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family cooking on camping stove

What is the Best Camping Stove for Families?

The average family now has around 1.74 children, at least in the UK. This means that you’ll need a fairly large camping stove if you want to cook a delicious meal for everyone to eat together on your next camping trip.

If you want to cook more complex meals on your family camping trips then consider camping stoves that will also double up as a grill or have attachable accessories.

Having a burner as well as a grill will give you more meal options and help make outdoor cooking simple, even when you have a whole family to feed. 

How to Choose a family Camping Stove

The best family camping stove will let you boil water quickly, allow you to cook with large pots and pans, of 30cm in circumference and over and ignite easily whenever you need to cook. 

Gas camping stoves offer the most reliable and consistent cooking performance so we’d suggest opting for a gas camping stove if you want your food to be cooked just the way you like it.

Many camping stoves now also offer removable griddle plates and flat frying pan surfaces that are non-stick and easy to clean and offer wind protection to make them easy to ignite.

Gas stoves with Piezo ignition are considered the most reliable on the market and ignite effortlessly even in cold temperatures.

Finding a camping stove that is large enough to feed your family and offers reliable and consistent heat is your best option.

How Big are Cooking Surfaces on Camping Stoves?

Camping stoves range in size depending upon the style of stove you choose.

The surface area you have for cooking will depend upon the type of stove you choose and the number of burners that your chosen stove has.

Tabletop Single Burner Gas Stoves

Larger, tabletop stoves more closely resemble a traditional kitchen hob, range from around 12.99″ x 11.0″ x 3.5″ (33 x 28 x 9 cm). Larger pan sizes can be used on many single burner camping stoves, but your effective cooking surface is limited to around 30cm. You will also want to be careful of tipping if you use a pan that is too large.

Tabletop Double Burner Gas Stoves

Double burner stoves tend to start from larger sizes 17.71″ x 76.2″ x 24.38″ (45 x 30 x 9.6 cm). These tend to offer comfortable cooking on up to 2x pans of around 30cm diameter.

Home Style Cooking Gas Camping Stoves

The largest camping stoves can more closely resemble a BBQ with an elevated cooking surface and a double burner. These offer a cooking experience that is much more similar to what you might have at home. These large camping stoves can also be fitted with cooking attachments like pizza ovens and BBQs if you like to have access to a full range of meals on your trip.

Lightweight Single Burner Stoves

Single burner compact camping stoves can range from a lightweight, highly portable flask style cooking system, which is typically around 4.1″ in circumference x 7.1″ in height (10.4 cm x 18 cm). Lightweight single burner systems are unlikely to be best for a family camping trip because of their limited cooking surface, usually only safely supporting 11cm pans. So if you’re boiling pasta and making a sauce you won’t be able to cook both together.

Our Favourite Camping Stoves for Families

Go System Dynasty Trio Triple Burner – £59.99 – Best for Maximum Cooking Space

Key features:

  • Comes with two hob burners and a central toaster/grill – perfect for a morning fry up for the whole family.
  • Folds away into a self-contained case (which also doubles as a drip tray for the grill) so is easy to transport and pack away on your trip
  • Runs off of gas
  • Can boil 1 litre of water in just 2 mins 35 seconds
  • Suitable for all pans larger than 30cm in diameter
  • Easy cleaning
  • Piezo Auto-start ignition
  • Continuous cooking time of 1 hour 05 minutes per 220g gas cartridge.

Types of Fuel for Your Family Camping Stove

You can choose a family camping stove to suit your preferred cooking style and preferred fuel type. Gas stoves tend to offer the most convenient, efficient cooking and are the easiest to recommend as a family-friendly camping stove.

Solid fuel stoves and liquid fuel equivalents are difficult to recommend for a family because their open flames are best avoided if you are camping with young children.

Electric camping stoves only tend to be viable if you are staying in a motorhome or at a campsite with electrical power to your pitch.

Here are the best gas fuel camping stoves for you to consider and what makes each of them great.

The Best Family Gas Camping Stoves

Vango Blaze Double – £45.00 – Best for Lightweight Portability

  • Low to the ground design
  • affordable price
  • Plastic feet for stability
  • Burner control
  • 1.35Kg
  • 44.5 x 23.5 x 9.0 cm

Camp Bistro 2 Portable Gas Stove – £15.00 – Best Affordable Camping Stove

  • Simple cartridge lock system
  • Large cooking surface for big pans up to 3ocm
  • Piezo ignition
  • Quick boil times
  • Lightweight
  • Freestanding stove

Cadac 2-Cook Pro Deluxe Stove – £120.00 – Best for Cooking Anything

  • Easy clean ceramic flat plate and ribbed griddle plate
  • Organic, toxin-free no-stick coating
  • Piezo ignition

Primus Onja Stove – £154.95 – Best for Unique Style & Portability

  • Suitcase style design for easy portability
  • Cook food for 1 – 4 people
  • 2 x gas burners
  • Oakwood lid that doubles as a chopping board
  • Quick and easy to set up and clean
  • 44 x 14 x 29 cm
  • 3.3 Kg

Vango Camp Chef Explorer 2X – £180.00 – Best for a Home Cooking Experience Anywhere

  • Elevated waist-high cooking position
  • Large two burner stove
  • Portable with removable legs
  • Three-sided steel wind guards
  • Rust-resistant aluminium burner
  • Easy to use and adjust temperature controls
  • Pizza oven & BBQ attachments available
  • Cook with any pan size
  • 15.6 Kg

Safe Cooking Tips for Your Family Camping Stove

Depending on the age of the children in your camping party, you will want to consider safety too.

Camping stoves that elevate the burner out of reach of young children can be safer than low to the ground burners that children might be tempted to play with.

Always make sure your cooking stove is placed on a flat surface that won’t burn, scorch or explode.

Never use a camping stove inside your tent.

Don’t disassemble or clean your camping stove away while it is still hot.

Don’t use homemade wind shields with your camping stove.

Keep your gas bottles away from lit camping stoves at all times.

Regularly check your camping stove to ensure the gas bottle is connected properly and the gas is flowing normally.