The best camping stoves - KPTV - FOX 12

The best camping stoves

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By Rachel Cavanaugh


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One of the most underrated aspects of properly roughing it is how to correctly prepare and cook each day’s meals. Whether you’re driving to a big group campsite to join friends, or trekking into the woods alone, you need to eat. Because of this, what you plan to eat, where you plan to eat it, and how you plan to cook it, are all factors to consider when deciding what type of camp stove might be best for you.

First off, it helps to know the type of adventure you intend to take. If you typically carry your weight into the woods with you, a lightweight canister stove or multi-fuel single-burner makes the most sense. If you’re usually hunkered down by a river with a bunch of friends and your car is but a few feet away, you may opt to bring a full-sized foldable barbecue or chuck wagon-style grill. Whatever your fancy, here are the best camping stoves for every outdoor occasion.

CampChef Everest

The best classic double burner

If you spend your summer weekends car camping with friends and want a simple double-burner to make coffee, fry bacon, and boil giant pots of spaghetti, this stove is exactly what you need. With two high-pressure 20,000 BTU burners, this awesome tabletop stove boasts mega power for its relatively small 13.5 by 23.5-inch frame. With a large cooking area that fits two 10 to 12-inch pans, it features superb simmer control and evenly distributes heat throughout the chamber, making it the perfect tool for cooking eggs or pancakes.

The 12-pound propane stove has an easy-to-operate, matchless ignitor, smooth temperature dials, and a sturdy latch for its compact carry case. The nickel-coated steel cooking grate is sturdy enough for big pots and the stainless steel drip tray means less cleanup effort and more time for roasting marshmallows. You don’t even have to worry about windy conditions, either, because the stove’s triple-sided windscreens block out the elements.

Buy it now at:

REI Amazon

Coleman Fold N Go

The best foldable double burner

The advantage of a foldable stove is you can cook multiple meals at once — in much larger pots, no less — without taking up as much space as a regular double-burner. Coleman’s Fold N Go gives you many of the benefits of a standard style stove in a convenient, compact design. Featuring Instastart auto-ignition and PerfectFlow heating distribution, your food receives steady and uniform heat flow, ensuring it’s evenly cooked while maximizing fuel efficiency.

The stove is super steady and grips the ground firmly whether it’s sitting on grass, dirt, or atop a picnic table. With removable chrome-plated grates and an aluminized steel cooktop, it accommodates two 10-inch pans — almost as much as your classic two-burner — and each side can be controlled independently. It doesn’t have great flame control and at 10,000-BTU, the stove has less overall power than others but if portability and cost-effectiveness are important, this is the best of both worlds.

Buy it now at:

REI Amazon

MSR Windburner Collection

The best canister stove

The problem with many canister-style stoves for backpackers is that they don’t offer much in the way of wind protection. MSR’s Windburner collection, however, utilizes a built-in pressure regulator that makes it highly wind resistant, keeping the stove lit even when it’s brutally gusty. Using radiant burner technology, the compact stove comes to a boil fast and burns fuel efficiently. Plus, unlike many similar canister stoves, it’s sturdy and won’t topple over at the drop of a hat. The trade-off to that is that it carries a bit more weight — 15 ounces total — but the pieces nest into a convenient, small space.

The Windburner’s lock-on system integrates with a series of pots and pans, making it a great choice for someone who enjoys solo backpacking or mountaineering, yet also car camps with friends. Cookware options include a 1.0 or 1.8-liter personal pot for coffee or boiled water, a 2.5-liter sauce pot for items like chili and rice, a 4.5-liter stock potfor group meals, and a skillet for frying. Although the stove received a brand-new design for 2018, all pre-existing pots function with the upgraded system. The only major drawback is that it doesn’t feature an auto-ignitor— for a grill costing over $100, this may be a dealbreaker for some.

Buy it now at:

Amazon

MSR PocketRocket 2

The best lightweight canister stove

MSR’s classic Pocket Rocket has been a long-running favorite for backpackers and this year the iconic backcountry burner got a reboot. The upgraded PocketRocket 2 features the same elements as the original but with an even lighter and more compact design. At 2.5 ounces, MSR shaved a half ounce off the weight and re-engineered how the arms fold up, making it even more packable. Even better, the ultralight 8,200 BTU burner now comes in a smaller, oval-shaped case instead of the classic triangular sleeve.

It still boils a liter of water in a short amount of time — roughly 3.5 minutes — and offers precise flame control, as well as a WindClip windshield. However, the new pot supports expand more to hold a wider range of cookware. On top of that, the serrated arms grab onto the pot to make it less wobbly. This new-and-improved single-burner is one of the best ultralight backpacking stoves for long-distance hikers, backpackers, and even weekenders who like to have an extra burner around their group site.

Buy it now at:

REI Amazon

Optimus Polaris Optifuel

The best multi-fuel stove

If you’re planning to camp in cold weather, you want a stove that burns liquid fuel (also known as white gas) — a fuel which outperforms other fuel types in below-freezing temperatures. The Polaris Optifuel burns this white gas, along with petrol, kerosene, and diesel. That means that on top of being an excellent winter camping option, you can also use it in the summertime if you prefer gas canisters. Best of all, the 17-ounce stove features a single jet for all fuel types so you won’t have to manually switch out nozzles. Just flip between the four-season mode and efficiency mode, depending on your fuel type — it’s one of the only multi-fuel stoves that do this.

The patented quick-priming burner has simmer capability and boils water in under four minutes. Its serrated arms feature a wide surface area to support various pot sizes and the toothed legs keep the device stable. Finally, the stove showcases an integrated magnetic cleaning needle that kickstarts your cleanup while you cook. It is one of the best and most versatile winter camping stoves available.

Buy it now at:

Amazon

Jetboil MiniMo

The best all-in-one rapid boiler

If fast boil time is what you seek, nothing beats Jetboil’s FluxRing technology that’s capable of boiling water in just two minutes. The company’s lightweight, MiniMo is arguably its best integrated system, boasting exceptional fuel efficiency and a sleek, compact design. Unlike some of the company’s other models, the 10,000 BTU MiniMo offers simmer control with a regulated valve that can go from a barely-there simmer to a furious boil within moments. The one-liter cook pot features neoprene insulation and an ergonomic, low spoon angle so you can eat straight from the cup without spilling it everywhere.

It has sturdy metal handles and comes with a little gadget to secure the fuel canister, further stabilizing the unit. In contrast to many other all-in-one systems, it features a push-button igniter for easy lighting and the compact, easy-to-use stove is a breeze to set up and break down. The MiniMo doesn’t shine in cold weather as much as some of its competitors, so if you’re into mountaineering, it may not be the best option. For someone who wants a lightweight, easy-to-use single-burner that boils water in a hurry, this is a fantastic choice.

Buy it now at:

REI Amazon

BioLite BaseCamp Stove

The best wood-burning stove

Biolite’s BaseCamp is easy to use, eco-friendly, and, as a bonus, allows you to charge your phone while cooking. The innovative wood-burning stove — which began as a Kickstarter project— is fueled from bits of foraged wood, pinecones, and branches. That means you don’t have any fuel canisters to refill and drag along. The high-tech, two-pound stove works by converting heat into electricity via a patent-pending thermoelectric generator that produces about two watts at five volts. The electricity also powers a small fan to make the cooking space hotter and also boasts a USB light for night cooking. It has adjustable legs and can hold pots and pans, or up to eight burgers.

Buy it now at:

REI Amazon

Traeger Tailgater Portable Barbecue

The best tailgating grill

Whether you’re camping, tailgating, or heading down to the lake for a big cookout, this convenient and portable grill makes it easy and delicious. The foldable barbecue has 300 square inches of grilling space that accommodates up to 12 burgers, allowing you to make smoky ribs, grilled chicken, or other barbecued delights even when you’re in the middle of nowhere.

This 62-pound stove is built with a digital LED multi-position thermostat control and EZ-Fold legs. Its state-of-the-art grilling technology uses an induction fan to circulate wood smoke throughout the cooking chamber, delivering mouthwatering flavors of wood-cooked meat. The fuel is carried to the hopper with an auger that moves at varying speeds, giving you the choice of fast, hot meals or low, slow-cooked treasures. If you’re a grill master who loves to camp, this stove is calling your name.

Buy it now at:

Traeger

Snow Peak Grill Burner

The best camping grill

Snow Peak Grill Burner

First introduced at Outdoor Retailer in January of 2018, Snow Peak’s Grill Burner is the perfect summer grilling companion. Whether you’re headed to the beach, the woods, or just in your own backyard, it has all the bells and whistles to grill your meat to perfection. It’s easy to heat, making for an ideal centerpiece for cooking while you chat with friends or family. When you’re finished cooking, it’s also a breeze to clean, meaning you won’t have a hefty task after filling up on hot dogs and hamburgers.

Its large cast iron surface offers enough room to grill a number of steaks or bratwursts simultaneously and its heat output is reliably consistent, providing for a tender meal you’ll be talking about until your next outing. The grill weighs in at eleven pounds, making it easy to transport between destinations. It includes the burner body, griddle, water pan, storage case, and binding band, so if you’re a carnivore seeking the ultimate portable grilling experience, this was made just for you.

Buy it now at:

Snow Peak


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