Hiking/Camping

The 7 Best Camping Stoves Reviewed & Rated – [2018]

While cold food is great filling the stomach on a temporary basis, there is no way to replace a warm sustaining meal.

Whether you are on a daytime outing with the family or camping for an extended period of time, there is no substitute for a good camping stove, even if it is only for boiling water

make coffee.

We’re going to take a look at some of the best camping stoves on the market right now and why they make such great choices for camping.

For more of my top gear recommendations, have a look through these popular Outside Pursuits guide links: Camping Hammocks, Camping Cots, Camping Chairs

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Camping Stoves For 2018

  1. Camp Chef Explorer 2 Burner Range
  2. Coleman Triton Series 2-Burner Stove
  3. Camp Chef Camping Outdoor Oven and Stove
  4. Coleman Perfect Flow Grill Stove
  5. Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill LXE
  6. Masterbuilt Dual Burner Propane Camp Stove
  7. Deluxe Portable Gas Butane Stove

Let’s take a look at the top rated camping stoves, then we’ll talk about how to choose the right one for your needs in our buyers guide below.

Best Camping Stoves

 Camp Chef Explorer 2 Burner RangeColeman Triton Series 2-Burner StoveCamp Chef Camping Oven and 2 Burner Stove
editors choice
Burn Time/Heat Source:15 hour cooktime with 20 pound propane tank1 Hour cooktime with one pound propane cylinder5 Hour cooktime with one pound propane cylinder
Burners:2- 30,000 BTU burners2 - 11,000 BTU burners2 - 7,500 BTU burners
1 - 3,000 BTU internal oven
Size & Weight:With legs off: 14 x 9 x 16 Inches, 28 pounds Folded: 18 x 11 x 8 inches, 10 Pounds21 x 12 x 9 Inches, 35 Pounds
Rating:4.6 / 5.04.5 / 5.04.5 / 5.0

Camping Stove Reviews

#1 Camp Chef Explorer 2 Burner Range

Camp Chef Explorer 2 Burner Camping Stove

Camp Chef Explorer at a Glance:

  • Heat Output: 60,00 BTUs / 30,000 BTUs per burner
  • Cooking Area: 448 Square inch cooking area, two full size 14″ frying pans
  • Type: Freestanding
  • Weight: 28 pounds
  • Fuel Source: Bulk Propane
  • Sturdy lightweight metal alloy that wont rust or corrode

The Camp Chef Explorer 2-Burner Range stove is one of the most versatile stoves on the market with the durability and convenience not found in many other stoves.

This stove is built for the outdoors and perfect for a family camping stove or tailgating. With its heavy weight construction and aluminum burners this stove can handle whatever cooking needs you have.

With two 30,000 BTU cast aluminum burners, the total cooking power over the 2 burner design 60,000 BTUs of heat output it has significantly more than any other camping stoves tested.

It has over 448 square inches of cooking surface you can do some serious cooking. We found the Camp Chef to be the best family camping stove because of its large capacity.

The Camp Chef Explorer features a 3 sided windscreen to block out the wind and comes with home appliance like knobs for excellent simmer control that you will not find on other camping stoves.

One of the other great features is that the 14 inch square cooking surface can fit 14 Blue Flame accessories to increase its versatility in its cooking options. The Camp Chef comes with a regulator and a 3 foot hose to be used with a bulk propane tank.

If you want to do some real cooking on a very capable stove, the Camp Chef Explorer stove is the best camp stove and my top overall pick.


#2 Coleman Triton Series 2-Burner Stove

Coleman Triton Series 2-Burner Camping Stove

Coleman Triton Camping Stove at a Glance:

  • Heat Output: 22,000 BTUs / 11,000 BTUs per burner
  • Cooking Area: One 10-inch pan and one 12-inch pan simultaneously
  • Type: Table Top
  • Weight: 10 pounds
  • Fuel Source: 16 oz. Propane Canister or Bulk Propane
  • Sturdy lightweight metal alloy

The Coleman Triton Series 2-burner stove has a large surface area for cooking with a high BTU output. It’s very comparable with the Camp Chef Everest but less inexpensive. The stove is built around a 16 oz. propane canister as the fuel source and has very simple connection to hook up the tank.

However, there is no is ignition source, so matches or a lighter will be needed to ignite the burners. It is constructed of durable, long lasting stainless steel, so it is built to last.

The Coleman Triton Series stove is a great blend of simple controls and durability for whatever you are needing to grill or cook. This great performing stove offers a sleek, lightweight design for easy transportability and the cooking grate being made of a nickel-chrome alloy, cleaning up is easy.

With two nice stove top burners, the Coleman Triton Series 2 makes for a good addition to anyone’s camping gear. The thin but strong stainless steel is light weight, at less than 10 pounds, its easy to take with you on any camping trip.

When you fold up the Triton Series 2 it measures, 21-inches long, 13.5-inches wide and 8-inches thick, allowing it to fit in any car and easy to store at your home or apartment.

With its PerfectHeat flame control this burner you get the exact temperature you need to cook up a gourmet meal.

The top lid also serves as a wind protection and the heavy duty nickel-chrome grates are easily cleanable. The Coleman Triton Series 2-burner uses standard 16 ounce propane fuel canister and can also be operated on bulk propane tanks with a Type-1 adapter with hose.

Coleman Triton Series 2-Burner Stove

The Coleman Triton Series 2-burner stove is a great blend of easily adjustable controls and durability and found the Triton to be the best portable camping stove.

The Coleman Triton Series 2-burner stove has a large area of cooking surface that can accommodate a 10-in. (25.4 cm) pan and one 12-in pan.

The burner each put out 11,000 BTU’s totaling 22,000 BTU’s of heat making short work of your cooking needs.

If your looking for a durable, compact and portable gas stove look no further than the Coleman Triton Series 2-Burner Stove. If your looking a more budget option the Coleman Classic is a good option as well.


#3 Camp Chef Camping Oven and Stove

Camp Chef Camping Outdoor Oven with 2 Burner Camping Stove

Camp Chef Camping Outdoor Oven at a Glance:

  • Heat Output: 15,000 BTUs / 7,500 BTUs per burner /3,000 BTU internal oven
  • Cooking Area: Two 12-inch pans simultaneously
  • Type: Table Top
  • Weight: 35 pounds
  • Fuel Source: 16 oz. Propane Canister or Bulk Propane
  • Removable oven racks

Ok, this definitely a camping stove only, you’re not going to put this stove in your backpack and take it into the backcountry. The Camp Chef Outdoor Oven is for RV or car camping only.

Just because you are camping doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy great food. Grilling and cooking up a good meal is one of the best parts of camping.

It’s the only camping stove with an oven I recommend and it’s a solid performer. You may think being an oven is has to be large and heavy.

The Camp Chef is only 21 x 12 inches and the oven interior measures 10 x 16 x 10 inches and weighs in at only 35 pounds.

Video: Overview of the Camp Chef Oven with Grill.

It has two 7,500 BTU propane burners and the oven has 3,000 BTU’s of cooking power and will heat up 400 degree F. All of this cooking power is supplied by a single one pound can of propane.

And believe it or not, you can get 5 hours of cooking and baking with that one 16 oz. propane fuel canister! If you are going to be using it a lot, I would recommend a bulk tank, you just need the optional hose adapter.

With the Camp Chef Outdoor Oven you can make just about anything at the campsite that you would at home. Want to make some cookies for the kids or a breakfast skillet?

No problem.

The Camping Chef Oven/Stove will handle pretty much any task, from heating up your morning coffee to a gourmet dinner, this stove will do it all.


#4 Coleman Perfect Flow Grill Stove

Coleman Perfect Flow Grill Stove at a Glance:

  • Heat Output: 10,000 BTUs stove/ 10,000 BTU Grill
  • Cooking Area: 130 sq. in. grill area
  • Type: Table Top
  • Weight: 15 Pounds
  • Fuel Source: 16 oz. Propane Canister
  • Wind Block panels

This is my 2nd recommended Coleman Stove and for good reason, Coleman makes quality camping stoves! The Coleman Perfect Flow is unique in that it combines a one burner stove PLUS a grill.

This is an awesome combination, you can grill up some hotdog and hamburgers while heating up a pot of chili on the burner. I have not seen this combination in any other camping stove and makes the Perfect Flow a great option.

Its compact, measuring only 6.5 x 15.5 x 23.75 inches and weighs only 7.5 pounds. Both the single burner stove and grill have 10,000 BTUs of grilling heat, more than enough for your cooking needs.

Whether you just want a pot of coffee and eggs or a gourmet meal this stove will handle it. No matches or lighter necessary, it has a built in piezo igniter.

The folding lid and side arms block the wind, keeping most of the heat on the burners so your food will cook faster. It has a locking lid with handles so it’s easy to take from your RV or car to the campsite.

The Perfect Flow portable gas stove features a die-cast aluminum cooking grate for easy cleanup and simmer control. The grill is made from a nickel-chrome grate for easy cleaning and strength.

If you want a simple gas camping stove and grill that can handle just about all of your cooking needs, the Perfect Flow is one of the best Coleman propane stoves.


#5 Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill

Coleman Road Trip Portable Grill at a Glance:

  • Heat Output: 20,00 BTUs / 10,000 BTUs per burner
  • Cooking Area: 285 sq. in of cooking surface
  • Type: Freestanding
  • Weight: 45 pounds
  • Fuel Source: 16 oz. Propane Canister
  • Wheels for easy transport

I didn’t want this to be the Coleman list of camping stoves but there was no way to leave this versatile stove off the list. It comes with a grill top that is made from cast iron with a porcelain coating for even heating and easy cleanup.

There are several optional accessories I would recommend you buy, especially the burner top so you can use your pots and pans. There is also an optional griddle attachment for pancakes or eggs.

This is not a particularly small stove but it’s well designed to be extremely portable. The stove sets up and folds down literally in seconds so you can spend more time cooking and less time messing with the stove.

What really sets this propane camping grill apart is the wheels. Once you fold down the stove, it has a convenient pull handle for easy transport to and from the car.

Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill LXE
Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill LXE

The grill features a reliable pushbutton ignitor and with a standard one pound propane canister you can cook for an hour on high heat.

The 2-burner stove puts out 20,000 BTUs of heat with a cooking surface of 285 square inches. That’s a lot of space and using the burner attachments you can use 14 inch pans.

The camping gas stove can be attached to large propane cylinders or the propane supply line from an RV with an optional attachment.

There are two slide out, side tables for plates or keeping your utensils. This is a very handy feature that I have not seen in any other camping stove.

This is not just a camping stove, take it tailgating or use it in your backyard. There is a lot to like about the Coleman Road trip, highly recommended.


#6 Masterbuilt Dual Burner Camp Stove

MasterBuilt Dual Burner Camping Stove at a Glance:

  • Heat Output: 20,00 BTUs / 10,000 BTUs per burner
  • Cooking Area: 440 Square inch cooking area, two full size 14″ frying pans
  • Type: Freestanding or tabletop use
  • Weight: 26 pounds
  • Fuel Source: Bulk Propane
  • 3 sided windscreen

The Masterbuilt Dual Burner stove is very similar in design to the Camp Chef Explorer. It’s a free standing gas camping stove that measure 34 inches high, 32 inches long and 24 inches wide.

It’s a decent sized propane camp stove with a lot of cooking area that can also be used on a table.

It has two burners that each put out 10,000 BTUs of heat for a total of 20,000 BTUs, so it’s not as much as the Camp Chef Explorer. It does have the convenient three-sided windscreen, which helps keep the heat focused to speed up cooking.

One feature the stove includes that is particularly nice, are burner covers to keep the rain or dirt off them when not in use.

Why other stoves don’t include this, I have no idea.

The Masterbuilt is a rugged stove that weighs a reasonable 26 pounds so it’s not too heavy to transport. The burners are made from aluminum and are individually adjustable in height.

The flame is easily adjustable with oven style controls and has convenient piezo matchless ignition.

The Masterbuilt is designed to be used with bulk propane liquid fuel and comes with the necessary attachment. Overall the Masterbuilt is one of the best propane camp stoves and worthy of your consideration for your next camping trip.


#7 Deluxe Portable Gas Butane Stove

If your just looking for a cheap camping stove then look no further than the Deluxe Portable Gas Butane Stove.

With a variety of features normally found on much larger and more expensive stoves, this compact and inexpensive butane gas stove is good choice for your next camping trip.

The Deluxe Portable Gas Butane Stove is not going to cook up meals for a large group so if you need that, then better to go with the Camp Chef Explorer as it designed for that purpose.

No matches necessary, this unit has a piezoelectric ignition system to light the stove and keep it lit with the windshield designed to keep the flame protected.

It features a simple but effective controls to control the temperature to give you the perfect temperature. For safety and saving propane, the stove comes with an automatic shut off value.

Even though its bargain priced, the unit is built to last.

Whats nice, is its so small and light, its perfect for not just camping but fishing, tailgate parties and picnics. We found the Deluxe Stove to be the best cheap camping stove.

It comes with a storage bag and carrying case for easy transport to and from the campsite. The Deluxe Portable Gas Butane Stove is a bargain priced stove that will serve you well for many years.


Camping Stove Comparison Table

Camp Stove TypeBurnersIgnitionWeightFuel
Camp Chef Explorer 2 Burner RangeFree Standing2- 30,000 BTU burnersManual28 poundsBulk Propane
Coleman Triton Series 2-Burner StoveTable Top2 - 11,000 BTU burnersManual10 Pounds16 oz. Propane Canister
Camp Chef Camping Oven and StoveTable Top2- 7,500 BTU burners
1- 3,000 BTU internal oven
Matchless igniter35 Pounds16 oz. Propane Canister or
Bulk Propane
Coleman Perfect Flow Grill StoveTable Top10,000 BTU grill and burnerMatchless igniter15 Pounds16 oz. Propane Canister
Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable GrillFree Standing2 - 10,000 BTU burnersMatchless igniter45 Pounds16 oz. Propane Canister
Masterbuilt Dual Burner Camp StoveFree Standing2 - 10,000 BTU burnersMatchless igniter26 PoundsBulk Propane
Deluxe Portable Gas Butane StoveTable Top1 - 9,000 BTU burnerManual4.5 Pounds8oz butane canisters

How to Choose the Best Camping Stove for You

Best Camping Stove

Before buying your camping stove there are a few things you should consider. If you are backpacking then the stoves in this review are not for you. If you are, I would recommend a canister stove like the Jetboil or MSR Windburner.

They all are meant to be driven to a camping site and setup. Some of them would need to be setup on a picnic table for instance. The Camp Chef Explorer has legs so it does not have this requirement.

Heat Output/Time to Cook

The stoves reviewed, range in BTU output from 60,000 with the Camp Chef Explorer with 2 burners to the basic, no-frills Deluxe Portable Gas Butane Stove with 7,000 BTU’s and only one burner.

So it comes down to how many people are you cooking for, and what you are planning on cooking. If you are just looking to warm up some food for a few people, then the Deluxe Portable Gas Butane Stove may be sufficient for your needs.

But if your looking to do some real cooking for more than 2-3 people then I would go with the Camp Chef Explorer, its 60,000 BTU output will cook your food in no time.

Guide For Propane Usage

Heat output is measured in BTU or British Thermal Unit. If your curious a BTU is defined as it is defined” the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit”.

BTUs are not the only thing to look at, the surface area the heat is spread over can affect cook time as well. The difference between 10,000 and 11,000 BTUs will not be that noticeable but between 10,000 and 20,000 you will have significantly reduced boil time.

Especially useful when boiling a pot of water when you don’t have to worry about burning something the extra heat is a decided advantage.

The downside of course is the increased fuel usage. If you are cooking with 20,000 BTUs of power with a one pound can of propane you’re going to go through it fairly quickly. This is an important consideration. Be sure your stove has a hookup for a bulk propane tank.

Burners

The two burner stove is by far the most popular style. Two is usually more than enough to cook up a good meal. Unless you have very simple cooking needs having the second burner is definitely a better choice.

If you have a large amount of people, having a second stove is a better option than a larger stove.

Once you get over a 2 burner size they can get cumbersome. Having two burners is going to give you more surface area as well.

Most 2 burner stoves will allow at least two decent size pots at the same time. Even then smaller Triton can fit a 10 inch and a 12 inch pan at the same time.

Table Top or Freestanding?

An important consideration is how you will use the stove, will you put it on a picnic table or use it free standing. The table top stove being much more compact and light vs the freestanding stove with legs.

Most freestanding stove can also be used as a tabletop stove as well with the legs off and fit on most standard size picnic tables. The freestanding stove normally being a larger and higher output stove.

The freestanding stove is usually much heavier, large and more difficult to transport. The Coleman Road Trip however has an excellent design with wheels for easy transport. The tabletop is sufficient for most campers needs and has the advantage of easier portability.

Of course to need to put it on something though. If your going to a campground with out a picnic table you will need to bring your own. In a pinch you could put it on the ground if you clear away anything that could catch fire.

Fuel Capacity

Best Camping Stoves Reviews

The three choices of fuel type are one pound bottles of propane, 5 gallon bulk liquid fuel and white gas. Depending on how much you are cooking and for how long the 16 ounce bottles will provide a lot of cooking ability.

But if you are running a large stove on high heat you can easily go through a bottle in an hour.

If you are cooking for several people then either you will need to bring quite a few bottles or the better option, bring a 5 gallon bulk tank.

These are easy to transport and can be refilled in almost any town. Especially if you’re in a large campground, there is sure to be a refilling station around.

Just be sure your stove has the ability to be hooked up to bulk tank. Most tabletops only come with a attachment to a 16 ounce bottle. Most stoves do offer an adapter and hose for attaching to a 5 gallon tank.

Stove Top: Burners, Grates and Griddle

Most camping stoves including the ones reviewed here have a two burner setup. A few come with a single grate for grilling like the Coleman Road Trip and even rarer is the hybrid grill and burner setup like the Coleman Perfect Flow.

The Coleman Road Trip is an excellent option with the option to add burners to swap out with the grill grate. It even has the option to add a griddle, great for breakfast.

If you don’t plan on anything elaborate and just want two burners then you have many options. I would recommend a stove that is versatile that gives you the ability to grill or cook.

Stove Ignition

All fuel stoves can be lit with a match or lighter but this can be a bit dangerous. Care must be taken to not let the gas run too long before ignition to avoid a burst of flames. Your best option is to purchase a stove with a piezo electric ignition system.

This push button ignition system keeps your face and hands away from the stove. While they are not perfect and can fail over time, they are your best bet. The slight extra cost is worth it. Always keep some extra matches or a lighter around just in case.

Weight and Size

If your car camping weight and size of the stove is not a primary concern like it would be for a backpacking stove like the Jetboil. That’s not to say to ignore it. Some camping stoves can take up a large portion of your trunk and weigh quite a bit.

The Coleman Road Trip comes to mind, it weigh 50 pounds and will take up the better portion of a small trunk. The size of your vehicle and how many people you will be cooking for will be of primary concern.

Also keep in mind where you will be doing most of your camping. Is there a picnic table available for a smaller tabletop stove.

Heat Control

When your boiling water, controlling the heat is not that critical. Its when you are cooking something that can burn having good control over the heat become important.

Not all stoves have good simmer control. They are either on or off with little in between. Unfortunately that is not usually found on the list of features. Another consideration is a windscreen. Having one will give you consistent heat even in windier conditions.

Ease of Set-Up

The last thing you want while camping is a hassle of trying to setup your stove. The fuel stoves I review here are all quick and easy to setup. The Deluxe Portable Gas Butane Stove being the simplest, you literally just pull it out of the case and your ready to go.

The Coleman Triton Series 2-Burner Stove just simply unfolds in about 15 seconds and your ready to go. The Camp Chef Explorer 2 Burner Range, takes a few more seconds to put on the legs and attach the propane tank.

Packed/Folded Up Size

Its no surprise the Deluxe Portable Gas Butane Stove is the smallest and most compact as it only has one burner. The Coleman Triton Series 2-Burner Stove folds up into a nice neat compact case, nothing extra to pack or lose.

The Camp Chef Explorer 2 Burner Range is the largest and heaviest of the stoves. When you take the legs off, it stores easily in your car though.

Wind Resistance

Blocking the wind can make a significant difference in both just lighting the stove but in cooking times. No surprise here, keeping the wind from blowing the flames all over the place, decreases the time to cook your food.

The two best performers here, were the Coleman Classic and the Camp Chef Explorer, each of which comes with a decent wind protection.

The Deluxe Portable Gas Butane Stove does not come with one, so if you think your going to be in some windy, cold weather conditions, you will need to have some shelter from the wind.

Ease of Care/Cleaning

Probably the last thing you will be thinking about, is cleaning the stove after getting back from your trip. Most modern stoves are made from stainless steel for easy cleaning and made of materials that food will not easily stick to.

With a burner there is very little to clean, it’s a grill that will be more problematic.

Make sure you buy one that the grill is easily removable for cleaning. The few minutes spent cleaning the stove at the campsite will save you considerable time when you get home to fully clean it.

All the the reviewed stoves are pretty low maintenance, its pretty much a given a camping stove is going to get dirty and will need to be taken apart to be thoroughly cleaned at some point.

In this area, the Camp Chef Explorer was hands down the winner. Its very easy to take apart and remove all the food particles and grease that accumulates over time.

The Colemen Triton was a close second however with the Deluxe Portable Gas Butane Stove coming in a distant third. It could be a pain to take apart and clean it as the didn’t seem to be designed to be easily disassembled.

Best Camping Stove Brands

Best Camping Stove Brands

  • Coleman – The best known brand of camping gear, their camping stoves are some of the best on the market.
  • Camp Chef – If you are looking for free standing camping stoves, you need to look at Camp Chef. The Camp Chef Everest and Explorer are two great models.
  • Masterbuilt – A relative unknown but they make a great free standing camping stove that is comparable to the Camp Chef Explorer.

I hope this guide was helpful for finding the best camping stove to fit your needs. If you want to comment or recommend a stove I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch.

Have fun and be safe out there!

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Rich Remick

I work part time as an IT security consultant. Luckily I can work from anywhere so I go back and forth between Colorado and Florida. I get my fix of skiing, hiking and camping in Colorado in the Dillion area, and when I am in Florida you can usually find me on the water either paddleboarding or kayaking. My recent passion is scuba diving, I got certified a few years ago and "get wet" as frequently as I can.

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