The Complete Guide to Choosing a Campervan Stove

November 18, 2021 in Tips for Owners and Tips for your Motorhome

You don’t have to be a culinary genius to want to cook a delicious meal for yourself and your companions when taking your camper out on the road. You might be one of those people who suffer ‘hanger’ attacks, in which case a quick dinner after a big hike or long drive is crucial. Or you might enjoy setting up a portable gas stove outside, soaking in the fresh air and birdsong whilst you lovingly craft your favourite campsite cuisine. 

Whatever kind of chef you are, your cooker is a crucial piece of kit, so it’s important to make the right choice about it. Whether you’re doing a conversion yourself and want to build in a fixed stove or just want something portable, we’ve researched and gathered all the information you need before buying the ideal stove for your van.

Goboony campervan stove h2 camping cooker motorhome kitchen

Cooking most of your meals yourself will save you money in the long run, plus make your van feel like a proper home on the road. So, we’re going to have a look at the different factors which will inform your decision about the best campervan stove options for you. 

Then, we will look at the types of motorhome stoves on the market right now. We’ve got plenty of details about their key features, how to use them, and the budget you’ll need for each. 

Choosing your Campervan Stove

Here are a few things to consider when choosing your ideal campervan stove.

  • Campervan layout.

Ask yourself, how much storage space do you have? Where will your cooker go? How will it link to the fuel supply, and where is this stored?

  • Whether you’ll be cooking inside, outside, or both. 
  • How do you want to fuel your motorhome stove? 

There are 3 options to choose from: propane, butane, and electric. Propane is the most popular fuel source, and you can find it at most supermarkets and petrol stations. It’s the best option for van lifers, as it works at temperatures all the way down to -40 degrees Celsius and on the road, you may have nights that might dip below freezing. That’s why most of our stove recommendations below are propane-fueled. However, if you’re going for this option, ensure that your campervan is properly ventilated. You can get propane canisters at a variety of sizes and mount them either in an airtight container inside your van (which should vent out underneath the vehicle) or mount the canister underneath the vehicle. This is to ensure that propane moves down and away from your living space, as propane is heavier than air. 

Butane is also a good option, as it’s more efficient and cheaper. However, it’s a little harder to find in shops than Propane and stops working around freezing point. Some of the smaller, portable gas stoves use Campingaz canisters with a propane butane mix.

An electric induction cooker may also be a good option for your campervan stove. However, they’re very power-hungry, which can be a challenge. You’ll need a decent-sized generator and a raft of solar panels on top of your vehicle (and with that, the intention to mainly road trip in sunny climes), or access to electric hook up. But this is a safe option if you’re confident about your electrical wiring, as there is no chance of harmful gases escaping. We recently wrote about setting up solar panels for your campervan, so be sure to check that out!

  • What types of foods do you want to cook, and how quickly? 

For example, if you like to bake and cook things in the oven, stove top and oven combos will be the best campervan stove options for you. 

  • How many people are you cooking for? This will determine how big of a cooker you need, and link back to your consideration of question 1. 

These questions all boil down to the ultimate consideration of which will be the best camping stove for your vehicle, and for you

The 10 Best Campervan Stoves

  1.  Built in Stove-top: Gas

If you head over to Dometic, who are global exters in mobile cooking solutions, you can browse their range of cooktops which are cleverly designed to look sleek, help you save on space, and clean up easily (as they have detachable pan grids). Some have integrated sinks to maximise efficient use of space, and some come with fold-down glass lids which provide extra worktop space when you’re not cooking. Although they come with useful installation items like siphons and rubber seals, if you’re going for the in-built sink option, you’ll have to buy the taps for it. They all require an external ignition source (and a bigger budget).

Range of dimensions available. 

Price: £715 - £165

  1. Built in Stove-top: Electric

The True Induction S2F3 Counter Inset Double Burner is a super speedy cooking solution, which can heat up stainless steel pans in seconds. When you turn it off, there’s very little residual heat, much like a gas cooker. Cleverly, it can allocate the full 1800 watts of power available to one burner if you’re not using both. Otherwise, the system automatically balances the available power between the two burners. The modern design is sleek and can be installed anywhere you like in your van. The touch-pad style buttons are easy to operate, and sensitive so that increases and decreases in heat are immediately noticeable. There’s an in-built safety feature, too; it won’t continue to try heating the pan if it doesn’t detect it there. It is, however, on the pricier and, surprisingly, weightier side, adding 70kg to your vehicle. 

Dimensions: ‎130 x 680 x 431mm 

Price: £240

Goboony campervan stove h2 camping cooker motorhome kitchen

This conversion shows a neat, built-in gas stove top (left)

  1. Double Burner Campervan Cooker: Electric

The Elite Cuisine Countertop Dual Flat Burner is a great, portable electric campervan stove. It’s compact, fitting neatly on any countertop and can be stashed away when out of use. Its 17cm and 15cm cast iron cooking plates are non-stick, and therefore easy to wipe down. Temperature controls are simple, with LO, MED and HI settings, and power indicator lights provide an extra safety element, however, note that they turn off when the desired heat has been reached so may still be hot to the touch. It runs on 1500 watts, for fast, efficient cooking. 

470 x 292 x 93 mm 

Price: £17

  1.   Double Burner Campervan Gas Cooker: Propane

The Camplux Portable Camping Stove is compact, lightweight and portable whilst also providing two burners on which to cook, and not scrimping on the heat output. It folds up neatly and can be stashed away, and at 4.5kg, it’s still possible to carry it and cook outdoors or just set up on your campervan worktop. Heat is generated in seconds, and the wind-blocking shield works to defend the gas flames from the elements or save your campervan interior from inevitable cooking splatter. The stainless-steel surface and removable grill make this stove super easy to clean. The shield can also be adjusted to fit larger pans, which is a big plus. It has a built-in piezo auto-ignition feature, so there’s no need to use traditional matches or lighters or have an electrical connection. However, some users have noted that taking a lighter to the gas rings does save some faff. Also, the temperature control knobs don’t allow for the same kind of control as electrical stoves might. Nonetheless, this is a great, practical piece of kit.

550 x 400 x 95mm 

Price: £59

Goboony campervan stove h2 camping cooker motorhome kitchen

  1.   Single-burner Campervan Gas Cooker: Butane. 

If you’re going to cook with butane gas, don’t worry, Coleman has you covered. Their portable, single burner stove is an oldie, but a goldie: first designed in 2006, they haven’t had to make any changes to an efficient, straightforward gadget. It comes with a carrying case which not only makes it super easy to carry around, but being able to tuck it safely away also helps it to stay in great nick. Unlike other portable stoves, the large, stable base makes stirring easy and this ring can fit pots up to 10 inches wide, so you can still make big meals for multiple people even on one ring. It has automatic, matchless ignition which lights with the turn of a knob and will last for years thanks to durable, rust-proof material (but also comes with a handy year-long warranty). Attach a 250g butane cylinder and set it up inside your camper, or you can easily transport it to a nearby picnic bench as it weighs just over 2kg. 

508 x 304 x 101mm. 

Price: £50

  1. Single-burner Campervan Electric Cooker 

The Team Kalorik hotplate is a lightweight (2kg) cooking solution and the ultimate hanger-busting campervan stove. It heats up rapidly and is compatible with all pans and crockery. A very handy timer shuts off the power when the desired temperature has been reached but can also be set to keep the plate warm. There are dual displays for the timer and the power level, and it also has the added safety feature of shutting off if a pan is left unattended. It also has the bonus of a slow cook function, which provides overheating protection. Its durable stainless-steel frame means it will be a part of your campervan for years and years, and the handles make it easy to move around. It works with any standard electrical outlet, is simple to use and clean, affordable, and small. An all-around winner if you’re running on electricity!

Dimensions: 280 x 280mm 

Price: £33

  1.  Lightweight and Portable Gas Cookers: Propane

Few names are as trusted by everyday outdoor enthusiasts as Coleman, and they make a few of the best campervan stove options for chefs who want to cook on the go. Their single-burner propane bottle stove is a little powerhouse, and a must-have for anyone who wants to fire up a quick bite on the road. The adjustable burner has technology to keep the heat flow steady, and is perfectly sized for one, eight-inch pan. It can provide up to 2.5 hours of runtime on one 465g propane cylinder. If you use smaller propane bottles, it can easily slip into a rucksack for a mid-hike lunch. 

Dimensions: 196 x 196 x 165mm 

Price: £26

Goboony campervan stove h2 camping cooker motorhome kitchen

Or, if all you need to do is boil water or heat smaller portions of food, the best mini stove you can get is the Jetboil Zip Personal Cooking System. This self-contained, lightweight little gadget requires no ignition, fits in your hand, and heats up two cups of water in less than two minutes. The price does reflect its efficiency, however!

Dimensions: 104mm x 165mm

Price: £81

  1.  Campervan Oven: Propane

We think the Thetford Duplex Motorhome Cooker is the best oven on the market for medium-sized campervans. Whilst Thetford are probably best-known for their portable camping toilets, they also know what’s what when it comes to making a motorhome stove. This oven is 36 litres, as big as many household appliances, and has 2 shelves. It has an integrated grill, and you can choose from Piezo or 12V ignition which basically means that you don’t need to have an electrical connection to this oven to create a spark and get it started. 

Dimensions: 445 x 456 x 490mm

Price: £288

Goboony campervan stove h2 camping cooker motorhome kitchen

  1.   Campervan Oven Alternatives

If you really want to bake whilst you're on the road, but don’t have the financial or spatial budget for your camper, don’t panic. Omnia have made a kitchen gadget which is increasingly popular amongst van lifers, because it brings all the benefits of an oven, and is a fraction of the size (and price). So long as you have a stove top (it doesn’t matter what kind), you can use it to bake cakes, pizzas, roasts, bread and whatever else your stomach desires!

Dimensions: 279 x 254 x 101

Price: £59

Accessories

If you’re powering your stove with gas, you’ll need to pick up a pressure hose and camping regulator pack to connect the two elements safely. And, even if you’re opting for a portable gas stove, you’ll need some accessories, like the gas canisters and a backup lighter. Trangia pan sets are great if you’re using something like the Coleman bottle stove, and other folding, non-stick pot and pan sets help to save on weight and space. Be sure to have oven mitts and heatproof mats in your vehicle, too, so as to avoid burning yourself or damaging the worktop in your van. 

Looking for a way to fund your campervan kitchen conversions? Look into hiring out your motorhome with Goboony!