I like stuff that works. Among the preparedness products I wouldn’t be without is a Camp Chef Double Burner.
It can’t be beat for preparedness, camping and any number of outdoor activities.
by Leon Pantenburg
I bought both of my Camp Chef double burner camp stoves, was not compensated for this review and at the time of publication, Camp Chef is not an advertiser on SurvivalCommonSense.com
When I bought “Old Reliable,” my first Camp Chef stove about 1992, I had heard vague mention of the internet, had no intention of doing a review and never dreamed I would be writing a wilderness survival/preparedness blog. Come to think of it, I’d never heard of a blog.
So when I put down my $100 for the double burner, I was buying a stove to use outdoors and my concern was reliability and durability and it had to be sturdy.
I would ask a lot from it. The double burner would be the primary cooking utensil at hunting and fishing camps, as well as on family camping trips. I intended to fry fish and bacon on it on the back deck. I fry fish in a cast iron Dutch oven, and my 14-inch Lodge weighs in at 28 pounds empty. I also process four gallons of water for shrimp boils, and that is 32 pounds before you add any shrimp and sweet corn.
Also, in the wilderness, a stove is a survival tool. If you have to thaw out a hypothermic outdoorsperson, a hot drink can be very, very useful. All drinking water, even in the backcountry, should be purified, IMO, and boiling is usually the quickest method. In those circumstances, you don’t have time to mess around with a cranky stove.
For preparedness, the double burner setup can’t be beat. In the aftermath of a flood or tornado, drinking water will be a priority, and pure water at a premium. You won’t dare use tapwater, most likely, and a double burner can crank out boiled water. A 20-pound propane tank reportedly will provide about 15 hours of burn time.
Fuel should be plentiful for awhile – just borrow all the neighbors’ propane tanks from their barbeque grills. You will be able to cook large amounts of food, in the likelihood that gas and electricity will be shut off.
The two burner has several accessories I like, such as the grill box. This works great if you want to barbeque chicken, brats or whatever on a campout. The griddle is made-to-order for producing large quantities of pancakes, eggs and sausage for breakfast.There is also an oven I haven’t had a chance to try out. Camp Chef has gotten on the preparedness bandwagon big time, and they have all sorts of personalized things you can add to the basic double burner.
I’ve seen some of the Camp Chef three burners in use, and while they work fine, they are bigger, bulkier, heavier and overkill for my needs.
For the last 20 years, my double burner has performed magnificently. I’ve used mine to cook chili on the tailgate of a pickup in a blizzard, fry fish for the neighborhood, do a shrimp boil, and fed gamebird gumbo over rice to 25 people. It’s also my stove for making charcloth and firestarter. (Check out this easy-to-make charcoal grill.)
Here are the Explorer Double Burner specs, according to the Camp Chef brochure:
- Two 30,000 BTU burners
- Three-sided windscreen
- Fully adjustable heat-control dials
- Regulator and 3 ft. hose included
- Removable legs for portability
- Cooking Dimensions: 14″ x 32″
- Cooking Area: 464 sq. in.
- Cooking Height: 29″
- Total Output: 60,000 BTU
- Weight: 31 lbs.
- Warranty: One Year
Old Reliable was never covered up, even in the snow, since we use it year-round. Over the years, it acquired a little rust here and there, and the inevitable dings and scratches associated with hard use and traveling in the back of a pickup.
Anyway, like I mentioned, I wouldn’t be without one, and had no intention of replacing Old Reliable. But last week, my wife Debbie came home with a new Explorer Double Burner. She had found a deal she couldn’t pass up.
“You need to get rid of that nasty-looking old stove,” Deb said. “It makes the back deck look trashy and no, we’re not going to keep it in case we might need it sometime.”
She advertised the stove – free – on Craigs List, and within half an hour the new owner, a young man named Mitch, showed up at our house. Concerned that the stove would have a good new home, I asked a few questions before hand. Mitch is an experienced camper, he said, and his intention was to take Old Reliable home, work it over with a wire brush, and then paint it black again with stove paint.
Mitch is an artist who does a lot of traveling to shows and fairs, and he frequently ends up cooking for large groups of people. For the cooking needs he will have, Old Reliable will be perfect. I foresee another 20 years of faithful service.
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