Top 6 Best Car Camping Stoves 2019

The important considerations when choosing the best car camping stove are Where to camp and How big of your camper group. Keep reading to find out which is the most suitable for you.

Here are the best car camping stoves you can buy in 2019:

  • Best Overall: Camp Chef Explorer
  • Ultra-Portable: Coleman 2000020951
  • Best Dual Fuel Stove: Gas ONE New GS-3400P
  • Best For Camping In The Wind: Coleman Gas Stove
  • Most Versatile: Camp Chef Outdoor Oven
  • Best Bang For The Buck: Koblenz PFK-400

Best Overall: Camp Chef Explorer

Top Pick
Camp Chef Explorer
Camp Chef Explorer
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Powerful burners to shorten your cooking process significantly

  • Can handle multiple cooking tasks at the same time

  • You can use it as a tabletop stove or a freestanding

Cons
  • A bit bulky and heavy

  • Propane tank isn’t included

  • Expensive

With two 30,000 BTUs/Hr. burners, Camp Chef Explorer is more convenient than a single-burner camping stove to help shorten your cooking process. It, at the same time, deliver equal to a higher power than other 2-burner or 4-burner models.

That’s why the Explorer stove is really versatile. It can perfectly fit the cooking demands of small to a large group of campers and finish any tasks really quick to give more joyful time on your hand.

What I love the most in this product are the detachable four legs that I can turn it from a tabletop stove to a freestanding in just minutes. Importantly, these legs are really sturdy and strong to handle the stove itself and food – something rarely finds in other counterparts.

Camp Chef is also very thoughtful when they include a three-sided windscreen in this set so cooking outdoors now (even on windy days) turns out to be easier.

The whole stove is crafted from cast aluminum. While this helps to cut some precious weight off for lighter portability, the product still ensures the highest quality to last you a couple of years.

Camp Chef Explorer Specifications

Stove Type

2-burner

Fuel Type

Propane

Output

60,000 total BTU/hr

Cooking Area

448 sq. in.

Simmer Ability

Yes

Dimensions

14 in. x 32 in.

Weight

30.5 lbs.

Highlight Features

Big cooking surface, includes detachable legs and 3-sided windscreen, durable cast-aluminum burners, four removable legs for tabletop use

Verdict

Camp Chef Explorer is a 2-burner cast-aluminum stove that really meets all kinds of convenience when it comes to cooking during a camping trip.

Ultra-Portable: Coleman 2000020951

Coleman 2000020951
Coleman 2000020951
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Lightweight and ultra-compact – very easy portability

  • Don’t require match lighting

  • Can adjust the heat more precisely

Cons
  • Short runtime – one 8.8 oz. butane gas cylinder only lasts 1.25 hours

  • Don’t work well in cold weather

Coleman 2000020951 is a single-burner stove featuring cooking power of 7,650 total BTUs.

To give an idea of how powerful it is, it takes 3-6 minutes to boil 1 qt pot. In comparison to other counterparts, this is really quick so, if you intend to cook 2-4 dishes during your camping trip, rest assured that it can handle like a breeze.

Because of a 1-burner stove, the whole dimensions of Coleman 2000020951 are quite compact (20 x 12 inches). It also includes a carry case for more convenient transporting. The weight isn’t a matter in this model, either. It’s super light with just 4.68 pounds.

Particularly, there’s an Instastart ignition which is not only convenient when lighting the stove but also adjustable to help you control the temperature more precisely.

If you’re a lazy camper, I’m sure you’ll love this option. Out of a durable porcelain-coated grate, the burner is crafted from high-grade aluminum to require really low maintenance.

Coleman 2000020951 Specifications

Stove Type

1-burner

Fuel Type

Butane

Output

7,650 BTUs

Cooking Area

Fit a 10-inch pan

Simmer Ability

Yes

Dimensions

20 x 12 x 4 inches

Weight

4.68 lbs.

Highlight Features

Instastart ignition for matchless lighting; 7,650 total BTUs of cooking power, adjustable burner gives precise temperature control, large base

Verdict

If you plan a camping trip of 1-2 people, Coleman 2000020951 with its ultra-portable design will be the best choice.

Best Dual Fuel Stove: Gas ONE New GS-3400P

Gas ONE New GS-3400P
Gas ONE New GS-3400P
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Give more powerful cooking burner to finish your cooking process faster

  • Auto-shut off when the gas flow is irregular

  • Auto-eject butane fuel canister when detecting irregular gas flow

  • Lightweight

Cons
  • Easy-to-fragile plastic case

Compared to Coleman 2000020951, the burner power of this model is a bit higher – 8000 BTUs with impressively quick boil time of 2 min/1qt pot.

I think such phenomenal performance comes from the dual fuel built in the GasOne New GS-3400P. Never have to think twice about which type of fuel you should use, this can be compatible with a 16.4 oz propane tank and an 8 oz butane canister.

If you’re camping in fire restricted areas, rest assured, this model is equipped with an impressive safety feature: Automatic Safety Shut Off Capability. Accordingly, whenever detecting the gas flow is irregular, the stove will automatically shut off.

For those prefer to use butane for cooking, the Cartridge Ejection System will ensure the flow to be stably powerful for even heating. If the gas flow is 5-7 kg/cm² or greater, this system will be activated.

Gas ONE New GS-3400P Specifications

Stove Type

1-burner

Fuel Type

Butane & propane

Output

8,000 BTUs

Cooking Area

Simmer Ability

Yes

Dimensions

5.3 x 4.4 x 1.7 inches

Weight

3.1 lbs.

Highlight Features

Compatible with both butane and propane fuel, piezo-electric ignition, adjustable heat dial, Built-in Pressure Sensor Cartridge Ejection System and Gas Flow Cut Off Mechanism

Verdict

Overall, if you’re looking for a decent duel-fuel stove, GasOne New GS-3400P is worth a try.

Best For Camping In The Wind: Coleman Gas Stove

Coleman Gas Stove
Coleman Gas Stove
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Keep consistent gas flow even in strongly windy conditions

  • Windshield can be adjusted to fit larger pans or removable when not in use

  • Large cooking area to fit various pan sizes at the same time

Cons
  • A bit struggling to connect to the propane tank

  • No push button lighter so you should equip yourself a camp lighter

I love the ultra-large wind block shield of this Coleman propane stove. It allows me to confidently cook in any conditions while the additional PerfectHeat technology helps with more efficient cooking but less fuel consumption.

Unlike other double-burner counterparts out there, the grate in this model doesn’t separate hence, it can fit a wide range of pan sizes. At the same time, this Coleman stove can handle a 10-inch and 12-in pans with no bulk.

The material of this grate is also superior – Chrome-plated – that emphasizes ultra-durable and longer-lasting performance. Not to say that it’s super easy to clean and maintain.

Two independent adjustable dials are also impressive since I can give precise temperature to heat a pot/pan. This feature can help me go the simmer efficiently and on the other hand, avoid burning food like a dream.

Coleman Gas Stove Specifications

Stove Type

2-burner

Fuel Type

Propane

Output

20,000 BTUs

Cooking Area

Fits a 12-in. and 10-in. pan

Simmer Ability

Yes

Dimensions

4.1 x 21.9 x 13.7 inches

Weight

11.9

Highlight Features

Powerful burners and a wind-blocking design, Adjustable Wind Block pan, instastart push-button ignition with PerfectFlow heat-distribution technology

Verdict

All-in-all, for the best tabletop two-burner propane stove that can consistently perform in windy conditions, Coleman Classic is unbeatable.

Most Versatile: Camp Chef Outdoor Oven

Camp Chef Outdoor Oven
Camp Chef Outdoor Oven
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Versatile but compact and lightweight for portability

  • Powerful and long runtime

  • Nonstick enamel cooking surface requires less maintenance

Cons
  • Too hot for cooking 'fire & forget' cowboy casserole

  • No adjustable dial

This Camp Chef Outdoor Oven is indeed amazing. While delivering two powerful 7,500 BTUs burners, there’s an extra oven working at 3,000 BTUs with the top heat of 400 degrees.

It’s no different from a mini kitchen when there are even two oven racks, one large wind block, and one oven thermometer included.

Regardless, it requires no match lighting and complicated cleansing process to keep your travel packing list shorter.

The nonstick enamel cooking surface as well as the stainless-steel construction not only deliver lower maintenance but also ensure decent durability to last you with time.

Out of such versatility and powerful performance, the whole dimensions of this buddy are just W 16″ x H 8.5″ x L 10” with 32 pounds of weight. Amazing, huh?

Camp Chef Outdoor Oven Specifications

Stove Type

2-burner

Fuel Type

Propane

Output

15,000 BTUs burner power and 3,000 BTUs oven power

Cooking Area

Oven: Fits 9 x 13-inch pan

Simmer Ability

Yes

Dimensions

18 x 24 x 31 inches

Weight

32 lbs.

Highlight Features

Powerful, Matchless Ignition, stainless steel construction, nonstick enamel cooking surface, oven thermometer, and two oven racks

Verdict

Camp Chef Outdoor Oven is perfect if you intend to cook a big meal for your group with various dishes and I bet this is a perfect present for somebody who loves cooking.

Best Bang For The Buck: Koblenz PFK-400

Koblenz PFK-400
Koblenz PFK-400
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Allow cooking various dishes at the same time

  • Despite a 4-burner stove, it delivers consistent and powerful heat on all four

  • Very compact, lightweight and affordable compared to other counterparts

Cons
  • Poor-quality plastic hookup

Measured by 20.08 x 24.6 x 5.12 inches, the Koblenz PFK-400 is more compact than I thoughts compared to other four-burner stoves. And with 16,000 total BTUs (plus, a windshield), it’s quite powerful to prepare a big hearty meal for 5-6 campers.

Two people can join cooking together with this type of design and equivalent to 4 burners, are 4 adjustable dials to help you easily control the temperature.

Two similarities to the Camp Chef Outdoor Oven are the porcelain enamel surface that you can easily wipe over to clean all stains and the compatibility with any 16.4-oz propane bottles.

Size is amazing, it’s only 26” x 21” and weighs a mere 15 pounds that you can conveniently carry to anywhere. But I bet when getting to know the price, you’ll be shocked – under $52 for a full set.

Koblenz PFK-400 Specifications

Stove Type

4-burner

Fuel Type

Propane

Output

16,000 BTUs

Cooking Area

Simmer Ability

Yes

Dimensions

20.08 x 24.6 x 5.12 inches

Weight

15 lbs.

Highlight Features

4 Burner stove, porcelain enamel top cover, Manual ignition, fully adjustable heat-control dials

Verdict

Hardly can you find such powerful four-burner tabletop stove like the Koblenz PFK-400 at that bang-for-buck price, at least this is what I can assure you.

How To Choose The Best Car Camping Stoves?

Stove Type

Three common types of car camping stoves are:

  • Multi-burner: This allows you to cook multiple dishes at once and is very suitable for a large group
  • Two-burner: Come in a perfect compromise of compact design and versatility that you can cook two dishes at the same time while conveniently store in your car for transport.
  • Single-burner: This is also the lightest and most compact stove type out of a bunch, perfect for a single use or a small group.

To know which type is suitable for you, consider two things:

  • Your cooking styles

  • The size of your group

Type of Fuel

Out of diverse types of fuel out there, there are three major options for car camping stoves:

  • Butane

  • Isobutane

  • Propane

Butane (C4H10)

Isobutane (C4H10)

Propane (C3H8)

Sea level boiling point

30°F

11°F

-44F

Highlight features

– affordable

– When it’s cold, isobutane provides decent vapor pressure

– lightweight for easier portability

– Easy to find

– Can be attached to 20-pound reusable tanks -> Save money

Weakness

– If the temperature starts to approach 30°F, it’s hard to power the camping stove

– lowest vapor pressure

– highly processed -> costly

  • Regardless, are some other types of fuel:

  • Solar: An eco-friendly way to cook during your camping trip. But it depends on the weather

  • Charcoal: This stove type is really cheap but it emits CO which is not only unhealthy but also unfriendly to the environment. Not to say that it’s rather bulky and slow to get going.

  • Wood: This is a budget-friendly option that helps you cut off some fuel costs however, it produces soot at the cookware bottom while might be prohibited due to wildfire burn bans.

  • In general, to figure out which one is your go-to, consider where you intend to camp and which is the biggest concern to you: Budget? Low-temperature performance? Lightweight

Burner Power

  • The measuring unit of burner power is BTU (stands for British Thermal Unit), which represents for the energy amount required to raise 1 lb. of water by 1°F.

  • While a gas stove for home use features within 6,000 to 13,000 BTUs, a camping stove should be higher than that. Amazing, huh?

  • As the camping stove will perform in different kinds of weather (especially windy and cold conditions – two common factors that affect the cook times), some extra BTUs will let you compensate that problem.

Wind Protection

  • But chances are that you’ve seen a camping stove with higher BTUs cooked slower than a model with lower BTUs, right? There’s no inconsistency here.

  • Though burner power plays an essential role in the stove’s performance, it’s not the only one. How fast of your camping stove also depends on whether it can handle the wind or not. In other words, the overall design is another worth-considering factor.

  • If yours is a two-burner stove or a multiple-burner stove, choosing one with a folding-three wall barrier or protective sheaths.

Others

  • Freestanding or tabletop: While a tabletop is perfect when you’re camping at established campsites, a freestanding model is best for tailgating or dispersed camping.

  • Simmer control: Let you keep your oatmeal, creamy risotto, or polenta always warm while avoiding scorched at the bottom efficiently.

  • Adjustable legs: Allow you to lower or raise the picnic tables due to preference before starting to cook.

Which Brands Make The Best Car Camping Stoves?

Camp Chef

  • Camp Chef is a good brand that produces really versatile camping stoves, at least in my opinion. Their products can meet different cooking demands for small to large people, simple to a hearty meal in an incredibly short time.

Coleman

  • This is a well-known outdoor gear brand for high-quality and realistic products that meet precisely the deepest needs of users. Not an exception when it comes to their camping stove lines. The signature strength is a compact design but powerful performance.

GasOne

  • Gasone might be new to some campers but it’s truly a must-try brand if your biggest concern is about consistent heat of burners and safety. Their products are allowed to use in even the fire restricted areas.

Koblenz

  • Koblenz is a good consideration for those who are in a tight budget. Their products are not only affordable but also versatile to fit variable cooking tasks at the same time. Don’t worry, no sacrifice of quality here.

FAQs

Is propane or butane better for camping?

To give you the best answer, take a look at this table:

Propane

Butane

Burn-off time

Loser

Winner

Performance in cold or windy weather

Winner

Loser

Ease to connect the camp stove to fuel container

Loser

Winner

BTU

Same

Cooking capacity

Loser

Winner

Weight

Heavier

Lighter

Cost

Cheaper

Lighter costlier

Propane is an economical option and also easy to find, hence, giving you more flexibility. It’s particularly the best choice for cold or windy weather.

Conversely, butane camping stove is ideal for long-distance trips or if you’re camping in a large group.

Are butane and propane interchangeable?

This strongly depends on the manual of your camping stove since the calorific of a butane (13.62 kWh/kg) is different from a propane model’s (13.83 kWh/kg).

How hot can a propane burner get?

19768 BTU/lb.

Are portable propane heaters safe for indoor use?

As long as a portable propane heater is designed as an indoor heater, it’s safe for indoor use.

How many BTU's do I need for cooking?

You should realistic to consider your cooking needs and practices. Which overweighs on your concerns: Lightweight or Powerful?

For camping, a car stove should be at least 12,000 BTUs to handle various cooking tasks and weather conditions.

Conclusion

From pasta to s’mores, food all tastes yummier when you’re camping. A stove will be your most workhorse assistant during the whole process, which is the reason I listed out detailly all must-consider features here. Hope it was helpful for you and thanks for reading!

Top 6 Best Car Camping Stoves 2019
5 (100%) 1 vote[s]

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