Camp Chef Outdoorsman Review
Cons: Heavy, awkward, pricey, requires a large propane tank, no auto-ignitor
Manufacturer: Camp Chef
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Camp Chef Outdoorsman
|Price||$200 List||$169.99 at Amazon|
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$149.99 at Amazon
|$30 List||$60 List|
|Pros||Powerful, fuel efficient, outstanding boil time, freestanding, removable legs||Large cook surface, powerful, burly, impressive wind resistance||Three burners, fast boil time, easy setup, powerful burners||Great simmering, inexpensive, lightweight, auto-ignition||Affordable, fuel adaptor threads on easier than other stoves, windscreens are adjustable, compact dimensions|
|Cons||Heavy, awkward, pricey, requires a large propane tank, no auto-ignitor||Heavy, bulky, on the pricier side, closures not durable||Awkward and sharp carrying handle, below average wind resistance||Boils water slowly, can be hard to find butane canisters, no wind screen, you burn through lots of fuel cans (lots of waste)||No auto-ignition, lower BTUs, small burners prone to hot spots|
|Bottom Line||A powerful but fuel efficient freestanding stove with removable legs, ideal for field kitchens, outdoor education, or water bath canning||A wind-resistant stove that features powerful output but also impressive simmering abilities and easy maintenance||A well-designed and powerful 3-burner stove, with easy setup and a relatively trim design||Versatile and low cost, this single-burner stove cooks well, cleans up easily, and weighs the least of all the models we tested||This is a simple and straightforward two-burner that provides everything you need for basic meals at a very nice price|
|Rating Categories||Camp Chef Outdoorsman||Camp Chef Everest 2X||Stansport Outfitter...||Gas One GS-3000||Coleman Classic|
|Time to Boil (20%)|
|Wind Resistance (20%)|
|Simmering Ability (20%)|
|Ease of Set Up (15%)|
|Ease of Care (15%)|
|Specs||Camp Chef Outdoorsman||Camp Chef Everest 2X||Stansport Outfitter...||Gas One GS-3000||Coleman Classic|
|Weight||31.01 lbs||13.97 lbs||13.32 lbs||4.1 lbs||9.8 lbs|
|BTU per Burner (from manufacturer)||60,000||20,000||Outer 2 burners are 25,000 each, inner burner is 10,000||9,000||10,.000|
|Boil Time (1 quart of water, wind from a box fan)||2 min 34 sec||3 min 25 sec||7 min 55 sec||13 min||6 min 25 sec|
|Boil Time (1 quart of water, no wind)||2 min 30 sec||3 min 17 sec||3 min 39 sec||4 min 30 sec||4 min 45 sec|
|Cooktop Material||Awaiting answer from Camp Chef||Nickel-coated steel||Stainless steel||Enamel Coated Steel||Aluminized steel|
|Packed Size||32.75" x 14.25" x 7.5"||27" x 15.5" x 8.25"||23" x 12.75" x 4.3"||14" x 12" x 3.5"||21" x 13" x 3.5"|
|Cooking Surface Dimensions||32.75" x 14.25"||21" x 9.5"||19.5" x 9.5"||8.25" x 8.25"||18.75" x 10.5"|
|Burner/Flame Diameter||10.5"||4.75"||4.75" (outer burners), 3.25" (middle burner)||2.875"||3.5"|
|Distance Between Burners (center to center)||18.5"||12.25"||7" (outer to middle), 14" (outer to outer)||N/A||7.75"|
|Number of Burners||2||2||3||1||2|
|Type of Model||Freestanding||Tabletop||Tabletop||Tabletop||Tabletop|
|Fuel Type||Propane - large 20# tank||Propane||Propane||Butane||Propane|
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 power means that this stove doesn't simmer as well as some of our lower-powered models, but you're likely drawn to this stove more for its power than its finesse.
Time to Boil
In our windless boil test, the Outdoorsman outperformed all the other stoves in our review. It boiled 1 liter of 58°F water in an impressive 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
With two 60,000 BTU burners, this stove 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.
To assess 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 measure how long it takes 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 34 seconds. Even without a drip pan to protect the burners, this stove is so powerful as to be unaffected by our wind test. 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.
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 was incredibly fuel-efficient. It burned only 2.56 oz of fuel in the wind test and 1.92 oz in the windless test, consuming an average of 1% of the fuel in our 11-pound propane tank in each boil test.
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.
Ease of Set Up
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, setup became much easier with a little practice.
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).
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.
Ease of Care
Like other freestanding stoves, it is pretty easy to care for the Outdoorsman 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.
If you prioritize keeping your gear pristine, you may find it irksome to clean the Outdoorsman. 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 stove components. Unless you want your camp kitchen to turn into a bear den, you do need to be more mindful to pick up flying food that escapes from your pan, as there is nothing to catch it but the ground.
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.
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 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.
This niche stove is nimble and well-designed for what it is — a high-powered freestanding stove for large group cooking or big outdoor kitchen projects. With 60,000 BTUs per burner, the Camp Chef Outdoorsman has great boil times with or without wind, yet it manages to be reasonably fuel-efficient. While it is more difficult to set up, heavier, and far less compact than other models, it is great for producing a flame hotter than many home kitchens.
— Mary Witlacil
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