From hiking to ATV riding, if there’s anything all outdoor pursuits have in common, it’s the undeniable to need to fill up on calories when the dust settles and the sun starts to dip. Fortunately, you don’t have to rely completely on dehydrated meals – today’s wide-variety of excellent camping stoves allow you to bring a little gourmet to your camping trip adventures.
If you respect your taste buds, the best camping stove is honestly a game-changer. Armed with one, you can cook endless hot foods and drinks, which will boost your spirits, well-being, and sheer enjoyment of the experience.
Needless to say, a great camping stove is an essential campsite item for outdoor cooking. Unless you plan on living miserably on trail mix and MREs, you need to get your hands on one of the top-notch camping stoves discussed below.
As you’ll see from our impressive selection of today’s best camping stoves, the options range nearly as much as the meals you can cook with them. Some freestanding stoves require the help of a sherpa to lift into place, while some tabletop stoves can be packed in a backpack and setup in seconds.
With so many options, choosing the right camping stove is no easy feat. However, if you’re ready to set up camp and get your munch on, keep reading to learn all about camping stoves and discover some of our top picks of the best camp stove choices on the market today!
10 Best Camping Stoves Reviewed
A quick look around your campsite is all you need to find fuel for this compact yet powerful camping stove. Fueled by wood rather than propane, this wood-burning stove combo from Solo uses pinecones, sticks, twigs, and any other form of biomass laying around your campsite to produce a stable cooking flame.
Inside the stainless-steel stove, is a cooking ring designed to direct heat inwards towards the center of the pot, allowing you to char, boil, or cook just about anything with high heat. Best of all, it only tips the scales at just over two pounds, making it the perfect backpacking stove companion. You won’t get that from a cast iron stove!
- No need to buy and haul fuel
- Easy to use
- Very lightweight
- Good for boiling and high-heat cooking
- May not be permitted during burn bans
The Camp Chef Explorer is a free-standing gas stove with a professional, high-quality feel. With two powerful burners, it’s great for quickly cooking up large meals. However, with fully adjustable heat, it’s equally well at simmering and cooking long and slow if needed. From burgers and steaks to pancakes and eggs, it can do it all. It also has a grate for oversized pans, small pots, and everything in between.
One of our favorite features of the Camp Chef Explorer is its removable legs. If you have a table, tailgate, or any other flat surface to place it on, you can simply remove the legs and transform it into a tabletop stove in no time at all. Talk about versatility!
- Two high-BTU burners
- Removable legs
- Accommodates a variety of cookware
- Great at simmering
- A little on the heavy side
There’s nothing fancy or necessarily specially about the Coleman Classic propane stove, but it performs quite admirably despite its friendly price. While it also lacks an auto ignition and can be a bit tricky to pull off a good simmer, it has a surprisingly large cooking area for a two-burner stove, making it great for larger pans and groups of two or more people. The Coleman stove is about as simple as a gas stove gets, and the propane tank used are widely available.
We also love the Coleman Classic’s adjustable windscreens, which is a feature some compact camping stoves lack. They provide good wind resistance and allow the stove to work well in windy conditions. All in all, this is one of the best camping stove for price and simplicity on the market and provides everything a camper needs without breaking the bank.
- Compact size
- Adjustable wind screens
- Solid cooking performance
- Handle and front latch could be better
The Emberlit Titanium is a bit different. It’s a compact, lightweight, and sturdy wood-burning stove designed for easy and efficient outdoor use. At under six ounces, it’s much lighter than propane-fueled camping stoves, making it easy to pack and easier to haul. It’s another great backpacking stove because of it’s light, portability. It can make use of just about any hard fuel type and it’s great for cold weather.
Speaking of packing, it also packs flat to fit in any backpack and store away easily when not in use. Made in the USA, it’s also corrosion-resistant and remarkably strong. Despite its small stature, it can hold the weight of almost any cooking pot or pan with little to no wobbling.
- Compact and lightweight
- Very sturdy
- Quickly cooks and great for boiling water
- Can burn wood, fuel tablets, or alcohol – a multi fuel stove.
- Can take some time to assemble
With a wind-blocking design and fuel-efficient burners, the Coleman Powerhouse provides reliable heat output and cooking performance during any outdoor adventure. From week-long hunting trips to summer cookouts, its dual adjustable burners offer plenty of power to cook anything anywhere.
In fact, the portable stove’s impressive cooking system uses Band-a-Blu burners producing up to 17,000 BTUs for extremely reliable cooking power. In addition to its powerful independently adjustable 2 burners, the Coleman Powerhouse also utilizes dual-fuel technology, allowing you to use unleaded gasoline or Coleman liquid fuel.
Meanwhile, its adjustable wind panels block the flame from winds and provide enough cooking space to use two large pots or pans at the same time. The grate is chrome-plated for durability and removable for quick and easy cleaning as well.
- Works with two fuel sources
- Independently adjustable burners
- Heats up to 17,000 BTUs
- Works in all weather conditions
- Gas tanks tend to loosen and need retightening
The Camp Chef Everest 2 is one of the most popular camping stoves year after year, and for good reason. It boils rapidly, simmers like a champ, and provides consistent heating performance even on windy days.
Named for the mightiest of mountains, this camping stove is mightier than most. With a durable construction, two burners capable of heating up to 20,000 BTU, solid wind shields, Piezo automatic ignition, and a simmer control feature, it’s the Cadillac of tabletop camping stoves.
- Powerful flame
- Piezo automatic ignition
- Wind shields
- Heats evenly with no hot spots
- None, other than the fact it won’t stir your food for you while it cooks!
Weighing a mere 2.6 ounces, the MSR PocketRocket 2 is an ultralight canister stove that’s perfect for hiking, backpacking, camping, and minimalist adventures. It’s easy to set up and even easier to operate. There’s no priming or preheating required. Just hook up a propane fuel canister, turn the gas on, and ignite the stove with a match or camping lighter.
Despite its simplicity and small size, you can adjust the height of the flame to actually simmer a wide-variety of foods rather than just char meat or boil water. You can do so by manipulating the shaped wire attached to the stove stem. It also features serrated pot supports, which can accommodate a range of pot sizes and styles.
- Very compact and lightweight
- Easily fits in a pack and can be used anywhere
- Simple operation
- Able to simmer, boil, and cook a variety of foods
- Not ideal for large camping groups
The Coleman PowerPack is a trustworthy cooking companion with simple operation and a portable design. The single-burner stove can fit pans and pots up to 12 inches, and thanks to its use of pressure control technology, it consistently delivers 7,500 BTUs of campsite cooking power.
The PowerPack’s single burner is also adjustable, allowing you to boil, simmer, sauté, and slow cook over low heat as needed. Meanwhile, its cooking grate is chrome-plated and removeable for easy cleaning.
- Portable design
- Adjustable burner with pressure control technology
- Suitable for large pots and pans
- Not ideal for a family of campers
The Tailgater by Blackstone Grills has a large, easy-to-clean cooktop and an electric ignition, allowing you to quickly and easily cook enough for three or more people. In fact, you can use it to fry bacon, make pancakes, and cook a pot of soup all at the same time.
Thanks to its H-shaped gas burner, heat is evenly dispersed for zero hot or cold spots. At 12,000 BTU, it’s not the most powerful camping stove on the market, but it uses less propane and is more than suitable for most everyday meals.
It’s also easy to clean. The grease catcher easily slides out for cleaning and the steel cooking surface can be wiped down and cleaned with nothing more than a paper towel.
- Easy to fire up and use
- Great heat distribution
- Large cooking surface
- Able to cook a variety of foods
- Easy to clean
- Legs fold for easier storage
- A little on the large size
For long camping excursions or large camping groups, the Stansport Outfitter Series 3-Burner Propane Stove is tough to beat. This tabletop stove boasts not one but two 25,000 BTU burners for serious cooking power.
It also features a pushbutton ignition, a great windshield, and an adjustable flame. All of these features combine to create an easy-to-use camping stove that can cook virtually anything in any weather conditions.
- Two powerful 25,000 BTU burners
- Pushbutton ignition
- Adjustable flame and simmer control
- Three-walled windshield
- A bit on the heavy side
Best Camping Stove Buyer’s Guide
Why buy a camping stove?
Whether you’re just lounging and enjoying being out in nature or returning to camp from a long day’s hike, mealtime is something you’ll definitely look forward to. Unless you plan on living on granola, this means you need a great camping stove. With a camping stove, you can boil water for tea or coffee and cook a variety of savory meals to keep you satisfied, energized, and looking forward to the next day’s adventures.
Types of Camping Stoves
As you can see from the list above, there are a variety of camping stoves out there to choose from. While they all differ from one another in several ways, most camping stoves can be classified as either tabletop or freestanding.
Most campers prefer tabletop camping stoves due to their portable, lightweight designs. They’re simply easier to pack and transport. Freestanding stoves, on the other hand, are larger, heavier, and more difficult to transport. However, they’re also more powerful and offer more burners, making them a popular choice for families and large groups of campers.
Camping Stove Features
There are several features to consider when choosing a camping stove, including:
Some camping stoves feature a button ignition, allowing you to fire them up with nothing more than the push of a button. However, this convenience usually comes at a price. Others fire up the traditional way – with a match.
When deciding between the two, you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons. Do you want to save a few bucks and deal with burned fingers and singed eyebrows, or would you rather spend more for safety and convenience?
Cooking in windy conditions is no easy feat. While some camping stoves offer no wind protection, many feature windshields to keep their flames from dancing around or blowing out.
When it comes to power, not all camping stoves are created equal. Most camping stove burners can achieve anywhere from 8,000 to 20,000 BTU. Some, like the Stansport, can even reach 25,000 BTU for serious cooking power. The more BTUs a stove can produce, the faster it can cook. For most campers, the more BTU, the better.
- Grills, Grates, and Griddles
Most camping stoves feature two burners and a large griddle grate. Others, however, feature grill grates as well. The more cooking options a camping stove has, the more enjoyment you’ll get out of it.
Which gas is best for camping stoves (if you are using gas)? What alternatives to gas are there?
The majority of camping stoves are designed to run on propane. Not only does propane perform well in a variety of temperatures and conditions, but mini propane bottles for camping stoves are readily available at almost any big box or outdoor store.
That being said, propane doesn’t perform the best in cold temperatures. If you plan on doing a lot of winter camping, you may be better off going with stove designed to run on liquid fuel like unleaded gasoline.
Lastly, some camping stoves, such as the Solo Titan and Emberlit Titanium, are wood-burning. With these, there’s no need to purchase propane canisters or fuel – you simply collect some wood from around your campsite. Unfortunately, wood-burning stoves offer little to no heat and flame control.
Can you use a camping stove inside?
Yes, some camping stoves can be used indoors as long as:
- The connectors are tightened and there are no propane leaks
- You use it in a ventilated area
- You don’t leave it unattended
- Carbon monoxide and dioxide monitors may also be helpful
How to Use, Clean, and Store a Camping Stove
Camping stoves are designed for easy use, cleaning, and storing. However, here are some helpful tips:
- Never use without proper ventilation.
- Never use near leaves, tall grass, and other flammable items.
- Never cook on an uneven surface.
- Never leave a gas canister in direct sunlight.
- Never pack it away while it’s still hot.
- Never put it away before cleaning. Not only will this possibly attract bears and other wildlife, but it will make cleaning it the next time more difficult. If you pick any of the great camping stoves above, chances are you’ll be using it a lot!