7 Best Emergency Stoves For Power Outages – 2023 Guide

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Power outages can occur unexpectedly, eliminating your ability to boil water or cook food. In these cases, having an emergency stove that doesn’t require electricity is a lifesaver – literally.

But, there are many different emergency stoves out there that are designed with varying uses in mind. With so many options available, which one do you choose?

Best Emergency Stove
Eggs and Bacon cooking on a emergency gas stove

Throughout my life, I have experienced multiple long-term power outages from natural disasters like tornados, hurricanes, and ice storms. I have tried multiple stoves over the past 30 years, including camp stoves, survival stoves, and simple campfires. They each have their pros and cons.

I tested and researched the most popular emergency stoves. Based on my experience, the Gas One GS-3400P Stove is the best emergency stove money can buy. It is easy to use, can run on both propane and butane, and has the power to cook the same as one burner on a typical household stove.

This stove may not be the best for your situation, so I also included six other options. To be fully prepared, you may need to purchase multiple stoves for different situations. 

Let’s jump into my reviews and suggestions so that you can find the best stove for you. 

Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Gas One GS-3400P

Gas One GS-3400P

Dual Fuel

Easy to Use

Heats Quickly

Coleman Bottle Top Stove

Coleman Bottle Top Stove




Coleman Triton + Camp Stove

Coleman Triton + Camp Stove

Dual Burners

Easy Storage

Push Button Start

EcoZoom Wood Stove

EcoZoom Wood Stove

Burns Wood

Efficient Design

Minimal Smoke

Biolite Camp Stove 2

Biolite Camp Stove 2

Burns Biomass

Generates Power

Minimum Smoke

The 7 Best Emergency Stoves

Gas One GS-3400P Dual Fuel Portable Stove – Best Overall

Gas One GS-3400P Dual Fuel Portable Stove
  • Heat Output: 8,000 BTU
  • Burners: 1
  • Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Fuel: Propane or Butane
  • Ignition: Automatic

The Gas One GS-3400P is my top choice for an emergency stove because of the price, dual fuel capability, and ease of use. It beats the bottle-top stove out of the top position – barely. It is more stable than the bottle-top stove and can run on propane and butane bottles. The automatic ignition is a nice feature since you do not need a lighter or match to light the stove.

I mainly tested this stove with propane. Butane does not heat as well in cold temperatures as propane and is more expensive. It is nice to have the capability to use butane if 1lb propane bottles are not available. You can also purchase an adapter hose and run it off the 20lb propane gas grill tanks, making it versatile.

It can bring 2 cups of water to a boil in just a few minutes –  faster than the electric stove in my kitchen. The controls are easy to use. But like any stove, you must get used to what level you need for cooking specific things. 

When cooking a pot of rice, it was hard to judge what heat level would simmer the rice. I initially had it too high, and it overboiled. The residue from the overboiled rice was hard to clean because it got down into the stove. But it still works fine.

Some have found this stove’s durability under regular use questionable. While it is a great emergency stove, it may not be the best choice if you are looking for a stove to use every day.

If you decide on this one, don’t forget to purchase Propane or Butane Fuel Canisters.

Recommended for:

If you just want an emergency stove that works and is easy to use, get the Gas One GS-3400P. Even if you decide to purchase another of our top picks, you may also want to consider purchasing this one. 


Dual Fuel Capable

Easy to Use

Stable Base


Hard to Clean

Durability Under Heavy Use

Butane Not Reliable in Cold Temp

Coleman Bottle Top Stove – Best Small Emergency Stove

Coleman Bottle Top Stove
  • Heat Output: 10,000 BTU
  • Burners: 1
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Fuel: Propane
  • Ignition: Manual

I like the simplicity of the Coleman Bottle Top Stove. The fewer parts a stove has, the less likely something will go wrong. In an emergency, simple often works better than fancy.  This stove screws right onto the top of a 1-pound propane bottle, and the only moving part is the control knob.

The stove has a plastic base for the propane bottle to sit on. The base makes the stove stable, but the main issue is the height of the stove. The total height is about 14 inches, so when you sit a pot on top of it, you have a hot pot of food fairly highs over a table or counter.

One gentle bump and the pot can get knocked off the stove, crashing to the table or ground. You must ensure the stove is level and be very careful not to bump into it when using it. It’s not necessarily great for those with children for this reason.

While the stove is compact, it does not pack well or come with a case. If heavy items hit it in a bag, it could be damaged. I just leave mine in the box, which stays on the shelf, ready for an emergency.

This stove may not be large enough if you have a large family. But keep in mind you can always buy multiple ones.

Recommended for:

Even if you buy our top pick, the Coleman Bottle Top Stove is a great backup since it runs on common propane bottles. It is simple, inexpensive, and reliable. However, it may not work best for larger families or those with children.



High Heat Output

Simple, Robust Design



No Case

Not Good Around Children

Coleman Triton+ Camp Stove – Best Family Emergency Stove

Coleman Triton+ Camp Stove
  • Heat Output: 22,000 BTU (11,000 each burner)
  • Burners: 2
  • Weight: 10 pounds
  • Fuel: Propane
  • Ignition: Push Button

This is the tried-and-true Coleman two-burner camp stove that has been around for years. This new model has push-button ignition, making it easy to use. Two burners are great for larger families and allow you to cook more at once.

The stove has a built-in hinged cover with a heavy-duty latch to keep it closed. This is a nice feature since no separate carry case or bag is needed, and it takes up minimum space in storage. A handle on the back of the stove makes it easy to carry. The stove is surprisingly lightweight for its size. 

It weighs just around 10 pounds. Note that the knobs are exposed when it is closed, so care must be taken not to break them while transporting or storing the stove.

The stove’s cover also doubles as a windscreen. When cooking outside, the windscreen helps to keep strong gusts of wind from blowing out the burner flame. Finding that your burner is out can be frustrating, especially when you’re in the middle of cooking. This is perhaps the best feature of this stove.

This stove runs on 1lb propane bottles but can also run on a 20lb propane tank with an adapter hose. Having an adapter hose is great for camps stoves and portable heaters. You can have multiple propane tanks ready to go, easily covering cooking and heating in a power outage.

Since the stove is lightweight and the ignition button is fairly stiff, it tends to slide around when lighting it. I found it best to sit it on a non-slip surface. I used a couple of scrap pieces of horse stall mats under the stove, which helped keep the stove from sliding around as much.

If you want to simmer a stew or soup, I found that it was hard to get the stove low enough without turning the burner off. To cook a small amount of rice, it worked better to just let it boil for a few minutes on low and then turn the stove off. I kept the rice covered, and after 15-20 minutes, the rice was cooked. This is likely not an issue if you are cooking a large amount in a large pot.

Recommended for:

The Coleman two-burner camp stove is a great option is for those with larger families or who just want the extra features. 


Easy to Clean

High Heat Output

Easy to Carry


Can Slide Around

Hard to Simmer

Knobs are Exposed

Camp Chef Explorer 2 Burner – Best Large Emergency Stove

Camp Chef Explorer 2 Burner Stove
  • Heat Output: 60,000 BTU (30,000 each burner)
  • Burners: 2
  • Weight: 30.5 pounds
  • Fuel: Propane (20 lb Tank)
  • Ignition: Manual

If you have a large family and are looking for a stove to cook a lot of food, this Camp Chef Explorer Stove one is for you. It is also a great addition to an outdoor kitchen. It is large enough to fry a turkey or a for a big fish fry. The two burners put out 30,000 BTUs/Hr each, so this is the most powerful stove in our review.

While the stove is portable and the legs can be removed, it is fairly large and heavy at just over 30 pounds. The stove only runs off a 20 lb propane tank, so the fuel is not very portable.

I like that there are so many accessories that you can purchase for this stove. There is a bag that makes it easier to carry if you do want to store or move it. There is a cover if you want to keep it set it up outside. There is a frying griddle, a grill pan, side shelves, and even a pizza oven that is available for this stove.

The stove has a 3-sided windscreen that sits just above the burners. However, we found that strong wind gusts can blow up underneath the stove and put out the burners. 

If you use it outside, I recommend using a few pieces of plywood around the legs to block the wind or position it next to a building downwind. It works great on a covered deck or patio.

Since this stove is so heavy and powerful, I can’t recommend using it inside. You could use it in a garage, basement, or other building with a concrete floor. You can crack the garage door a few inches to allow plenty of ventilation. Just keep your carbon monoxide detector handy.

I found the controls to be better than most stoves. The dials have a wide range, and the flame can be adjusted from low to very high. 

The controls also have adjustable vents that you can use to adjust the amount of air getting to the burner flame. This allows fine burner flame adjustment for better heat and efficient fuel use.

Recommended for:

The Camp Chef Explorer Stove is a great emergency stove for a large family. It is also a great addition to an outdoor kitchen for cooking for a large group or making pizza with your family.


Heavy Duty

High Heat Output

Multiple Accessories



Not Very Portable

Must Be Used Outside

EcoZoom Wood Stove – Best Long-Term Emergency Stove

EcoZoom Wood Stove
  • Heat Output: Up to 23,000 BTU
  • Burners: One
  • Weight: 14.25 Pounds
  • Fuel: Wood, Charcoal, or any other Biomass
  • Ignition: Manual

The EcoZoom Wood Stove functions similarly to a rocket stove but does not look like a rocket stove. Rocket stoves can burn wood, sticks, leaves, or any other type of biomass. Normally, you will find rocket stoves are made with square steel tubing and welded together to form a “K” or “L” shape. 

The entrances from the side are for fuel and air, and in the center is a hot and efficient combustion chamber. The heat is funneled out the top of the stove, resulting in a minimum amount of smoke.

Unlike traditional rocket stoves, this stove is circular and is a little smaller than a five-gallon bucket. It has a main door for fuel on the side and a smaller door for air just below the main door. The top of the stove has a cast iron plate to rest a pot or pan for cooking.

What sets this apart from other rocket stoves is its stability and insulation. This stove is shaped like a cylinder and is the same tall as it is wide. This gives it great stability, preventing it from tipping over. Most typical rocket stoves are tall, narrow, and unstable without a heavy base.

This stove also has ceramic insulation. Most rocket stoves are just steel tubing and have no insulation. Insulation has two benefits.

The outside of the stove gets warm but not very hot. It also concentrates the heat upward, so it is not lost in the stove’s steel. This makes this stove safer and more efficient than a typical square tubing rocket stove.

This stove has stainless steel handles and can be moved after a fire starts. This also can’t be done with a typical rocket stove.

We found that while you can burn charcoal in this stove, it doesn’t quite burn as hot as sticks and leaves. The charcoal tends to just turn into hot coals. A combination of charcoal and sticks is a great way to keep the fire going. 

A few pieces of charcoal in the bottom of the stove stay hot, so you don’t have to be as attentive with feeding sticks. They will stay hot for a while, so you can effectively stop feeding sticks to lower the heat level. When ready to crank up the heat again, feed more sticks into the hot coals.

Recommended for:

Purchase the EcoZoom Wood Stove if you want to a long-term stove option that doesn’t require gas. The efficient design makes it easy to cook with a wood fire.


Burns Hot and Efficient

Minimal Smoke



Must Be Used Outside

Temperature Control

Need Dry Tinder To Start

Firebox Bushcraft Camp Stove – Best Portable Emergency Stove

Firebox Bushcraft Camp Stove
  • Heat Output: Variable
  • Burners: One
  • Weight: 2.7 Pounds
  • Fuel: Wood, Charcoal, or any other Biomass
  • Ignition: Manual

The Firebox Bushcraft Camp Stove is versatile and adjustable for burning wood, charcoal, wood pellets, alcohol tablets, and sterno cans. It is also a great survival stove for your bug-out bag or get-home bag.

The stove has hinged panels and folds down flat. It comes with a storage bag that is about 5” x 6” and less than 1” thick. This allows it to be stored almost anywhere.

The stove includes “fire sticks” that can be used in multiple ways. These are just strips of metal that can be positioned through various slots in the stove to make it a grill or pot stand, or used to move the fire grate higher or lower in the stove. 

They can also be used to pick up the stove when it is hot or to attach separate plates on the side of the stove to keep items warm.

The stove is small and weighs only 2.7 pounds. It is a compact, portable, lightweight stove. This stove could work well for someone looking for an emergency stove for their home and their bug-out bag.

Since it burns wood, it must be used outside. It is small, so if you have a large family, it will take a long time to cook enough for everyone. It works best with small pots of water, a small frying pan, or a small grill.

Since it is so versatile, the instructions can be confusing. I recommend using this stove before an emergency to get familiar with the different setups and fuels before you need them.

Recommended for:

The Firebox Bushcraft Camp Stove is for anyone looking for a stove that can be packed easily into a bug-out bag or similar backpack. Also works as a great backup to a larger stove in case you need to leave your home. 






Must Be Used Outside


Confusing – Many Setup Options

Biolite Camp Stove 2 – Best Power-Generating Emergency Stove

Biolite Camp Stove 2
  • Heat Output: Variable
  • Burners: One
  • Weight: 2 Pounds
  • Fuel: Wood or any other Biomass
  • Ignition: Manual

The Biolite Camp Stove 2 is also a small wood-burning stove. It packs into about the size of a 32-ounce water bottle and only weighs 2 pounds.

This stove is unique because it has a built-in power pack that is recharged when you have a fire in the stove. The power pack can recharge your phone or any other USB device. The stove can burn sticks, pellets, tree bark, pinecones, or any other type of biomass. 

The unit also includes a fan and pulls in air from the bottom of the stove. This creates a hot fire that is nearly smoke-free. We did notice some smoke when the fire was initially started, but once the fire got hot, the smoke was very minimal. However, this stove must still be used outside, even though the smoke is less than a regular fire.

The stove has accessories such as a grill pan and a kettle pot. Alone, you can boil a small pot of water and warm soups. It is a small stove, so cooking a large stew for a big family is impossible.

During an extended power outage, this little stove would be great to recharge your USB devices. Most people look to solar panels, but they are expensive and need direct sunlight. 

You can break up a few sticks from your yard and throw them in with this stove. The fire will recharge the battery while warming up your coffee, day or night. It even has a built-in light to help you see and keep a fire going at night.

Recommended for:

The Biolite Camp Stove 2 is unique because it also produces electricity. It’s a great backup to other energy-producing methods if you have the extra cash to spend on it. 


Built-in Power Pack




Must Be Used Outside


Need Dry Tinder To Start

Best Emergency Stove for Power Outages Buying Guide

When deciding which emergency stove (or stoves) is right for you, there are a few items to consider:

  • Which fuel type is best
  • Fuel availability
  • Where do you live and how much storage space you have
  • Where do you plan to use your stove
  • How big is your family
  • Short term vs. long term use

Let’s look at each of these factors in turn. 

Fuel Type

In this review we recommended either gas or wood/biomass fueled stoves. Some pros and cons should be considered for each as you prepare.

Propane bottles
1 Pound Propane Bottles are Easy to Store

Gas-fueled stoves are easy to operate and provide heat instantly. They can operate in a variety of environments and weather conditions. Most importantly, they can be used inside with proper ventilation.

However, to use a gas-fueled stove, you must have fuel stored. Once you run out, they are useless until you find more. Most power outages only last a few days, but in some cases, they can last much longer. The winter of 2021 in Texas is a good example of an extended power outage when many were without power for many days.

Wood/biomass fueled stoves have an endless fuel supply unless you are in the desert or an urban environment. Even then, while fuel may be harder to find, you can likely find something that will burn. However, finding dry fuel may be an issue if the weather is very wet. 

Having a fire starting kit and some dry kindling stored can be extremely useful. They also make wood pellets you can store for use when other fuel can’t be found. A folding saw and a small hatchet can be a life saver when you need wood for fuel.

The one glaring negative that must be considered is that you can’t use a wood-burning stove inside. Burning wood causes too much smoke and carbon monoxide, which is very dangerous in an enclosed environment. 

You must also constantly attend to a wood fire and feed it fuel. A gas stove does not require continued attention to keep it burning. In addition, the heat from a gas stove can be adjusted easily and quickly. A wood stove requires fuel to be added or removed or dampers to be adjusted.

Where You Live

Where you live greatly influences which emergency stove is the best for you. If you live in an apartment, you need something compact. Unless your apartment is in more of a rural area, you probably don’t have much room to cook outside.

In this case, a smaller gas stove is the best choice. If you live in a home with property and trees and have a covered area to cook, then a wood stove makes a lot of sense.

Where Will You Use the Emergency Stove

Do you anticipate that you will want to cook inside or outside? As I mentioned, wood stoves must be used outside, and gas stoves can be used inside or outside. In the US, power outages usually occur because of winter weather, tropical storms, or tornados. 

During the winter, cooking outside can be done, but it is usually cold. It is certainly more desirable to cook inside when it is very cold. If you live in an area where the winters are not very cold, cooking outside year around may be fine for you.

Family Size

The size of your family, as you already know, determines how much food you need to cook or how much water you need to boil. One of the smaller stoves on our list may not be large enough to cook everything you need for a large family. 

You may need to consider purchasing multiple stoves and extra fuel if your family is larger than 3 or 4 people.

Short-Term vs. Long-Term Use

Should you prepare to need your emergency stove for a few days or a few weeks? This is a personal decision that everyone must make. Most power outages are restored in less than five days. The keyword in that sentence is the most

What if the emergency is more widespread and the power is out for weeks? If you only have a gas stove, you will eventually run out of fuel. Wood, leaves, and sticks are one of the earth’s most plentiful renewable resources. If you want to prepare for the long-term situation, consider a wood stove.


During power outages, stress levels are high, and it is easy to forget safety. Every year, at least 430 people succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning during power outages from improperly using stoves, heaters, and generators. 

If you plan to use a gas stove inside, ensure the room is properly ventilated. Place your gas stove near the vent hood over your kitchen stove. Directly under it is ideal. The best way to ensure the carbon monoxide level in your home is safe is to also purchase a carbon monoxide monitor. 

For emergencies, a portable battery-powered meter is the best. Store two sets of batteries with the meter. Also, do not store the meter with the batteries installed.

Anytime flames are involved, make sure to have a fire extinguisher nearby. Accidents can happen to all of us, but not being prepared to extinguish a small fire often results in a big fire.

Also, wear gloves when using a stove that you are not familiar with. Small stoves can be unstable, and grabbing something that is falling is a normal reaction. Leather work gloves are sufficient to protect your hands from something hot for a few seconds.

Which Emergency Stove is the Best for You?

Bottle Top Stove outside on a stump

Considering the points above, having a gas and wood stove makes a lot of sense. You never know what will happen and how long a power outage will last. The convenience of a gas stove combined with the long-term benefits of a wood stove is the ultimate way to be prepared.

Many people purchase at least two kinds of stoves. Here’s a short breakdown of which stoves are best for which situations:

Gas Burning Emergency Stoves

Wood Burning Emergency Stoves

Video Review of our Top Pick

Best Overall Emergency Stove: Gas One GS-3400P


What is the best stove for power cuts?

Our top pick, the Gas One GS-3400P Dual Fuel Portable Stove is the best stove for power cuts. It is just as powerful as a normal kitchen stove, and can run on butane or propane with no electricity needed.

Why are rocket stoves so good?

Rocket stoves are very efficient and burn small pieces of wood in a very hot combustion chamber. This results in a very hot, low smoke fire that is directed towards the cookware.

What is a survival stove?

A survival stove is a small compact stove that does not require electricity. They can be packed easily in a bug out bag or get home bag. They are also good for Bushcraft trips.

Are rocket stoves any good?

Rocket stoves are very efficient at burning a small amount of wood. They produce a minimal amount of smoke and can boil water quickly. They are a very good small outdoor stove that does not require power.

Useful Accessories

First Alert Fire Extinguisher

First Alert Fire Extinguisher


UL Rated

Includes Wall Bracket

Klein Tools Carbon Monoxide Detector

Klein Tools Carbon Monoxide Detector

Battery Powered

Easy to Use


Coleman 1lb Propane Bottles - 12 Pack

Coleman 1lb Propane Bottles – 12 Pack

Easy to Store

Backup Gas Source

Standard Size

GasOne Butane Fuel Canisters - 12 Pack

GasOne Butane Fuel Canisters – 12 Pack

Easy to Store

Backup Gas Source

Fits our Top Pick

Get Prepared

Overall, we recommend the Gas One GS-3400P Dual Fuel Portable Stove as the best emergency stove. It is easy and safe to use, has dual fuel capability, and is powerful enough to cook a large pot of stew. 

Depending on where you live, the size of your family, and your preferences, you may also want to consider one of the other stoves. To be fully prepared, choose a large or small gas stove plus a wood-burning stove. This will give you a backup gas stove and a wood-burning stove for longer-term power outages.

You never know when the next emergency will happen. I woke up a few years ago to a natural disaster, and our power was out for a week. To prepare for a power outage, check out our survival food and survival recipe guides. Make sure you are prepared!

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Photo of author
Jason has an engineering and problem solving background. He is an avid outdoorsman, survivalist, and competitive shooter. He enjoys researching the best and most practical solutions for the problem at hand, studying stoicism, and finding innovative ways to be prepared.