Best Butane Portable Stove: Top Picks for Great Outdoor Cooking

Best Butane Portable Stove: Top Picks for Great Outdoor Cooking

Are you looking for the best butane portable stove for your outdoor adventures? Our expert team has tested and reviewed the top options on the market.

Now some of the stoves that we’ve selected run on propane rather than butane because many people prefer these as the propane canisters are often easier to find. But, butane is oftentimes a better and cheaper option if you’re deciding between the two.

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So, let’s first talk about the difference between propane and butane.

Propane vs Butane: What’s The Difference?

propane vs butane - showing a propane bottle and a butane canister

Both butane and propane are forms of LPG or liquefied petroleum gas. Propane comes from natural gas processing and oil refining. It has a low boiling point and is suitable for use in cold climates and high altitudes.

On the other hand, butane has a higher boiling point and does not work as well in cold climates but is perfect for fuelling camping stoves and gas heaters. 

Butane will also burn for longer as it provides more energy by volume than propane. In fact, you’ll get 12% more energy out of the same size butane container when compared to a propane container.

In most cases, you can use butane instead of propane and vice versa except that you will need a different regulator for each. However, many butane or propane stoves that you’ll find on the market won’t offer this option.

There are also canisters of mixed gases available so you can get the best of both worlds if the stove that you have will allow you to connect this type of canister.

One example is these Iso-butane canisters from GasOne. They come with a mixture of propane and butane and a universal fitting. 

So, now that understand all about butane and propane, let’s talk about camping stoves that use either or both of these fuel types.

What Are The Benefits Of Choosing A Butane-Powered Camping Stove?

There are many benefits to choosing a butane camping stove over a propane or other stoves.

In general, butane stoves are more lightweight. This makes them ideal for taking on hiking trips or short camping trips. Plus, they don’t take up a lot of space on your picnic table.

The butane comes in small, lightweight canisters which are easy to carry around and don’t need refilling. You just replace the fuel canister with a new one when the gas runs out.

You’ll also find that butane stoves tend to be more reliable because the fuel canister attaches directly to the stove and there’s no need for a hose connection. 

And, you’ll get a longer cooking time from a butane canister than you would from a propane one. This means that often, butane stoves are more fuel efficient as butane burns slower.

Butane is also slightly less combustible than propane and is easier to store because it’s not pressurized like propane is. 

In saying all of this, propane-powered camping stoves are still highly popular even though their fuel efficiency rating is not as high.  However, we have included a few in our reviews so you can have a choice as to which will be better for your needs.

red portable butane stove

What To Consider When Choosing The Best Butane Portable Stove

When it comes to choosing the best butane stove for your next camping trip or outdoor adventure, there are a few factors that you’ll want to consider. Let’s look at these in more detail.

The Size Of The Portable Stove

Decide on how small or large you want the portable stove to be. If you’re mainly going hiking, you want a small lightweight backpacking stove that you can easily carry in your backpack.

However, for longer camping trips, you can opt for a larger portable stove as you won’t have to carry it long distances.

How Many Burners You Will Need

Portable camping stoves that use butane fuel canisters only have one portable burner. For most people, this will be enough to boil water for coffee or tea or to cook food for simple meals.

This is especially the case if there are only one or two of you to cater for. A single burner stove is enough to boil all the water you’re going to need for countless cups of hot coffee.

With a single burner, you can also cook a hearty breakfast using a skillet. Or, you can use the burner to cook the evening meal.

However, if you’re going camping with a family of four or more, you might find that a single-burner stove is too limiting. In this instance, you might want to consider a portable stove that has two burners.

This means that you can boil water at the same time as cooking a meal for the family. Of course, the number of burners you will need will also depend on what you’re planning to cook.

The Durability Of The Portable Stove

Many good-quality portable butane stoves are made either from aluminum or alloy steel. These are both durable materials that can handle plenty of use, especially outdoors.

Essentially, you want to select a stove that isn’t going to fall apart after the first couple of times that you use it. Therefore, you really want to stick to a name-brand portable stove and stay away from cheap knockoffs.

The Ease Of Use

It goes without saying that you want a portable stove that’s easy to use and doesn’t take too much effort to get going. Therefore, the type of stove that you select should be easy to set up and light.

The Cost Of The Portable Stove

When it comes to kitting out your camping gear or purchasing outdoor adventure products, cost also comes into play. The team recommends buying the best portable butane stove that you can afford.

Spending a little more now will stop you from having to replace the stove sooner rather than later. 

Now that you know what to look for when selecting a portable stove, let’s have a look at the best portable butane stoves that our team has selected.

Top 5 Best Portable Butane Stoves

When making their selection, the team has focused on quality brand-named butane stoves that are relatively lightweight and good value for money. Let’s have a look at each one.

#1 – Coleman Portable Butane Stove

Coleman classic portable stove

Main Features:

  • Material – Alloy Steel
  • Dimensions – 15” x 10” x 6.5”
  • Maximum Heat Output – 2242 watts or 7650 BTUs
  • Weight – 4.8 pounds

I was quite excited when this particular butane stove made it onto the list because I have one of these at home. I purchased it primarily to use during power outages because my home is all electric.

This is one of the most inexpensive tabletop stoves. It’s compact, lightweight and really easy to use. All you have to do is insert the butane canister and press the electric ignition button to light the burner. I also like the fact that it has its own hard carry case to keep the butane stove protected while traveling.

The flame on the single burner is adjustable so you can turn it up or down as needed. Plus, the burner is large enough to fit a 10-inch pot or pan and is quite stable.  It provides enough heat to boil water quite quickly.

For easy cleaning, the grate is removable and the portable butane burner is rust-proof in case the stove accidentally gets left out in the rain. 

This portable stove is also quite economical to use because one 8.8-ounce butane cylinder will provide around 1.25 hours of cooking power and time if the flame is set to high.

ProsCons
Compact and lightweightNot as effective in really cold weather because the butane will turn to liquid
Push-button electric ignition
Easy to clean
Economical to use

#2 – Eureka! SPRK Portable Butane Stove

Eureka SPRK portable butane stove

Main Features:

  • Material – Aluminum
  • Dimensions – 11.02” x 3.94” x 12.99”
  • Maximum Heat Output – 10,000 BTUs
  • Weight – 4.7 pounds

This is another compact single burner butane stove. It features an automatic ignition system so it’s easy to light the burner. You can also control the size of the flame depending on your needs.

The burner is large enough to accommodate an 11-inch pot or pan. Plus, the butane stove comes in its own hard case for easy transport and protection while traveling.

The pan under the burner is porcelain coated so that it’s easy to clean in case of spillage. The butane stove uses an 8-ounce butane canister.

ProsCons
Compact and lightweightButane canisters may be hard to find in some remote locations
Auto-ignition
Easy to clean

#3 – Camp Chef Mountain Series Butane Stove

Camp Chef Mountain Series Butane Stove

Main Features:

  • Material – Alloy Steel
  • Dimensions – 13.95” x 12.65” x 3.7”
  • Maximum Heat Output – 8,000 BTUs
  • Weight – 4.8 pounds

At the time of writing this review, this nifty little unit was out of stock, even on the Camp Chef website. Here’s hoping they can get more of these made soon!

This is a nice and compact little stove with a single burner and its own carry case. It has a heat-control dial so you can have the flame at the intensity you need for whatever you’re cooking.

It also features push-button ignition so there’s no need for matches. Clean-up is a snap with the porcelain drip tray underneath the burner.

If you’re looking for a two-burner stove, you might want to have a look at the Camp Chef Everest range. However, this stove does use propane.

ProsCons
Compact and lightweightButane will not work under 30 degrees Fahrenheit
Auto-ignition
Easy to clean

#4 – Iwatani Butane Stove

Iwatani butane stove

Main Features:

  • Material – Aluminum
  • Dimensions – 11.9” x 13.3” x 3.7”
  • Maximum Heat Output – 15,000 BTUs
  • Weight – 4.4 pounds

If you’re willing to spend a little more, this portable butane stove is a great unit. It has a higher energy output than the other stoves already listed and a very durable brass burner.

All Iwatani portable butane stoves feature a heat panel system to draw the heat from the flame back to the butane canister. This keeps the canister warm and stops the gas from turning into a liquid. This is particularly useful if you want to use the stove in cold weather.

This portable butane stove also has a built-in windbreaker which is handy if you’re outdoors in a very open area. It means that the flame has some wind protection and will continue to burn even if it’s a bit breezy.

Plus, there’s an automatic safety shut-off feature that other portable stoves may not have. The flow of butane is automatically shut off if the pressure inside the canister rises to an unsafe level.

Of course, this portable butane stove comes with its own carry case to keep it protected while traveling and features auto-ignition. 

Another feature that the team particularly likes is that the butane canister locks into place with a magnet. This is one of those desirable safety features because not only does this stop you from loading the canister incorrectly but it also avoids some of the issues that certain users have with the more mechanical locking systems.

The only downside of this unit is that it will only accommodate a pot or pan up to a diameter of 7.5 inches.

ProsCons
Compact and lightweightThe case is a little flimsy
Heats up quicklyCan only support a pot or pan with a diameter of 7.5 inches
Super efficient
Built-in windshield
Excellent quality

#5 – MSR WindBurner Windproof Camping Stove

MSR WindBurner Windproof camping stove

Main Features:

  • Material – Metal
  • Dimensions – 8.3” x 4.5” x 4.5”
  • Weight – 15.3 ounces

This is a very different portable butane stove and is a good idea for hikers. It’s extremely compact and lightweight. It uses radiant heat powered by a gas flame that is totally contained. This makes it almost the most fuel-efficient stove on the market.

The heating element sits on top of an isobutane canister and then the cooking pot sits on top of that. The unit is completely windproof and can boil water very quickly even in windy conditions.

And, everything packs neatly into the included pot. Plus, you can get other cookware accessories for cooking all kinds of meals when you’re out camping. This includes a French press kit, skillets and saucepans. 

However, it does not have auto-ignition so you need to ensure that you take a lighter or some matches to light the burner.

Here’s a video that highlights some of the accessories that you can get for this portable stove.

ProsCons
Very compact & lighter weight than other unitsYou have to use MSR pans and pots as others won’t fit on the burner.
Completely windproofDoes not have auto-ignition
Boils water very quickly
Durable and excellent quality

Now that you know all about the best 5 butane portable stoves, here are a few propane stoves for those who prefer using a propane fuel source instead.

Top 3 Best Camping Stoves That Use Propane Gas
#1 – Coleman PowerPack Propane Gas Camping Stove

Coleman Powerpack propane gas camping stove

Main Features:

  • Material – Alloy Steel
  • Dimensions – 13.3” x 12.5” x 4”
  • Maximum Heat Output – 7500 BTUs
  • Weight – 4 pounds

This single burner propane stove from Coleman is very compact and lightweight. It uses a small propane canister (16.4 ounce) and has an adjustable flame. However, many users say that it’s not possible to turn it down low enough to achieve a constant simmer.

The grate on this stove is chrome-plated which makes it easy to clean. The burner will accommodate a pot or pan up to 12 inches in diameter, so this gives you a lot of scope of what you can cook on this.

The large burner is also very stable so you can safely use a wok on it or any other type of pot or pan.

ProsCons
Very compact and lightweightDoes not have a carry case
Easy to cleanNot easy to control the flame
Able to accommodate large pots and pans
Very stable

#2 – GasOne Camp Stove With 2 Burners

GasOne camp stove with 2 burners

Main Features:

  • Material – Cast Iron
  • Dimensions – 30.75” x 15.75” x 28.5”
  • Weight – 27 pounds

Although still portable, this is a much heavier but durable camping stove. It’s perfect for lengthy car camping trips and when you need to feed large groups.

The burners are made from cast iron and you need a 20lb propane tank to run it. Therefore, you don’t want to have to carry it too far. But, if you’re driving into a camp spot and plan to stay for a few days, this stove will keep the whole family fed.

It has two burners and each one has its own control. The sturdy legs are detachable so it can pack up small enough to fit in the trunk of your vehicle. The stove also comes with a cover to protect it from the weather when it’s not in use.

Plus, the stove features a steel braided regulator to ensure a consistent and secure gas flow.

Here’s a video that shows you how easy this stove is to set up.

ProsCons
Durable and sturdyToo heavy for hiking
Two individually controlled burners
Includes a cover
Easy to assemble

#3 – Jetboil Genesis Basecamp Camping Stove

Jetboil genesis basecamp camping stove

Main Features:

  • Material – Alloy Steel
  • Dimensions – 9” x 9.8” x 4.6”
  • Maximum Energy Output – 2930 watts – 10,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units)
  • Weight – 6.2 pounds

Although a little more expensive, this is quite an innovative portable stove that has 2 burners. However, these are connected by a hinge and the stove folds in half into a very compact and lightweight unit.

Each burner has its own auto-ignite switch and a simmer control dial. The stove uses one 16.4-ounce propane bottle to fuel it. Plus, the stove comes with a windscreen so you can use it safely and securely when the weather is less than perfect.

And, if you have a large family camping trip planned, you can even connect multiple stoves together or get a Luna accessory burner. This will allow you to cook up an absolute feast.

Although you can purchase specific Jetboil cookware which is designed to cook faster, it’s perfectly fine to use any other cookware that you have on hand.

Here’s a video that explains the features and how to use this portable cooking system.

ProsCons
Very compact and easy to carryThe windshield is a little flimsy
Two burners that are adjustable independently
Easy to clean
Needs minimal storage space

Best Dual Fuel Camping Stoves

For those readers who like a choice, we’ve also decided to include 2 dual fuel portable stoves. These stoves have dual fuel capabilities so you can choose which fuel type you use.

Here they are:

#1 – Grill Boss 90057 Dual Fuel Portable Stove

Grill boss 90057 dual fuel portable stove

Main Features:

  • Material – Alloy Steel
  • Dimensions – 13.5” x 11.5” x 4.5”
  • Maximum Energy Output – 3516 watts – 12,000 BTUs
  • Weight – 8 pounds

This inexpensive single-burner stove gives you the option of using either a butane (8oz) or a propane (16.4oz) canister to power it. The butane canister sits inside the canister holder while a propane canister can be connected using the external hose and regulator.

This is also excellent if you happen to run out of one type of gas while you’re halfway through cooking a meal. As long as you have both canisters with you, of course. It’s also great if you’re in an area where it’s difficult to find a supply of butane canisters.

Plus, you’re not reliant on using the butane if you’re experiencing cold weather conditions that butane doesn’t like. In fact, many seasoned campers prefer to use butane in the summer and propane in the winter.

The burner features automatic piezo ignition so you don’t have to worry about carrying matches or a lighter. The flame is also adjustable so you can boil and simmer.

Tip: The propane hose is located inside the burner compartment so make sure you remove this before lighting your stove.

ProsCons
Dual fuelConstruction is very lightweight
Lightweight and compact
Includes a carrying case
Heats quickly

#2 – GasOne Dual Fuel Portable Stove

GasOne Dual Fuel Portable Stove

Main Features:

  • Material – Metal with Solid Brass Burner
  • Dimensions – 12.9” x 10.9” x 4.5”
  • Maximum Energy Output – 15,000 BTUs
  • Weight – 6 pounds

This is a similar dual-fuel portable gas stove which uses either an 8oz butane canister or a 16.4oz propane canister with a propane regulator. This gives you the option of which type of fuel you use depending on where you are and whether it’s cold or not.

The stove features auto-ignition and a single burner that will heat very quickly. For durability and longevity, the burner is made from brass. Plus, there’s also a wind guard to keep the flame burning under breezy conditions.

Included with the stove is a hard carry case but as is the case with most of these stoves, you have to buy the gas canisters separately.

The burner is capable of accommodating a pot or pan that is a maximum diameter of 10.5 inches.

Here’s a video that shows you how to use the dual fuel portable stove from GasOne.

ProsCons
Compact and lightweightThe carrying case is flimsy
Uses butane or propane canistersFlame is difficult to control
Brass burner
Has a wind guard

For more information on butane stoves, you might want to check out this article:

How to Make Sure Your Portable Butane Stove Doesn’t Explode!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a portable butane stove safe to use indoors?

While manufacturers don’t recommend using a butane stove indoors, many chefs and caterers use them as long as they are in a well-ventilated area. There’s the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if there is not enough ventilation for the excess gas to escape. While all gas stoves will produce carbon dioxide or CO2, they also produce carbon monoxide that’s not only flammable but also dangerous to your health. 

Are butane stoves better than propane?

Butane stoves can be a little more energy efficient when compared to propane ones. They’re also very lightweight and easy to take with you almost anywhere. However, butane canisters may not be as easy to find in some locations and butane doesn’t work as well in really cold weather.

Are butane stoves dangerous?

In most cases, butane stoves are quite safe to use. However, there is always the possibility that a butane canister can overheat. If the stove does not have a shut-off valve or the valve fails, the stove is likely to explode if the canister gets too hot.

Is alloy steel better than stainless steel?

Alloy steel has a higher tensile strength than stainless steel so it’s perfect for camping stoves that can get quite hot. Plus, it’s perfect for outdoor use.

In Summary

As you can see, there are a lot of choices when it comes time to buy a portable gas stove for your next camping trip or RV adventure. Or, you might be like me and want a simple butane stove for when the power goes out at home.

Whatever your needs are, there’s sure to be a portable camping stove on our list that will suit you perfectly.