A leisurely read

The Best Picnic Table Camp Stove for 2023

Enjoy the best of picnic and camping adventures with high-functioning camp stoves

One of the best parts of the summer season is all the picnics you get to plan. Many people can testify that being able to cook fresh food outdoors is better than packing cooked food, whether you’re going picnicking or enjoying other outdoor adventures. This means that you need to plan for a high-functioning camp stove that helps you do all your outdoor cooking without stress.

When it comes to choosing a camp stove, there are several factors to consider. This can make the choice appear confusing, but don’t worry, that’s what we’re here for.

In this guide, we’ve outlined the most important criteria for picking the right camp stove and also reviewed our top picks to give you a headstart on the right decision. So, look no further for the best picnic camp stove, this guide is just what you need to choose what’s best for you!

How We Picked

  • Size

    It’s important to consider the size of the camp stove you’d like to purchase since this factor will determine how many people you can cook for, its portability, as well as its functionality. This is why we recommended adequately-sized stoves that are sure to get the job done.

  • Effectiveness

    A good camp stove needs to effectively fulfill the purpose for which it was purchased. As such, we considered options that have the right capacity to function well in outdoor settings, while ensuring convenient use.

  • Safety

    Safety is also a key consideration when selecting the right camp stove. Since this is equipment that will be used close to the body, we ensured that our top picks were safe to use and guaranteed no harm to the food or the person cooking it.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    We also prioritized cost-effectiveness when presenting our top picks so that you can get the best value for your money. The camp stoves we suggested have great functionality and features, and they come at affordable prices

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Camp Chef Everest 2X

This camping stove is among the most high-functioning brands, offering impressive heat output and durability

When designing the Everest 2X, adventure seekers and picnic organizers were top in the mind of manufacturers. This appliance has two powerful 20,000 BTU cast-aluminum burners. Thanks to the lid's opening into a three-panel windscreen, you can make your meals easily without worrying that your burners will be blown out. Also, with its regulator adapter, the Everest 2X cooking system can use one lb propane cylinders making cooking outdoors super convenient.

Buy Now for $143.98

The Camp Chef Everest 2X offers the best functionality, heat output, durability, and great indoor as well as outdoor cooking.

Runner Up

Hike Crew Gas Camping Stove

Get this outdoor camp stove and enjoy its great functionality, impeccable design, and attractive portability.

The Hike Crew Gas Camping Stove is portable, lightweight, and boasts a low profile for all of your camping and picnicking adventures. Although this stove is a propane-only design, it also eliminates the need for legs and fuel adapters. This conveniently lowers the cost and increases the stove's usability on different surfaces. This camp stove is essentially offering the best of all necessary criteria.

Buy Now for $79.99

The Hike Crew Gas Camping Stove offers high functionality and a great design; convenience and versatility on different surfaces

Most cost-effective

Coleman Classic Propane Stove

This affordable picnic camping stove offers the best efficiency and portability at amazing prices

With the Coleman Classic Propane Camping Stove, you can prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner on a sturdy stove that is portable. The two burners have a combined BTU output of 20,000 and are protected from the wind by movable wind-blocking panels. You'll also get to cook with ease knowing that your stove will function consistently despite adverse circumstances thanks to the pressure regulator.

Buy Now

The Coleman Classic Propane stove is functional, versatile, and dependable, offering high performance at one of the lowest prices

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Camp Chef Everest 2X

This camping stove is among the most high-functioning brands, offering impressive heat output and durability

$143.98

Buy Now

Runner Up

Hike Crew Gas Camping Stove

Get this outdoor camp stove and enjoy its great functionality, impeccable design, and attractive portability.

$79.99

Buy Now

Most cost-effective

Coleman Classic Propane Stove

This affordable picnic camping stove offers the best efficiency and portability at amazing prices

Buy Now

Who This Is For

If you’re planning a trip to the outdoors or a picnic, and would prefer to cook your food right while you’re outdoors, then it’s a good idea to buy a picnic camp stove. 

 

Different types of Picnic Table Camp Stoves

The number of people you intend to feed and whether you prefer a tabletop or freestanding stove are the first two things to think about when deciding what kind of stove to buy. The two main types of camping stoves are the huge freestanding stoves with their own legs and two to three burners and the little tabletop ones with one to three burners. If you don’t mind getting on all fours, tabletop models are best used on a table or tailgate.

 

These stoves have a smaller cooking surface than freestanding units, so you might have to use smaller pots and pans. Freestanding variants can be placed on a tailgate or table in addition to standing on their own two legs. If you want to prepare meals in a large stockpot or wok for each meal, this is the best kind of stove for you because it has greater cooking space and bigger burners. Freestanding stoves should be avoided because they are heavier, more difficult to move and take up a lot more room inside your vehicle.

 

Propane, the substance found in those tiny green bottles you see at every campsite, is used by the majority of camping stoves. The fuel type employed by the one-burners in our evaluation, butane is a little less typical but is gradually becoming more widespread. Because propane is frequently less expensive, more readily available, and simpler to use, we mostly reviewed camp stoves that use this fuel. Propane is easy to light, burns cleanly, and doesn’t make a mess when it needs to be refilled. It also doesn’t require the pumping required to pressurize a liquid fuel (white gas) tank.

Why You Should Trust Us

While writing this review, we conducted in-depth research to find out what makes a good picnic camp stove. We read through expert test reports from professionals as well as online user reviews that provided testimonies about performance. We also made sure to compile information from credible sources, so you can be sure that the options we’re recommending in this guide are the best possible choice for you.

How We Picked

A product must, among other things, have a strong sales history, receive consistently favorable customer ratings, and have standout features to make our list of top picks. We also perform additional research and consult reports from expert testing to make sure the products fit our criteria.

 

After conducting extensive research on different models of picnic table camp stoves and the criteria that matter when judging their performance, we were able to arrive at the following which appears to be the most important when selecting a good camp stove:

 

Size/Weight

Size and weight are less of an issue while vehicle camping than when backpacking, but it’s still a good idea to take into account how much room you have for storage and transportation. Heavy-duty and larger stoves are better suited for difficult jobs, whereas small, lightweight burners or stoves are easier to carry. 

 

Considering size when picking is also important, especially since the size you buy will determine how many people you’ll be able to cook for at a time. 

 

Portability

The capacity to carry camping stoves wherever you need them to go is one of its main advantages, thus mobility is a key component of how convenient an outdoor camping stove is. There is no need to spend money on a portable gas burner for camping if it is difficult to pack up and move around. 

 

Fortunately, a lot of producers are aware of this and make sure that their camping stoves are portable. The ability of a camping stove to be small and the types of surfaces it may be used on are its two key determinants of portability.

 

To guarantee that they aren’t too difficult to transport, the best portable camping stoves on the market will contain necessary components like wheels and a foldable shell. The best choices will include wheels that make it simple to transport even though the majority of possibilities on the market fold up into a compact form.

 

Safety

Another important consideration when it comes to picking picnic camp stoves is safety. Cooking outdoors, especially with camp stoves can be hazardous, especially considering the different types of fuels – which tend to be flammable – typically used in camp stoves.

 

Even though you might save some money by purchasing a less expensive stove, a dangerous appliance will be useless over time, so it’s wise to spend the extra money on premium aluminum burners and robust steel construction. Additionally, keep an eye out for any sharp edges on the stove because a high-quality model won’t have any at all.

 

Moreso, to ensure that it is safe to use, a decent stove should only heat the cooking surface. However, some stoves will falsely inflate their BTU count by using less-controlled, powerful flames.

 

It’s thus important to consider these factors and select options that afford the most safety, and that’s why we suggested the options we did in this review since they are very safe to use.

 

Heat-prevention handles/lid

To determine whether a stove is safe to use, it is a good idea to check for CSA or another similar certification. A stove’s CSA approval guarantees that the flames are well-controlled and that all common contact points such as its handles and lids are safe to use.

 

One helpful tip to keep in mind is that you can be confident that the camping stove you’re considering is powerful and effective enough to protect you if it can be used safely on the grass.

 

Effectiveness

Simmering capability is a further crucial aspect to take into account when considering the effectiveness of camp stoves. Although it’s crucial to boil water fast over high heat, most meals aren’t prepared in this manner. You should thus make sure that your stove has efficient simmer control, or the capacity to offer even heat and precise flame control at a low level, for items that need a bit more finesse (think sauces and soups). 

 

High-end models will often perform better in these circumstances even though good simmer performance is not something that can be found on a spec sheet. The key takeaway here is that your camp stove can perform nearly as well as your home cooktop if you’re willing to spend money on it.

 

Max. temperature

BTUs will be prominently displayed as one of the more extensively promoted specifications while searching for a camping stove. BTUs, which stands for British Thermal Unit, represent the energy required to raise one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. As a result, this figure is crucial for comprehending the amount of power a particular stove can generate. 

 

To put it another way, a burner with more BTUs will be able to produce more heat than a burner with less, all else being equal. Although other elements can affect a stove’s performance potential, such as the general design, burner size, wind resistance, etc, we can consider BTUs to be a reliable measure of power/expected temperature and a useful benchmark for comparing various models.

 

Price vs Quality

It’s also important to consider price when selecting a picnic table camp stove. Look out for options that offer great quality for affordable prices. We kept this in mind when suggesting options in this review so that you can get a good, functional, and effective camping stove without breaking the bank.

 

Style/Design

The majority of campers would often choose a standard camping stove cooktop, which has two burners and a grate on top. However, there are many specialty cooktops available for folks who prefer to prepare foods like bacon and eggs, pizza, or grilled meat. With hybrid versions, you have two burners, a combined grill, and a griddle made of aluminum, but keep in mind that the grill takes up around two-thirds of the total cooking area. As an alternative, some camp stove versions let you install or replace attachments like a pizza oven, grill, or barbeque box.

 

Fuel Type

While some camping stoves use propane, others usually burn wood. Some even use both butane and propane to operate. Most people choose one-pound propane canisters since they are compact, practical, and economical. Propane is also easily available and cheap.

 

It’s important to consider what kind of fuel the camp stove you’re buying will run on since it has to be convenient and accessible. This is why we made sure to suggest options with readily available and affordable fuel options.

 

The number of stove tops

Both freestanding and tabletop camping stoves often have two burners, and this is for good reason. How frequently do you really need to use more than two burners simultaneously when cooking at home, after all?

 

However, there is a case to be made for choosing a one-burner stove. On brief excursions or picnics with one to three people, single-burner designs typically work well for one-pot or dehydrated meals. Additionally, they are substantially lighter than the two-burner options and take up less room and bulk.

 

Three-burner stoves are worth considering if you intend to take on the camp chef position seriously and anticipate frequently cooking for large parties of at least seven people.

Our Picks For You

Best Pick - Camp Chef Everest 2X

Best Pick

Camp Chef Everest 2X

This camping stove is among the most high-functioning brands, offering impressive heat output and durability

When designing the Everest 2X, adventure seekers and picnic organizers were top in the mind of manufacturers. This appliance has two powerful 20,000 BTU cast-aluminum burners. Thanks to the lid's opening into a three-panel windscreen, you can make your meals easily without worrying that your burners will be blown out. Also, with its regulator adapter, the Everest 2X cooking system can use one lb propane cylinders making cooking outdoors super convenient.

Buy Now for $143.98

Who it is for

If you’re looking for one of the best options in the market that delivers impressive heat output and high functionality, we strongly recommend the Camp Chef Everest 2X.

Why it is great

You’ll love Camp Chef Everest because of the strong flames it produces, and the fact that it works well in windy conditions. The burner design also evenly spreads out heat, and the windscreen tabs can be secured with exterior locks, which we think is a nice touch.

Potential flaws

The Camp Chef Everest 2X is pretty great, but one major downside is that it is rather bulky and heavy, so it doesn’t do so well in terms of portability.

Other features

The Everest has two 20,000-BTU burners, an auto-igniter, a modified burner area, and an exterior that makes it more powerful than the majority of other versions.

The Camp Chef Everest stove simmers effectively despite having one of the most powerful burners evaluated by specialists. Additionally, you get a few more cubic inches of cooking space for the same weight thanks to the redesigned burner and surface design. The Everest 2X was reportedly used as the main stove by certain testers. They claim that the stove has held up remarkably well even after being used to prepare up to three meals a day for more than a year.

The striker performs admirably, and its combination of high power settings and effective simmer control is ideal for any cook's needs. It can accomplish everything, from gently toasting pine nuts to fast boiling water at a high altitude. Although it is delicate enough for finer cooking, this burner roars to life for heavy-duty use.

Product Specifications

Item Package Dimensions (L x W x H‎): 27.2 x 16.8 x 8.2 inches
Package Weight: 8.12 Kilograms
Item Dimensions (LxWxH): ‎27 x 15.5 x 8.25 inches
Item Weight: 15 Pounds
Brand Name: ‎Camp Chef
Model Name: ‎MSHPX
Color: RED
Material: Alloy Steel
Number of Items: ‎1
Manufacturer: CAMP CHEF
Part Number: MSHPX

Runner Up - Hike Crew Gas Camping Stove

Runner Up

Hike Crew Gas Camping Stove

Get this outdoor camp stove and enjoy its great functionality, impeccable design, and attractive portability.

The Hike Crew Gas Camping Stove is portable, lightweight, and boasts a low profile for all of your camping and picnicking adventures. Although this stove is a propane-only design, it also eliminates the need for legs and fuel adapters. This conveniently lowers the cost and increases the stove's usability on different surfaces. This camp stove is essentially offering the best of all necessary criteria.

Buy Now for $79.99

Who it is for

If you need a camp stove that offers great functionality as well as an admirable design, the Hike Crew Gas Camping Stove should be your go-to option.

Why it is great

With the Hike Crew Gas Camping Stove, you’ll appreciate its slim, and portable, yet sturdy design. It also performs well across the board according to reports from expert testing, and you’ll also love its great price point and the ingenuity of its manufacturers.

Potential flaws

The absence of storage space for a propane adaptor within the stove would be the sole drawback of the Hike Crew Gas Camping Stove. We advise identifying it and securing the adaptor with a leash, carabiner, or clip so that it may be kept with the stove. Its burner knobs made of plastic are likewise not ideal.

Other options

We were immediately taken with this stove for two key reasons: its design and functionality. The Hike Crew Gas Camping Stove has two 10,000-BTU burners, short, strong legs that perform well on a variety of surfaces, adjustable windscreens, and an integrated piezo igniter. The stove weighs 10 pounds and we love that its burners a large enough to support two pots at the same time.

Product specifications

Fuel Type: Canister
Fuel: Propane
Auto Ignition: Yes
Heat Output (per burner): 10,000 British thermal units
Cooking Surface Area: 162 square inches
Primary Material: Stainless steel
Dimensions: 13"L x 4"W x 18"H
Weight: 10 lbs.

Most cost-effective - Coleman Classic Propane Stove

Most cost-effective

Coleman Classic Propane Stove

This affordable picnic camping stove offers the best efficiency and portability at amazing prices

With the Coleman Classic Propane Camping Stove, you can prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner on a sturdy stove that is portable. The two burners have a combined BTU output of 20,000 and are protected from the wind by movable wind-blocking panels. You'll also get to cook with ease knowing that your stove will function consistently despite adverse circumstances thanks to the pressure regulator.

Buy Now

Who it is for

If you’re looking for a great camping stove, but at a lower price than other options, you’ll find that the Coleman Classic Propane camping stove is the best deal you can get.

Why it is great

The Coleman Classic Propane Camping Stove's dependability is its key strength. We also valued its adaptability. This stove uses a single 16-ounce tank of propane to cook with both burners on high for about an hour and has a minimal number of parts, making maintenance easy.

Potential flaws

Two typical concerns about the Coleman Classic regularly surfaced when we read user reviews: the lid sometimes gets stuck, and the cooking dials sometimes don't work.

When the cooktop lid is closed, the pressed metal has the propensity to shift out of place and bump up against the rolled inside lip. This problem was encountered by others as well. If you have a grinder, you might use it to address the issue in addition to a Dremel tool. Moreso, this brand has no striker, necessitating the use of matches or a lighter. Its simmer control could also use a bit more improvement.

Other features

The Coleman Classic Propane Camping Stove's simplicity is its best asset. This stove, unlike many of the others we evaluated, has no additional parts or expensive attachments that could break or otherwise complicate what should be a simple appliance. A grilling grate, two detachable burners, a gas connection, the case, and the internal gas lines are the only components of the Coleman Classic that disassemble into roughly six pieces.

According to reports from expert testing, the Coleman Classic boils water more quickly than almost any other burner while yet providing sufficient temperature control for the majority of foods you could want to prepare. It lacks an ignition switch, though. However, that's just one more component for a camp stove to break.

This stove should enable you to cook practically anything you can think of, from burgers to a creamy chicken braise to a veggie stir-fry, with each burner producing 10,000 BTU of heat on high.

A fascinating feature of this stove is that the lid can lie entirely flat, giving you more stovetop space when using larger pots and pans. While this layout does not provide wind protection, it does provide you with a bit more flexibility when you are cooking for a large group in a protected area.

Product specifications

Features: Portable
Brand: Coleman
Manufacturer Part Number: 2000037883
Manufacturer: Coleman
Assembled Product Weight: 11.9 lb
Model: 2000037883
Color: Green
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H): 22.50 x 14.50 x 5.00 Inches

Almost made the cut - Snow Peak Home & Camp Burner

Almost made the cut

Snow Peak Home & Camp Burner

The best one-burner camp stove option, offering high functionality both outdoors and in your home.

The Snow Peak Home and Camp Burner is a cross-over tabletop gas stove that offers a convenient cooking option at home or outdoors. The unit has a sleek, stylish silhouette that will go with any kitchen decor and folds down for easy storage. After a rapid four-step setup, the unit can be opened to expose a reliable burner with an auto-ignitor and adjustable knob for sophisticated flame control. Whether you are at home or on a hiking, camping, or picnicking expedition, Snow Peak Home and Camp Burner is a great option.

Buy Now for $119.94

Who it is for

If you’re looking for a great camp stove, but would rather own a model with a single burner, consider going for the Snow Peak Home and Camp burner. There are lots of cool uses for one-burner stoves. They work well for building out vans or off-road vehicles, are perfect for lone campers, and are wonderful for folks with little room. Additionally, they are useful for home cooking, as the name of this brand suggests.

Why it is great

The Snow and Peak Home & Camp burner is great for several reasons. For one, its legs and burner are low and close to the ground, which means that wind interference will be considerably reduced during use. It also promises great simmer control, its dials are highly responsive. It is also quite versatile and you’ll be able to use it for your normal home cooking besides outdoor cooking.

Potential flaws

The major downside of this pick is the fact that it seems pricey, especially when you consider the fact that you can get two-burner stoves at lesser prices (our cost-effective pick is a case in point). Using it can also get tricky during windy periods since there are no added attachments such as a windscreen (although you can very easily include a windscreen if you want to).

Other features

The most recent Home & Camp burner from Snow Peak combines the strength of a two-burner camp stove with the compactness and complexity of origami. This burner, from Snow Peak, which is noted for its clean, incredibly small designs, entirely folds into itself (to about the size of a 32-ounce Nalgene).

To swivel the burner out onto any surface, just open the top, slide out the legs, and lock out the pin. Then insert a canister of butane gas. We read reports of a few minor durability difficulties, but nothing major according to these reports, and we anticipate that this stove will hold up well to heavy use.

This stove's compact size makes it perfect for use inside vehicles. You'll need to add your windscreen during windy periods because there are no included attachments. However, if you frequently picnic alone or need a high-quality camping stove that is both powerful and portable, look no further.

Product specifications

Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 11.1 x 4.1 inches
Item Weight: 3.08 pounds
Department: Unisex
Manufacturer: Snow Peak
ASIN: B07TVBM8ZQ
Item model number: GS-600KH

Care and maintenance

Ensure the stove has cooled down fully before handling and/or packing

You might be tempted to turn off your stove and put it away for the night after you’ve finished cooking your food. Despite how simple it is to do so, you should actually wait a few minutes for your stove to cool down before putting it in your picnicking luggage.

 

This is due to the burn risk that hot stoves pose to both you and your companions. Additionally, if there is still gas seeping from the fuel canister, attempting to detach the fuel bottle from a hot stove may result in small explosions.

 

Basically, when outside, patience is crucial. When it comes to your safety in the outdoors, waiting a few minutes for your burner to cool down after you stop cooking can make all the difference.

 

Do not touch hot coils directly

It’s also important to refrain from touching hot coils on your camping stove directly. Doing this could cause severe burns on your skin. If you must touch the coils, ensure to use a padded cloth to reduce contact with the hot coils and minimize the heat getting in touch with your skin.

 

Be wary of placement as the stove will get very hot

We must stress the importance of positioning your stove on a flat surface. But we should also stress how crucial it is to keep stoves away from flammable surfaces since the stove will get very hot.

 

Generally speaking, it’s recommended to stay away from burning flammable things like grass, dried leaves, and twigs with a stove. You should normally avoid cooking on these materials since they can catch fire when exposed to high heat.

 

If cooking on the grass is your only option, exercise extra caution. To put out any sparks before they ignite into a fire, keep an eye out for burning grass and keep water nearby.

 

Do not leave it unattended

You were probably instructed as a child never to leave your burner unattended when preparing food at home. When you’re outside, the same guidelines apply.

 

Leaving a camp stove unattended can start a fire. Although the tiny flame emanating from your stove might not look like much, camp stoves have historically started large wildfires.

 

Therefore, be sure that there is a competent adult nearby who can keep an eye on your stove if you need to leave it for any reason. If not, it’s best to completely extinguish the stove and then relight it when you get back.

 

Dealing with gasses and fuels

Campfire fuel is as poisonous as it is combustible. Because of this, you should exercise caution while putting stove fuel in your picnicking luggage.

 

The main issue here is a fuel spill that contaminates your snacks and meals while you’re camping or picnicking. Of course, such a fuel spill is more of an annoyance than an emergency if you’re close to a town where you can buy extra food. However, a fuel spill in the countryside that destroys your food source is a severe issue.

 

As a result, it’s crucial that you constantly exercise caution when putting fuel in your backpack. You prevent spills from contaminating your food, make sure to stow your fuel below your food in your pack.

 

Fire hazard information and safety advice

Fuel for camping stoves is quite combustible, as you might expect. As a result, when you’re not actively cooking, you should use your stove fuel with extra caution.

 

Make sure in particular not to put your fuel containers (bottles and canisters) close to a campfire. The onset of a sizable wildfire could result from the fire spreading.

 

Additionally, pressurized fuel canisters are prone to detonating when exposed to high heat, so keep them away from your fire pit at all times.