is a leading camp stove brand whose major selling point is in the name. Their stoves are easy to light and heat up super fast.
This revolutionary Minimo stove system offers fast boiling and is more fuel efficient than most camping stoves.
Recent updates include a new valve design, convenient push-button igniter and lower spoon angle to make eating straight from the cup that much easier.
The beauty of the new valve and regulator is that the user can boil or simmer, with much more control than previous editions.
An internal pressure regulator combined with heat exchangers help users to get the most out of the gas canister.
The FluxRing heat exchanger provides excellent fuel efficiency by enabling evenly spread heat and faster cooking times.
Its design takes into account the likelihood of adverse weather conditions (this is camping after all), so the flame is covered as much as possible.
Jetboil supply a cartridge tripod for extra stability that can be stored snugly inside the lid.
Other bonuses are the measuring cup and fuel canister stabiliser. The insulating drink-through lid, on top means that food keeps warm, allowing you to go back for hot seconds.
As well as being quick to heat up, the compact nature of the product and relatively low weight make for a great camping companion.
To top it all off, they even throw in a MiniMo-sized coffee press, hanging kit and pot support.
The Jetboil Minimo may not be cheap but we reckon it is worth every penny.
Summary: A tough and stable camping stove that offers incredible value for money
Similar in many ways to the above Jetboil Minimo, the Fire-Maple 2020 Star comes in at about half the price.
Although it looks pretty jazzy, this stove is nothing but a functional, easy-to-use, camping wonder.
At a mere 600 grams, it won’t weigh you down as you hike to camp and it packs down into itself, including a small canister. The handle can then be used to secure the lid when everything is packed away.
Thanks to its slightly shorter and wider build, making boil in the bag meals is a whole lot easier. The stabiliser is thoughtfully designed to help with uneven ground and gusty weather.
It offers the same level of flame control as the Jetboil, with the ability to boil a litre of water in three minutes or simmer food lightly for an extended period of time.
A detachable pot rack is included for when using another pot or pan and a cannister stabiliser leg system provides additional stability.
The pot stand works well but there is a definite need for a separate wind shield when not using the fixed pot.
The cup or pan secure nicely to the stove top and are just the right depth to make cooking easy.
The insulation isn’t great though, meaning food or water would need to be decanted rather than eating/drinking straight from the pot.
Something that sets this apart from the Jetboil is the strong fixed handle, the pan adaptor and a free titanium spork.
Both butane and propane gas cannisters can be used but are not included in the package price.
Tough, light and incredible value for money, this stove won’t let you down.
4. Best on a Budget
Summary: A compact fast cooker that is affordable and easy to clean.
The Terra Hiker camping gas stove packs 3500W that generates a lot of heat to boil one litre of water in just two minutes or cook your meal in a matter of minutes; this also helps save fuel.
It can be used for a group of campers because it supports utensils of up to 18l, and the integrated windscreen will keep you cooking with no wind disturbance.
This stove occupies very little space and is pretty lightweight. Despite its size, it is quite sturdy due to the mixture of aluminium alloy and stainless steel in its make-up. This makes for an easy to clean stove that is resistant to corrosion and highly durable.
It features an igniting knob that is easy to use but needs extra care due to its position.
The heat can be adjusted with the flame adjusting knob. Another great thing this stove offers is the low gravity centre and the serrated stands that provide stable support.
The stove runs on isobutane-propane but you can also use butane-propane.
Summary: A stove that delivers good value at a great price.
Not only does this camping stove come at a lower price than most, it is almost the best portable gas stove currently available.
Liquid gas is used to power the stove which makes it highly economical. It features a piezo igniter, handy carry case, and a sturdy design with a fixed enamel pan support and hard plastic case. This makes it easy to hike or travel with it.
The sturdy design is also great for users who want to cook for a group of 2-3 or place big pans on the stove.
On the downside, it’s not as fast compared to other camping stoves; it takes about six minutes to boil a litre of water. However, for £10/£15, it does a lot.
One part of this stove that stands out is the cartridge safety locking system that prevents the stove from being accidentally turned on. It also helps the user to correctly and safely insert cartridges.
Summary: A compact and lightweight stove that uses different fuel sources.
The best thing about the Forfar camping stove is the versatile fueling. It makes use of any natural fuel you have at hand, including leaves, wood, twigs, solidified alcohol, and charcoal. This helps you save on the cost of fuel.
In addition, it comes with a storage drawstring bag that can fit easily in a backpack with a total weight of only 350g. The user can hike, climb hills, or perform other rigorous activity and not feel the weight of the stove.
This stove is made of rustproof and durable stainless steel for easy cleaning and long-lasting use. Compared to most natural fuel stoves, it has a longer burning time – 25 minutes at best – before the user has to feed it extra fuel. As long as fuel is constantly fed in, it can last for up to an hour or more.
To get the best out of the stove, solidified alcohol should be used in conjunction with other fuel sources, or as the primary fuel.
Although it’s sturdy, the metal arms for supporting the pot are extremely thin. While there have been no complaints from users so far, it’s advisable that you don’t place a heavy pot on it. As you keep to that, also note that very small solo pots would not work due to the large opening of the stove.
Another gripe is that it needs to be cleared out frequently to get air flow around the fuel. The stove also gets very hot due to its stainless steel material so you have to be careful when carrying it and wait a while before you can pack it.
5. Best Tent Stove
To be used safely inside a fire retardant tent…
Summary: A tent stove that is compact and packs a lot of heat.
The DWD stove works marvellously to cook meals while keeping you warm at the same time.
This stove – like any other tent stove – can only be used in a fire retardant canvas or poly-cotton tent that is adapted for a flue.
The stove is lightweight and can be folded up, and easily carried with the provided handle. The sturdy legs easily hold down on the ground and the flue can be disassembled into sections after use, and stored inside the stove.
This is great for portability, but it’s not so light that a user can backpack with it at a whopping 10 kg. If you are with your car though, the stove is a great idea since it serves two purposes – warmth and food.
It’s a little messy to clean up, but once you get that out of the way, every other thing is a breeze. One great thing about this stove is that it produces a lot of heat which is great for cooking a good British army stew.
There is also enough space for two pans to be placed on top of the stove at the same time. Better heat can be gotten by removing the lid and cooking directing on the stove.
In addition, the user can also buy a water heater (kettle) that can be placed to touch the flue and boil water faster.
You have to be careful with bodily contact though, and also protect the tent floor with a spark arrestor to prevent stray embers from melting the floor of the tent or burning anything else.
6. Best Solar Stove
Summary: A solar stove that retains flavours and cooks efficiently
Bake, roast, steam and sauté with this environmentally friendly portable oven.
The HMLIGHT Solar Cooker requires no fuel or electricity – just good old natural sunshine.
Heat is trapped in the vacuum tube and rays are reflected in by the surrounding panels.
The reflector is flexible, allowing the user to be efficient with available sunlight.
In fine weather, with a reflectivity of almost 96%, the working temperature can reach 270 °C – enough to cook meat and boil soup.
That said, we think that cooking soup in this would be a logistical (and messy) nightmare.
The 304 food-grade stainless steel baking tray and tube stretches around 60 centimetres in length.
Though it can’t be folded down smaller than this, the panels do close in around the tube to make a neat little package.
The bonus of these types of stove is that the ingredients’ flavours and nutrients are retained, and the food is cooked from a 360° angle. So even if you forget out about it, you won’t end up with charred veggies.
Because there are no open flames or smoke, it can be used in dry areas, parks, fields and beaches. The vacuum surrounding the inner tube provides insulation to keep the food piping hot but the outside cool.
Not only does this avoid burning the ground, but it also makes it a great option when you’ve got little kids running around.
Compared to some other solar stoves, this stove heats up quickly even in cold weather – as long as the sun is shining.
The total weight of the stove is just under four kilograms – a major plus when that’s all you need to carry, thanks to the lack of fuel cans.
The cooking tube has a capacity of three kilograms – enough for a maximum of three people’s meals. This does is a major limitation if you’re going camping with a big group.
It is convenient to carry with no fiddly parts to attach and can be cleaned with a dish brush and hot water. Cleaning is even easier when a sheet of wax paper is inserted under the food.
Summary: A fuel-free option that cooks enough to feed a large family
The Tongliang Portable BBQ and Grill is another environmentally friendly option that works in exactly the same way as the HMLIGHT Solar Cooker.
The capacity of each tube is around 1.3 litres and the product’s dimensions are 61x23x22 centimetres – meaning it is pretty small and lightweight when compared to most of the other products in our lineup.
In decent weather, it is possible to cook a meal in as little as 25 minutes..
While cooking, the user doesn’t need to flip the food to get it uniformly cooked and you simply cannot burn your dinner. Just set a timer and leave it to do its thing whilst you do yours.
This versatile stove works as a three-in-one system that can be used as a cooker, grill, and oven.
Inside the tubes, temperatures can hit 290°C in full sunlight – enough to cook meat, boil soup and steam vegetables.
Needless to say, on a cloudy day with low sunlight, it takes longer – though is still useable. Only on overcast, rainy days will you need to reconsider your meal plans.
As with all solar barbecues, this is by far the biggest downside.
However, the one-up that it has on the HMLIGHT Solar Cooker above is that the double tube model can cook twice as much food in one go.
This means that it is possible to create a meal for up to six people with half as much waiting around.
The solar vacuum chamber provides a near-perfect layer of insulation, keeping the heat in and cold out – so your food doesn’t cool down every time a cloud rolls past.
The stove needs to be cleaned after every use with warm water, but washing it takes more time than other solar stoves due to its dual-tube construction.
What to look out for in a camp cooking stove
If you drove to your camping spot and you plan on cooking close to your car, a camping stove could serve you.
They are similar to home stove burners, so you can cook more complicated meals on them. If your camping group is more than four, these stoves are also appropriate because you can cook bigger meals faster on them. They are quite durable too.
On the other hand, a backpacking stove is for you if you plan on hiking to your camping spot or you park your car more than one kilometre away from where you prepare your meals. You can still use them if you cook close to your car though.
They are not as heavy as the car camping stoves and are easier to carry. You’d also save more on fuel, but they are not as durable as the car camping stoves.
Tent stoves are mainly used to stay warm, but most models have been made to cook as well. They are a great option if it’s raining or snowing outside. Note, you can only use them with fire retardant tents.
Type of Fuel
There are three major fuel types you can choose from. A canister containing either propane or butane, or a mixture of both, liquid fuel, and alternative fuel sources like fuel pellets or wood.
While propane is easy to use and low maintenance, they are inefficient when the canister is almost empty.
They also take time to warm up if exposed to cold. In addition, they burn fast and emit carbon monoxide, which is not safe or eco-friendly. Although, in the open, there is not much risk.
Liquid fuel can run during any weather and it’s more eco-friendly. Using them also cuts down your cost on fuel and they are more accessible, but they require more maintenance and one single liquid fuel bottle weighs more than one single fuel canister.
Wood-burning stoves are great. You don’t have to carry the extra weight of a fuel bottle with you and it totally removes the cost of fuel from you. However, you can’t use them everywhere. A wet environment or rocky and sandy area with no available wood (except if you carry yours) will pose problems. Some camping sites have restrictions to their use too.
There are also other sources of fuel, such as alcohol and solar energy. Alcohol is light and compact but harder to work with. Solar stoves are eco-friendly and they totally remove the extra cost of fuel.
The only downside is that they need sunlight to operate. Nevertheless, they can help you save money on the long-term and most models retain the flavour of your food.
In addition, the amount of money you are willing to spend on your camping stove should help you narrow down your choices.
Whatever you chose based on fuel type and size, you also need to consider:
- Durability: it should last for a long time.
- Portability: you should be able to lift your camping stove relatively easily if you have to.
- BTUs/kWh: the more BTU/kWh your camping stove has, the more power it should have. The power of the stove directs how fast the food will get cooked, however, the overall design of the burner and where the stove is placed when cooking can also affect how fast the food is cooked.
- Efficiency: you don’t want it going out on you at the end of a cold day when you have already dreamt of a warm dinner.
- Safety: it’s great if it has a safety switch which helps you avoid a fire when you mistakenly fall asleep without turning it off. A great camping stove should be safe regardless of the presence of extra features.
Some other handy outdoor kitchen kit that will make your life a whole lot easier:
Is there anything more annoying than a pesky wind continuously extinguishing your camping stove or fire?
Some of the high end camping stoves may come with a shield or have some level of protection, but few will keep your flame going strong as well as a dedicated windshield like this H&S one.
Simply unfold it and stand it upwind from your flame and you’re good to go.
The polished aluminium screen is held in the ground by two pins to stop it swaying about. At just 250 grams and coming with its own H&S drawstring carry bag, it is a portable piece that you shouldn’t set off without.
A camping stove is great for soups and noodles, but sometimes you just fancy a bit of toast and tea.
This affordable little contraption is perfect for using over any sort of flame.
Whether you fancy toast, cheese toasties, garlic bread or Yorkshire puddings, or want to reheat a slice of pizza – this is just the ticket.
Just make sure to keep turning your bread or you’ll end up with one charred side and a fire full of crumbs.
Or for something that you can sit on top and leave, this stainless steel toast rack has a foldable stand that can be transferred to the table afterwards without the need to transfer the toast onto a separate plate.
As well as your standard spork setup for eating the food, treat yourself to a decent set of cooking utensils and you’ll never look back.
You might also quickly realise that there’s pretty much nothing you can’t cook on a camp stove as long as you have the right tools at hand!
Bit of a coffee snob? No judgements here.
There is simply nothing better than fresh-ground coffee beans. You can grind them before leaving the house, but the flavour just isn’t the same when the powder has been living in a bag.
So splash out on this little brushed stainless steel coffee grinder, pack your beans and get excited.
The built-in adjustable grind selector even gives you control to choose from fine, medium or thick coarseness.
Forget the bulky cafetière and opt for a lightweight brewing basket that sits inside any mug.
Made from stainless-steel micro-mesh in a heat-tolerant BPA-free, these filters are durable and dishwasher-safe. The hat of the filter helps to prevent heat loss and doubles as drip-off tray.
The basket and lid combined weigh in at just 28 grams, perfect for traveling light on the trail.
If you just can’t stand the taste of bland, boring food, you’ll need some spices within easy reach of your stove. Adding flavour to every meal can really change a camping experience.
Condiment containers can hold spices, salt/pepper, breadcrumbs/croutons or anything you like for that matter.
These Bestonzon spice jars are stainless steel, so they’ll hold up in damp conditions and their magnetic closing means they won’t be falling open on your journey to camp.
Another great option is GSI Outdoor’s Spice Missile, which is just brilliant — compact, lightweight and waterproof.
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Last update on 2020-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API