These portable gas camping cookers are a popular choice with campers. Especially those new to camping and those who regularly camp on campsites. There are many reasons why these are so popular especially when they come in single and double burner options.
Today we will look at why they are so popular and also safe use of these types of cookers. As with anything where gas or electricity is involved it is best to use them correctly and give them respect and due diligence while using them.
Now, obviously, all camping cookers are portable. However today we are talking about the portable gas cookers that normally come in a plastic carry case. These are also sometimes called briefcase cookers or cartridge cookers. See the picture below so you know exactly the ones we are talking about.
These are very popular camping cookers. In fact, we still sometimes use one that we bought over 10 years ago. Yes, it’s a little bashed and some of the paintworks is flaking but, it still works as it should and that is all you need.
They come in a few colours and from various manufacturers but all work in the same way and all take the same gas cartridges. Prices can range from about £12 – £25 for single cookers and £45 – £100 for the double cookers.
Like the cookers, the gas cartridges range in price and are from various manufacturers. The one thing I would like to mention is that not all the gas cartridges are of the same quality. Keep reading to find out more about gas cartridge quality.
Single or Double
These cookers come in both single and double cookers and the one you choose will depend on how you camp. If you are happy with one-pot meals or don’t mind alternating between pots and kettles the single is fine. If you are family or always like a cuppa with meals the double ones are great.
Another thing worth mentioning is that the prices between the single and double versions of this cooker can be quite a jump. If you feel that you would be better with two it may be worth considering buying two singles as this often works out cheaper. Other things to consider is storage and where you will use them. Do you have enough room to fit 2 in your chosen cooking area when camping?
Portable Gas Cooker Cannisters
These cookers use single-use gas canisters. These fit into the side of the cookers and are normally very easy to find when looking to purchase more. These can be found for sale online, at camping stores and even some local stores such as Asda and the Range. Many garages often sell these if they are close to well-used camping areas.
We have bought several different makes of the gas cartridges for these cookers. We have always felt that the cheaper ones often leave the pots or kettles used on the cooker sooty. This can be a right pain as it often transfers that soot onto other items or your hands! So, if you are planning on using this type of gas always buy good quality. Another useful tip is to give the tins a good inspection before you purchase. Check for dents on the canisters and any sign of rust or corrosion around the seals as this may compromise the safety of using them.
Storing Cartridge Cookers and Cannisters
As with all camping gear, these should be clean and dry before storing. Whether this is between trips or over the winter if you are a fair-weather camper. The canister should be removed from the cooker and the safety cap replaced before storing. A quick wipe with a damp cloth and towel dry saves any rust from forming between use. Where possible store the canisters in an upright position in a safe area away from heat sources. Don’t go storing in boiler cupboards or outbuildings that get too warm.
The same should be done with the cooker. Wipe the whole cooker down paying particular attention to the potholder. This is removable as you turn it in before use and after use when storing it in the carry case. Again, ensure everything is dry before storing. This will save any paintwork from peeling or rust from forming.
Using These Cookers Safely
While the operating instructions are often inside the case or inside the gas cartridge compartment of the cooker. It is useful to know how to safely use these. Some are on the instructions, some are common sense and others from experience or learning from other campers experiences.
- Always use these cookers on a flat even surface. Try not to sit them directly on grass as this can catch fire during dry spells of weather. Try to use a table and always fully remove from case before use.
- Always disengage the gas between use.
- Never use pots bigger than the pot stand surface. This can lead to heat being reflected towards the gas cannister and this can lead to them exploding.
- Always use in a well ventilated area. As with all gas stoves and cookers we always recommend cooking outside the tent. Carbon monoxide KILLS and it can still build up in a tent no matter how well ventilated.
So, as I said at the start, we have used these on and off (depending on the type of camping we are doing) for probably over a decade now with no issues and find them to be reliable, easy to use cookers. The carry case makes storing these easy and convenient as well as helping to protect all the moving parts within the cooker.
These are great cookers if you regularly use campsites for your camping trips and they will last well if you take care of them and follow our safety tips. Take care of your gear and your gear will take care of you.
If you would like a few recipes for when trying out your new cookers why not head over and check out a few recipes on the links below.