Are butane gas cookers any good?
Updated: Feb 2
If your anything like me, you would have seen these butane gas cooker stoves and thought, dam these are cheap... i wonder if they are any good for camping. Well what i'm about to tell you may shock you but yes these cooker stoves are great and let me share with you why i think so!
The initial outlay for one of these units and a 3 pack of gas will set you back anywhere from $25 - $45 depending where you buy it from. It is a very cheap option and the 3 gas cartridges will get you a fair amount of cooking( about 2 hours per cartridge). When your close to running out, the gas won't cost you an arm and a leg to buy either (around $5 for a 3 or 4 pack).
With the size of these units smaller than 40cm in the hard case that it comes in, Its easy to store and won't take up a huge amount of space in your 4wd or camper unlike some of the other cookers around. With the single burner type it weighs in at only 2.7kgs, so moving it to or from your vehicle, or even around camp will be a simple and hassle free experience.
Easy to use
These units are designed with simplicity in mind. They come with a Piezo Ignition (Spark starter) to get the stove going without the need of matches or a lighter. Disposable cartridges (no need for Gas bottles) and a simple yet very effective flame adjustment dial.
With the above mentioned, these units do have some drawbacks.
- They are terrible/useless in temperatures below 2 degrees C. The gas cannot light properly at these temperatures as the point at which butane becomes a gas is around 1 degree C. So be prepared and have a back up option.
- Efficiency is not its strong suit if compared to a LPG cooker stove option. you will use around 30-38 cans of butane for the equivalent of a 8.5kg gas bottle. The butane cans are not refillable so you need to throw them away, which is also a lot of wastage.
- Do not use these units indoors or inside tents. they can be extremely dangerous! These are for outdoor use only! Don't tempt fate!
- If your looking for a backpacking stove, this is not the option you are looking for. Although it is small, it is far too big for a backpack and would take up far too much valuable space.
In conclusion, these units are great if you are getting started camping and building up your kit or you need a backup unit for a longer trip. Just remember the limitations of the units and use appropriately. I love and use mine all the time for shorter trips, overnight stays and even for 4wd day trips. They are quick and easy to setup, use and pack up. Also if you break the unit or it goes missing, it's a cheap and easy to replace.
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Thanks and enjoy!