The first few times I went camping, I lived on uncooked foods, like trail mix, peanut butter sandwiches, and fruit. Coffee was a no-go unless it was a prepackaged drink in a can. I wasn’t comfortable boiling a kettle of water on the campfire or using the fire to heat up a meal, aside from the occasional marshmallow or hotdog.
I knew I had to find some way to prepare food at the campsite or my camping days would be numbered. Enter the Coleman butane stove, a portable camping stove that lets you boil water and cook foods in a skillet or pan.
Although a butane stove can solve a lot of your “how do I cook while camping” problems, it’s not the perfect solution for every single camper. For one thing, this type of stove is better suited for car campers rather than for backpackers.
Even a single burner camping stove weighs about five pounds and measures about 20 inches long in inside its case. That’s not a big deal if you’re carrying the stove to a campsite from a car a few feet away. It is a big deal if you’re carrying the stove on your back while you hike into uncharted territory.
Another thing to consider is the size of the fuel canister and the amount of fuel you’ll need for cooking. Most butane cans are eight ounces and will provide enough fuel for about an hour’s worth of cooking with the burner on the highest setting. Some stoves don’t use butane as fuel, but propane, which is often sold in larger containers.
One last thing to consider before you buy a stove is the number of burners it has. A single burner stove is great if you only need to cook one thing at a time. If you want to fry up eggs while heating water for coffee, you’ll get the job done much faster with two burners.
The Coleman Butane Stove is a compact camping stove with a single burner. It can hold a pan or skillet up to 10 inches in diameter. It’s useful for people who are looking to cook a small amount while car camping. It can also be a backup burner for use when your electric’s out, and you can use the stove in your home.
- Holds a 10-inch skillet or pan, no special pots or pans necessary.
- Comes with a carrying case for easy storage when you’re not camping and for easy packing.
- Powerful, 7,650 BTU output that heats up quickly.
- Uses butane, which is only available in small cans. Cans need to be inserted into the stove carefully, or they won’t work.
- Only one burner. You need to buy more than one stove if you want to cook multiple things at once.
- Butane isn’t the best fuel for colder temperatures.
The stove features an easy to use flame adjustment knob so that you can cook foods on a low, medium or high flame. To use the stove and light the gas initially, you turn the knob all the way to “ignition.” Once the flame is lit, you can turn the knob to adjust the height of it. You can also adjust the height of the flame while cooking.
Instead of connecting the canister of gas to the stove with a hose, you need to place it into a special chamber located on the side. Each can of gas has a distinctive notch on the top of it, which acts as a guide as you push it into place. Once you’ve put the can into the chamber, there is a switch on the outside of the stove, next to the fuel knob, which locks the can in place and lets the stove work.
Figuring out how to put the can into place and how to lock it down can be tricky at first. But the complexity is meant to make the stove safer to use, as there’s less of a risk that a kid will find it and will be able to light it.
If you don’t use the entire can of butane all at once, it’s better to take it out of the stove and store it rather than leaving it in place. The can might leak if left locked in place, wasting fuel.
There is one caveat to the stove, and that’s that it doesn’t come with a can of butane to get you started. You need to buy the fuel separately. It’s usually sold in multi-packs of four or 12 cans. Calculate how long the fuel will last here.
The stove might only have a single burner, but its large size makes up for it. You can use a full-sized skillet on the stove, which means you can use pans you already have at home and don’t have to buy special camping pans. It also means you can use the burner at home in a pinch, either during a power outage or when you’re preparing a larger than average meal and need an extra burner to get the job done.
You don’t want your stove to get scratched or dented when you’re traveling to the campsite or when you have the stove tucked away for storage. The heavy duty carrying case the Coleman stove comes with makes it easy to transport the stove. Since the case has a handle, you can pick it up with ease and tuck into the corner of your car’s trunk for transport.
The stove itself and the grate are coated in a shiny, easy to clean porcelain. All you need to do after cooking is wipe the stove and grate down with a wet dishcloth or sponge to keep it clean.
One potential disadvantage of the stove’s design is that you can’t pick up and remove the grate. Food or grease can get caked between the grate and the rest of the stove if you’re not careful.
Check the price on Amazon.
Is the Coleman butane stove your only option if you’re looking for a burner to use while camping? Far from it. There are a number of similar models available.
One option is the Camplux Portable Outdoor Camping Butane Gas Stove.
Like the Coleman stove, the Camplux is a single burner stove that runs on butane. The two stoves have a lot in common, including the style of the flame adjustment knob, the style of the butane canister chamber and locking mechanism, and the presences of a carrying case.
Where the Camplux might have a slight edge over the Coleman is in terms of BTU, or the power of the actual stove. The Coleman stove has an output of 7,650 BTUS. The Camplux is slightly higher, at 8,000 BTUs.
The GAS ONE GS-3000 Portable Gas Stove
is another alternative to the Coleman stove. Like the Camplux, it’s very similar to the Coleman model, except when it comes to its BTUs output. The GAS ONE stove claims to have an output of 9.000 BTUs.
Since the three stoves are all very similar in operation and pricing, choosing which one is the best for you comes down to personal preference. If you want a higher-powered stove, go for the GAS ONE. If that doesn’t matter to you, then the Coleman or the Camplux should suffice.
If you’re an occasional camper who’d love to boil some water for coffee in the morning or cook one dish at a time, the Coleman butane stove is all you need. It’s easy to use, easy to store and doesn’t require expensive fuel. To see more, click here to check the stove out.