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When traveling into the great outdoors, you need the right equipment. A trip spent worrying about the quality of your tools is a trip wasted. Cooking utilities, such as propane camping stoves, are imperative to consider before you hit the road. We get outdoors to be closer to nature, but you shouldn't have to cook like a cave person to do so. There are a lot of units and designs of camping stoves on the market today, with a lot of details to pick through. Fortunately, we've hunted down the best of the best so that you can cut through the smoke and spend less time thinking about the little details, and more time planning the good parts.
When it comes to shopping for your propane camping stove, there are a lot of things to consider. The design style is one of them, as is the ease of use when choosing such a style. For example, are you looking for an ultra-light pack option? Chances are a canister topping stove like MSR's PocketRocket is going to be best for you, though it's a single burner and won't allow you to cook multiple foods at once. If you need more space, a double-burning unit is a good investment, though (with the exception of the Jetboil Genesis), the overall profile is going to be somewhat large and wieldy.
After considering the body style of your stove, you can light into the specifics. How many BTUs (British Thermal Units) is it capable of? The number will make a difference in the strength of your flame and directly translate to how hot and fast you can cook. It will also say a lot about how wind-resistant your cooker's fire is, as more BTU equals more pressure. Fortunately, many units have a wind guard to keep the flame. After covering how much heat a model puts out, you should look at how much control you have over the temperature. A knob adjusts the flame by large margins is likely to burn your food and leave you hungry. Look for precision control (and matchless ignition) to keep your hand free from constantly adjusting the flame.
1. Best Overall Propane Camping Stove
- Two 20,000 BTU burners
- 12 lbs.
- Matchless ignition
Among outdoor gear heads, there are few pieces of equipment that hold as much respect as the original Everest stove from Camp Chef. This updated model takes the challenge of redefining a legacy and brings it to new heights. From the flawless push-to-start trigger to the 215 sq. inches of cooking space you'll find between each burner, this camping stove maximizes utility and minimizes inconveniences.
However, it also does more than that — because dealing with wind and weather conditions is more than just an inconvenience. The folding lid doubles as one of three sides that create a tall windshield for your cooking surface. Yet, you may not need it. The top of Mt. Everest is known as an area of low air pressure, but you won't find that with your Everest grill. There is a total of 40,000 BTUs of cooking power between both burners, creating a high-force flame that resists being blown out and keeps your dinner cooking.
2. Best Dual Burner for a Budget
- 22,000 BTU
- 5 lbs.
- 1 hour burn time (16-oz canister)
If the Everest grill is an honored piece of equipment, then the Coleman Triton can be defined as revered. The company has a way of making quality equipment that is comparable to other brands on the market, yet more affordable than its competitors. This camping stove is no exception. Although the Coleman doesn't have the same high-pressure burn power as others, the 22,000 total BTUs of heat are powerful enough to get things hot — and do so quickly.
As compared to the classic model, the Triton offers an updated temperature knob that will allow you greater control over how hot your stove is burning (and thus how much propane you're burning). The chrome burner grate can fit 12 in. and 10 in. pots a piece, and is easily removable for clean-up. It's lighter than the Everest, though unfortunately, the wind guards seem to be where extra weight is needed most. Still, Coleman has been making gas-powered stoves since WWII, and that long history translates to leading reliability.
3. A Propane Camping Grill With a Different Face
- 7,250 BTU
- 8.5 lbs
- 90-minute burn time
If there is one outdoor company with a legacy to match Coleman, it is Eureka. The business's first pieces of durable equipment were the covered wagons they crafted back in 1895, and with each decade, it has evolved with the times. The popular Ignite line is a well-trusted series of double burner grills, but we've decided to shift focus to a unique type of camp stove from Eureka.
To be fair, this stove is actually more of a grill, but that difference is actually a unique win in our book. For starters, the body of this unit is as light (or lighter) than many other camping stoves on the market. The ceramic grill grate is a unique unit to have with you when you're camping, creating a new realm of possibilities for what (and how) you can cook in the wild. Adjustable feet pegs on the bottom create a flat surface wherever you are cooking, while a removable grease trap helps keep the site clean. A carrying case makes the unit easy to carry — we can almost smell the lake trout searing.
4. Heat Your Food, and Yourself
- 4,000 to 10,000 BTU
- Piezo ignition
- 8.5 lbs.
Sure, a backcountry grill is impressive, but uniqueness isn't a necessity in the outdoors. Do you know what is? Heat. And not just for your food, but also for yourself. So, why not work with a propane camping stove that serves two purposes at once? A cast iron top directly transfers heat to your pan, while the bottom burner warms your ten toes. If safety seems an issue with a grill that sits low, fear not: The Ignik features an automatic kill switch should the unit take a fall. Further, piezo ignition means you have a matchless start, and the stove comes with a 2 ft. cord to keep your propane out of the range of heat. It's tough to match the versatility of this one.
5. Best Camp Stove for Backpacking
- Approximately 8,600 BTU
- 2.6 oz.
- 3-minute boil time
Most ounce-counters would agree that these days, there are two brands that are ruling the backpacker's camp stove market. JetBoil and MSR. In our perspective, the PocketRocket from the later company takes the cake in the category of miniature units. It is ridiculously light (you may forget it's in your pack), incredibly fast (your home stove can barely heat water this quick), and super efficient (gas prices these days, you know?).
The serrated top on your PocketRocket stove means your pot won't slip. PocketRocket's propane connection fits nearly all self-sealing canisters so that you can purchase a compatible refill no matter where you are, and MSR has included a hardshell carrying case to protect the unit whenever you go. For a single burner, ultra-light option, stash this one in your pocket and hit the road.
6. Car Campers Rejoice
- 20,000 BTU
- Hyper-collapsible design
- Heat up to 480º F
For those of us who enjoy the outdoors, but are not always able to take an extended trip into the quiet of the backcountry, car camping is ideal. Pull up to your spot, unpack, and slip into a weekend of relaxation. This process becomes a lot easier when you have a reliable camp stove, such as the Coleman RoadTrip. The 24 in. griddle top is made from rolled steel and can fit a family's worth of burgers all at once. Yet, it does not take up a family's worth of space.
The foldable legs (which stand at a pleasant 31.5 in. high) collapse simply, turning this unit into a small table that can fit in the trunk. With double burners, your food is fast to cook. Among the other smoking hot benefits to this grill: There is a three-year manufacturer's warranty, and it's currently selling for more than $100 off.
7. An All-in-One Propane Camping Stove
- 1 lb. 14 oz.
- 7,000 BTU
- Highly adjustable heat management
The Primetech Stove Set uses an innovative design to maximize cooking efficiency while minimizing overall space consumption. Instead of pitting an individual, canister-top burner against the wind, Primus has wrapped the heat-producing section of its burner with a vented wind guard. As such, your flame is protected while the cooking pots nest right inside the chamber.
Other than its size considerations, another winning aspect of this set is the finely tuned heat management. The temperature regulator presents you with full and precise control over your flame, and Primus asserts that you'll go through 50% less fuel because of it. Reviewers say the unit doesn't allow for conversion to white gas, which might be a problem in cold conditions. That said, if you're not in a region with wintery weather, this model should do just fine.
8. The Most Compact Propane Grill
- 10,000 BTU
- 6 lbs.
- Ultra-consolidated body minimizes the size
We've mentioned Jetboil's prominence in the backpacking game, and now the company has created an option that is causing two-burner propane camping stove producers to collapse onto themselves. Literally. The Genesis Basecamp stove takes the common two-burner design and folds it in half. Instead of a single flat panel with a flat-top lid, this model operates with a clamshell design that puts the storage size of a dual burner into one.
At the connection point of the panels is a lever ignitor for matchless fire starting. Placed on the edges of the shell are two knob controls for easy temperature management. And while the low profile might seem like a nightmare when it comes to keeping a flame lit in the wind, Jetboil has included a guard to keep the breeze from felling your flame. The biggest downside to this unique design is that the unit is made to specifically fit Jetboil cooking gear, so if you are not already a dedicated fan, you may find it hard to cook with.
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