A warm meal is one of the basic human rights. It shows up in the Constitution right afterlife or liberty or something.
Well, even if no one had the foresight to write it down, being able to heat up bacon should certainly count as one of the inalienable tenets of life on Earth.
No matter where you roam, you need the capacity to cook up some grub. This means a good camping stove.
Choosing a camp stove isn’t just about grabbing the first hunk of metal that can sit on your engine block and give you warm ravioli out of a can.
It is about picking something that can work with your needs.
Does it require a gas canister?
Can you take it up into the hills or cart it into battle?
Will it be able to handle boiling water and charring meat at the same time?
Most importantly: can it cook a pizza?
We answer all these questions and more with our Top 5 best camp stoves Reviews.
Jetboil MightyMo Ultralight and Compact Camping Stove
- The MightyMo ultralight and portable stove can reach a rolling boil in roughly three minutes with half the fuel consumption of traditional systems.
- Jetboil's four-turn regulator offers incremental heat adjustments from light simmer to full boil, perfect for sautéing greens, simmering sauces, and more.
- The MightyMo's open platform design accommodates a Jetboil skillet and FluxRing cooking pot without the need for a pot support (JetPower fuel, skillet, and pot sold separately), and is easy to pack and carry.
- Start heating instantly with the convenient, reliable pushbutton igniter—regulated for consistent performance down to 20 degrees F (-6 degrees C).
- Includes: MightyMo Camping Stove; Fuel Can Stabilizer; Storage Pouch; Instructions. *JetPower fuel sold separately. One-year limited warranty.
Flame On: It’s a Jetboil, so it can run on standard white fuel, but don’t think of it as racist.
It also takes unleaded gas, which is ideal if you plan on backpacking through Europe or one of the other supposed “continents” that doesn’t have “America” in the name.
It has a pump and light construction model that has some wind resistance, so it won’t blow out, but getting it lit can take patience and perseverance.
Besides that, the solid body construction, leak-proof reservoir, and dent-proof durability make it one of the best items for backpackers.
The body and even the moving parts won’t corrode, which is great news.
The trouble comes with temperature control or cooking for more than one person.
You can heat enough food for two, provided you don’t care that much about the calorie intake of the person you are traveling with.
The tank is a single pint that can run for a couple of hours at top heat, but you had better learn to forage after that.
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Camp Chef Explorer Camping Stove
- Includes 3 ft. hose and regulator
- Includes detachable steel legs and 3-sided wind screen
- Compatible with most 14 in. Camp Chef accessories
- Two 30,000 BTUs/Hr. cast-aluminum burners
- Appliance-style temperature controls
Double Trouble: The name of this model is great. If you are lugging this up Explorer, then you have ignored your Sherpa and tossed your oxygen tanks to make room for this beast.
The Explorer is meant for long term use by a group. It’s a dual burner that heats fast and sustains power like a champ.
It uses propane but is selfish with regulation despite the high maximum heat range. The cooking area is massive, and it can boil water in the blink of an eye.
The ability to control the burner temperature is surprising.
This doesn’t just work on an on/off sort of rhythm but rather gives you a truly graduated experience that allows you to pump the right number of BTU’s for pasta primavera or to sterilize water for cleaning your wounds.
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Solo Stove Titan Camping Stove
- PATENTED DESIGN - LESS SMOKE. The patented design features a unique double wall that creates ultra-clean gasification and a secondary combustion. This allows fuel to burn more completely and with less smoke
- COMPACT DESIGN SAVING SPACE- The Solo Stove Titan is designed to nest inside the companion Solo Stove Pot 1800 (sold separately) leaving you with more room in your backpack. Also fits great into any hiking backpack for your next adventure!
- LIGHTWEIGHT & FAST BOIL TIME. Boils water in 4-6 mins (34 fl oz. water). 5.1" Diameter, 5.6"/7.9” tall (packed/assembled). Weighs only 16.5 oz. Made of premium stainless steel and nichrome wire. Nylon stuff sack included.
- FUELED BY MOTHER NATURE- No gas or Liquid fuel is required to power the Titian, creating even more space for other necessary camping accessories
- AIR VENTILATION SYSTEM- Enables a hotter and more efficient fire fueled by oxygen that enters trough the bottom of the stove
Sustainability: Forget about carrying propane or any other gas. Forget about letting the others in your party survive.
You shall roast their bones upon the flames of the Titan and laugh. The Titan is a green dream that relies only on the twigs you can find and stuff into the body.
Once you get it lit, it’s inverted down gas system helps recycle the heat through intensive ventilation so that nothing is wasted. It burns inward rather than upward so that heat is contained in a small region.
Survivalists will enjoy this because it means limited fuel is needed. It also produces a lower amount of smoke, so you’ll never give away your position to the enemy.
The internal heating system of this camping stove is completely windproof. The bottom vent also manages to keep the ashes from starting a secondary fire beneath the apparatus. Easy to fire and forget.
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Camp Chef Camping Outdoor Oven
- Material: stainless steel, [cooking surface] non-stick enamel
- Fuel Type: propane
- Burn Time: [oven] up to 7hrs at 350oF (1lb propane)
- Dimensions: (range) 21 x 12 in, (inside oven) 10 x 16 x 10 in, (full dimensions) 21 x 13 x 18 in
- Claimed Weight: 35 lb
Oven Included: Camp Chef doesn’t quite seem to know what “camping” means. They have created something that is much better than anything a college dorm room has to offer.
Here are the specs:
-It has 2 separate 7,500 BTU range burners, which are lit matchlessly.
– It has a dual rack oven that goes up to 400 degrees.
-It can run off of a single 1 pound portable propane tank or be adapted to function with a full-on nozzle that can take whatever you dish out.
-It can run for a full five hours so that you can get your Thanksgiving turkey to…well, it will still be cold, but this is a huge appliance for camping.
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BioLite Wood Burning CampStove 2
- Grill, boil, cook, and charge with this fully integrated system. Generate electricity and create smokeless wood flames with the award-winning CampStove 2
- he award-winning BioLite CampStove's latest upgrade features 50% more power, an integrated battery, and an updated LED dashboard for improved control and feedback.
- Burning only wood, the CampStove 2's fan creates a smokeless fire that can cook meals and boil water in minutes while turning its heat into usable electricity.
- Stove generates 3W power to charge devices
- Grilltop fits up to four burgers. Boils 1L of water in 4.5 minutes. Burns any renewable biomass (sticks, twigs, etc.)
Geek Woodsman: You could buy a camping stove that just heats your food.
That’s cute and all, but wouldn’t you prefer one that also charges your cell phone or GPS so that you can also call for help or find your way out of the woods?
This is a green machine that requires you to load it with sticks and twigs, then set it to burning like your caveman brethren.
Then, the magic happens. Inside of the camping stove is a thermoelectric generator so that while you are heating up a meal on the top, you can plug in a portable USB to get your gadgets charging.
It is technically a “rocket” style stove, which is meant to reflect heat repeatedly so that none is wasted.
The construction is meant to be green and avoid any wasted heat, be it upwards or downwards. Oxygen is recycled and reheated to help keep the flame hot.
You can attach a light for some ambiance or perhaps let your iPod set a little mood music for firelight delights.
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Best camping stove – Buying Guide
It may seem like a lot of features, but you need to make sure your stove can handle the heat.
To help break this down into something that is completely understandable, here are some things to look for when buying a camping stove:
There are three types of camping stove materials: aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium.
Aluminum is the cheapest option since it doesn’t cost too much to produce. However, this means that aluminum stoves don’t get very hot. Most aluminum stoves can only get up to 400 degrees Celsius max—and if you cook with one at night when the temperature goes down, you could end up ruining your food or just wearing it instead. Additionally, aluminum is great for cooking food indoors but not so great outdoors—it will rust in rainy weather. It can create acid rain-like runoff, which won’t be good tasting to eat next time you want a snack.
Stainless steel has better heat conductivity than aluminum, so it can get hotter than aluminum. This is good for cooking but bad for your stove—stainless steel burners are not meant to be immobile when in use, and they will bend or break if you move them too much while the stove is hot. Stainless steel stoves also conduct heat well, so they can cause hotspots in whatever food item you might be cooking over it. However, stainless steel is a much stronger metal than aluminum which means that stainless steel camping stoves tend to have legs that fold upward instead of straight down as aluminum ones do.
Titanium has the best heat conductivity out of all three metals. Still, it costs about ten times as much as either aluminum or stainless steel campers do. Since titanium is much harder to produce than aluminum, the market for it in camping stoves is much smaller. Most titanium campers are designed in a traditional jet stove style where the flames come out of the sides instead of the bottom. This means that if you want one with really strong legs, you need to either go stainless steel or have titanium ones custom-made because titanium doesn’t bend as easily as steel.
Some stoves are tiny, some are medium-sized, and others can handle an entire army.
Obviously, bigger is better if you want to be able to cook all of your meals on one stove. However, the problem with big campers is that they take up too much room in your pack. Look for something that can actually fit inside of a backpack—it should also have no legs or wings that make it too bulky to carry around while you hike.
Do you want to be able to use your stove with butane, propane, or liquid fuel? This is important because different stoves are compatible with different kinds of canisters. Make sure that whichever kind of gas you go for will work with the type of camping stove that you end up buying.
It’s always bad when the wind comes along and ruins your meal—or blows out your fire. Many campers include some form of wind protector, so don’t worry about finding something special to fight off Mother Nature. However, it’s still worth checking if something has already been built into the design before purchasing it.
There’s no problem having a huge pan with small burners when cooking at home because you can spare the space. When camping, you cannot afford to have anything taking up too much room on your stovetop. Look for something that transfers the heat into your food just as well but doesn’t take up half of your campsite to do it.
Size of pot
You need a stove that is just big enough to fit whatever you plan on cooking—and nothing more than that. If it can handle bigger pots and pans, then great! You can go all out and make an entire Thanksgiving dinner while sipping hot cider by the campfire. But if you can’t find something with large enough dimensions, make sure it at least allows you to easily pour your contents (like rice) out when they are finished cooking.
A good camping stove will do more than just heating up water and meat—it should also be able to warm up food in cans or jars. If it can cook beans, then that is even better because at least they are nutritious. Heating them up with an open flame makes them taste so much better too! It may seem like a nice bonus if your cooker comes with a built-in lid, but it isn’t as important as being able to cook your food the way you want it.
The point of going camping is to be one with nature—not stuck cooking in a kitchen that has been transplanted from your house and back again. Sometimes, even a tiny stove can feel too bulky for a backpack because it doesn’t have any legs or wings. This means you should probably stick to something around the size of a large thermos if you don’t want to suffer lugging around an oversized food heater every time you move.
If you are using gas, then at least make sure that your stove won’t explode in your face. It should have some kind of locking system for the gas so it can’t be turned on by accident when you pack up your tent. Also, keep in mind where you are cooking because spilled fuel is a fire hazard—and probably not very safe around dry brush or twigs.
Camping Stove Accessories to look for”
Most stoves come with a windshield that is already attached. These keep the heat from escaping while your food cooks and prevents it from being blown out by Mother Nature. If you don’t get one included, make sure that whatever stove you purchase comes with something to do this for you.
If your cooking pot doesn’t have legs either, then maybe buying a separate pot stand is best so that you can cook without worrying about your dinner rolling all over the place. This should be able to fit underneath the pan or pot, so it won’t take up too much room on top of your burner—and it shouldn’t impact how well your food heats up either.
If you plan on taking your stove out for extended trips, then maybe getting one with an attachable cartridge would be more convenient than refueling every time the gas runs low. They usually last for around two hours before they need changing over—which is just enough time to cook up a full meal or boil water for coffee.
Flint & Steel
Some camp stoves come with a built-in flint and steel so you can light the gas and get cooking without having to worry about bringing anything else along with you. They usually work just as well as matches, but it is always good to have backups—just in case they go missing on your journey.
Bowls & Cups
Don’t forget some bowls or mugs for serving up your freshly cooked meals. These should be easy to clean and, ideally, not ceramic or glass because breaking something while camping can ruin even the best of trips. Also, make sure everything fits inside whatever cupboards you have available when packing up the rest of your supplies.
If you want to measure how much fuel you have left before you head out into the great outdoors, maybe something with an integrated fuel gauge would be helpful. This could prevent you from being stranded miles away from civilization because your stove ran out of gas without any warning.
If your stove comes with a propane adaptor, then chances are it uses this as its main source of energy and can run on disposable canisters. Some will even offer adapters for various kinds of cartridges like butane and isobutane that can also be used to power up food heaters and stoves.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most important feature a camping stove can have?
Any two of the following: lightweight, size, and versatility.
What should you always keep in mind when purchasing a camping stove?
What kind of gas do you use in a camping stove?
Canister gas or liquid fuel.
How many burners should my camping stove have?
Two is usually enough if you’re on a solo camping trip but try for three if you are with anyone else. Otherwise, it will take forever to get all of your food cooked.
What kind of pot should you look for when buying a camping stove?
One that fits the size of the burner inside, if possible. And make sure there aren’t any legs or wings on the outside—you don’t want to be stuck lugging around an oversized hot plate while out in nature.
Why can wind resistance be important when shopping for a camping stove?
Stoves may lose heat very quickly in strong gusts of wind, so it might be worth investing in a wind protector if you know you’ll be camping where the weather is unpredictable.
How does a camping stove work?
By using a flammable liquid or gas to convert it into a fuel source and produce a flame.
What do you put a camping stove on?
A picnic table or any flat surface that you can find—just be careful to choose a spot that seems stable and watch out for bushes and trees.
Why can’t I use a camping stove inside?
Because it can be too dangerous, so don’t even think about trying to cook indoors with one!
What are some features that are useful on a camping stove but not necessary?
A built-in lid or legs that fold up for easy storage are both good things but not as important as being able to choose what kind of fuel and heat you want when cooking up a meal.
What type of food is best cooked on a camping stove?
Anything that you can cook with liquid. Canned soups, beans, rice, meatballs, etc., would be fine. Just make sure not to pour too much liquid in before putting it on the burner because you don’t want soggy food!
What is a cool thing about camping stoves?
They can be used anywhere there is a flat surface, and they are super easy to clean.
How do you clean your camping stove?
Soap, water, and a scrub brush should do the trick! Be sure to let it dry completely before using it again.
When it comes to cooking up a meal on your camping stove, the biggest decision you will have to make is what kind of burner or heat source you prefer. That being said, there are plenty of great options out there, so be sure to do your research before making any final decisions on which one suits your needs best.