Propane stoves, or propane cookers as they are often called, are perfect for camping, hunting, tailgating and patio cooking.
This commonly held view about propane stoves arises for a host of good reasons:
1. they are easy to light;
2. their flame is highly adjustable;
3. they are safe because the propane is stored in a pressurized tank as a vapor rather than a liquid;
4. they are energy-efficient and self-priming, [a big advantage over liquid fuel stoves];
5. their propane tanks are sealed eliminating spill and smells;
6. they can be used at all elevations;
7. being relatively simply needing little maintenance; and
8. due to their simpler design, they are cheaper than comparable liquid fuel stoves.
9. they are convenient because there is no preheating required and you enjoy instant heat;
10. they are great for camp-side cooking being clean, quick and easy to use.
All round Propane stoves are a good choice but there are a few provisos to bear in mind.
1. They are great providing weight is not an important consideration; in practice most propane stoves are too heavy for backpacking because regulations require propane canisters to be made of a thick, heavy steel;
2. They should only be used for cooking, they are not to be used to heat a tent, camper or rv.
3. You should always try to carry spare canisters as finding spares when out and about can be problematic;
4. The fuel is more expensive than alternatives;
5. Propane stoves are not very efficient in cold temperatures and high altitudes. so may not be ideal for those who like to camp in extreme conditions; and
6. The heating efficiency of a propane stove decreases as the cartridge empties, i.e. it loses it’s burning efficiency.
7. Buy quality, don’t buy ‘cheap’; it will pay off handsomely in the long run. Brands such as Bayou Classic with their focus on quality and superb performance are a good mark to choose
But don’t be put off by the provisos. Propane burners and stoves in practice do offer great value and service, they are generally efficient, easy to use and perfect for cooking in the garden or when out and about. And, as a general rule, there are many great offers to be found for propane burners and stoves on the internet so take time out and shop around as local stores tend to have only a limited choice and much higher prices.