Regarding outdoor activities, camping and hiking have become one of the go-to activities you can do. It allows you to spend time outside, away from any distractions and worries that may come with our phones, computers, and TVs. To many people, simply spending a day outside in nature can be incredibly calming and peaceful. Yet, as with many aspects of life, the need for properly cooked food is much more important.
Thankfully, modern technology and developments have created ways to allow people to cook without the need to rely solely on a campfire for cooking all of their meals. Today, many campers can take their barbecue grill or a camping stove to prepare and make entire meals while they’re out in the forest. However, since each has its own differences, choosing only one to take with you can be challenging.
We’ve put together this article to help you narrow down whether it’s better to take a camping stove or a barbecue grill the next time you go out to your favourite camping spot. Though we aim to help narrow your choices down by showing what’s the best choice, you can always pick the other if you like it. And if you want to buy either a camping stove or a grill, all you need to do is click here.
What is a camping stove?
Much like how grills come in varying sizes, a camping stove is exactly what it sounds like; a stove explicitly made for use during camping. Of course, the models themselves can also vary in size, with some of the simpler ones being large enough for a single pan while others may as well just be a smaller version of your stovetop back home. In order to be able to be used for camping, though, the stove is usually much smaller and can be carried around.
Typically, a camping stove requires gas to run on, acting quite similarly to a portable propane grill. Due to the usual lack of electricity outdoors, the stove uses a gas cylinder to store its fuel, making it much easier to carry a few spare cylinders when camping. Thanks to the gas-jets, a camping stove can be quite handy when outdoors.
Of course, you don’t have to be limited to just gas-powered camping stoves. Though they are the most common type, many modern brands and models now offer the ability to use different kinds of fuel to create fire. The portability can greatly grow depending on whether you get a liquid, solid, or wood-burning stove. For example, if all you need for your solid fuel stove is a few paraffin fuel tablets, then you have much more room for other important items in your backpack.
How portable barbecue grills work
A portable barbecue works exactly as a full sized barbecue does, with the added benefit of being much easier to move around. They frequently tend to be small enough to be picked up and tucked away into the trunk of your car. However, due to their smaller sizes, portable barbecues need less fuel and grill for a shorter amount of time.
Much like a larger propane grill, gas powered barbecue grills use the same fuel, though packed into smaller cylinders. This, like gas fueled camping stoves, makes it a bit easier to carry a proper amount of fuel for when you need to cook. The gas is simply drawn to the smaller burners where the heat is then redistributed through a number of “hot stones” set around them.
Since many barbecue brands offer their own smaller sized grills, camping or portable grills also offer different fuel sources. If your camping site does offer an area for electric hookups, investing in an electricity powered grill can cut back on how much space you need for storage. And, as with full sized grills, you can also get a portable charcoal grill, if you prefer the smoky flavours it gives.
The main differences
One of the main differences between a camping stove and a portable grill is how you use them. Camping stoves are great for all sorts of cooking and as long as you have the right utensils, pots and pans on hand, you can use it like a normal stove. This ability is what makes a camping stove more versatile when it comes to outdoor cooking.
With a portable grill, on the other hand, the grates are specifically designed to be able to roast or grill foods. They often don’t direct the heat the way that’s needed to boil water or fry meats the same way a stove can. However, they do tend to do the few styles of cooking that a camping stove can’t; grilling and roasting. If you don’t plan to boil water anytime soon, a portable grill works just as well.
Which one is better?
Ultimately, the best choice is to invest in a camping stove. Thanks to its versatility, the stove can be used for far more than just grilling. When outdoors, there might be a time where you need to boil water to refill your bottles or even simply cook a meal that doesn’t involve lots of smoke in a wooded area. With the added benefit of many camping stoves being much lighter to carry and smaller, you can simply tuck it back into a backpack and move somewhere else if you plan to go hiking.
At the end of the day, what your needs are while camping are far more important to cater to. A camping stove is the best option, thanks to the wide range of things you can do with it and how easy it is to move it to a new location. However, if you find that you don’t need such a range of cooking options and are just fine with grilling meat and vegetables, getting a camping grill is just as good.