The 7 Best Camping Stoves for the Outdoors in 2023

Photo: Jetboil HalfGen Base Camp Stove
Contributors

It’s time to stop pretending that any of us really enjoy granola, energy bars, and MREs while we’re out on the trails. Sure, they serve a purpose — to fuel us up when we need the energy — but they’re so far from anything you might consider “culinary” that it’s practically laughable. Thankfully, if you want a genuine hot lunch or a home-cooked dinner while you’re out camping, you’re not completely out of luck.

Camping stoves are a great alternative to cold, prepackaged foods — so long as you’re willing to make some concessions in regards to weight and storage space, both in regards to the stoves themselves and the food supplies you’ll want to bring along. If you’re interested in taking your kitchen skills out to the woods and trying your luck at some campground cooking, you’ll definitely want to have a gander at our following guide to the best camping stoves money can buy.

What’s In A Camp Stove?

Factors To Consider

Just because something can create a flame, that doesn’t mean it will function properly as a camping stove. And not all camp stoves are alike in regards to their size, shape, features, etc. If you’re in the market for one, there are some things you should know. That way, you’ll make an educated decision based on the technology out there and what you specifically need and want out of a campfire cooking apparatus. The following are four of the most important metrics to keep in mind:

Size/Weight: If you are car camping, heading out in an overlander, or going on a trip where you and your crew will remain largely stationary, the size and weight of your camping stove aren’t that big of a deal. However, if you’re a hiker/backpacker, you’ll want to be sure the camp stove you’re interested in isn’t too big and bulky to pack along with you. Trust us, even an extra pound added to an already stuffed loadout could bog you down badly.

Number of Burners: This particular metric is most important if you’re making anything that requires a high volume of ingredients or multiple different cook times and temperatures. If the food you plan to make can fit in a single cast iron pan or lightweight pot, you can get by with a single burner. But if you’re making a lot of food or a more complex dish, you may want to opt for something with larger or more cooking surfaces.

Type of Fuel: Most camping stoves utilize either propane or isobutane-propane (which is lighter, more energy-rich, and more expensive than propane). That means that these types of fuels in a variety of canister sizes are widely available. However, there are also alternatives — like wood-burning options. Wood-burning stoves don’t burn as cleanly and you’re stuck dealing with embers and ashes, but they require less equipment. You just have to decide what’s more important.

Alternative Features: Though not all of them offer it, some camp stoves have alternative features that can make them all the more valuable when you’re out on the trails. For instance, the BioLite CampStove 2+ features an onboard battery that turns flame heat into usable electricity — that way you can charge up your tech anywhere you can build a fire. Of course, it’s worth checking in to see whether the stove you’re interested in has more basic things like an adjustable flame or wind-blocking shields.

Camp Chef Everest 2X

Best Overall: If you’ve wandered around any campground vicinity in recent vintage, it’s likely you’ve seen plenty of Camp Chef dual-burners around. Compact and straightforward, yet still affordable, the brand’s Everest 2X is also insanely powerful considering its size. The 1-pound propane tank (sold separately) helps deliver 20,000 BTU to each of the two nickel-plated steel burners, each of which can be controlled individually.

Compatible with griddles and skillets, the two sizable plates are protected by a three-sided windscreen for breezier outings and supported by a stainless steel drip tray to make cleanup less of a hassle.

Recap

Camp Chef Everest 2X

Insanely powerful yet compact dual-burner.

Pros
  • Powerful
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Matchless ignition
Cons
  • Requires external propane tank

Coleman Cascade Classic Camp Stove

Best Budget Stove: Coleman has one of the strongest ranges of cooking gear for camping. It might not be sleek and elegant, but the brand’s Cascade is one of the most trusted, widely-used, and reliable camping stoves around. Regardless of the fantastic price tag, this stove is among the best for its fine-tuned temperature control, adjustable windscreen, and user-friendly design.

The dual burners offer a bit of versatility regarding the kinds of meals you might make and the compatibility with propane fuel makes getting this bad boy ready to grill a simple prospect. It is a touch bulky and heavy, so it’s definitely not backpacking-worthy, but it works plenty well on more casual camping, off-roading, and beach-going trips. This Coleman is very similar to the Camp Chef, but it’s half as powerful, delivering 10,000 BTU to each burner, which may not be an issue for some campers, and might save them some money in the process.

Recap

Coleman Cascade Classic Camp Stove

User-friendly yet affordable travel stove.

Pros
  • Great price
  • User-friendly
  • Reliable
Cons
  • Heavy and bulky

Snow Peak Double Burner Stove

Best Upgrade: When it comes to stylish and functional camping equipment, few do it better than Snow Peak. The Japanese brand’s Double Burner Stove doesn’t come cheap, but it’s also extremely well-made, constructed of stainless steel, featuring wind guards and an auto-lighter, and powered by 11,897 BTU using the brand’s GigaPower canisters.

Like a lot of Snow Peak’s camping gear, the stove is compatible with some of the brand’s other products to expand its versatility. For instance, you can pair the unit with the Double Bamboo Insert, which contributes a 19.6-inch table to help with prepping or serving.

Recap

Snow Peak Double Burner Stove

An aesthetically-pleasing, durable option with a higher price tag.

Pros
  • Sizable stovetop
  • Durable
  • Versatile
Cons
  • Expensive

Jetboil HalfGen Base Camp Stove

Best Single Burner: Jetboil makes some of the best and most innovative cooking solutions for camping. Roughly the same size as a stovetop eye, the brand’s HalfGen Base Camp Stove isn’t the lightest or most compact of offerings, but it does have plenty of other things going for it. For starters, it can support pots and pans that are larger than most of its ultralight competition.

Furthermore, it can function in temperatures as low as 20°F, comes with its own frying pan, windscreen, and fuel regulator, and can be linked with other JetLink stoves for even more versatility.

Recap

Jetboil HalfGen Base Camp Stove

A single-burner for solo travelers or smaller groups.

Pros
  • Large burner
  • Incredibly durable
Cons
  • Relatively heavy and bulky

MSR PocketRocket Deluxe

Best Backpacking Stove: Weighing just 2oz, the MSR PocketRocket Deluxe Stove is an impressive, ultralight backpacking-ready camp stove that’s prepped for adventure. In fact, it’s actually the lightest camp stove that MSR makes, which is saying something.

With a burn time of 60 minutes total, a boil time of just 3.5 minutes, and a built-in piezo igniter, this tiny titan is super simple, effective, and convenient. All you have to do is make sure you’ve got a canister of IsoPro fuel to go along with it and you’ll be ready to cook in no time flat.

Recap

MSR PocketRocket Deluxe

An ultra-lightweight option for backpackers.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Quick boiling time
Cons
  • Requires external fuel canister

BioLite CampStove 2+

Best Wood Stove: Technology has invaded just about every single part of our lives. Even out on the trails, we sometimes need access to power to keep our pathfinding tech juiced up.

Well, the Biolite CampStove 2+ works great as a wood-burning fire-maker, but it also has a unique feature: a built-in, recently updated 3,200mAh battery that can turn the energy from its wood fire into usable electricity. That means, so long as you have access to kindling, you can charge up your smartphone even when the sun is down. And that’s just one of the many, many features that makes it such an impressive offering. The patented smokeless tech also makes for a better and longer-lasting experience.

Recap

BioLite CampStove 2+

A clever and innovative wood-burner that can also charge your devices.

Pros
  • Doubles as a power bank
  • Uses sticks and twigs as firewood
Cons
  • Not super easy to travel with

FireDisc The Original Short Cooker

Best for Groups: Camping with a group of people isn’t just optimal to help transport this 55-pound stovetop from FireDisc, but the Original Short Cooker’s 380sq.in of cooking space is perfect for making stir fry, stew, or large quantities of rice, among plenty of other things.

Equipped with three heat zones, this single-pot, wok-style cooker stands 24” tall which allows you to make food even while socializing around the campfire. The Short Cooker is a bit pricey, but its size lets you prepare meals both big and small, whether you’re on a weekend trip or barbecuing in the backyard.

Recap

FireDisc The Original Short Cooker

A large, wok-style hot plate for groups.

Pros
  • Really large cooking area
  • Fun to use
Cons
  • Really heavy
  • Pricey

The Best Portable Camping Grills

Photo: BioLite FirePit+

If you’re trying to hone your cooking skills for the outdoors, check out our guide to the best portable camping grills to buy.