2008 Camp Stove Buyer’s Guide
There’s no doubt that old stove you have in the garage is probably still good enough to do the job, but today’s camping families have a whole new generation of camp stoves to choose from that provide more creative options for outdoor cooking. For 2008, several exciting stoves, grills and even a camp oven have come on the scene, offering a myriad of methods to satisfy the talents of whoever has charge of the camp cuisine. Take a look at these new offerings, then ask, “how’s that tired old stove looking now?”
Elegant minimalism with real-world capabilities-the Primus 2-Burner stove has it all. A simple C-channel rail supports two large burners, and beneath each one, a pressurized gas cartridge (either 230 or 450 grams) is suspended. At each end of the rail is a skeletal, but very stable, folding leg, making this a clear winner for the award in the lightweight two-burner camp stove that’s a cinch to stow and transport category. The stove works well for a single camper or the entire family. Each burner is individually controlled and pumps out 5000 BTU of heat. The burners are surrounded by a circular pot support that contains a large X-shaped member, providing a firm foundation for cookware. Size: 21×9.1×4.1 inches. Weight: 4 lbs. Output: 10,000 BTU. MSRP: $65. Primus: 307/332-0901; /primuscamping.com/.
The new RedHead Propane Grill/Stove from Bass Pro Shops features two high-output 12,000 BTU burners-one for a pan or coffee pot, the other for the 13×10-inch grill surface. The stove has a piezo-electric igniter for matchless lighting and a smooth steel drip-pan for easy clean up. It also features a high pressure/altitude regulator, and can be fueled with a standard 16.4-ounce disposable propane cylinder. Size: 23.5×12.5×4 inches. Weight: 3 pounds. Output: 24,000 BTU. MSRP: $70. Bass Pro: 800/BASS-PRO; /basspro.com/.
Brunton equipment is known for durability and reliability, and the Wyoming-based company offers a full range of camp stoves from the sophisticated Wind River Range to the simple and elegant Gannett Grill. New is the diminutive yet powerful Cub, the economical compact stove for the car-camping couple that is also perfect for backpacking. For about $25, you get a great cooker with a large burner head that offers support and stability for most any size pot or pan. Burn time is 110 minutes on one butane canister. Features steel construction, easy flame control, and a mesh storage bag. Size: 3×4.75×4.75 inches. Weight: 8 ounces. Output: 15,000 BTU. MSRP: $25. Brunton: 800/443-4871; /brunton.com/.
The newest member of Camp Chef’s Sport Grill family is the MVP, a portable two-burner grill that can be fueled from a one-pound disposable propane canister while outputting an impressive 25,000 BTU’s of cooking power. Using an optional ($25) hose adapter, the MVP can also hook up to a bulk propane tank. The two porcelain-coated cast-iron grill grates make cleanup easy. If you remove the grates, the nickel-plated wire-grate supports pots, pans or a griddle. MVP features a built-in igniter for easy staring. Heavy-duty side shelves with tool hoods and stainless steel tops allows you keep everything tidy while you cook. The legs and side shelves fold away under the grill for easy set up and transportation or for use on a table. Size: 29x16x12 inches. Weight: 57 pounds. Output: 25,000 BTU. MSRP: $355.
If you’ve always wanted an oven when camping, here’s your chance. Even though the Outdoor Camp Oven 2-Burner Range and Stove is compact and fairly lightweight, it offers more than 14,000 total BTU’s of cooking power. Up top are twin burners for stove-style cooking, and down below is a spacious oven that’s ideal for baking muffins, cookies, casseroles, breads or cakes. The stove’s folding lid and carrying handles help with portability, and the stainless steel construction and non-stick enamel cooking surfaces are designed for easy clean-up. Two oven racks and a thermometer help the chef properly manage the bakery. The oven operates up to a temperature of 400 degrees F. The matchless ignition system makes it easy to fire up all the burners. The unit can be fueled with a disposable one-pound propane canister, or it can be adapted for use with a 20-pound bulk tank. Size: top burner, 12×21 inches; oven, 10x16x8 inches. Weight: 35 pounds. Output: range, 5300 BTU; oven, 3500 BTU. MSRP: $248. Camp Chef: 800/650-2433; /campchef.com/.
A clever application of the concept of multitasking is behind the Century 2317i Propane Heater/Cooker Combo because it serves as both an area heater and a stove. The two-position stand allows the stove to face upward so it can hold pots and pans, or face sideways to operate as an area heater. The unit is pressure regulated to operate between 10,000 to 14,000 BTU. The regulator valve is designed for efficient fuel flow in cold weather and for safe, convenient and dependable use at high altitude. A unique three-screen design makes the heater windproof. A safety shutoff valve automatically cuts off gas flow if the burner flame is extinguished. Uses 16.4-ounce disposable propane cylinder. Size: 11×8.5×11 inches. Weight: 3.75 pounds. Output: 10,000 to 14,000 BTU. MSRP: $55.
The Century Matchless Single Burner Stove (model 4264) is about as compact as a camp stove can get without moving into the category belonging to backpack stoves. The largest thing about this model is the 16.4-ounce propane canister that fuels it. The only components that come in the box are the burner unit that attaches to the top of a propane canister, and the large plastic base that provides stability. A push-button piezo-electric igniter provides quick match-free lighting of the over-sized 3-3/8-inch burner that is adjustable up to 10,000 BTU. The stove is pressure regulated for consistent performance. A nickel-plated drip tray below the burner catches spills. Comes with a durable nylon carry bag that is large enough to hold the stove and a one-pound propane cylinder. Size: 8x8x5.5 inches. Weight: 1.75 lbs. Output: 10,000 BTU. MSRP: $25. Century Outdoors: 800/635-3831; /centurycamping.com/.
The Exponent Rendezvous 2-Burner is designed for campers who don’t want to be shortchanged when it comes to galley amenities. This stove actually includes the kitchen sink. The two-burner range features independently controlled burners that put out a combined 30,000 BTU. The burners are stainless steel cloverleaf design, and the whole area under the burners is lined for speedy and easy cleanup. Stainless windscreens surround the removable heavy-duty stainless steel cooking surface. The stove is packaged in an extruded aluminum and stainless steel case. The lid opens to the side of the stove, revealing customizable storage bins (including a small sink basin), an anti-microbial cutting board and a hard-anodized cast aluminum reversible griddle/grill. On the main housing is a non-slip handle that folds out of the way when not in use, and on the lid is a towel bar with utensil hooks. The lid is detachable, and the locking case latches to keep things secure during travel. Size: 25x16x8 inches. Weight: 23 pounds. Output: 30,000 BTU. MSRP: $350. Coleman: 800/835-3278; /coleman.com/.
The Outdoor Chef City Grill is powerful, and portable in a carrying case compact enough to easily fit in the trunk of a small car. An ideal barbeque for camping, it’s shaped like a traditional dome-top residential unit, but can quickly break down in about a minute to be carried anywhere. What makes this grill so unique is the Flip Funnel design that changes the spread of the heat coming from the burner and also stops annoying flare-ups and smoke. By rotating the Flip Funnel, you can choose to use the grill for such varying duties as grilling juicy steaks or kabobs, baking poultry, roasting ears of corn, or cooking a pizza. The grill comes with a Gourmet Kit that includes a pizza plate and a pan. Size: 16.5x 21 inches high (legs extended). Weight: 25 lbs. MSRP: $149.
The company’s Volcano II grill is designed to take advantage of a chimney effect by funneling air in through holes in the side of the housing. Volcano II features an adjustable air valve that lets you grill, roast, bake, or use a frying pan or a pot on it. The grill can be fired with propane, charcoal or wood. With no assembly necessary, all it takes is about five seconds to set it up and get ready to go; the grill collapses into a compact size easy to carry in its water-resistant case. Size: 14.5×12 inches (extended). Weight: 19 pounds. MSRP: $99. Portable-Grill-Store: 954/427-5202; /portable-grill-store.com/
As handsome as it is functional, the new Stansport 212 Two-Burner Propane Stove is all dressed up in durable stainless steel, offering a long, corrosion-free life. For ease of operation when serious cooking performance is needed, a matchless ignition system fires up two powerful 25,000 BTU stainless steel burners that are protected by windscreens. A heavy-duty rack supports pots and pans or a griddle; the stainless drip pan catches spills. Size: 23.5x12x6 inches. Weight: 11 pounds. Output: 50,000 BTU. MSRP: $90.
The Stansport 215 Three-Burner Outfitter Series Stove is a good choice for when the situation calls for rugged strength and three burners that can put out some serious heat. It’s nothing fancy to look at, but the black enamel-coated steel box holds a trio of 25,000 BTU-burners beneath an ox-strong cooking grate that will hold the heaviest pot, pan or griddle. The stove housing is designed so that the lid and two side screens provide excellent shielding against the wind. A stainless steel drip pan below the burners catches spills. A single piezo-electric igniter knob is used to start up all three of the independently controlled burners. Size: 28.5x14x7 inches. Weight: 20 lbs. Output: 75,000 BTU. MSRP: $150. Stansport: 323/269-0510; /stansport.com/.
1- Light the match; hold the flame next to the burner’s holes; and THEN turn on the gas!
2- Never lean over or put your face too close to the stove when igniting the gas… burned hair will ruin your appetite. All kidding aside, keep heads (watch those children) and limbs away from the stove when it is being lit.
3- Never use fuel-fired camp appliances such as stoves, lanterns or heaters inside a tent or in poorly vented enclosures or cabins. The resulting carbon-monoxide gas can quickly reach a lethal level.
4- Stow fuel safely and securely so it’s the farthest item away from ignition sources and the container can’t leak or be damaged.
5- Always check stove and fuel connections and fittings for leaks prior to igniting the gas. Dab a clear soap/water solution on joints and look for leaking gas bubbles.