The Best Outdoor Cooker Guide
Table of Contents
Top Best Outdoor Cookers Based on Reviews and Price
How to Choose the Best Outdoor Cooker?
Be it camping, picnicking, or tailgating, having an outdoor cooker is important. It helps you to have a wonderful outdoor cooking experience. They make it easy to brew, fry, boil, and much more. You can cook and enjoy the food of your choice at any time. Apart from camping, the outdoor cooker is a great choice for the family or friends gathering. Instead of ordering food from outside, you can setup BBQ at your backyard. You can add some patio furniture and create a relaxing outdoor paradise.
10 Factors to Consider Before Buying an Outdoor Cooker
If you are planning to buy an outdoor cooker, you can explore the huge variety of outdoor cookers available in the market. However, before you buy a cooker, it is important to go through the important factors. Paying attention to these factors would help you in selecting the right cooker.
The first and most important factor that you need to consider is the size of the cooker. The type of trip influences the choice of cooker size. There are different kinds of cookers; some are bigger as well as heavier. While few are small in size and portable. Depending on the travel mode, and comfort, you can buy the cooker that suits best to your needs.
#2 Fuel Type
Based on the power source, you would find different types of cookers in the market. LPG is the most commonly used fuel. The list of the liquid fuels used in the outdoor cooking equipment includes
- Propane: It is considered as the best performing and common type of fuel. You can find these single-use green cylinders at the gas stations as well as grocery stores. For longers trips, you can use propane outdoor cookers and take the cooking equipment that operates on propane gas along with the reusable tanks.
- Butane: It is an inexpensive fuel type. This gas provides the highest boiling point. Sometimes, this fuel struggles to power butane outdoor cooking equipment.
- Isobutane: It is the fuel that is light in weight and offers decent vapor pressure. This fuel is an ideal choice for backpacking. It is an expensive type of gas.
Apart from LPG fuel, there are many other power sources like
- Wood: In the market, there are numerous cooking equipment choices that run off of biomass like twigs, wood, sticks, etc. The wood-fueled cooker is the option that reduces the fuel cost as long as you get the wood on the camping site.
- Charcoal: There is a huge variety of cooking equipment in that market that can be operated through charcoal. These charcoal cookers are affordable, however, charcoal is heavy as well as expensive. Moreover, it takes more time for cooking.
- Solar: If you do not want to invest in fuel-running equipment, you can opt for the solar. The solar cooker running on solar power is also a good option and environment-friendly also. However, change in weather can create a problem for you.
Keeping the length of the trip, weight, and price of the fuel in the mind, you can explore the options and find a suitable outdoor cooker.
#3 Number of Burners
The size of cookware is of the important factors. The style of cooking as well as the quantity of the food required influences the selection of the cooking equipment. The requirement of the number of burners depends on the size of the group for whom you are cooking the food.
- Single Burner: If you are going to cook for a smaller group of people, a single burner is the best choice. You can prepare a one-pot meal on a single burner. Moreover, these single-burner cooking equipment are lightweight and take up a small amount of space.
- Two-Burner: Two-burner cooking equipment is the most common type. These are compact and offer versatility too. You can cook two items at a time like breakfast one burner and boil water for the coffee on the other one.
- Multi-Burner: If you have a larger group of people, you might need cooking equipment with more than two burners. In the market, you can find the stoves that come with three burners.
Based on the number of people and food requirements, you can finalize the need for burners and select the right outdoor cooker.
#4 Burner Size and Power
The size, as well as the power of the burner, is also a major aspect that requires attention. The power of outdoor cooking equipment is measured in BTUs. BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. It is the amount of energy (heat) required to increase the temperature of water (1pound) by one-degree Fahrenheit.
Normally, a home gas stove burner runs on 7,000 to 12,000 BTUs. Whereas the outdoor stove burners have higher BTUs. The outdoor cookers have to operate in a cold and windy weather condition that influences the cooking time. Therefore, they require extra BTUs to perform in a better way. However, there are some cooking types of equipment that have higher BTUs but they cook slowly in comparison to the stove burners that have lower BTUs. All this is because of the designing.
The overall designing of the outdoor cooker also affects the burners’ BTUs. If they are designed well to handle the wind, the lower BTU burners can also give a good cooking experience. Along with this, the diameter of the burner is also important. The small burner would produce a small hot spot that is ideal for your small pan. While a larger burner would spread the heat evenly and give you the ultimate cooking experience.
#5 Wind Protection
As stated above, wind influences the performance of the outdoor cooker to a great extent. Even a gentle breeze is enough to affect your cooking time when you are cooking at low heat. Single burner cookers do not have wind protection. While many cooking types of equipment having two-burner come with a folding barrier of three walls. In the market, you would also find the outdoor cookers with recessed burners having surroundings of a protective sheath that limits the wind.
#6 Simmer Control
There are some food items that are prepared on the low heat. Cooking the food on high heat increases the chances of scorching the food to the bottom. Some outdoor cookers come with simmer control options that allow you to control the heat according to your choice.
#7 Adjustable Legs
Generally, all types of cooking equipment are not leveled. There are many companies that manufacture outdoor cooker with adjustable legs. The adjustable legs help allows you to level out your cooking equipment according to the required height before you start the cooking.
#8 Freestanding or Tabletop
Most of the camping and picnic areas do not have well-established grounds. Therefore, it becomes hard to carry the tabletop cooker. Freestanding stoves are great choices for those who do a lot of dispersed camping. It allows you to cook anywhere with ease.
Most of the outdoor cookers have the standard circular burners. However, in the market, you would find the grill option also. If you like griddle cooking, you can opt for a griddle option. In case you wish to use the grill occasionally, then there is a solution. You can carry a cast iron on your trip and place it on the two-burner cooker.
Another major factor that you need to keep in mind is material. In the market, you would find the outdoor cooker in different materials like stainless steel, aluminum, cast iron, etc. Do not forget to consider this aspect while selecting an outdoor cooker.
How to Clean and Maintain Your Outdoor Cooker?
Now, you have gone through the factors that are essential to keep in mind while buying an outdoor cooker. It is time to know that after purchasing and using the outdoor cooker, it is important to know the right way to keep it clean and long-lasting. With grilling, frying, and boiling, the outdoor cooker gets the food stains, debris as well as grease. Therefore, it becomes important to clean the cooking equipment thoroughly.
The deep cleaning of an outdoor cooker requires the cleaning of the body as well as burners. Based on the material, here are some steps that you can follow to clean your outdoor cooker.
- Step 1 – Allow your cooking equipment to cool completely.
- Step 2 – Detach the regulator as well as hose from the equipment and keep it aside.
- Step 3 – Pull off the heat controlling knobs.
- Step 4 – Remove the debris from the burner stems and push the knobs back.
- Step 5 – Wipe out the body of the equipment with hot water and a solution of mild soap.
- Step 6 – To remove the stains, you can use vinegar and a sponge.
- Step 7 – Let the vinegar sit on the stains for a few minutes and then clean the surface. If the stains are stubborn, you can use vinegar again and sprinkle some baking soda to remove those stubborn spots.
- Step 8 – Use a wire brush to get rid of the debris or rust and clean the burners.
- Step 9 – Rinse out the entire cooking equipment with a garden hose.
- Step 10 – Move the outdoor cooker upside down to drain the excess water.
- Step 11 – Allow it dry for a few hours.
Wrapping It Up
Overall, safety is the top priority issue when choosing an outdoor cooker. Follow the steps above, then you will find out the right outdoor cooker. Happy shopping.