Grill vs Camp Stove – What’s The Difference?

Whether it’s burgers or bacon, it can be hard to know what the difference is between a grill and a camp stove and which one is right for you.

You can cook meals, boil water, fry foods and reheat leftover foods on a camp stove making it significantly more versatile than a grill which can only be used to grill and roast foods such as chicken wings, hot dogs, steaks and burgers.

You can also get camp stoves with two burners which is great if you’re camping with a family as you can cook two dishes at once – we usually use one to boil water for teas and coffees and another to cook food.

What Is A Grill?

Grills are devices used to cook food, mostly by roasting. Traditionally, grills are operated outside and use wood and charcoal as fuel to heat the food. Although, these days, grills that use cooking gas are becoming more common. When wood and charcoal are used as fuel, smoke comes out and sometimes alters the taste of the food item being grilled. However, this does not happen while using cooking gas as fuel during grilling. The change in taste of food makes some people detest grills that require wood and charcoal, while most people do not mind going both ways.

When grilling outside, the heat is supplied from beneath the food being cooked on a barbecue, so it would need to be flipped so both sides can be roasted adequately. In the case of indoor grilling, the heat can be applied from the top and the bottom of the cooker, though this type of grill is used more in professional kitchens.

What Is A Camp Stove?

This is a cooking stove that was designed to be easy and light enough to carry around while camping or in other remote locations where it is difficult to find a source of heat. They primarily use cooking gas which is stored in a cylinder under pressure (which turns it into a liquid) as fuel. When released from the cylinder, this gas needs to be ignited to start a fire sufficient to cook a meal. The flame on the camp stove can be adjusted to fit your purpose at any point in time.

Campers generally use two types of stoves; one with the burner attached to the top of the cylinder (and the cylinder supports the weight of the whole setup) and another with the gas cylinder and the cartridge as separate units. In the latter, there is a hose that supplies gas from the cylinder to the cartridge. Although there are non-refillable gas cylinders, these are not common because they have to be dumped after use, which does not help the environment. Campers can always refill their gas cylinders before every camping trip instead of polluting the environment with non-reusable cylinders.

Which Is Better for Backpacking A Grill Or A Camp Stove?

Backpacking involves carrying your gear on your back while hiking. Hikers cover long distances, and in some cases, they walk for more than a day. The items carried while backpacking includes but is not limited to clothes, sleeping bags, tents, water, food, and cooking equipment. Since backpackers have to singlehandedly bear the weight of their gear, it is vital that it is as lightweight as possible. Hikers have to eat, and not everyone is okay with the idea of eating cold canned food. This means they will have to choose the most lightweight cooking equipment available so they can bring it with them on their trip. 

Camp stoves are great, but you have to bear a full gas cylinder’s weight, which can be overwhelming and wear you out easily. Apart from the cylinder that holds the cooking gas, the cartridge and a burner that cooks the meal need to be carried as well. Considering all this extra weight, a portable grill seems like the better option as far as backpacking is concerned. Portable grills, on the other hand, can be folded to fit into your backpack, and pieces of wood can be gathered to use as fuel when it is time to grill your food items. Portable grills were specifically designed to prepare meals for one person or a small group of people, so the amount of wood or coal you would need as fuel is not much and can easily be gathered during your backpacking exercise. 

Carrying a traditional grill is inconvenient and unnecessary for backpacking unless you are in a large group, and everyone would take turns carrying the equipment. It is also more expensive than a portable grill, consumes more fuel, and requires more human energy when in use. When cooking for a small group of hikers on a traditional grill, most of the heat generated goes to waste since the food items being prepared would not take up much space on the grill. 

There is no dispute that a camp stove would allow for the preparation of different meals, but it might be worth using one since a backpacking exercise does not usually last as long as camping takes. It would not be wise bearing so much weight and inconveniencing yourself for an activity that does not last up to two days.

Which Is Better for RV’s, A Grill or A Camp Stove?

Taking an RV when going camping is very helpful because there is no need to bear the weight of the equipment you bring along. All you need to do is drive to your preferred camping spot, unpack your gear, and enjoy your time camping. People tend to stay on camping grounds for multiple days or even a week in some cases, and they obviously would need food while out there. Campers that use RVs have the opportunity to bring different cooking equipment (both grills and camp stoves) to their campsite. 

However, if one is to choose between a grill and a camp stove while using an RV, a camp stove will get the nod since it offers the versatility of cooking methods. Living out of your RV can get tiring if you have to feed on only grilled food for up to a week. With a camp stove, you can treat the water you get from the natural sources around your campsite if the water in your cooler has finished. It will not be a pleasant experience if you suffer from typhoid or diarrhea just because you could not treat the water you obtained from your campsite. 

Additionally, camp stoves are easier to light up even in humid conditions, unlike grills, because the wood you gather might be soaking wet and difficult to keep ablaze throughout the time you spend cooking. Also, the flames from camp stoves are more stable and can be adjusted to cook food evenly which is not the case when using grills. However, one should keep an eye on the amount of gas remaining in the cylinder because if you run out of cooking gas, it could mean the end of your camping trip unless you do not mind starving.

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