When buying a camping stove for your home on wheels, there are many things to consider. Stoves come in different burner sizes, the number of burners, BTU, windscreens, various fuel types, weights, and sizes. Choosing a perfect camping stove comes down to the performance of the cooking stove in various environmental conditions or cooking styles and possibly the storage space that you have in your RV when it’s not in use.
BTUs (British thermal units) or the heat of the burner determines how fast liquid in your pot will boil, the higher the BTUs’s the hotter the burner. The wind is the biggest factor in keeping your outdoor camping stove lit. Higher wind speeds result in the flame blowing out and the need for wind barriers to keep the flame alive.
There are a variety of fuels that camping stoves use from propane, white gas, butane, kerosene, charcoal, wood, and now electric induction as possibilities in a camping stove. Propane is by far the most popular for good reason as most indoor RV stoves and appliances already use propane. Wood and charcoal as the second most popular method for their ability to impart a desirable smokey flavor in foods cooked over these fuels.
Camping stoves come in various burner sizes and weights, of which factors could be limited by the size of your RV’s storage compartment. A small trailer or motorhome may opt for small one-burner propane or electric camping stove, while a super C or Class A owner does not necessarily consider space consideration and may choose a camping stove for performance.
What Fuel Types Do Camping Stoves Come In?
There are quite a few types of fuel that outdoor camping stoves use to produce the heat necessary for cooking from white gas to kerosene, charcoal, and even electricity that run induction stoves and smokers. The most popular by far is propane for several reasons.
It’s readily available and your appliances (fridge, furnace, stove, and hot water tank) in your RV already use propane either as a sole power source or as alternate power. Propane also burns hot. While electricity is already an abundant power source in most RV’s today. If you want to know more about how hot each type of fuel gets you can read more about it in this article.
What Kinds Of Camping Stove Types Are Available?
Today there are many types of outdoor camping stoves types available to the consumer. From single burner ultra-portable for the solo backpack camper to ultra-heavy duty ultra-hot (30,000 BTU) multi-burner stoves to multifunctional one burner and grill combo to ones that can burn multiple fuel types. Then there are griddles.
There is a lot to choose from! Let’s look at a few of the stove types available. The most common is the typical propane stove, with either one burner or two. This is the standard that most people use when camping. Some people either use a griddle that fits on top, or they have an additional propane griddle stove for cooking.
Then come the charcoal or wood stoves and BBQs as the second most popular style of stoves. Other fuels such as white gas, gasoline are also popular choices among campers. While electric induction stoves are new to the camping scene, they are slowly gaining ground as an option as RV’s already have a store of power.
What Kinds Of Propane Camping Stove Are There?
Propane camping stoves are quite common and are readily available. These stoves use compressed liquid propane (LP) either from disposable tanks, a white propane cylinder, or draws the gas from the RV. Propane stoves are great for their ability to have instant heat and the ability to control the heat from a maximum temperature to a low temperature in a few seconds while maintaining a consistent temperature throughout the cooking period.
These camping stoves produce heat at 9,000 to 10,000 BTU, which is enough energy to boil 1 liter of water in 6 to 10 minutes accounting for a range of water temperatures and metal types.
Some even come with a single burner and a griddle.
While some are ultra-portable and do not have much of a frame.
And others are heavy-duty steel frame multi-burner stoves that have 30,000 BTU’s for each burner, which is more than the typical natural gas burner on the stovetop in a house, which is about 8,000 to 18,000 BTU’s. Propane stoves are generally the most space-conscious of the camping stoves on the market. Most of these types of stovetops can easily be removed from their fuel and broken down to be easily put away no matter the size of your RV.
What Kinds Of Camping Wood Stoves Are There?
Wood burning stoves are not only economical to use but cooking on wood typically imparts a desirable smokey flavor in foods that are cooked in this way. Not to mention the smell that is associated with camping and typically reminds people of their childhood memories of sitting by the campfire roasting marshmallows.
Wood-burning stoves come in a few shapes and sizes from very small single pot sizes to multi-pots. Many of the wood-burning stoves can handle charcoal as well as wood. The downside of cooking with wood and charcoal is the lack of control of temperature. Either it’s too hot or it’s not hot enough. It’s a bit of an art to anticipate when to add more wood or oxygen to create a consistent hot flame to cook the whole meal unless one is boiling soup or water.
Environmental factors such as rain and heavy winds can make cooking with wood impractical as a primary outdoor method of cooking. Not to mention the time it takes for wood to achieve the appropriate temperature for cooking. As a secondary method, it’s great when conditions are ideal and when there might not be any fire limitations due to forest fire restrictions.
What Kinds Of Camping Electric Stoves Are There?
Electric-powered stovetops, induction cooktops, and electric pellet smokers are some of the most reliable and versatile cooking options available. Because they are electrically powered and can be set to specific temperatures cooking is easy as setting the temperature high, medium, or low.
The heat is instant, so is turning it off and packing it away. Electric stovetops come as a single or dual model. Burners can be an element that heats up or induction that relies on the magnetism to heat up the pot with the food in it.
An induction stove is by far the most efficient but may not work with all pots as it excites the steel in a pot that in turn heats the food. Induction stoves are a great companion with RVs for everyday outdoor cooking.
Electric Pellet smokers work great as a companion cooking device dues to their size and limit of the types of cooking they can provide. They are great at smoking, grilling, and baking. Their size restricts this type of cooking to larger RV’s and the need for smoking pellets is another added resource that takes up more space in an RV. Aside from these few negative points, the flavor from food cooked in pellet smokers is quite desirable on the pallet if you love smoked meats.
RVs already have the electricity and power banks to power electric appliances. An inverter is all that is needed to convert the DC to AC to run many of the portable electric stoves. Many people traditionally have shied away from portable electric stoves when camping, though it is an efficient method to cook with when out camping. Hopefully, with more electrified RV’s and the desire for smaller carbon footprinting, more people will start to embrace electric stovetops for their outdoor camping stoves.
How To Choose The Perfect Camping Stove?
Choosing the perfect outdoor camping stove can be as easy as purchasing what is available on a store shelf, however, a decerning buyer may want a stove that is more robust in performance and function. There are plenty of companies and models to choose from and at all price ranges from just under $50 to $500.
Performance can range from lower BTUs to higher BTUs. Price is not always indicative of performance but more bells and whistles. If you don’t want to sort through all the specs and look through all the models on the market choosing a classic is a vanilla choice that gets the food cooked.
The Coleman propane classic is a good all-around outdoor camping stove for most people. Each burner is 10, 000 BTUs and functions well. It comes with windshields for easy lighting on windy days and helps keep the burners lit. For most people, it’s a good choice.
However, if you want something that is smaller or larger or versatile to your specific situation then learning the specifics and terminology for camp stoves will help you decide if the stove is better a fit for you.