There really is nothing like hitting your campsite and enjoying some well-deserved rest with a warm meal. Food cooked outdoors always tastes better, but cooking outdoors with a propane camping stove can feel daunting for first-time adventurers. So before you head out on your next trek or camping trip, here are some tips for using a propane camping stove so your outdoor meals are everything you hoped they’d be.
Finding the best spot to be an outdoor chef
- Find a flat area to cook your food that’s free of twigs and leaves so you can enjoy your outdoor adventure instead of trying to put out an unnecessary fire you started.
- Look for a place where the wind won’t blow out your flame, but DO NOT cook in your tent or that meal could be your last. If it is windy, use a flame guard on both sides of your stove to prevent the flame from blowing out.
Assemble your stove
- Before you light up your stove, check for leaks in your gas connector. One of the easiest ways to do this is by spraying soapy water on the gas connector and waiting to see if any bubbles appear at the connection points. If nothing happens, you can ignite your stove and start cooking.
- If you’re using Near Zero’s mini stove, you can easily set it up by following the three steps in the link.
Light up the night but not too much
- Before lighting up your stove, make sure the arms are down, flat, and balanced.
- Slowly turn the valve until you hear it hissing. The hissing will let you know that gas is coming out.
- Carefully use a long match or lighter to light your stove to avoid burning your hands.
- When you start cooking, keep your pot or pan in the middle of the stove surface so it doesn’t tip over.
Some of our tips for cooking the perfect meal
- Pastas are one of our go-to’s when backpacking with kids. It’s something they’ll eat, we’ll eat while providing necessary carbs for the day ahead.
- Make sure to keep an eye on your food. When you’re cooking over a flame, it’s easy to burn foods like eggs or meats. You’ll want to periodically check and make sure they’re evenly cooked.
- Don’t let food sit in your pots or pans, get it soaking in hot water so cleanup is easy.
- Bring food that doesn’t take long to cook. If you’re taking some of Peak Refuel freeze-dried dehydrated meals, those are ideal for great and easy meals for the outdoors. The Trail Meals cookbook is also a great place to find easy meals to make.
Enjoy your outdoor meals and your adventure with the people that matter most, but remember, whatever you don’t finish eating, pack it out and store it properly or you may have an unwanted guest join you overnight.
Follow up on our blog to see what recipes are our favorites!