It seems that food cooked in the out of doors always tastes better -- at least that's my experience. Whether it's a picnic in the park or a weekend at a campground with family or friends, if you have moved beyond peanut butter and jelly for sustenance, it's likely that you're cooking with some sort of camp stove. There's an entire horizon of camping cook stoves for the family -- here are five of them.
Coleman has probably p
ut more cook stoves in the hands of campers than any other company -- this is one of their best, the InstaStart Grill Camp Stove
($100). With its independently controlled, twin 10000 BTU burners heating up the aluminized steel and nickle-chrome grates, the propane stove cooks evening favorites like chicken or beef, then easily takes on eggs, pancakes, and bacon for morning fare. The side wind wings fold down for condiments or food prep, the electronic ignition eliminates the need for matches or lighter, and the whole thing comes with a 5 year (limited) warranty.
You like to camp but you don't have a handy pickup truck tail gate upon which to place a stove. No worries, mate; this Camp Chef Explorer Portable Stove
(was $170; now $100) is a heavy-duty twin burner stove that sports 60000 BTU of total cooking power, controlled by the individual dials. Electronic ignition for a speedy startup, three-sided windshield, and with a (separately purchased) 20 pound propane tank you get more than a dozen hours of heat. The legs are removable for transport.
For absolute simplicity in car (or back yard, with the kids) camping, the Texsport Compact Dual Burner Propane Stove
($40). The twin, anti-clog burners put out 10000 BTU of heat each; full side and rear windshielding, heavy gauge steel construction with a baked enamel finish that will resist the inevitable wear and tear of a camping trip, plus a long-wearing chrome plated grid.
If you're a pro at car camping, and you want to step up your game, try this Camp Chef Outdoor Propane Camp Oven
($183); stainless steel construction for rust-resistant durability, 14000 BTU of heat across the high and low burners and the oven, protective wind screen, matchless lighting, a pair of oven racks, and an oven thermometer. Breakfast biscuits -- yummy.
One more for the road -- so to speak; the Coleman EvenTemp Stove
($119) sports matchless ignition, a constant-pressure regulator to ensure gas flow at low pressures, and a removable, copper nickel, chrome-plated grate that's a breeze to clean after a meal. The two outside burners (11500 BTU each) are adjustable; the center, 5000 BTU heater is not, and is designed for simmering and warming. The stove folds compactly for travel and storage. If you need three burners to keep the camp chow coming, this stove is for you.
Shop a wide variety of camp stoves.