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Best Camping Stoves

Updated April 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. Read more
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How We Decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 72 Models Considered
  • 15 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 112 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Shopping Guide for the Best Camping Stoves

    Last Updated April 2018

    Whether you’re vacationing in Yellowstone National Park, camping along a local trail, or setting up a tent in your backyard, a camping stove provides a way for you to rustle up everything from a reheated can of beans to a medium-rare filet mignon. Indeed, a camping stove adds a touch of fun and comfort to your outdoor adventures!

    With a few pots and pans, portable utensils, and some basic foodstuffs, you can cap off a thrilling day of hiking, fishing, or running the rapids with a delicious, home-cooked meal rather than a candy bar and warm soda pop.

    At BestReviews, we pride ourselves on our heavily researched product recommendations.

    To avoid bias, we never accept samples or gifts from companies whose products we review.

    Our goal is to be your go-to source for honest product reviews.

    When you’re camping, calling for pizza delivery might not be a viable option. So how should you go about preparing dinner? A handy camping stove offers a great solution.

    If you’re interested in purchasing a camping stove, we invite you to look at the five top products in our matrix, above.

    Our selections reflect quality as well as value for your money.

    If you’d like to learn more about camping stoves, please continue reading this shopping guide.

    Form factor

    All camping stoves share a common feature: they generate heat that you can use for cooking outdoors.

    When perusing the market, however, you’ll find that your product choices run the gamut from one-burner butane stovetops to multi-burner stove/oven combinations with removable racks.

    The products in our matrix, above, also vary somewhat in their form factor. But all of them offer superior characteristics, which you can read about in our evaluations.

    With the open air as a backdrop, a camping stove makes a beautiful centerpiece in your outdoor kitchen.


    Fuel source

    The fuel source you use when cooking on a camping stove depends on the model.

    Some stoves require propane or gas to start a fire. Others require a flammable biomass like wood to get the heat going.

    • If you like to finish cooking quickly, consider a camping stove that requires a propane or gas heat source.

    • If you don’t mind a leisurely cooking session, consider a camping stove that calls for wood or a similar biomass to get the fire going.
    A camping stove with Piezo ignition requires no matches and no electrical connection to start the heat.

    As with any outdoor activity that involves fire, camping stoves should not be used by children.

    For those models that rely on gas or propane, the fuel must be handled with extreme care.

    It’s also wise to avoid cooking on a camping stove when it’s windy out. Not only will it be difficult to light your fire, but the wind could spread your flames to nearby foliage.


    Because of its resistance to rust, hard-anodized aluminum is the best material for pots and pans to be used on a camping stove.

    Staff  | BestReviews

    Other considerations

    If you inspect the garage of your favorite outdoor enthusiast, chances are you’ll find a camping stove tucked away amidst the other gear.

    And it’s a safe bet that the stove will be a bit worn around the edges, because once a camper finds a stove they like, it becomes a best friend — one that can boil water, fry eggs, and put the finishing touches on a freshly caught trout.


    The Japanese Shichirin is a lightweight charcoal stove that originated in the 1600s and is still in use today.

    To find the camping stove that will be your best friend, here are some guidelines —

    • Size: From a large stove with folding legs to a small stove that packs into a travel pouch, you’ll encounter a range of size choices when shopping for this appliance.

      So ask yourself: are you the sort of adventurer who travels on foot for miles before setting up camp? Or are you the kind of camper who prefers to drive your car right up to the campsite? Lugging a 15-pound stove might not sound difficult, but after a mile’s hike on uneven terrain, you could end up wishing for something lighter.

      We urge potential buyers to take their camping habits into account when choosing a stove size.

    Stove size relates to weight, which translates to portability. The smaller the camping stove, the more portable it will be.

    Staff  | BestReviews
    • Menu: What do you plan to cook on your stove? If someone in your camping group is a foodie or gourmet chef, you’ll probably want that person to have a stove that matches their culinary talent.

      At minimum, we recommend a two-burner model.

      However, if your outdoor menus will be short and simple, a small oven that handles a three-quart pot (or less) should suffice.

    If you’ll be preparing meals that require some prep — chopping onions, filleting fish, etc. — consider a model with side trays for easy sous chef activity.

    • Experience: What kind of outdoor cooking experience do you hope to have?

      If you go into “rough it” mode while camping, you might appreciate the challenge of a stove that requires assembly and a bit of elbow grease to get the fire going.

      But if you prefer a straightforward cooking experience, you might prefer a standard model by a manufacturer like Coleman or Camp Chef that will boil, sauté, and fry on a burner — just like at home.


    Under $100

    At this low price point, you’ll find some smaller units, many of which must be assembled and disassembled before and after each use. The reputable Coleman brand offers several gas-fed, one-burner stoves under $100. At the higher end of the range, you’ll also find some two-burner stoves which may have added features such as a broiler or baking rack.


    You can make a one-pot pizza on a camping stove by pouring Bisquick (mixed with water) into your oiled pot. Layer sauce, cheese, and toppings on top and cook until golden brown.

    Under $200

    As you climb above the $100 mark, you’ll find a heftier supply of camping stoves with actual burners for traditional cooking.

    Some of these models set up like a folding table on four legs — a bonus for those who prefer the convenience of standing while cooking.

    Other creature comforts you might find in this price range include side trays for food prep and a USB port for charging your phone while cooking.

    Based on normal flame size, a 16.4-ounce canister of propane should grant you about four to six hours of cook time.

    $200 and up

    If you’re willing to pay top dollar for a camping stove, you can expect the most deluxe of features: multiple burners, temperature control, fold-out shelves, and more.

    A camping stove of this caliber can turn any campsite gathering into a gourmet dining experience.


    Small, concentrated-heat camping stoves are a great way to make coffee quickly in the morning.

    Staff  | BestReviews

    Safety tips

    Follow these safety tips for a positive outdoor cooking experience:

    • If you’re using a propane stove, be sure the propane tank is kept upright en route to the campsite and stored and in a well-ventilated area.

    • When attaching a propane tank to a camping stove, check for leaks in the connection by putting some soapy water between the fuel and the stove. If bubbles form, there could be a leak.

    When choosing a camping stove, remember that fuel-fed units require you to carry canisters of propane or gas along as well. This adds to the overall weight of your gear.

    • Put away all leftover food to avoid attracting bears and other large critters.

    • Let your stove cool thoroughly before packing it up.

    • Never leave your stove’s liquid fuel in the sun, as the exposure could lead to fire or an explosion.
    A disadvantage of using unleaded gas as a camping stove fuel is its flammability and tendency to leave a sooty residue.


    Q. What is a “pop can” stove?

    A. This is a DIY camping stove that you can make out of a regular beverage can — or even a cat food can — using a knife, scissors, and some other craft supplies. The end result is something like a Sterno burner you might see on a buffet table.

    Q. What kind of camping stoves are permitted in the Grand Canyon?

    A. Wood or charcoal fires of any type are not allowed. Sterno-type or fossil fuel backpack stoves are permitted.

    Q. Can I take my camping stove on an airplane?

    A. According to the TSA, camping stoves are allowed as either carry on or checked baggage. The stoves must be empty of fuel with no residual vapors.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Amos
      Director of Photography
    • Branson
      Production Assistant
    • Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Melissa
      Senior Editor