The Best Camping Stoves and Grills: Staff Picks

The humble two-burner still reigns, but our quest for fire has evolved

Ken Knapp|Published June 17, 2022

65 reviews with an average rating of 3.6 out of 5 stars
A camper makes sausages on a two-burner stove.

Two-burners have dominated the camping stove market for years and why not? It’s convenient to cook bacon and eggs side by side, or maybe crisp/fry chickpea hash while boiling water for your morning java. Single-burner stoves remain a great choice, though, when need to save space and don’t have an elaborate meal plan. 

This crop of stoves chosen by REI experts includes plenty of two-burners, to be sure, but these are not your ancestors’ camp stoves. Most have burners with pinpoint flame control that can also blaze like a blast furnace. Some of the biggest, burliest models are ideal for group camping and outback adventures.  

Because not everyone’s tastes are alike, our camp stove roundup also features a compact one-burner, a solar-powered option and a gas grill

Editor’s note: Inventory can be unpredictable these days, so some of the items in this list might be temporarily out of stock when you read this guide. We'll do our best to update it accordingly. 


Staff Picks

Find our quick recommendations here, or read on to discover our staff and members' favorite stoves.


The Selkirk 540 is the quintessential two-burner camp stove with super-efficient burners and push-button ignition. It also instantly brightens up any campsite. One customer reviewer put it this way: “The orange powder coat looks rad.” 

An REI camping specialist was more swayed by the stove’s key component: twin burners that each put out 10,000 BTUs. Our expert says “the burn time is faster than stoves with comparable burner power, thanks to excellent flame distribution.” The flipside to flame efficiency is that achieving a simmer challenged some reviewers, but others said it simply takes a while to get the hang of it. 

Our REI staffer is consistently impressed with the value of GSI Outdoors gear: “The Selkirk is priced $15 lower than stoves with a comparable feature set.” That sentiment was echoed by this customer reviewer: “GSI continues to be my go-to for well-priced, clever and quality camp kitchen stuff.” 

At 10 pounds, the Selkirk 540 is lighter and easier to heft than many other two-burner stoves. It’s big enough, though, to fit an 8.5-liter and 5-liter pot side by side. The side windscreens can be folded completely out of the way, which can be helpful when you’re trying to fit an extra-large pot or frypan. Lastly, the Selkirk comes with a convenient push-button igniter, though a few customers have reported issues with the feature. Buy here. 

Related GSI Outdoors models: The GSI Outdoors Selkirk 460 2-Burner Camp Stove is a little smaller and lighter than the Selkirk 540, and will save you a few dollars ($99.95). 

“Gourmet” is a term that often gets tossed around. And what’s gourmet in your book might differ from a more passionate foodie’s point of view. The Camp Chef Everest earns its gourmet chops from its BTUs: 20,000 per burner tiptoes into the realm of commercial-grade appliances and home grills. Claude Matkin, an REI camping specialist in the co-op’s Asheville, North Carolina, store says he’s seen a renowned local chef do a full shrimp boil on an Everest precisely because the high-pressure stainless-steel burners have the cooking power to handle the task.   

The Camp Chef stove’s roomy cooktop can handle bigger pots for larger groups, the nickel-coated steel cooking grate is burly enough to support a potful of crustaceans or a cast-iron griddle and the stainless-steel drip tray simplifies cleanup if your entrée runneth over. The side windscreens are taller than most, too, so cooking performance isn’t seriously compromised by breezy conditions. 

The Everest has a matchless ignition system, though any seasoned chef (and gear specialist) will tell you that igniter failure is the Achilles’ heel of many stoves—and the source of a high percentage of poor customer reviews. Pro tip: Never leave home without a good lighter, too. This stove runs on a standard 1 lb. propane bottle but can also be adapted to work with a bulk propane canister—should you decide someday to join the celebrity camp chef circuit. Buy here

Calling the Camp Chef Pro 60X Deluxe the “best freestanding stove” is certainly true, but perhaps the more apt category might be the “best hybrid camping/backyard grill.” In fact, many customers who buy it for camping use it more in the yard than in the wilds. “It found a permanent place on the patio when we were home,” one customer says. “Our Camp Chef The Pro 60X is also an excellent option for serious tailgaters. 

The flame controls look and feel like those on a top-shelf backyard grill. As you might expect, the stove comes with push-button ignition. Camp Chef is renowned for its modular design approach, too, so you can get a wide array of accessories for its stoves: grill boxes, pizza ovens and more. The Pro 60X also has what can reasonably be described as a “professional build,” which is apparent both in the twin 30,000 BTU burners and the gravity of the thing. We recommend getting a partner to help you load this 51-pound behemoth into your rig. (The legs do fold down, though, and it packs into its own carrying case.) 

Once the stove is out of the vehicle and positioned at the center of your camp kitchen, leg adjusters let you create a level cooking surface. Serious chefs out there will also appreciate another extremely utilitarian feature: The Camp Chef Pro comes with two fold-out side shelves that let you stage cooking ingredients right where you need them and have your spices at the ready. Buy here. 

The REI camp stove specialist who recommends the JetBoil Genesis loves both its versatility and its aesthetic: “It looks like it’s something out of the future.” Its compactness bona fides come from the fact that its two burners fold together so it can be slipped inside the included carrying case and JetBoil’s 5-liter pot (not included) to make a clean, packable unit. That also makes this stove a great option when your camping vehicle of choice is a bike or backpack. 

The Genesis’ versatility comes from the ability to link a single fuel source to both your Genesis and many other JetBoil and, Eureka propane stoves (adapter hose not included). “Your JetBoil backpacking stove can become an extra burner if you’d like,” says the camp stove specialist. “That sets you up for the ultimate camp chef moment—frying bacon and eggs side by side at the same time you have water boiling for the coffee.” You can also pair the Genesis with a compatible two-burner camp stove to create a group kitchen. 

Our camping specialist shared another, more altruistic use for your Genesis: “It’s a great stove for trail angels. It’s so compact you can pack it in on a side trail to fry up a feast. That’ll make you a hero to a whole lotta thru-hikers.” Buy here

Not everyone needs a two-burner, which is why one-burner butane stoves like the Eureka SPRK+ Camp Stove also have a dedicated following. “One-burner butane stoves are smaller, lighter and more affordable than their two-burner propane counterparts,” our REI camp specialist explains. A one-burner butane stove makes an ideal choice for people who have compact vehicles or less elaborate menu plans. 

A low weight and a low price do not equate to low performance, though, as the Eureka SPRK+ Camp Stove is a truly impressive cooking appliance. Its solo 11,500-BTU burner eclipses the individual burner output on a basic two-burner stove. The SPRK+ also offers precise flame control from a rolling boil down to a simmer. 

This stove also includes adjusters to keep your cookware level even when the cooking surface is not. Sides all around the burner shield it from breezes in any direction, and the stove also has a dedicated compartment to house your 8-ounce butane fuel bottle. Other nice touches include push-button ignition and a handy hard-sided carrying case. 

Our camp specialist noted one other compelling reason for many REI customers to buy this stove in recent months. The SPRK+ is ideal for an emergency kit, something more and more of us are assembling these days. If severe weather, a natural disaster or a plain old power-grid failure happens, it’s nice to be able to whip up a belly-warming batch of comfort food. Buy here. 

Related Eureka SPRK models: The Eureka SPRK Camp Stove is a little smaller, has a slightly less powerful burner (10,000 BTUs) and comes without leg levelers. It also costs less ($44.95) than the SPRK+.

Look ma, no fuel! The GoSun Sport is both a cooking appliance and a conversation starter. Like all GoSun solar cookers, its elegant design has attracted a devoted following: “Honestly, this solar grill could easily be my favorite product to travel with,” says one customer. The GoSun Sport Solar Cooker can steam, baste, roast or sauté your meal in just 20 minutes in both direct sun and lightly overcast skies. You need to be able to see your shadow outside to use it, which means you can’t cook in gloomy conditions or after dark. 

The centerpiece of GoSun cooking technology is an insulated vacuum tube that holds all your ingredients and absorbs light from the outer parabolic reflectors. The setup can generate an impressive level of heat energy—up to 550°F. Customers report cooking an incredible variety of foods: cinnamon buns, bacon, hot dogs, beef and chicken with veggies, apple crisp, hard-boiled eggs, rice, cakes, cinnamon rolls, pizza, fish, eggs, chorizo and potatoes. The GoSun community is a rich resource for recipes, too.  

Recipes are specific to GoSun products, which is good if you enjoy learning new things but a minor downside if you can’t find a GoSun version of your favorite camping entrees. You’ll also need to take some care handling the glass cooking tube, which is durable but not indestructible. 

Because it requires no fuel, the GoSun Sport also makes an excellent addition to your emergency kit. (The American Red Cross used donated GoSun cookers during its disaster relief efforts after Typhoon Yutu.) Buy here

Related GoSun solar cookers: The GoSun Go Portable Solar Cooker ($139) is much smaller and lighter than the GoSun Sport (at just 2 pounds), making it an option as a crossover choice for camping and backpacking. 

It’s hard to replace the flavor, the char, the je ne sais quoi that a grill imparts. But scaling down the hefty appliance to fit into a trunk requires as skilled a hand as the one that flips the zucchini. Weber answered the call with a 30-pound grill that offers controllable heat and chef-friendly details.  

Its cast aluminum lid looks smart (and comes in two colors) and handles on either side aren’t just for lifting—side tables fold out from either side to accommodate marinade bowls and tongs. The grill itself is porcelain-enameled with cast-iron cooking grates, meaning it heats up quickly and maintains an even temperature (which can be tracked with the built-in lid thermometer and controlled with an infinite control burner valve).  

REI customer reviewers have given the Q 1200 plenty of love, praising how easy it is to cook on and clean, whether on a camping trip, après ski or after a mountain bike ride. “This little grill is a workhorse!” wrote one customer. “Heats up quickly and cooks food in no time.” Some users recommend sizing up if you’re regularly cooking for a crowd, but for a family-sized batch of burgers anywhere from the park to the parking lot, the Q 1200 gets the job done. Buy here

Buying Advice

Aside from budget, which, let’s face it, is the starting point for most gear purchases, your choice is largely dictated by the size of your group and the complexity of your cuisine. Big groups require stoves with enough cooktop space for big pots and frypans. If your meal plans are uncomplicated, your group small and your vehicle space limited, then a compact two-burner (like the folding JetBoil Genesis) or a one burner (like the Eureka SPRK+ Camp Stove) will work just fine and save you some coin in the process. 

Why BTUs Matter 

Having a burner that puts out some serious heat is good for large groups because you can cook up a cauldron-size pot of stew for your extended family or friends. A powerful burner also gives you a full range of menu choices and speeds up prep time for any meal. A good stove might have 10,000-BTU burners (GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540 2-Burner Camp Stove and JetBoil Genesis 2-Burner Stove), but you can also find some with 20,000-BTU burners (Camp Chef Everest 2X High-Pressure Stove) or even 30,000-BTU burners (Camp Chef Pro 60X Deluxe Camp Stove). 

You might wonder why your camp stove needs more powerful burners than your typical home stove, which puts out about 7,000 BTUs per burner. The answer is simple: Wind isn’t a factor in your kitchen. You need more power outdoors because even a camping stove with good wind protection will have a flame that dances around when you’re trying to cook. 

Stove Choice Based on Fuel Source 

Most camping stoves (and most of the stoves in this roundup) use propane fuel, so fuel source isn’t necessarily your first consideration, but it is worth thinking about. Being able to hook to a bulk propane canister is a nice feature for festival-size cookouts or letting your stove do double duty on the back deck. Many stoves that use small propane canisters can be adapted for bulk canister use, too, (though check the manufacturer for directions). 

Compact butane stoves (like the Eureka SPRK+ Camp Stove) have gained popularity in recent years, which is noteworthy because that’s also meant that butane fuel canisters are becoming more widely available. 

And, of course, there are other fuel sources as well. We didn’t include any liquid-fuel or wood-fueled options in our staff picks, but the co-op does sell them. Perhaps the ultimate alternative fuel stove, though, is the GoSun Sport Solar Cooker, which frees you from fuel worries but also limits cooking to daylight hours in decent weather. 

Worthy Camp Stove Features 

Auto ignition: This push-button system sends a spark into the burner to light the stove—no matches required. Igniters are incredibly convenient, but they can wear out and are one of the stove components most cited in negative reviews. Interestingly, it’s a trend for most top stoves to include igniters, so you should always pack a lighter or matches as a backup. 

Pressure regulator: Propane and butane canister stove performance can lag when canister pressure drops, a scenario that can happen in below-freezing temps, at higher altitudes and as fuel in the canister gets low. So most canister camping stoves have a fuel regulator that prevents that from happening and keeps the heat output consistent. No-frills stoves lack this feature, which will make their cooking performance more uneven. 

Windscreens: Most two-burner stoves have windbreaks on three sides: The fold-up lid serves as one in the back, while two smaller fold-up side panels offer more modest windscreens on two sides. Some of the most compact stoves forgo windscreens altogether, which requires you to be more mindful about where you place them when you cook—and makes cooking in blustery weather super challenging. 

Leg levelers: Few stoves have this feature (only the Camp Chef Pro 60X Deluxe Camp Stove and Eureka SPRK+ Camp Stove in our roundup), but it’s handy because not every campsite or camp table is level. A slanted cooking surface complicates meal prep, and a canted cookpot can’t hold its full liquid capacity.


We turned to seasoned REI camping specialists who also have a reputation for their culinary prowess. These staffers have extensive knowledge about camping stoves and confess to having a few too many stoves in their gear closets. We also looked closely at feedback from customer reviewers, who might or might not be picky eaters, but are most definitely picky about their cooking gear.