An excellent variety of hot plates is available for outdoor camping.
However, some key features suit every type of activity.
As a general rule, you should be looking for something tough enough to work in the conditions where you would pitch your camp, yet light enough, portable for carrying around, and easy to use.
If you are looking for a single hot plate with all these features, a simple and lightweight Aroma AHP-303 hot plate should likely be your best camping hot plate.
It tends to be tough, easy to maintain, and quick to heat.
It is also portable enough to fit the bill for almost all situations, whether a hiking trip or weekend car camping.
This review will discuss both camping hot plates and stoves, point out some popular models in both categories, and list their salient features.
1. Difference between camping hot plates and camping stoves
Over the past few decades, the word “stove” has altered meanings, thanks to technological advancements.
The term hot plate is used interchangeably for traditional gas stoves and modern electric hobs since they serve the same cooking purpose.
According to most sources, the basic definition of a hot plate is a portable stove.
However, there are a few differences that distinguish between the old school gas stove and the present-day electric stove, as mentioned below:
- Most camping hot plates are powered by electricity, whereas camping stoves use fossil fuels.
- Unlike stoves, the heat source in hot plates is usually a heating coil, infrared light, or induction technology.
- Hot plate burners do not have a naked flame, while stove burners are always fire-powered.
2. Best Camping Hot Plate by burner types
a) Single burner
If you are cooking for a small group of people and love making one-dish meals, you will be amazed to know how much you can achieve with a single burner.
These stoves are lightweight and cover the smallest amount of space.
- They are built using highly durable die-cast metal and have a solid surface design.
- Four different temperature settings, i.e., warm, low, medium, and high, allow you to cook virtually any dish.
- With a powerful 1000-watt single burner, you can cook foods using high heat without an open flame.
- Easily transportable so you can pack it up and take it with you on trips.
- The small size allows for convenient storage.
- Highly versatile design that is suitable for nearly all types of cookware, having a maximum of 6-inch size.
- Easy-to-clean dark black coating.
- On/Off indicator light.
Continental Electric CE23309
- Single burner coil heating is built for fast and easy cooking in small spaces.
- The adjustable temperature knob provides a constant heat supply without burning.
- Includes safety features such as power indicator light, non-skid base, and chrome drip pan.
- Cooking is made easy with the 1100W burner, which is ideal for high-heat cooking, while the 500W setting keeps food warm.
- Small-sized, portable, and lightweight.
Cusimax 1200W Infrared Single Burner
- Compatible with all cookware with a maximum of 7.1 inches in size. Works well with copper, glass, aluminum, and cast-iron cookware.
- The powerful 1200 watts Infrared burner heats up within a few seconds and efficiently cooks a range of one-pot meals, including scrambled eggs, soup, vegetables, pasta, etc.
- The small size makes it portable and perfect for camping or your RV kitchenette.
- The automatic temperature control system protects from overheating and ensures the temperature is safe.
- The Black Stainless steel frame, and the cooktop made of durable ceramic glass, are designed to withstand frequent use.
- There is no harmful radiation as the heating source is infrared rays considered safe for humans.
- Easy to clean and safe to handle.
Duxtop BT-M20B Induction Cooktop
- The lightweight, compact and portable design makes storage and handling easy. Perfect for use in outdoor cooking and RVs.
- Compatible with induction-ready cookware made from enameled iron, cast iron, or stainless steel.
- LED display and digital control panel let you easily adjust the temperature, power, and timer settings.
- Features 15 preset power settings from 200 to 1800 watts and 15 preset temperature levels from 140 F to 460 F.
- It offers rapid heating and faster cooking time, thanks to the Induction burner, which is 83% more efficient than ordinary gas stoves.
- Safety features include automatic pan detection, overheating protection, and a high/low voltage warning system.
- Food spills do not burn and stick over the cooktop surface with no hot cooking element or open flame.
Coleman Classic Single Burner Backpacking Stove
- The compact and lightweight design (189.9 g) allow easy carrying and fitting in your backpack.
- Burner power of up to 10,000 BTUs with adjustable heat settings.
- Perfect Flow technology offers consistent burner performance by supplying a steady fuel stream even in extreme weather conditions.
- The perfect Heat feature means lesser fuel consumption and more efficient cooking.
- The generated fuel system makes cooking safer with few flare-ups.
- A powerful and adjustable burner can hold a 6-inch pan and boil 1 L of water in approximately 3 minutes.
b) Double burner
The double burner setup is the most commonly used camping hot plate.
This type of equipment has a lot of functionality in a reasonably compact design.
For most campers, a two-burner hot plate is the best choice as it makes you feel like cooking outdoors quite the same way as cooking at home.
SUNAVO Electric Double Burner
- The state-of-the-art hot plate has a total burner power of 1800W (1000W + 800W for the two burners) with six levels of temperature control for both sides.
- Works with all flat cookware under 7.5 inches and is compatible with aluminum, stainless steel, glass, and ceramic utensils.
- The heating tube technology has improved the heating efficiency by 20% more than the traditional heating coil. The heating tube is more stable and rust-resistant, which means a shorter cooking time and longer service life.
- The hot plate is cast iron and has an overheat protection system that automatically turns off the power supply if the temperature goes too high.
Cusimax Double Hot Plates
- Compact and tough stainless steel body and smart design.
- Two burners, each having 900W of heating power, let you cook two different delicacies simultaneously.
- Compatibility with the cookware is no issue as the two hot plates measuring 6.1 and 7.4 inches can accommodate most of the cookware, including cast-iron skillets and stainless steel frying pans.
- A thermostat regulates temperature automatically—the power light cycles on and off during cooking, indicating that the correct temperature is maintained.
- Precise cooking with seven heat settings for each burner.
GIVENEU double Infrared burner
- Features two ceramic glass cooktops of 8.9 and 6.5 inches in a stainless steel housing, ideal for car camping or cooking in your courtyard.
- Two stoves have a combined burner power of 1800W, with the left and right plates having 1100W and 700W, respectively, along with 6 temperature control settings for each plate.
- The infrared technology and ceramic glass plates ensure faster heating with no cold or hot spots, saving energy by minimizing heat loss.
- Compatible with various cookware materials such as aluminum, cast-iron, stainless steel, glass, and more.
- The automatic heat shut-off mechanism provides safety from overheating and fire hazards.
NutriChef PKSTIND48 double induction cooktop
- The compact and portable design and high power rating mean that this hot plate is suitable for campsite cooking for large groups.
- The two induction burners are made of ceramic tempered glass, with each burner having 1800 watts of maximum heating power.
- Features touch sensor control buttons, LCD screen, and multiple cooking modes.
- Faster and safer cooking with induction heating, where heat is produced directly in the cooking pot, so the stovetop remains cool to the touch.
- All induction-ready cookware with a diameter between 12 and 26 cm is compatible with both hot plates.
- Child safety lock button, maximum timer up to four hours, and built-in turbofan for quick system cool-down.
Campingaz Series Xcelerate 400 S double burner gas stove
- Features two adjustable, LPG-powered gas burners with a heat rating of 2200 Watts each, which support cooking pans of sizes between 16 and 26 cm.
- Ultra-portable for camping trips as the stove’s integrated handle and the locking lid make a carry case that can be easily transported.
- The patented burner and pan support technologies produce lower but powerful flames, which are more wind resistant than regular burners, reducing cooking time and gas consumption by half.
- Piezo ignition means safe lighting without flare-ups.
- A sturdy base provides maximum stability.
- ‘Push and turn’ control knobs easily adjust the temperature while preventing accidental gas flow.
It is rare that we want a cooking range larger than the two-burner stove at a campsite.
However, if you cook for a family or group of more than seven people, it is worth opting for a three-burner stove.
Camp Chef Explorer Three-Burner Stove
- Three cast-aluminum burners have a heating power of 30,000 BTU each (total of 90,000 BTU), which is excellent for cooking for outdoor parties, hunting, and camping trips.
- A large cooking surface of 14”x 49” is compatible with a 14-inch Camp Chef cooking accessories such as a cast-iron grill and outdoor pizza oven.
- The cooking surface has a maximum height of 29 inches which can be adjusted using the removable steel legs.
- Fully adjustable temperature-control knobs with a three-sided windscreen.
3. Best Camping Hot Plate by structure
There are two basic types of hot plate structures for outdoor meal preparations:
One of them is the freestanding model with legs
Whereas the other one is the tabletop design.
Freestanding hot plates are heavier, larger, usually consist of two or more burners, and generally come with more BTUs than tabletop units.
As freestanding models require more cooking space and heating power.
They are primarily used in cooking for a relatively large group of people.
The most significant benefit of freestanding stoves is that you do not have to look for a flat surface as they can be set up anywhere, thanks to their adjustable legs.
However, the big size and weight undermine their portability and convenience of storage.
Best Freestanding Camping hot plate: Camp Chef Explorer double burner
This actual professional setup features two burners with 30,000 BTU power.
Its good wind protection and excellent simmer control make this hot plate the perfect choice for campers who wish to take their outdoor cooking experience to the next level.
Tabletop hot plates function just like their name suggests: prop them up atop a bench or a picnic table, and you are all set for cooking.
Because of the absence of legs, these stoves are more compact, portable, and much smaller than the freestanding models.
However, with these units, you will have to make sure to find an even surface for cooking.
Otherwise, consider taking along a separate table for setting up the stove.
There isn’t much difference in performance between large freestanding models and high-quality tabletop units.
Still, you will generally get lower output, fewer burners, and less cooking space if you opt for the tabletop design.
Best Tabletop Camping hot plate: Coleman Triton Double Burner Propane Stove
This versatile hot plate comes with an aluminum cooktop housing two separately adjustable burners with a heating power of 22,000 BTUs.
The cooking surface has plenty of space to fit a 12-inch pan and a 10-inch pan simultaneously.
The Perfect Flow technology keeps the gas pressure steady, even in extreme weather conditions.
The wind protection panels shield the flame against the wind, which can be adjusted for fitting larger pans, while the chrome-plated grate can be removed for a quick cleanup.
4. Best Camping Hot Plate by fuel types
If your campsite is in a remote location where electricity is unavailable, then the only reasonable option is the gas stove.
For most campers, propane gas is the best-recommended fuel, being the most reliable and foolproof option by far.
However, liquid fuels such as gasoline or white gas and firewood can be used depending on conditions like the location of your campsite, temperature, altitude, and weather.
This fuel works well for various temperatures, ignites instantly, and is readily available at almost any retail store, hardware store, or gas station near campsites.
For most weekend trips, a single 16-ounce can be sufficient, but it is best to bring one or two extra in case you run short of fuel.
An even better option than the small propane bottles would be to buy the 5-gallon tank.
This reusable tank saves you much fuel expense over time and can easily refill at almost every other gas station.
Best propane hot plate:
The PowerPack Hot Plate by Coleman connects to a 16.4 oz.
The propane cylinder lasts about three hours on the highest heat setting.
Butane is relatively cheap and weighs less than an equal quantity of propane gas.
It has a highly adjustable flame that is easy to ignite, but it is not an ideal fuel for colder temperatures.
As temperatures drop to sub-zero levels, this fuel starts struggling to power your stove, so it is best suited for warmer climates.
Best butane hot plate:
Chef Master 90019 Hot Plate requires an 8-ounce butane canister which will last for approximately two hours of constant cooking at high and 4 hours at low heat.
This fuel is mainly used to power lightweight backpacking stoves.
Although it guarantees decent performance even in the cold weather, its main quality is being lightweight—which is most suited for backpacking adventures.
Isobutane is an expensive gas being highly processed, but considering its performance, it can be called the best all-purpose fuel option for most backpacking tours.
Best Isobutane hot plate:
GS-7900 by Gas One is a compact stove that runs on Isobutane with a burning time of 1.5 hours on full heat.
d) White gas
White gas is an economical, efficient, and clean fuel that produces very high heat even at below-freezing temperatures.
White gas is essentially a liquid fuel that tends to be more reliable in freezing weather than isobutane/propane canisters.
A manual pump pressurizes the fuel bottle to overcome the pressure loss in sub-zero temperatures, maintaining a constant fuel supply to the burner.
Best white gas hot plate:
MSR WhisperLite stove is the number one choice of mountaineers, which is powered by a 20-ounce fuel bottle of white gas, offering a burning time of 136 minutes.
e) Dual fuel
Camping stoves with dual fuel options can run on liquid fuels such as white gas, unleaded gasoline, or even kerosene (jet fuel).
Dual fuel stoves allow for more fuel flexibility, as you can easily find either type of fuel anywhere in the world.
Secondly, as compared to camping gas, liquid fuels perform well in cold environments or on high mountains.
Best dual fuel hot plate:
Coleman Powerhouse Dual Fuel is a two-burner stove that offers a runtime of two hours on a full 1.7-liter tank when set on high.
Wood is the fuel that might already be available at the campsite.
Collect a bundle of dry sticks and twigs, and you will be all set to start cooking.
Although wood is a convenient and cheap alternative fuel, wood-burning stoves have more limited heat control than gas or liquid fuel models.
Also, these stoves are prohibited during fire bans and depend on a resource that might not be available in every weather or terrain.
Best wood-burning hot plate:
Solo Stove Lite is a lightweight and inexpensive option for biomass-fueled backpackers.
Its unique airflow mechanism allows for the fullest combustion of wood, producing more heat and less smoke.
5. Important Features of the Best Camping Hot Plate
After selecting your preferred fuel, stove structure type, and number of burners, you can move on to making a few other important considerations described below.
a) Wind resistance
Wind can play a big part in the overall operation of your stove.
Even a mild breeze can greatly affect your cooking time, especially when the food is simmering at low flame.
Unlike double-burner hot plates, which usually have some in-built wind protection mechanism, most single-burner stoves do not have integrated wind guards.
So it is best to get hold of a foldable windscreen to achieve greater fuel efficiency and maximum performance.
b) Simmer control
An essential feature in a camping hot plate is the simmer control, or the ability to supply constant heat at low flame.
Foods like stews and soups require proper simmering, which should be cooked over a hot plate with precise flame control.
Good simmer performance is achieved through precise valve settings that only come with high-end units.
c) Push button ignition
The integrated ignition system, or piezo ignition system, works by producing a high-voltage spark to light your gas stove.
It is a safety feature that protects you from accidental flare-ups and saves you the trouble of relighting a problematic burner.
That being said, piezo igniters do not last long, so keeping a lighter or a matchbox handy is always good.
Camping tables are hardly ever well-balanced.
That is why these days, camping hot plates are provided with adjustable footpads to level your stove before you start cooking.
If your stove does not include the footpad, you can buy some wooden wedges to fix the leveling issue.
6. Maintenance tips – Best Camping Hot Plate
Good upkeep and regular cleaning increase the lifespan of any appliance, and the same is true for your cooking gear.
Below are some cleaning tips to make camping hot plates serve you longer.
- Use a specialized scraper for scrubbing sticky splashes from the ceramic-glass cooktop surface. Do not use any sharp tool that may leave scratches on the exterior.
- Spray a solution of dishwashing liquid or oven cleaner over the stains and leave it for some minutes. You can also use natural cleaning agents such as white vinegar or baking soda.
- Wipe the surface with a microfiber cloth or a soft sponge.
- Be careful not to use abrasives or strongly acidic/alkaline chemicals as they may permanently damage your hot plate.
Related Reading: Best Skillets For Steak- Click Here To Learn More.
7. Best Camping Hot Plate – FAQs
1) What is the best gas stove for camping?
A good camping stove should be portable, not too heavy, yet strong enough to hold heavy cookware.
WhisperLite stove by the well-known brand MSR is considered the most high-end stove for campsite cooking.
2) What is the safest camping stove?
Choose a Coleman camping stove if you want a perfectly safe cooking setup.
As per the majority of the reviews given by campers, Coleman stoves are rated as the safest and most reliable camping stoves available on the market.
3) Is a Jetboil worth it?
The Jetboil Flash is not the lightest or the most miniature camping stove on the market.
But its handiness and super-fast boiling speed quickly compensate for those disadvantages.
It is reasonably priced and suitable for money since it is long-lasting, durable, and well-designed.
4) Are camp stoves worth it?
A camping stove does not need to be sophisticated to be great.
It should boil water quickly, cook food, be robust enough to endure impact damages, and be economical in fuel consumption.
Whether you are backpacking or car camping, a camp stove is a must-have piece of equipment that brings you freshly cooked food and beverages and the fun of live cooking.
5) What is better for a camping stove, Butane or propane?
The most important consideration when choosing between propane and Butane is temperature sensitivity.
Propane performs better in cold weather because of its low boiling point (-43.6°F or -42°C), while Butane becomes unusable below 30.2°F or -1°C.
Hence, propane is better suited for cold weather and high elevations, whereas Butane is only suitable for warm weather and lower altitudes.
6) Can you use a gas burner in a tent?
You should avoid using a gas stove inside your tent because of the fire hazard and the possible carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide build-up if there is poor ventilation.
7) Are Primus stoves good?
Primus stoves are easy to pack, easy to set up, and can withstand the weight of heavy cookware.
Although these stoves are not small or the fastest cookers, you can rely upon them to complete any cooking job satisfactorily.
8) What burns hotter, propane or white gas?
If two burners utilize the same volume of propane and white gas per minute, white gas burns with a hotter flame than propane.
9) Is Coleman Fuel the same as white gas?
There is no significant difference between white gas and Coleman Fuel.
Coleman Fuel is only a brand name for white gas.
10) What is the difference between Camp Chef Everest and Everest 2X?
The Everest 2X is a sturdier version of the original Everest.
Which includes every feature of the original stove with improved design and durability.
11) Which is better, Jetboil or MSR?
The MSR WindBurner comes with more pot locking notches, ensuring that the pot is quickly secured.
In Jetboil MiniMo, only two notches are available, so it needs to be aligned with the proper attachment spot.
12) Where are Jetboils made?
Jetboil manufacturers are headquartered in Manchester, New Hampshire, United States.
13) Can I use Coleman fuel with Jetboil?
Jetboil MiniMo and Jetboil PCS stoves are compatible with orange-label Coleman gas canisters.
14) Is Isobutane better than Butane?
Isobutane is more expensive than Butane and is a more efficient fuel for cooking in colder temperatures.
15) Does MSR work with Coleman?
MSR Micro Rocket reportedly works with orange-label Coleman gas canisters.
16) What fuel does a Jetboil use?
Jetboil mentions on its website that its stoves work best with Jetpower fuel canisters but also states that Brunton, Gigapower, MSR, Primus, and Snow Peak are also usable with Jetboil stoves.
17) Can you use any skillet with Jetboil?
You can use any skillet with a size 9-inch or less using Jetboil pot support.
18) What happened to the camp chef Everest 2X?
In December 2020, Camp Chef issued a recall notice for three of its camping stove models, including Everest 2X, after receiving various complaints of a gas leak.
The issue was caused due to a faulty gas regulator, which the company offered to replace free of cost.
19) Is Coleman camp fuel naphtha?
Coleman fuel has a similar composition as Naphta, though Coleman fuel has some additives and rust inhibitors mixed in it.
20) Are alcohol stoves any good?
Generally speaking, alcohol stoves have lesser fuel efficiency than other liquid fuel stoves.
This means more weight will be added to your camping gear as more fuel will be required than usual.
However, the stove itself is lightweight and has a simple design.
21) Is Coleman camp fuel propane?
No. Coleman camp fuel or ‘white gas’ is a liquid fuel mixture of pentane, cyclohexane, heptane, octane, and nonane.
However, Coleman also sells propane gas as camping fuel in 16-oz. bottles.
Related Reading: Find Out The Best Oil To Season Cast Iron Skillet – Learn More.
The Bottom Line
Camping hot plates make an essential part of your camping gear.
Compared to cooking over a campfire, proper camp cooking equipment provides the convenience of cooking a large variety of cuisine with a minor mess.
Suppose you regularly go camping at campsites with an electric facility and looking for a smart and simple solution for making some basic meals during your stay.
In that case, an electricity-powered camping hot plate should be your best bet.
However, suppose your camping adventures take you to remote areas with no electric supply and enjoy the experience of open flame cooking.
In that case, you should opt for a portable camping stove.
You can find your perfect match from any of the above-mentioned hot plates that suit your needs and make every camping trip memorable.