Hands-on Gear Review

Coleman Grill Stove InstaStart Review

Coleman Grill Stove
By: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief  ⋅  Sep 18, 2014
Price:  $120 List  |  $89.00 at Amazon - 26% Off
Pros:  One of the lightest propane grills, versatile, easy to clean.
Cons:  Grill does not cook evenly, stove lid does not close.
Manufacturer:   Coleman
57
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Time to Boil - 25% 4
  • Cooking Simmering - 20% 6
  • Group Cooking - 15% 3
  • Ease of Set Up - 10% 8
  • Ease of Care - 10% 6
  • Wind Resistance - 10% 9
  • Packed size - 10% 7
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Our Verdict

The Coleman Grill Stove is an innovative stove that combines a grill on one half and a single burner on the other. The main question is: do you want so much space dedicated to grilling when you could also just get a griddle accessory and put it on a standard two-burner stove (and have two burners when not grilling). For some people, the built-in grill proves handy. Especially if you want what is one of the most portable grills out there with the option to boil water and cook with a smaller pot. For other people, the answer is to get a standard two-burner stove and then either use a true portable grill like the Weber Smokey Joe (charcoal) or the Weber Q 220 (gas).

For most situations, we prefer the Coleman Triton. We like having two dedicated burners as most of the time we are not grilling. And, often when you are camping there is an outdoor grill set up nearby. Outdoor grills are not very user friendly compared to a gas grill, but they are part of the camping experience (and much better for roasting marshmallows).

For the best two-burner camp stove, check out the Camp Chef Everest or Stansport Outfitters Series. These stoves are about the same cost as the Grill Stove but much better for the cooking you most often do when camping.


Our Analysis and Test Results

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Time to Boil


The burner scored a little below average. It boils water just a little slower than the Coleman PerfectFlow 2-Burner. Not a slow-poke by any means, just not nearly as fast as the top-scoring stoves. Because the single burner is way to the side, it limits the size of the pot you can use. Small and medium pots are fine but with a large pot you can't center the burner.

Simmering


The stove part works similarly to the Coleman PerfectFlow 2-Burner. It is a solid burner with good control but not a standout for performance. It simmers okay, but it can be hard to get a tiny flame and hold it. The grill works well if cooking burners or other items that fit on the edges. However, when we wanted to make a quesadilla, we found it very hard to keep the edges from getting burned with the center not cooked much at all. The burner is just so close to the grill that it is hard to get an even cook.

Also, the lid does not close all the way so it's harder to melt cheese on a burger. Even with the lid down 80 percent of the way, there is not much room for items taller than a few inches.

We got the model with InstaStart. This worked flawlessly and always lit the first time.

Ease of Setup


Overall, the stove is easy to set up. It has a built in handle for ease of transport. It is a little harder to attach the regulator than on other stoves (much easier on Coleman PerfectFlow, for example). As with most of the table top stoves, the propane regulator sticks out and takes up table space.

Ease of Care


This stove is relatively easy to clean but we highly recommend lining the under the grill area with tinfoil. This makes your life much easier. We are not sure how long the grill will last. It is dishwasher safe. But it also feels a little flimsy.

As with all propane camp stoves, we recommend the adapter hose that allows you to connect this stove to a five-gallon propane tank. We have an explanation why in our Camping Stove Buying Advice article.

Chris McNamara

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Most recent review: September 18, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.5)

50% of 2 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 33%  (1)
3 star: 67%  (2)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Person Icon

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   Jul 9, 2014 - 10:51pm
theMirrorpool · Other · OC

I've used this stove (same style, different color) for a couple of years while Overlanding, I'd guess I've cooked on it 30 or 40 times all said. While it performs its basic duty well (hence the "3") and the InstaStart works great there are a few issues to note.
  1. The InstaStart takes some pressure to work, so you have to hold the stove with your other hand to get it to work. Its very natural to put your fingers on the grill/griddle to hold the stove while your thumb pushes the button. That's fine provided the grill/griddle is cool. If its not you'll surprise yourself that one time.
  1. The grill has a heat divider. Basically this gives you a middle cold spot with two outside hot spots. Not the best for consistent cooking.
  1. The windscreen isn't that secure and consistently disconnects while stirring or moving things around. Not really a major issue, unless its windy ;)



Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.

Skier

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   Jul 8, 2013 - 08:33pm
John221us · Skier · Northern California

I own one of these and have only used it on one four day camping trip. I think this review misses the mark a bit. I don't think even grilling of a large flour tortilla is a typical usage scenario. In the morning, I was able to heat water in a little coffee pot on the single burner and easily toast bagels and sliced bread directly on the grill. I also used a large pan on the grill part for frying eggs, which worked quite well. In the evening, I grilled up some fresh salmon and corn on the cob (wrapped in tinfoil with butter) with no issue. At the same time, I cooked up some green beans in a tinfoil pan on the single burner (note; no pans or pots to clean, just a grill to scrape). It really reduces cleanup and streamlines the number of pots and pans you need.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


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