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Need Advice re: Outdoor Stoves and Cooking Outside

Every time I sear meat, I set off the smoke alarm, and the way things are set up, a call goes straight to the Fire Department (can't even hear anything inside). It's not my house, so I can't change the alarm settings or anything, so I've been thinking of getting a small single or double burner propane camp stove and just doing that sort of cooking outside.

I was thinking of getting something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Stansport-Singl.... I used to have a similar model made by Coleman, and actually cooked three meals a day on it for two years when I didn't have any other stove. But I was a vegan then, and don't know that it will generate enough heat to do a serious sear on meat. The newer models also seem more flimsy than the one I had.

I found this, but think it might be too powerful:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Bayou-Clas.... And if it has to be set on the ground, it won't work for me. I need something that can be used on a tabletop or counter outside.

Also saw this, but worry the whole unit may get too hot since it's all cast metal: http://www.amazon.com/Bayou-Classic-S... . It wouldn't be so good to avoid setting off the smoke detector but end up burning the house down.

Whatever I get has to be compatible with this sort of propane canister: http://www.target.com/p/coleman-propa..., not the narrow cartridges, as they don't sell them at hardware stores near me.

Any recommendations or suggestions would be most appreciated.

Thanks a lot,
ninrn

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  1. Hi Ninrn,

    I am looking at the SS Bayou high BTU for an outdoor kitchen for quick boils, wok cooking and such. Price sure seems right.

    They would also work well for deep frying (keep the smell outside). Would make a cast iron pan scream for searing.

    Many different manufactures of such burners......to me flame control....low to high....would be most important and my research has not gotten that far yet.

    An old gutted gas grill with a lid (poss trash picked) would make a good base to anchor the burner down to, hold the tank underneath & protect the burner from the elements. Cheap fireplace bricks are also good insulators.

    1. Keep in mind that propane burns HOT. The flame is HOT. Good way to strip a cast iron skillet, and warp it at the same time. Also, propane knob controls are very very sensitive. There's basically two settings... hot and hotter. Its difficult to get a simmer, although that doesn't seem of a concern for you with only searing meat.

      With that in mind of the faults of propane, dual-fuel stoves are the way to go. And for duel fuel, nobody excels better than Coleman. 99% of Coleman products are of the "at par" or below quality these days, however, their liquid gas stoves are still the best.

      Propane may work for you, but be very careful not to warp a pan. But I'd go with duel-fuel and Coleman.

      I'd also go with dual burners. For if you ever use a griddle or 2 skillets for company. Spend $100 on a 2 burner Coleman duel fuel stove and perhaps another $30 on the propane Coleman single burner.

      Lastly, if all hell breaks loose and your kitchen doesn't work and you're too lazy to make a fire to cook on some night, unleaded fuel works too. It just makes the innard parts dirty more quickly :)

      5 Replies
      1. re: Muddirtt

        When i was a kid Coleman (green color) was a camp stove with a special "white" liquid fuel with a tank that had a little finger operated pump to pressurize the tank. They made lanterns that operated with the same principle.. Lots of fond memories.

        1. re: Tom34

          Yep that's it. White gas and pumping. Still manufactured to this day.

          1. re: Muddirtt

            Fishing poles, aluminum row boat & oars. Pickerel, Bass, turtles & snakes. No I pods back then. Good and hungry at the end of the day too.

            1. re: Tom34

              Heck yeah. And no propane either :)

        2. re: Muddirtt

          Wow, I had no idea cast iron skillets could warp. Good to know.

        3. We use our weber grill, outside on the balcony, for searing larger quantities of meat. Transfer to a saucepan for either indoor/stove-top braising, or turn the grill burners waaaay down, for slow roasting.

          2 Replies
          1. re: KarenDW

            I have what must be an old 1970's Weber gas grill that supplements a BGE. Don't know about the new Weber's, but the older stuff was made to last.

            1. re: KarenDW

              Thanks, KarenDW. Don't have a grill here unfortunately.

            2. Hi, ninrin:

              #1 is a joke.

              ##2 and 3 are serious. Note the in-line pressure regulator necessary to adjust the btu output. I would suggest a 2-burner version of either of these.

              I don't understand the small-bottle compatibility issue--with a higher output burner, you're gonna go through a lot of those little single-use bottles. A 20-lb bottle is what ##2 & # are set up for. If you hunt, you can prolly find an adapter to neck it up, but I think that's bass-ackwards.

              Aloha,
              Kaleo

              2 Replies
              1. re: kaleokahu

                Thanks Kaleo, I didn't mean the bottles have to be the small kind, just that I didn't want one that uses cartridges. I think #2 and #3 might be too serious for me. I could do fine with 10K or 12K BTUs.

                1. re: kaleokahu

                  #1 is hardly a "joke"...it's just meant for camping. A 1# propane bottle is plenty for a weekend, with more than enough to run a lantern once the sun sets. For home use, it would be just fine as an extra side burner.

                2. If there's a large Asian grocery (99Ranch and HMart in my area) near you, take a look at their butane hotplates. Fuel is in a aerosol size canister. They are inexpensive, and suitable for both indoor and outdoor use (but not cold weather outdoor). Those stores also sell Korean/Mongolian bbq grills to work with these stoves.

                  They aren't the hottest stoves around, but they are stable and about as safe as you can get in a portable gas stove design. I regularly use mine on the patio for cooking that would be too smelly or spatter too much for indoor use.

                  For propane, I'd suggest a 2 burner camp stove, such as ones by Primus or Coleman. Stansport tends to be cheaper than these (both in price and build).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: paulj

                    Thanks, paulj. I've seen those stoves in the Asian stores when i lived in NYC, but they don't have them in the Asian store here. Have to stick with what I can find fuel for in the hardware store.