The best camping stoves for 2018

Fancy firing up the camping stove for a spot of outdoor cooking? We’ve tested the best to bring you our top outdoor grills for making tent-side camping recipes.

Find out more about our BBC Good Food reviews.


Campingaz Party Grill 400CV camping stove

Campingaz party grill on white background

Best for versatile cooking
An ideal choice for the enthusiastic camping cook, this stove offers a variety of cooking options for four to six people. We used the cast-iron griddle plate to cook beautifully char-lined vegetables. The hot plate works well for a fry-up. There’s also a grill and heat diffuser, and the lid can be used as a wok. It all packs into a ball in a handy carry case that’s around 5kg – not exactly lightweight, but worth it for the gourmet possibilities.

 


Coleman FyreStorm PCS camping stove

Coleman stove on white background

Best compact stove
We loved the all-in appeal of this diminutive stove. Weighing only 486g, it has everything you need, and a small gas canister (not included) can be popped inside the main body for easy transport. It includes a lidded 1.3l pot snugly wrapped in an insulated sleeve with a handle that doubles as a carry case. There’s also an effective screw-on windshield – our water boiled in an impressive six minutes. As a kit, it’s ideal for simple heating (for one) or to brew a cup (for two). Take additional cookware to rustle up a more ambitious one-pot meal.

 

 
Halfords portable gas stove

Halfords camping stove on white backgroundBest budget stove
This stove couldn’t be easier to use, with a canister that slots into the body, simple temperature dial and piezo ignition (which lights the gas with an electrical spark). There’s wind protection close enough to the flame to be really effective and it easily tackled boiling and frying in windy conditions, performing better than many of the more expensive options. It comes in a carry case and at 1.85 kg is pretty light.

Buy from Halfords (£20)


Outwell Olida stove

Outwell stove on white backgroundBest double burner
We chose this product for ease of use. Hose and regulator are included, unlike some other brands of larger stove, meaning you only need to attach a gas canister and you’re ready to go. Folding up the lid and flaps either side, we found the burners were shielded from the blast of a fan, especially with two pots on the go. A carry case would have been a good addition but with neat dimensions for a double burner (47 x 32cm) and weighing 4.4kg, it still gets points for portability.

 


Primus Primetech stove set

Primus camping stove on white background
Best all-in model
There’s a reason why Primus has stood the test of time. This is a well-thought-out piece of equipment with two 2.3l cooking pots (one hard anodised and the other a non-stick ‘heat exchanger’), detachable handle, windshield and burner all nestled together in a neat carry case. We were particularly impressed with the heat exchanger pan which reduced an already efficient boiling time from 6½ mins to 4½ mins. Suitable for 2-5 people, weight 870g.

 

For all of the products mentioned in this review, various retailers have been suggested by our affiliate partner Monetizer 101 and are not suggested or chosen by BBC Good Food. For more information on how these retailers are selected and the nature of our partnership, please read the Monetizer101 FAQ page.
 

Buyer’s advice

Anyone who’s ever been camping knows the value of the right bit of kit. Choosing the product which best suits your needs streamlines the whole camping experience, so we’ve looked at a variety to recommend a stove for differing requirements. When buying, make sure you have the correct gas bottle, hose and regulator. The models listed above all have hose and regulator included where necessary – you’ll just need to buy the gas.

Why buy a camping stove?

For the true camping experience, nothing beats cooking your own food over a fire. For most scenarios, a portable gas stove is the practical solution to this.
Vegetables being grilled on a camping stove


Which camping stove should I buy?

With so many on the market and options ranging from budget to blowout, it’s worth having an idea of how you’re going to use your stove. The main considerations are weight, size and how they hold up in blustery conditions. You also need to think about what you’ll be heating – if it’s just your morning cup of tea, then a pocket-sized burner covers that. For one-pots, a single burner will suffice, but if you plan to put together more elaborate dishes or you want to make your cuppa and fry-up simultaneously, then a double burner will be better suited. Some brands offer cookware as part of the kit, or different styles of cooking such as griddle, grill or wok.

What to look for when buying a camping stove:

Portability: We looked for stoves that were easy to transport with a sensible weight/capacity ratio.
Power: Boiling water gave us a good indication of how much power a stove could generate.
Wind shielding: We chose products that could cook our food even when the wind is up.
Safety: Stability and safety features were given extra points.
Capacity: We considered capacity versus size. Big isn’t always best, but versatility caught our attention.
Cleaning: We gave extra points to stoves that were easy to clean or could be taken apart to wash up.
Added features: Added features were a bonus only where their addition outweighed extra bulk.

Campfire with food in background


How we tested camping stoves

We cooked a fry-up and boiled a litre of water without a lid, creating windy conditions using a large fan.
 

Camping safety

Take some basic precautions to ensure you’re using your gas stove safely. Never cook inside your tent as the stove releases poisonous carbon monoxide fumes. Keep an eye on the flame to ensure any wind hasn’t blown it out, and we recommend giving a brand-new stove a trial build at home to ensure you have the right fuel and are all set for your time away.


Camping recipes and tips 

Family camping recipes
Camping recipes
Camping recipes for kids
10 essential ingredients to take camping

This review was written in August 2018. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@bbc.com

Do you have a camping stove to recommend? Leave a comment below...
 

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