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Everyone knows that food simply tastes better outdoors, but making a meal at a campsite shouldn't be a struggle. We strongly believe that camp cooking should be no harder than cooking at home, and you shouldn’t have to schlep a ton of kitchen supplies miles into the backcountry. The key is to equip yourself with the right gear, starting with the best camping stove for your needs. In addition to a few basic utensils, all you’ll need is a full cooler and a little creativity to whip up gourmet meals on the go.
The easy-to-use (and aesthetically pleasing) Eureka! Ignite is the "best camping stove overall," ... [+] according to our tester.
When choosing a camping stove, keep in mind how many people you want to feed and what you want to cook. Beyond the number of burners, standard specs include BTUs (short for British Thermal Units), and in general, the higher the better. I personally tested a dozen stoves from top outdoor brands like MSR, Camp Chef, Jetboil, Primus and Eureka! and put the top contenders on this list.
So whether you are a discerning foodie or a humble ramen junkie, we’ve rounded up eight of the best camping stoves so that you can find the perfect one for your adventure.
With many camping stoves you get one of two settings: either full blast or off. With the Ignite Camp Stove from Eureka!, however, you not only get two powerful 10,000 BTU burners that boil a liter of water in under five minutes, you get two full turns of adjustability for simmer control. This lets you dial in each burner individually so you never have to worry about unevenly cooked omelettes or burnt pancakes. The burners are 10 inches apart, meaning you can fit two 10-inch pots or pans side by side.
This tabletop stove is compact at 18.5 x 12.8 x 4 inches and lightweight at just 10 pounds. We found the rubber feet added a better level of stability compared to wobbly legs or the standard metal bottom on most tabletop stoves. And while it’s simply cosmetic, we love the Piaggio-green color of the stove chassis.
The Coleman Classic does the job and you know exactly what you’re getting every time. Best for one or two people and simple meals, this stove gives you two 10,000 BTU burners that boil a liter of water in six minutes under super windy conditions. They also simmer surprisingly well for a stove so light on the wallet.
The cooking area is the largest of the stoves on this list, with 12-inch burner spacing and adjustable windscreens that widen to allow for a 12-inch and 10-inch pan side-by-side. The diameter of the burners themselves are smaller than others, however, so they’re prone to hot spots and uneven cooking, particularly with larger pans.
To keep the price down, this tabletop stove doesn’t have a piezo igniter, so don’t forget to bring some matches or a lighter if you want to eat. The pot support is removable for easy cleaning of the drip tray, and there’s a notch to store the regulator beneath the pot support during transport so it won’t get lost.
Roasting and baking outdoors? Heck, yes. This Easy-Bake Oven for grown-ups lets you bring all the tools of home cooking to the campsite. A 400-degree Fahrenheit oven and two high-output, windscreen-protected 7,500 BTU burners on this camping stove mean you can whip up a batch of cinnamon rolls and bacon while brewing coffee, or even impress your friends and family with a roast chicken dinner.
The oven easily lights via a push button piezo igniter on the front face, while the auto-ignite range burners operate much like your home gas stove, so you don’t have to worry about bringing matches. Note that the lack of an internal temperature gauge means you need to keep an eye on what you’re baking or those maple pecan sticky buns can go from not quite cooked to overdone rather quickly.
Single burners are your breakfast powerhouses. Compact and lightweight, they enable you to brew up tea and coffee, flip some pancakes, simmer a pot of oatmeal or get fancy with chilaquiles. Our favorite in this category is the Jetboil HalfGen, not only because of its powerful 10,000 BTU burner that can boil a liter of water in just over four minutes (faster if using Jetboil’s 5L Flux Pot), but also because of its full simmer control. If something does boil over due to human error, the parts are easy enough to take apart and clean.
The stove sets up in seconds by simply connecting a standard 16.4-ounce propane bottle to the fuel hose. The system comes with a 9-inch ceramic-coated fry pan, cutting down on the need to buy extra gear for basic cooking. We found it also works well with a 12-inch cast iron skillet, for those looking to get a little more creative.
Whether you are backpacking, bikepacking, climbing or just want a stove to make some coffee on your next sunrise adventure, the compact yet efficient Primus Firestick easily fits into a coat pocket, mesh water bottle pocket, backpack or bike bag. Pair the camping stove with the Primus Essential Trek Pots and you have a full backcountry kitchen setup.
This camping stove twists onto the top of any gas canister. Three pot supports open like a flower, blocking wind and channeling heat up towards the pot. A powerful 8,530 BTU flame can boil a liter of water in four and a half minutes, or can be lowered to simmer a delicate sauce. We used the camping stove’s wool storage pouch as a pot holder to grab hot pots.
Take a peek into any mountaineer’s or polar explorer’s pack and you will find an MSR Whisperlite stove—guaranteed. First introduced in 1984, this camping stove has stood the test of time for good reason: It’s reliable, it works in extreme conditions and it’s easily repairable in the field. This Whisperlite Universal is the lightest, most versatile hybrid fuel stove out there.
The stove works with canister fuel, white gas, kerosene and unleaded gas, ensuring you can find fuel wherever you find yourself in the world. When using canister gas instead of the pump-pressurized fuel bottle, the included canister stand enables the stove to run on an inverted canister (liquid fuel mode) for improved cold weather and low fuel performance.
Over time, the small fuel opening can naturally become clogged by pieces of solidified fuel that has not vaporized. To clean it, just give it a shake.
Decathlon, one of the largest sports retailers in the world, is known for its Trader Joe’s-esque approach to outdoor retail, with quality and (most importantly) affordable gear. The Forclaz Trek 100 camping stove is a prime example. At $30, it won’t break the bank but gives you everything you need to boil water or cook basic meals outdoors.
The camping stove weighs just 6.5 ounces and comes in a sturdy plastic case so it remains protected inside your backpack. The user-friendly design simply screws onto the top of any gas canister and lights via an integrated piezo ignition—no need for matches or a lighter. While you may not get advanced features like simmer control, the stove can boil a liter of water in less than four minutes.
Don’t want to carry fuel with you on your next outdoor adventure? The BioLite CampStove 2 uses fan-powered combustion technology to efficiently burn sticks, pine cones, wood scraps, pellets or other biomass so you can not only boil water in minutes and cook food, but also charge your gadgets at the same time. When not in use, everything packs up to the size of a Nalgene bottle.
This camp stove’s flame delivers three watts of power to recharge your phone, headlamp or other gadgets. Anything left over is stored in the 3,200-mAh internal battery pack that you can pre-charge at at home if you want a head start.
Editor’s note: The Coleman Triton Stove was not first-person tested, however its brand reputation and high customer ratings make it worth considering.
This latest model of the Coleman Triton Stove stove is compact and super lightweight but still offers two adjustable burners with 22,000 total BTUs, a well as a cooking area large enough to fit a 12-inch and a 10-inch pan side by side. Note that Coleman has improved the knob rotation on this new model to allow for more precise adjustments for temperature and simmering control, which hopefully will help you avoid cooking mishaps.
The stove is easy to set up, and its chrome-plated grate is removable for simple cleanup. To help keep the price down, this tabletop stove doesn’t have a piezo igniter, so unless you want cold meals, don’t forget to bring some matches or a lighter.
Our picks for the best camping stoves were tried and tested by Amy Jurries, Forbes Vetted contributor. Amy is an outdoor enthusiast, experienced adventurer and freelance journalist who specializes in writing about the outdoors. You can find her bylines in notable magazines including Outside and Backpacker, as well as websites like TripSavvy and AFAR.