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Camp Chef Outdoorsman Review

A powerful but fuel efficient freestanding stove with removable legs, ideal for field kitchens, outdoor education, or water bath canning
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camp chef outdoorsman camping stove review
This is a durable and powerful, but fuel efficient stove, that can be used freestanding or on your tailgate. Perfect for large groups or huge meals.
Credit: Jared Ross
Price:  $210 List
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Manufacturer:   Camp Chef
By Mary Witlacil ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 10, 2022
72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 14
  • Boil Time - 25% 10.0
  • Fuel Efficiency - 25% 9.0
  • Simmering Ability - 20% 6.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 5.0
  • Portability - 15% 3.0

Our Verdict

With two high-output 60,000 BTU burners, the Outdoorsman is an impressively powerful stove. It boils water quickly, and the burners are strong enough to be (mostly) unaffected by the wind despite the open design of the stove. The burners produce big flames, so this stove does not simmer the best, and you'll want to use a wand lighter unless you want to light your hair on fire when igniting the burners. This stove is also expensive and heavier and more awkward to carry than other stoves in our review. But if you plan to car camp with a large group or intend to manage a field kitchen, this stove is great for big group meals and huge pots of food.
REASONS TO BUY
Powerful
Fuel efficient
Outstanding boil time
Freestanding
Removable legs
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy
Awkward
Pricey
Requires a large propane tank
No auto-ignitor
Editor's Note: We updated the Camp Chef Outdoorsman review on November 10, 2022, to reflect updated scores and the introduction of some new metrics and recommendations.

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camp chef outdoorsman camping stove review
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  Best Buy Award 
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Pros Powerful, fuel efficient, outstanding boil time, freestanding, removable legsLarge cook surface, powerful, burly, impressive wind resistanceAffordable, straightforward, compact, great wind resistance, good simmering abilityPiezo igniter, fuel efficient, reasonably priced, easy to cleanGreat simmering, inexpensive, lightweight, auto-ignition
Cons Heavy, awkward, pricey, requires a large propane tank, no auto-ignitorHeavy, bulky, on the pricier side, closures not durableCannot store regulator inside stove, average boil timeSlow boil time, average wind resistance, below average durabilityBoils water slowly, can be hard to find butane canisters, no wind screen, you burn through lots of fuel cans (lots of waste)
Bottom Line A powerful but fuel efficient freestanding stove with removable legs, ideal for field kitchens, outdoor education, or water bath canningA wind-resistant stove that features powerful output but also impressive simmering abilities and easy maintenanceA compact and reasonably priced stove that simmers well and provides great wind protectionAn affordable, portable, and fuel efficient two-burner stove with slow boil time and low wind resistanceVersatile and low cost, this single-burner stove cooks well, cleans up easily, and weighs the least of all the models we tested
Rating Categories Camp Chef Outdoorsman Camp Chef Everest 2X Kovea Slim Twin Coleman Cascade Cla... Gas One GS-3000
Boil Time (25%)
10.0
9.0
7.0
4.0
3.0
Fuel Efficiency (25%)
9.0
5.0
6.0
7.0
2.0
Simmering Ability (20%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Ease of Use (15%)
5.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Portability (15%)
3.0
6.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
Specs Camp Chef Outdoorsman Camp Chef Everest 2X Kovea Slim Twin Coleman Cascade Cla... Gas One GS-3000
Weight 31.01 lbs 13.97 lbs 9.94 lbs 9.71 lbs 4.1 lbs
BTU per Burner (from manufacturer) 60,000 20,000 10,500 10,000 9,000
Average Boil Time (1 liter of water, wind & no wind) 2 min 22 sec 3 min 21 sec 4 min 58 sec 6 min 39 sec 8 min 45 sec
Boil Time (1 liter of water, wind from a box fan) 2 min 34 sec 3 min 25 sec 5 min 20 sec 7 min 56 sec 13 min
Boil Time (1 liter of water, no wind) 2 min 30 sec 3 min 17 sec 4 min 36 sec 5 min 23 sec 4 min 30 sec
Cooktop Material Awaiting answer from Camp Chef Nickel-coated steel Nickel-plated steel Aluminized steel Enamel Coated Steel
Packed Size 32.75" x 14.25" x 7.5" 27" x 15.5" x 8.25" 23.4" x 14.7" x 3.3" 21" x 13" x 3.5" 14" x 12" x 3.5"
Cooking Surface Dimensions 32.75" x 14.25" 21" x 9.5" 20.5" x 12.5" 20" x 12" 8.25" x 8.25"
Burner/Flame Diameter 10.5" 4.75" 3.25" 3.25" 2.875"
Distance Between Burners (center to center) 18.5" 12.25" 10.5" 11" N/A
Windscreen? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Piezo Ignitor? No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Number of Burners 2 2 2 2 1
Type of Model Freestanding Tabletop Tabletop Tabletop Tabletop
Fuel Type Propane - large 20# tank Propane Propane Propane Butane
Model Number EX280LW MS2HP 168,970 2157477 GS-3000

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Camp Chef Outdoorsman is a high-end, rugged stove for large group meals while car camping or doing field work/school. With four removable legs, it transforms from a freestanding stove into a tabletop stove. It has 60,000 BTUs per burner, making it immensely more powerful than other stoves in our review. The unparalleled BTUs mean this stove doesn't simmer as well as some of our lower-octane models, but you're likely drawn to this stove more for its power than its finesse.

Performance Comparison


camp chef outdoorsman camping stove review - the outdoorsman is a burly freestanding stove with powerful burners...
The Outdoorsman is a burly freestanding stove with powerful burners, removable legs, and impressive wind-resistance despite the absence of a drip pan.
Credit: Jared Ross

Boil Time


To evaluate the power of each stove, we do two boil tests — one with 2-4 mph of constant "wind" from a box fan and another with no wind — then we rank all the stoves based on the average between the two scores. No surprise, the powerful Outdoorsman outperformed all the other stoves in our review with an average boil time of 2 minutes 22 seconds.


To assess boil time and wind resistance in a controlled manner, we placed each stove next to 2-4 mph of constant wind produced by a box fan on low. We then measured how long it took to boil water in the presence of this "wind." The Outdoorsman was completely unphased by our box fan, boiling 1 liter of water in 2 minutes and 34 seconds. In our wind-less test, it boiled 1 liter of 58°F water in an impressive 2 minutes and 30 seconds. That is a difference of only 4 seconds! Even without a drip pan to protect the burners, this stove is so powerful as to be unaffected by our wind test. With two 60,000 BTU burners, the Outdoorsman has at least double the power of any other stove in our review. In truth, it has more than double the power of most burners in commercial kitchens, let alone your home range. This undoubtedly contributes to it having an unsurpassably quick boil time with or without wind.

That said, wind gusts in the "real world" somewhat affect the flames' consistency. Further, we would not recommend using this stove without a wand lighter, as the burners produce such a powerful flame that shorter lighters may risk singing all the hair on your arms.

camp chef outdoorsman camping stove review - the immense btu power on the outdoorsman was no match for our box...
The immense BTU power on the Outdoorsman was no match for our box fan test.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Fuel Efficiency


In addition to measuring boiling times both with "wind" and without, we also look at fuel efficiency. Like other stoves that are only compatible with large propane tanks, the Outdoorsman is incredibly fuel-efficient. This is why it was among our top-ranked stoves for fuel efficiency.


In each boil test, the Outdoorsman consumed an average of 2.24 ounces or 1% of the fuel in an 11-pound propane tank. It burned only 2.56 ounces of fuel in the wind test and 1.92 ounces in the wind-less test. While these scores are incredible, it is valuable to note that we have to use different scales for the stand-alone stoves that are only compatible with large propane tanks. This may mean that some fuel usage is unaccounted for in the tests. Regardless of how fuel efficient this stove appears to be, when you have a stove with 60,000 BTU burners, there will be some unnecessary fuel consumption because few cooking activities (aside from pressure canning) require that much output. In our isolated "lab" test, this stove was very fuel efficient. However, in the real world, it will likely consume more fuel than stoves that feature well-designed but lower-BTU burners.

camp chef outdoorsman camping stove review - while it does not have a drip pan to cut down on gusts of wind that...
While it does not have a drip pan to cut down on gusts of wind that come from underneath your stove, it does come with a removable windscreen that works sufficiently well to shelter the powerful burners.
Credit: Jared Ross

Simmering Ability


To evaluate each stove's ability to simmer, we make a pot of rice and evaluate how well the stove is able to sustain a low flame while steaming the rice. Unsurprisingly, it was challenging to rein in the immense power of the Outdoorsman well enough to simmer.


Even though the burner knobs are tight, and you can dial down the flame quite a bit, they produce too much power to simmer well. We were able to make a decent (albeit al dente) pot of rice with the Outdoorsman, and this stove could handle stir-fries, stews, and curry with ease. But if your camping meal plans consistently call for delicate sauces, we recommend checking out one of the simmering champions in our review.

camp chef outdoorsman camping stove review - as you can see, the low end range of the outdoorsman is still quite...
As you can see, the low end range of the Outdoorsman is still quite high, which is why it is not our first choice for simmering.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Ease of Use


Even though the Outdoorsman is fairly simple to use with minimal instruction, it cannot compete with the straightforward setup of most tabletop stoves in our review. That being said, it became much easier to use with a little practice and patience.


We appreciate that you can use this stove with or without the included legs, though its usable height with the legs will be too low to be ideal for most tall people (our lead reviewer is 5'8", and it was somewhat low for her).

camp chef outdoorsman camping stove review - with removable legs that only take a minute to screw into position...
With removable legs that only take a minute to screw into position, the Outdoorsman can easily transform between a freestanding and a tabletop stove.
Credit: Jared Ross

The Outdoorsman comes with a detachable and foldable windscreen that affixes to the lip of the stove via four tabs. This was very easy to install, but again, not as easy as the more traditional windscreens that swing out from the stove's lid. We were also disappointed that this premium stove does not come with a piezo igniter, doubly so because it would have made it safer to light.

camp chef outdoorsman camping stove review - the removable windscreen uses four tabs to slot onto the edge of the...
The removable windscreen uses four tabs to slot onto the edge of the stove.
Credit: Jared Ross

Like other freestanding stoves, it is pretty easy to clean as it does not have a drip pan to clean, but we found it somewhat more challenging to clean than stoves with a fully sealed drip pan. While it does not have a drip pan to catch all your food, there are a lot of little nooks and crannies to scrub should your pot boil over. That being said, you don't have to worry about losing food in the false-bottom drip pans that protect the internal components of most stoves. Finally, unless you want your camp kitchen to turn into a bear den, you do need to be more mindful of picking up flying food that escapes from your pan, as there is nothing to catch it but the ground.

camp chef outdoorsman camping stove review - without a drip pan to scrub, it is easy to keep the outdoorsman...
Without a drip pan to scrub, it is easy to keep the Outdoorsman clean - just remove the wind screen and scrub it down. But remember to keep an eye on food scraps that fall on the ground, or you'll turn your camp site into a haven for trash pandas and bears.
Credit: Jared Ross

Portability


With a weight of 31.01 pounds, the Outdoorsman is one of the heaviest stoves in our review. It is also relatively awkward to carry. Still, as long as you don't need to carry it very far, it is pretty easy to move between your rig and your campsite.


As you may have noticed, the Outdoorsman isn't one of the more compact stoves in our review, so you'll want to make sure you have sufficient space in your car for transport. We are pleased that the windscreen and legs can be stowed away in a stuff sack, but it proved to be little more than glorified packaging, as we promptly broke the drawstring and punctured the fabric within minutes of opening the box.

camp chef outdoorsman camping stove review - at just over 31 pounds, the outdoorsman is a hefty beast of a stove...
At just over 31 pounds, the Outdoorsman is a hefty beast of a stove, but it is somewhat easy to carry, and the upside is that you likely won't ever have to carry it very far.
Credit: Jared Ross

Should You Buy the Camp Chef Outdoorsman?


Depending on your needs, this high-output stove could be an excellent value or a colossal waste of funds and power. If you intend to make large meals for fieldwork, outdoor education, your family, or a huge crew of friends, then the Outdoorsman is a worthy contender. This stove could also be a great choice if you spend weeks outside every year or if you need a freestanding outdoor stove for canning or brewing. Truth be told, most folks don't need as much power as this stove produces, but for those who do, we think you'll be impressed.

What Other Camping Stoves Should You Consider?


If you crave a freestanding stove with a few more features, we recommend the Camp Chef Pro 60X. It has an auto-ignitor, folding side tables, and fast boil times (despite the burners having half the power of the Outdoorsman. If you crave high-end features and powerful burners but want something easier to use and more portable, we recommend the Camp Chef Everest 2X. For those of you who realize you care more about saving money and space than having a high-octane pair of burners, we recommend the Kovea Slim Twin — it is compact, affordable, and boasts above-average boil times and fuel efficiency.

Mary Witlacil
 

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