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Hands-on Gear Review
Cons: Heavy, bulky, expensive, not the most wind resistant.
Manufacturer: Camp Chef
The Camp Chef Pro 60 is one of our favorite stoves for camping with groups of eight. In our old review, it earned our Top Pick award as the best group camping stove; however, in our updated review, the three-burner version of this model, the Camp Chef Pro 90 took home the honors instead.
The only real drawback to the Pro 60 is its large size. If you are only cooking for 2-6 people for a few days, we recommend the Camp Chef Everest, which is less than half the cost and has awesome burners in a great compact package.
If you are just looking for a good value for occasional camping trips, it is hard to beat the Coleman Triton for value.
The slightly less featured version of the Camp Chief Pro 60 is the Camp Chef Yukon. It is $80 less and has the same great burners as the Pro 60. However, we prefer the Pro 60 because of the ease of setup and a few other reasons that you can read at the Camp Chef Yukon Review.
RELATED: Our complete review of camping stoves
OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
Time To Boil
No stove we tested boils faster. You can have two large pots boiling quickly.
NOTE: we noticed a few times that the heat output was only half what it should have been. This was because the propane regulator has a safety mechanism that engages if you turn the propane on too fast. Read the warning label on the propane regulator to learn how to keep the BTUs high. Also, on one occasion, one of our propane hoses started leaking out the top. This was a little scary as it meant the front of the stove has a small flame creeping up. We then switched out a different hose and everything was okay. We're not sure if this is a common problem or a one-time malfunction.
Cooking and Simmering
This is the Wolfe Range of camp stoves. It has big burly burners with high, great flame control. It cooks well on low, which many camp stoves do not do well. We have read many reports of people using this in their home kitchen when the power goes out and they have an electric stove. Or it works great if you need to create a temporary kitchen during a remodel or damage to your house. It is free-standing at about waist height and includes legs, allowing you to place it anywhere regardless of whether you have a table handy.
This is the best stove we tested for group cooking. It has a generous grill area for big pots and comes with convenient side trays that organize your cooking space. These side shelves are surprisingly strong (but we don't recommend putting anything really heavy on them). These side trays also cover up the grill when you are transporting it. Your campsite does not allow open fires…or it's raining? No problem, the flames on the Pro 60 are big enough to roast hot dogs or marshmallows.
Ease of Setup
The fold-out legs make this stove very fast to set up. It does not set up quite as fast as the Camp Chef Everest or Coleman two-burner, but it still is easy. The only downside is if your campsite is far away from your car. This stove is not very convenient for one person to carry a long distance.
Ease of Care
After about a week of intense use the auto-ignition switch knob broke. The red knob appears to have gotten stripped. We are not sure if this was our fault or a durability issue with the stove. You can still use the InstaStart, but you need vice grips. So we switched to using a butane lighter with a long handle.
Other than that issue, this thing is a tank. We left it out for eight days in Joshua Tree in the wind and in the cold it it never blew over or showed major signs of wear.
The wind shield is effective as long as the stove is facing the wind and the winds are light to medium. When on low to medium heat, the flame went out in high winds.
This stove is big but at least it collapses about as small as a stove this size can. It folds into a box shape that is easy for packing into a truck or bigger car. There is a handle for carrying it, but it is not that comfortable to do so.
The Camp Chef Everest, $120, costs more than a typical two-burner stoves but it's worth it and gets our Editors' Choice award.
The Camp Chef Yukon, $215, is the less-featured version of the Camp Chef Pro 60 that won our Top Pick award as the best group cooking stove.
The Camp Chef Big Gas Grill, $405, comes with 3 burners and a grill accessory to put on top. It is ideal for big picnics and tail-gating. The Camp Chef Pro 90, $342, is the same as the Big Gas but does not come with the grill accessory.
There is a Camp Chef Two Burner Carry Bag for $35, and a Camp Chef Two Burner Oven for $303.
— Chris McNamara
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: October 29, 2012
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