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Published Feb 14, 2022 6:28 PM

Last fall, I took a friend who works in the food industry on her very first camping trip. After a long day of hiking, we arrived back at our campsite happily tired, a little cold from the year’s first snow, and very hungry. In the time it took me to set up our tent, she was already well into cooking a five-star pad Thai on my Coleman propane stove. With three burners to sauté, cook noodles, and boil vegetables, she cut no corners at all. The smell of simmering pad Thai with the sun setting over Colorado’s Sawatch Range made that meal, shared with my best childhood friend, one I’ll never forget. And this is the magic of a camp stove.

Whether you’re shopping for a tailgating stove or a camping stove that can cook for the whole family, a solid camp stove is one of the most important pieces of gear to invest in. I’ve rounded up a list of the best camping stoves and will walk you through options that will fit your budget and plans for adventure.

A camping stove is different from a backpacking stove in that it gives you a lot more space, freedom, and power to cook for larger groups and make more intricate meals (the tradeoff, of course, is the additional size and weight). Between my Coleman Eventemp 3 and Primus Kuchoma, I barely see a difference between the meals I make on a camping trip and what I cook in my kitchen. So, if you’re looking to upgrade your camp cooking, you’ve come to the right place. 

Best 3-Burner Camp Stove: Coleman Eventemp 3 Burner Propane Stove

Coleman

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Key Features

  • Weight: 18.2 pounds
  • Wind block panels double as trays
  • Three adjustable burners
  • Instant ignite
  • Design radiates heat evenly across burners
  • Pressure regulator for consistent performance
  • Easy to clean 

Why It Made the Cut

The Coleman Eventemp 3 Burner is an all-around excellent stove that’s durable, reliable, and super versatile for a range of car-camping meals.

Pros 

  • Durable and reliable
  • Triple burner can heat three separate pots/pans or evenly heat a baking sheet
  • Easy to use 

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Significantly more expensive than Coleman Classic
  • Hard to bring temperature to a simmer 
A woman cooking on a green camp stove overlooking a mountain
The Eventemp 3’s three burners make cooking for a large group more convenient. Samantha Silverman

Product Description

I’ve made the best meals I’ve ever cooked on this stove. The Eventemp 3 is definitely an upgrade from the Coleman Classic, as it’s bigger and gives you a lot more versatility and power for your frontcountry kitchen. With two traditional burners and one that goes across the middle of the stove, you can have three separate pots and pans cooking at once, or a sheet evenly heated across all three burners on your next car camping trip. I’ve made everything from an extensive egg, sausage, veggie breakfast to an elaborate pad Thai on the Coleman Eventemp 3. The extra burner is worth the investment, I’ve seen this stove perform wonderfully in the cold and in windy conditions. Especially when I’m cooking for a group, I’m glad I paid a little extra one of the best camping stoves.

Best 2-Burner Camping Stove: Camp Chef Everest 2X Camping Stove  

Camp Chef

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Key Features

  • Weight: 12 pounds
  • Two windshields 
  • Instant ignite 
  • Two adjustable burners
  • Easy to clean

Why It Made the Cut

The Everest 2X is one of the best two-burner stoves out there. It’s effective, durable, and reliable—worth its steep price. 

Pros

  • Tough and durable 
  • Quick to boil and easy to bring to a simmer
  • Handles wind well 

Cons

  • Bulky and heavy (downside to being extremely tough)

Product Description

If you have the space for the Everest 2X and are willing to spend almost $200, this is the best two-burner you’ll find. It is an upgrade from the original Everest, which is slimmer by design, but the newer, more durable model with stronger burners is the way to go if you’ve got the space. It boils quickly, which many stoves do, but where it shines is being able to bring fuel to a simmer. In my opinion, this feature is what separates good stoves from great ones, and makes your camping meals next level.

Another great 2-burner stove: Eureka! Ignite Portable Two-Burner Camping Stove

Best Portable Camping Grill: Primus Kuchoma

Primus

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Key Features

  • Weight: 10 pounds 
  • Removable non-stick and dishwasher-safe grill grate 
  • One evenly-distributed horizontal burning tube
  • Ceramic, non-stick grill grate
  • Propane stand and attached fuel tube
  • Deep hood 

Why It Made the Cut

For how light and compact it is, the Kuchoma Portable Grill grills shockingly well. I’d highly recommend this grill to accompany a camping stove on a group trip.  

Pros

  • Light and compact
  • Locking device is reliable, making the grill easily portable 
  • Grills as well as large setups (see image below)

Cons

  • No griddle or other compatible accessories
  • Some reviews have said it becomes harder to clean over time
Sausages and vegetables grilling
The ceramic, non-stick grill grate is high quality and easy to clean. Samantha Silverman

Product Description

This is the camping grill I never knew I needed. It’s smaller than a Coleman, and is super effective for its compact size. I only started cooking on this grill this winter, and have been impressed by its performance in below-freezing temperatures (no issues with the instant ignite in the cold either). Its griddle heats up quickly and evenly, and the stove is easy to clean on the spot.

A small portable grill is great for cooking for a few people if you have room in the car for both a grill and a traditional camping stove, but it may be a little small if you’re looking to grill a large amount of food for a group all at once. I’ve found it’s perfect for about five sausages and some vegetables, or up to five burgers. One thing I’d love to see from Primus in the future is a griddle that is compatible with the Kuchoma. The grill grate is a nice design, but I’d love to be able to cook eggs and such on the grill, and would likely opt for the Kuchoma over a classic camp stove if there were more cooking surface options available.

Best Single-Burner Camping Stove: GasOne GS-3400P

GasOne

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Key Features

  • Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Compatible with propane and butane
  • Instant ignite
  • Easily adjustable flame levels
  • Automatic safety shutoff capability and cartridge ejection system if stove overheats or fuel is flowing irregularly

Why It Made the Cut

Sometimes you only need one burner, whether that’s for single-pot cooking or for a designated coffee station. The GasOne GS-3400P is a strong and reliable stove that gives you the flexibility of using propane or butane as fuel. 

Pros

  • Compact
  • Can use two types of fuel
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Obvious limitations come with a single-burner stove
  • No windscreen
  • Complaints about gas leaking when stove is turned off

Product Description

The GasOne GS-3400P is compact and easy to use if you’re in the market for a single-burner camping stove. Unlike many camping stoves (all of the ones on this list take propane), this stove takes either propane or butane, keeping it very low maintenance. And only weighing around 3 pounds, it’s an easy burner to keep in your car, if even just for emergencies. If you’re trying to keep it simple, I’d say it’s $30ish well spent. 

Best for Portability: Jetboil Genesis Basecamp System 

Jetboil

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Key Features

  • Weight: 6.4 pounds (without carrying bag) 
  • Foldable two-burner stove
  • Works with any propane fuel source
  • Comes with carrying bag and windscreen 
  • Jetboil sells compatible lightweight cooking accessories 

Why It Made the Cut

The Jetboil Genesis is a unique camping stove that is portable and light, yet is competitive with larger and bulkier two-burner stoves. 

Pros

  • Compact, portable, and lightweight for a two-burner stove
  • Precise adjustable heat settings (easy to bring to a simmer) 
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Price
  • Weak windscreen
  • Too heavy for backpacking, yet ultra portability may not be needed for car camping

Product Description

The Genesis occupies an interesting space between backpacking and car camping. It’s a small, ultra-compact option for car campers and a bulkier luxury for backpackers. It’s definitely a pricey stove, especially when there are options on this list that are going to cook more food with more power, but the Genesis is more compact and portable than any other competitive stove on the market.  

Best Budget Camping Stove: Coleman Classic Propane

Coleman

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Key Features

  • Weight: 11.9 pounds
  • Two adjustable burners
  • Two windshields
  • No instant ignite

Why It Made the Cut

People have been camping with this classic stove for years, and I expect it’ll be cooking up camp meals for years to come. It’s a simple, reliable design from one of the best camp stove manufacturers that’ll never go out of style. 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Classic, long-lasting camp stove
  • Simple, no-frills design and construction

Cons

  • Less reliable in cold temperatures and at altitude
  • Hard to regulate temperature
A person cooking on a green stove at sunset
The Coleman Classic is a timeless and reliable design. Samantha Silverman

Product Description

No matter how good technology gets, the Coleman Classic remains as one of the best camp stoves. This stove is simple, easy to use, and will last a really long time. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, and if you’re not looking to break the bank on a pricey, new design, don’t. This stove will do you just fine. Just be aware that an older and more budget-friendly design is going to be less resilient to altitude and cold weather. I’ve had issues with firing up the Coleman Classic on frosty mornings over 8,000ft, but if you’re taking summer trips or staying at lower elevations, this stove will get the job done. 

Best Wood-Burning Camp Stove: Solo Campfire

Solo Stoves

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Key Features

  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • No gas needed; fueled by sticks, twigs, and grass
  • Stainless steel
  • Recommended for approximately four people 

Why It Made the Cut

Like other Solo Stoves we’ve reviewed (the Yukon and the Lite), the Solo Campfire is a minimal-smoke, minimal-waste wood-burning camping stove that’s great for smaller groups.   

Pros

  • Minimal waste produced
  • Lifetime warranty 
  • Easy to clean 
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Gas keeps a more consistent flame than a fire (and is more reliable in the rain)
  • Fire leaves a residue on your pot or pan
  • Check with local jurisdictions about fire bans and whether local rangers consider the Campfire an open flame or a stove
Two people cooking over an open fire stove
Solo makes cookware compatible with the Campfire, making it easier to cook over the open flame. Solo Stoves

Product Description

If you enjoy cooking over an open fire, the Solo Campfire is a similar, more reliable alternative. It can run on just sticks and twigs, and keeps smoke at a minimum. You can put a grate over the fire, use your own cookware, or invest in the Solo 2 Pot Set that fits perfectly on top of the Campfire. Even though cooking over the Campfire is easier than cooking over an open flame, it definitely takes some practice, so if you decide this stove is for you, definitely test it in your backyard before your first trip with it. 

One major flaw of all other stoves on this list is that they all use propane, and most people use the small green propane bottles that can neither be refilled nor recycled. Wood-burning stoves, in that sense, are significantly more sustainable than most other stoves, but it’s also important to note that you may not be able to bring your Campfire on a trip with you in fire-restricted areas. Check with your local jurisdiction before you go, and if you’re going on an extended trip during fire season, you may want to consider also bringing a gas stove, just in case (or leaving the Campfire at home).

Methodology

To put together this list of the best camping stoves, I was lucky enough to draw on years of experience cooking in the frontcountry. Plus, I have many friends and colleagues who were excited to share their go-to camp stoves with me. I first created my categories based on the most frequently searched types of camping stoves, and tested, researched, and interviewed folks to find the stoves with the most capabilities that were extremely reliable, took a common fuel source, and time tested.

FAQs

Q: What is the best fuel for camping stoves?

While most backpacking stoves use small fuel canisters or white gas, camping stoves tend to use propane (or sometimes butane). Sadly, the readily-available option is usually small canisters you can neither refill nor recycle. That being said, companies like Ignik are developing more sustainable solutions. Ignik’s Gas Growler is refillable and easy to bring car camping with you, holding up to five green propane bottles. Be on the lookout for their new Gas Growler models coming soon that are lighter, hold more fuel, and are made from recycled materials.  

Q: What is the safest camping stove? 

You can assume it’s safe to use a camping stove after you inspect all the parts, test it outside before your trip, and follow all the instructions. A new stove from a reputable outdoors company should be good to go, and if you bought your stove used, make sure you know its history and double check everything before your trip. It never hurts to read user reviews of stoves before buying to see what issues people have run into. 

Q: What is the best camping stove for families?

If you’re taking the whole family camping, I’d recommend investing in a three-burner stove and bringing along a portable grill or backup for some extra cooking space. If you’re planning on an intricate meal for a large group, you’ll definitely want to maximize how many burners you have available, but if your family tends to keep it simple, don’t underestimate how much a classic two burner can handle. 

How to Choose the Best Camp Stove

Choosing the best camping stove for you starts with considering how big of a group you usually camp with, how intricate of meals you usually make, and your budget. If you’re looking for one do-it-all, high-end stove for the whole family, I’d definitely recommend the Coleman Eventemp 3-Burner. But, if you just want something cheap, versatile, and reliable, you can’t go wrong with the Coleman Classic

The best stove for you might also be a combination of a few. If it’s in your budget, a portable grill or a wood-burning stove is a great addition to a standard stove, as is a portable option like the Jetboil Genesis, depending on your trip.   

Final Thoughts 

Having a solid camping stove you’re comfortable using can really enhance a family trip, or make you more comfortable getting into camping. A weekend camping trip (or longer) doesn’t need to mean you’re “roughing it.” There are so many good frontcountry recipes out there, and with a good stove, some cookware, and a cooler to store all your perishables, you can really camp with any food you want and be as creative in the kitchen as you would be at home.