You’ve got to eat. And while boil-in-bag meals and fistfulls of granola are fine for ultralight backpacking, it’s not unreasonable to want a bit more when you’re doing some vehicle-based camping. Which is where the Eureka Ignite 2-Burner Camp Stove comes in. It’s an awful lot like the stove your grandparents used. It’s green, it’s got two burners, it’s kind of heavy. But it’s not a Coleman stove, and that’s a good thing.
Eureka Ignite Weight
Like we said in the beginning, the Eureka Ignite is a lot like the camping stove you grew up with. The briefcase-style carry makes it easy to get it from the car to the table, and just like the Coleman Classic Propane Stove that’s the only place you’ll want to use this thing as it weighs about 10 lbs. Lay it down, open it up, and you’ll find two wind-blocking wings that also hold the lid open while you’re cooking. Just like the good ol’ days. It even uses those same little green 1lb propane canisters, which is great news because those things are available pretty much everywhere. Or you can get an adapter and run it off of 5lb camping or 20lb grill bottles.
But this is where the differences start to appear. While the old-school stoves use a spring-loaded wire to hold the wings (and thus the lid), Eureka uses simple tabs molded into the lid. Which means you don’t have to worry about a pot or dropped utensil releasing the wing and collapsing the stove, a common issue when using these types of stoves.
Eureka also includes a push-button ignition system. Similar to those found on backyard propane grills, it sends a spark to both burners igniting the propane with a fair level of reliability. But it really shines when you accidentally turn the heat off too soon. Instead of pulling off whatever you’re cooking, fussing with a match or lighter, and putting the food back on, the ignition system lets you relight the burner as soon as you need to. And after a year of use I can say with confidence that a hot burner lights even easier than a cold one.
Eureka Ignite Size
But the real place the Eureka Ignite 2 Burner Camp Stove stands out is the space. And we mean that in two, apparently conflicting ways.
First up, the actual exterior dimensions of the stove are smaller. Two inches narrower in width and depth, and a full inch thinner. Granted in a vehicle-based camping situation space usually isn’t so life-or-death, but the smaller size makes packing easier, and means you’re taking up less space on the table while you’re cooking.
But even more importantly is the space of the cooktop. Despite the smaller exterior dimensions, the Ignite offers a larger cooking surface than the Coleman. This means you can actually use both burners if you’re a particularly ambitious camp chef, or larger cooking surfaces like a full sized griddle or even a wok.
Cooking on the Ignite Stove
Which brings us to the category where the Eureka Ignite 2-Burner Stove completely blows the competition out of the water. The burners actually work, and work well. Not just in that they burn propane, but that they do so efficiently. The medium-high setting is hot enough to boil water quickly, and the medium setting is perfect for pancakes. Which is really a revelation if you’re used to other propane camping stoves. Despite the claimed identical BTU ratings, the classic Coleman propane stove needs to be run at a higher temperature to get comparable cooking temperatures.
Which might be due to the design. The Eureka uses a raised grating to hold your pans above the burner. This leaves a wide, open path for air to get to the burner that’s still protected by the wind-blocking wings. Contrast that with the way the Coleman, which uses a flat grating, and sinks the burners down into the stove. When you put a pan on top, or a larger griddle covering both burners, the result is much more restricted airflow, cutting off one leg of the fire triangle and producing a less efficient flame as a result.
And not only does this mean you get more control over your heat with the Eureka Ignite, but you also get more cook-time from your 1lb bottle. Convenient when you’re trying to plan a quick weekend away, but invaluable when you’re planning a longer trip and don’t want to run out of hot meals.
All told, it makes the Eureka Ignite 2-Burner Stove ($144.95) a great pick for any type of car camping. It builds on the classic Coleman tradition and form factor that’s been working great for decades, but improves it for even better performance in pretty much every quantifiable way.