If you are anything like me, there is a certain level of satisfaction that comes from knocking out a half decent meal at the end of a long day on the trails. What started out as a one-off after drawing the proverbial short straw has seen the best part of 10 years spent cooking camp meals for the regulars on a trusty old portable butane stove. As good an all-round camp product as these little things have been over the years, they are also a source of regular frustration. Inconsistent heat, limited control over the flame and a fuel source that turns its toes up at the first sign of cold weather have all drawn my (and no doubt many others) ire over the years. The thought of cooking on two new large volume burners mounted side by side in a shiny metal case was a pleasant one and enough to keep this some-time chef happy to rattle off another 10 years behind the grill.
After trawling the aisles of my favourite camping store I settled on the recently released Fyreknight. About as far removed from a portable butane stove as one could get, this thing is seriously impressive. Here’s what made my decision a simple one:
- Windblock Pot Supports
Wind can be the bane of many a campers’ existence. Even a foldout wind break around three out of four sides of a gas or butane stove can be insufficient at times, but what if you didn’t need one? Windblock pot supports are a neat bit of engineering that blocks wind from all directions while also maintaining a more controlled distance between flame and pot, pan or plate.
- Large Format Burners
Increased diameter burners with a uniform arrangement of holes provide a wider distribution of flame and therefore heat. No more does one have to continually stir a pot or manoeuvre food around the pan to keep the food over the hottest area.
- Burner Layout
Ever cooked on a two-burner stove where the close proximity of the burners to each other basically made it a single burner stove? Yeah, me too. The Coleman Fyreknight can take two full size (30cm) pots or pans side by side with each able to sit centred on the pot supports.
- Set-up Time
Not sure exactly but however long it takes to sit it on a table, undo a single latch and screw in a fuel cell! That’s pretty quick. A tad longer if you are connecting it to a cylinder and don’t keep your shifter handy.
- Infinitely Adjustable Heat
Consistency of heat through the pan or plate is brilliant and added controllability means no more making do with a flame that is too hot. This stove is as equally able to fast boil a 2.5 litre kettle of water as it is lightly toasting bread.
To each their own but I do not find travelling with a 3kg or 4kg gas bottle particularly onerous, especially when the trade-off is use of a quality, reliable, high performance gas stove. For those that do, the Fyreknight is compatible with Coleman’s portable LPG fuel cells. Normal use should see a single 453g cell last about three or four days while a 4kg cylinder should comfortably see you into week three of a serious trip away.
The whole package packs in at 385mm x 175mm x 690mm and around 7kg and while this may sound a little underwhelming on the portability side, it is a small compromise well worth making for this stove. At the time of writing, the Coleman Fyreknight was available online or in store at several camping retailers for under $180 which, when compared with other manufacturers’ offerings, is well and truly in the market.