After an 8-mile hike through aspen groves and mushroom patches just outside Flagstaff over the long weekend, my friends and I were ravenous for food. I practically ran back to the campsite. To recoup our calories, we scarfed down tangy personal-sized pizzas topped with pepperoni and mushrooms crisped to perfection—all made on one burner of a camp stove.
With the right setup, there’s almost nothing you can’t whip up at your campsite, regardless of the stove style, weight, and size. But there are a few guidelines to consider when shopping for a camp stove: your budget, where you plan on using the stove, and whether you’ll be cooking for yourself or your whole family. A heavy two-burner stove is usually best for car camping and big groups, while a pocket-sized model is ideal for backpacking and a smaller number of eaters.
No matter where you’re headed (and with how many people), we’ve rounded up the best camp stoves for all types of adventures so you can cook whatever you’re craving.
The Best Camp Stoves for Any Adventure
1. Best for Car Camping: Primus Profile Propane Camping Stove and Grill
The weight of your gear doesn’t really matter when you’re driving to the campground, but a stove’s output certainly does. Set up this 12-pound Primus propane stove and grill at the end of your site’s picnic table for cooking breakfast, lunch, dinner, and post-hike snacks. The burner on the right side can boil water or sauté veggies, while the grill grate on the left side can sear burger patties or fry eggs. Built-in igniters make it simple to fire up, and the side windscreens can be extended to keep the flame steady even when it’s gusty. A hose and connector are included, but the propane fuel is sold separately. Primus also makes a two-burner stove (sans grill grate) in the same size, but we like this one better for its versatility.
[$170; primus.us]Get it
2. Best Ultralight: Soto WindMaster Stove
When you’re backpacking, you’ll want the smallest and lightest stove you can get away with. This tiny canister model is just five inches long and weighs 2.3 ounces—just slightly more than two AA batteries. But don’t let its stature fool you: The Windmaster is surprisingly capable, even for a group of hungry hikers. Four pot supports can stabilize a vessel as big as five liters, and the pot sits close to the flame to protect it from weather. The concave design of the burner head also ensures the flame doesn’t blow out, even in windy conditions. Boil time averages about four minutes, and the igniter lets you fine-tune the heat for boiling tea or warming up carb-packed pasta.
[$65; rei.com]Get it
3. Best for Cooking a Feast: Camp Chef Yukon
If you have enough room in your vehicle to pack an entire kitchen (and you’re feeding a crowd), the Yukon packs some key advantages over smaller camp stoves. Grillmasters will love the dual aluminum burners, heavy-duty grate, and expansive, 448-square-inch cooking surface—it’s large enough to fit multiple oversized pans and skillets for whipping up multiple dishes at once. It’s so capable, some users even set it up as their backyard grill when they’re not camping or tailgating. But when it’s time to hit the road, the Yukon’s legs are removable for easy storage and adjustable for a level setup on bumpy ground. Plus, you can add accessories like a barbecue grill, griddle, artisan pizza oven, or folding shelves for even more cooking options.
[$240; campchef.com]Get it
4. Best Budget: Coleman Classic 2-Burner Propane Stove
Tightening your outdoor gear budget? There’s no reason to splurge on a stove when this sub-$50 model has everything you need to cook in the wilderness. The steel frame is sturdy when it’s set up on a flat surface, and it’s tough enough to withstand bumps and jolts in your vehicle or trailer. You’ll need a separate propane canister and a match or lighter to light this stove, but once it’s going, it’s easy to adjust thanks to dedicated knobs for simmering or boiling on both burners. The wind panels adjust for optimal protection, and the chrome-plated grate is removable for easy cleanup of spills and splatters.
[$44; target.com]Get it
5. Best Wood Burning Stove: Solo Stove Campfire
The downside of camp stoves is that they don’t replace a blazing campfire. Usually, they’re separate considerations, but with the Solo Stove Campfire, you get both in one. Made of stainless steel and weighing just 2.2 pounds, this wood-burning fire ring is ultra portable and big enough to cook for four people, too. Just add sticks, twigs, and other kindling into the barrel, ignite it with a match or lighter, and let the heated air circulate through the vent holes (this design creates a more efficient burn). Once the fire’s roaring, you can cook hot dogs, roast marshmallows, or simmer a big pot of chili. Solo Stove also makes smaller and larger models, like the Solo Stove Lite and the Yukon Fire Pit.
[$150; solostove.com]Get it
6. Best Butane Option: Snow Peak Home & Camp Burner
If it’s possible to make an outdoor product beautiful, Snow Peak will figure out how to do it. This butane-fueled stove is as sleek as it is powerful. It transforms from a compact, three-pound tube into a spider-like shape with supports that can hold even heavier cooksets. A butane canister plugs into the tube, and the auto-igniter and adjustable knobs provide stable flame control. The only drawbacks: You can’t use cast iron, ceramic, or stone cookware on this stove, and it takes a little bit of practice to unfold and collapse.
[$110; snowpeak.com]Get it
7. Best Charcoal Option: Nomad Grill & Smoker
Most camp stoves run on gas canisters, but if you’re pining for a charcoal grill at your campsite, the Nomad Grill & Smoker is your best best. The unique suitcase-style design makes it easy to transport and set up, and as the name implies, it’s capable of both high-heat grilling and low-heat smoking, too. The case’s multi-layer construction keeps it cool enough to rest on most surfaces while cooking, magnetic vent sliders help you regulate the airflow over your coals, and an integrated thermometer makes it easy to monitor cooking temps while smoking or grilling. You can also pick up a second grate (which also doubles as a veggie basket) for even more cooking surface area, but keep in mind that you’ll need to bring a bag of charcoal to your campsite as well.
[$599; nomadgrills.com]Get it
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