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Reviews > Base Camp Gear > Campsite Gear > Stoves > Coleman Eventemp Instastart 3 Burner > Test Report by Leesa Joiner


Coleman
EvenTemp 3 Burner Stove

Test Series

Initial Report: June 6, 2008
Field Report: August 19, 2008
Long Term Report: October 13, 2008


Tester Information:
Name: Leesa Joiner
Age: 46
Location: Western Maine, USA
Email: leesaj@gmail.com
Height: 5'7" (1.7 m)
Weight: 155 (70 kg)


Background:
     My outdoor experiences include trips varying in length from one-day hikes to two-week trips.  Most involve my three children. While my style isn't as 'high adventure' as some, I do enjoy the time we spend outdoors.   My load used to be HEAVY - think pack mule.  Now that the kids carry their own gear, plus the two oldest help carry the food, etc, my load is lighter.  I go for durability over weight when selecting gear.
    While outdoors, I spend time hiking, geocaching, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and camping. I spend almost as much time outdoors during the winter as I do during the summer. 

INITIAL REPORT

Product Information:
Manufacturer: Coleman
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.coleman.com
Year Manufactured: 2008
MSRP: $99.00 US
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weights:
Stove: 14 lbs 5 oz (6500 g)
Grate: 2 lbs 2 oz (977 g)
Griddle: 3 lbs 4 oz (1481 g)
Grease tray: 9 oz (261 g)
Gas line adapter for fuel bottle:  5 oz (150g)

Listed Size (from website and packaging)
Stove: (Approximate) : 18.5 x 26 x 6 in (47 x 66 x 15 cm)
Griddle: 227 sq in (577 sq cm)

Measured Size:
Stove: 18 x 26 x 6.25 in (46 x 66 x 16 cm)
Griddle: 225 sq in (572 sq cm)

Product Description:
From the website and packaging -
Stove:
•    Triple burner system provides even heat distribution
•    InstaStart™ system ensures fast, dependable lighting without matches
•    28,000 BTU per hour, powerful, independently controlled, adjustable stainless steel burners
•    Windblock™ system shields burners for maximum, consistent heat, or can be used as convenient side table
•    PerfectHeat™ technology: recessed cook-top and lowered burners designed for optimal combustion performance          and product life
•    PerfectFlow™ technology for consistent and optimal product performance
•    Anodized aluminum lid for superior durability
•    Operates from one 16.4 oz propane cylinder (Coleman propane recommended, sold separately)
•    5-year warranty
•    Portable, perfect for tailgating, camping, emergency situations
 

Griddle:
    Full-sized 227 sq. in. for family-size griddle cooking
•    Durable, non-stick coated, die-cast aluminum for durability
•    Exclusively designed for EvenTemp stoves, model 5444 and 5441 (sold separately)
•    One year warranty

Initial Impressions:

   
The stove arrived appearing as I imagined from the manufacturer's website, although it looked larger in real life.  It was very difficult to open because the inner part of the latch had been pushed down past the point it was supposed to catch on.  To open,  I had to slide a piece of wire inside and catch the lower part of the latch and work it free. The top of the stove is made from very thin sheet metal and is not rigid.   The top stays open independently when fully open.  The casing is made of a thin gauge stamped sheet metal. The side Windblocks are designed to shield the burners to contain the heat.  They can be left down and used as small side tables.  They are attached to the stove body with two hinges. They are not meant to hold much weight judging from amount of play in the hinges.  I would most likely use them for a utensil rest.  
    The burners consist of two round ones on each side, and a rectangular one in the center.  

        stove top with view of burners

openview of stoveEach burner has its own control knob.  To light the burners the knob is turned to 'O' and the Instastart button is pressed.  The knobs can then be adjusted to control the flame height.  I was surprised to see the burner light on the first try.
    Attaching the fuel bottle requires attaching the gas line to the stove by plugging the tip of the fuel line into the small tube that is recessed into the right rear side of the stove.  After pushing it onto the tube, a slide nut must be pushed down and screwed onto the outer part of the tube.  I found it a bit difficult to maneuver the slide nut so that it wouldn't cross thread. After I did it the first time, I was able to easily do it after.  It was something I had to get the feel for as I really couldn't 'see' what I was doing.   The fuel bottle ends up attaching at the end of the fuel line, and resting under the Windblock if it is in the down position.  
    There are four small, plastic feet that attach with screws to the bottom of the stove.  These are a nice feature - as they hold the stove off of the table or other surface.  This does make me curious as to how hot the bottom of the stove gets while cooking.  
    The cooking surface is large enough to place three small pots/pans, or two medium.  Figuring out the actual size of pots and pans that work will be part of my field testing.  The grate that the pans sit on is constructed of tubular metal, supported by eight metal supports that rest of the outer edge of the stove top.
    Included with my stove is a non-stick griddle which sets on the top of the cooking surface.  This seems to be ideal for cooking pancakes, grilled meats or vegetables.
 griddle on stove
I love to cook, inside or out and am looking forward to trying this out while camping and at cookouts.   The griddle has a smooth surface with a slightly raised lip around the outer edge except for a small flat area where the grease tray sits off to side of the griddle.  


underside of griddle
On the underside, there are protrusions that match up with the cooking surface and help hold it in place.


    When closed, the stove has a carrying handle and all pieces, except the griddle can be stored inside the stove.   This is one big stove, and I wouldn't want to carry it too far, but it could be great for feeding a crowd.  My outings tend to consist of setting up camp and hiking out from there.  This could be great to have waiting back at camp to feed a hungry gang.  It will accompany me on many trips this summer, although it won't see the top of Katahdin.   It may be waiting for us at the bottom though!
    I am looking forward to testing this stove.  I want to see how quickly it can cook for a crowd, is it easy to light consistently and does it stay lit?   Will I have to resort to using matches at some point?  I also am interested in how the Windblock system works to keep the wind from blowing out the flames, and if it helps retain the heat.   Most of my testing will be done in summer weather, which in Maine can mean anything from 50 to 90 F (10 to 32 C),  with sun, rain, hail or thunderstorms, sometimes within the same day.  
 
Preliminary Positives:
Ease of lighting
Size of the cooking surface
Handle for ease of transport

Preliminary Concerns:
Flexibility of stove casing
Latch


Field Report
August 19, 2008


During the last two months, I have had the opportunity to use the Coleman Three Burner stove on 18 occasions.   One trip involved what was supposed to be a combined camping, backpacking trip.   Because of rainy, stormy weather, it turned into a camping trip.  We went to Baxter State Park here in Maine.  The plan was to use the stove the first night and the next morning, before climbing Katahdin.   The weather set the climb back a day, so we ended up using the stove for 7 meals.  It was great - we could boil enough water at one time to fix meals for 5 people, plus hot chocolate after dinner.   The other times I used the stove were at family cook-outs, picnics or on camping trips.  

Stove at Katahdin
Boiling water at Baxter State Park on a rainy morning in July.  

I have cooked hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage, grilled potatoes and vegetables, boiled corn on the cob and made breakfast on it while outdoors.   At a Boy Scout campout, I cooked burgers for 25, and was impressed with how quickly they were ready.  The stove really came in handy after my house was struck by lightning last month.  The lightning hit a tree in my backyard, and the charge followed some wiring into the house and killed my stove, among other things.  I ended up using the Coleman stove out on the picnic table for a few days until I had the new stove hooked up.   It was a real life saver, we made pancakes and sausage for breakfast and grilled sandwiches for lunch.  For dinner, I cooked boneless chicken and vegetables.   It made the hassle of all the repairs we needed less stressful.

After all this use, I am amazed that I am still using the same fuel canister.  I did an unscientific comparison of the fuel consumption while camping - I held the used one in one hand and a new one in the other.  From this, I am estimating that the used one still has 1/4 of its fuel left.  During the LTR I will weigh the container and get a more accurate measurement.  (I'd do it now, but someone used some of the fuel out of the new container on another stove, so it is no longer full)

The stove has been used more with the griddle than without.  It is great for cooking things that don't need a pot.  It distributes the heat evenly, and makes it easy to flip and move things around.   I have been fairly careful to use non-metal utensils and soft cleaning methods on the griddle, but it is showing some light surface scratches.   I am watching to make sure they don't spread or start to flake as sometimes happens with non-stick surfaces.   Other than the scratches, I am very happy with the griddle, it adds lots of use to the stove's capabilities.  

We have had a very rainy summer - it has rained 30 out of the last 38 days.  The stove has seen use in rain, drizzle, sprinkles, downpours and once or twice in sunshine.  While at Baxter State Park waiting for clearer weather for climbing, the wind was brisk, and the wind shields came in handy.  They allowed the stove to light on the first try, and to stay lit.  

I really am enjoying testing this stove.  It is very versatile, and easy to use.  I find it easy to clean up if something drips over the sides of a pot or the griddle.   Removing the grill allows access to the burners and stove bottom for cleaning.   A wet cloth has been all it takes to clean it up usually, greasy messes take some liquid soap and water though.  

I have found that the lid and latch, which I was originally concerned about, have not been a problem.   They work well, and the latch holds the lid closed, even in the carrying position.  I am looking forward to continuing to use this stove, and trying to cook different things on it.



Long Term Report
October 13, 2008


Over the last two months of use, I have found the Coleman EvenTemp 3 Burner stove to be very convenient to use.  It's easy to transport, cooks quickly, cleans easily and stows away without taking much space in my trunk.    I have used it at least 4 more times while either camping or having a cook-out.  

At my family reunion which was held outdoors in late August, I grilled steaks, burgers, lamb, chicken, pork chops and even veggie burgers.  It was a perfect day, the weather was gorgeous, 85 F (29 C), sunny with a light breeze.  Spending the day on the coast (Atlantic) is always enjoyable - especially with that kind of weather!   I honestly believe the ocean air makes everyone more hungry than usual.

My family held a reunion on short notice so we decided everyone would bring their own meat and a dish to share. There were over 50 people there - and enough food for 3 times that many I am sure.  I explained that I had to use the stove as part of this test - so my male cousins backed off and let me cook - they think if it's outdoor cooking, it's their job, which is usually fine, since they are great cooks.  They did hover and ask tons of questions about the stove, and offered advice on cooking. Thankfully, everything turned out very well and I didn't have to hear 'I would have...'.  Later that evening, we made coffee on the stove, and everyone sat around talking and planning the next reunion.  I am pretty sure by then, there will be a few more Coleman stoves in the family.   I will mention that soon after starting the stove up, I had to change fuel bottles.  On one bottle, I was able to cook for approximately 14 hours.

Two of the other uses were at a local park that the kids and I like to visit.  It has some nice trails, some areas for climbing, and a lake for kayaking and cooling off in.   On two of the visits, we cooked some leftover dehydrated meals from this summer.  We boiled water for three meals, 2 desserts and later for some hot chocolate.  The temperatures were in the low 80s (20s C) when we got there, and 67 F (19 C) when we left.   The wind went from almost nothing, to about 15 mph (24 kph) at dusk and it felt quite cold since we were wet.   The hot meal and hot chocolate really did make everyone much happier.  Nothing worse than 2 young teens who are hungry and cold!  

The last time I used the stove, it was during an impromptu cook out at my house.  My gas grill ran out of propane part way through cooking and instead of changing tanks, we lit the Coleman and finished off the cooking.  I actually like the way it cooks much better than my big grill when it's just the two kids and I.   It is quick and efficient.

My only concern is once again the latch.  I thought during the field testing stage that it wouldn't be a problem, it has once again become a concern.  If the stove is carried by the handle, the lid will often pop open, sending the grate and grease tray sliding out.  It does this without obvious reason - no bumps to the lid or latch.   While this is irritating, it hasn't effected the workings of the stove, nor has it wracked the lid out of alignment.

Strengths:
Ease of Use
Fuel Efficiency
Easy to clean
Griddle

Weaknesses:
Lid latch isn't secure

I have enjoyed using this stove, and will continue to use it while at base camp and for cooking out.  Thanks to Coleman and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this stove.




















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