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We are just back from our camping holiday and got a chance to use a few new camping gadgets and equipment that we have bought over the year, for real. One item that we had bought ourselves was this Campingaz Chef Plus Stove, which at the time cost around the £70 mark, and can be picked up on amazon or in most large outdoor shops. Previously we have a very old gas stove, that wasn't practical given its size when car space is limited. This Campingaz stove appealed because it came with a carry case and the legs and stand all came apart meaning it could be carried in a reasonable size. The other appealing feature of this stove is the fact that it has a grill as well, which allows you to have some toast in the morning, which we really missed last year when it came to breakfast time.
Our last stove used Campingaz so we already had a gas cylinder, but this stove also comes with a regulator that fits these cylinders so you don't have to go out and purchase one, but also, it can be fitted to the likes of calor cylinders if you purchase another regulator.
As can be seen from the picture above, the stove comes with four attachable legs making it a good height when you are standing cooking, rather than having to crouch over a little burner. My husband also noticed that the legs seem to have a levelling feature to adjust the level of the legs so if you are on uneven ground the stove can remain level. There is also a stand underneath the grill to store pots and pans and it was the perfect size to hold all the pots and pans that we had brought (although our pots and pans fit into each other).
If you hit a particularly windy patch of weather, there are small size panels and the lid of the stove to protect against the wind. We fortunately were at a very sheltered campsite, but also, the weather was so good there was very little wind so I cannot comment on the effectiveness of this but it certainly seems a useful feature.
My husband did most of the cooking whilst we were camping (must be a man thing!) and I did all the preparation, but he found it extremely easy to light and to cook on. Each of the two hobs had adjustable knobs to regulate the heat, as did the grill, so nothing was burnt! We particularly liked the grill. To be honest we weren't sure we were really going to get bread that was properly toasted, but in fact, we had the opposite problem, my husband could hardly take his eyes off the bread whilst it was being toasted otherwise it would have burnt, so as long as he did this, we had perfect toast every morning, which was lovely. We never attempted to grill bacon or sausages but I'm sure it could be used to do so effectively.
This really was a great purchase. Although we ate out some nights during our holiday, we did a lot of cooking on this stove and it worked a treat. With two rings, you can produce pretty good meals making it feel like home, especially if you hit a cold, wet spell of weather, when you want something that feels homecooked and is filling. So, all in all, this camping stove is worth every penny!
This is my principal cooker for our family camps (3 weeks and longer). It has 2 burners and a grill, all fueled by Campingaz. The unit is mounted on detachable legs and there is a wire tray (which keeps the legs together) below the burners and grill. The resultant cooking height is OK (we're between 5 foot 6" and 6 foot) and it is stable enough to cook on although do be careful to make sure that you site it on firm level ground and avoid sandy soil.
The burners work well and the heat is controlable enough to cook most things. The grill is a complete waste of time; the grill area is too small and using it requires constant attention if you don't want carbon instead of toast. Sadly, there is no pizo electric lighter so you have to use matches or a hand held lighter to start the burners and the grill - easier said than done when it's windy!
The gaz is fed to the burners and grill via a gas hose (supplied) and regulator (also supplied) from a separately purchased Campingaz bottle. This model uses Campingaz 907 or 904 cylinders. The first gas bottle you buy, you pay for the bottle and the gas; thereafter, you exchange your empty gas cylinder for a full one of the same type (907 or 904) and so pay just for the gas. 907s are much easier to find than 904s and so I would recommend that you go with this type unless you want to be stuck somewhere having to buy another cylinder and gas rather than just exchanging your empty cylinder. A full 907 is more than enough to provide 1 or 2 simple cooked meals a day for our family of five for a 3 week camp.
My Campingaz chef plus came with a bag that wouldn't win any prizes for beauty but is sufficient to keep everything tidy.
Bottom line - would I buy it again? Yes, but chiefly because there does not seem to be a lot of innovation in this sector of the market. In an ideal world, I would look for a replacement which had pizo electric ignition and would want a full demonstration before paying anything extra for a grill.
Please note that this review also appears on ciao under the same username
Copyright bobbieal 2012