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How The Coleman Grill Stove Transformed Camping For Me

Updated on August 18, 2014

After decades of camping without one, I finally got a cooking stove last year. That's it to the right (except mine has a grey lid). Not just any camping stove, it's a stove AND a grill!

I'm old school. To me, it's not really camping unless you're cooking over a campfire. But cooking over an open fire does have a few drawbacks.

The biggest is time. Having to start, tend and properly extinguish a campfire just for cooking takes time, especially in the morning if you want a hot breakfast before heading out for a hike. At night, you'll probably build a campfire anyway so there's not much extra time involved, unless you get to your campsite late and everyone's starving for dinner...then every second counts.

Another drawback is that you'll need more wood to burn. That means bringing extra wood with you or spending more time gathering firewood around your site. And if it rains...well, that makes it a little challenging.

While fun, cooking over a campfire can also be tricky. Many campgrounds have fire rings with a grate but those aren't always in good shape. I have a small folding grate for cooking that has served me well for many years. But accidents happen. After knocking my portable grate, skillet and half a pound of bacon into the fire on a family camping trip, I decided it was time to get a camp stove.

Now I have this Coleman grill stove and it makes a big difference. This stove is very convenient, I should've gotten one a long time ago. My wife and I enjoy grilling food so having a stove and a grill all in one is perfect for us.

My first camping trip with it was a rainy one and the stove made life much easier. Instead of building a fire in the rain, I used that time to set up a dining fly and get some burgers on the grill for dinner. There's enough room on the grill to fit at least four burgers and in the morning, I grilled 20 sausage links at a time on there. The stove gets used to heat water or cook anything in a pot or skillet.

Clean up is easy as long as you clean it after each use of the grill. The unit is sturdy and folds up for easy carrying using the built-in handle in the lid. The InstaStart ignition is a nice luxury and works well.

Overall, I think it's a great product and like using it. There are two things that Coleman should improve:

  1. A more secure way to hold the side panels up to block wind. The hooks that connect the panel to the lid are too easy to bump out of the slot that holds them. When they get bumped out, the panel falls to the side or onto what you're cooking.
  2. Better control of low flames. The burner controls don't provide enough control at the low end so you have to cook on medium or high heat.

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