Companion ProHeat Low Pressure Two Burner Stove: Tested
Whether you’re a weekend warrior or hardened bush camper, you will likely find yourself in need of a gas stove to feed yourself and the hoards. Two-burner gas stoves have been around nearly as long as fire itself and , although today’s two-burners might look the same as the rusty old steel hobs in the back shed, look closer and you’ll note subtle changes. In Australia our stoves predominately burn Propane or a mix of Propane/Butane and happily connect to a regular LPG/ULPG bottle. On offer are a plethora of sizes and outputs, with many manufacturers promoting super high BTU (British Thermal Units) burners for faster boiling. Unfortunately, the nicety of a one-minute boil is often offset by your scotch fillet going from rare to charcoal in seconds.
We believe a two-burner should become a trusted companion for that arvo cuppa or bacon and egg breaky. It should deliver a perfect steak, slow simmer a curry, and quickly heat water for washing the dishes.
Assuming you want to do more than boil water, the Companion ProHeat Low Pressure Two Burner Stove might be the go. This stove delivers on the above and can hook directly into a regulated camper/RV LPG system.
Companion’s ProHeat Low Pressure Two Burner Stove is an everyday gas cooker when attached to a LPG bottle, but is also designed to suit built-in RV/Camper kitchens and plumb directly into a bayonet fitting of a regulated system. We headed bush to see how the 18,000 BTU stove (9000 BTU per burner; 188g/h consumption) performed.
Immediately evident was its compactness. At 620Lx350Wx105H (mm) when closed, those dimensions and its low profile meant it was easy to fit inside the Prado’s rear drawers. At 6.5kg it is on the heavier side of two-burner gas stoves, but manageable. Impressively, considering its overall compact size, the stove has a large cooking area, with space for two large pots (it includes a heavy-duty pot trivet) to be used at the same time.
Each of the 9000 BTU burners ignites using an inbuilt electric/piezo ignition system. This is one of the ‘hero’ features of this stove as the dual electric/piezo system means it starts every time and each hob can be fired up independently. Theoretically, the only maintenance will be replacing the AA battery, and if this runs down the piezo will still kick in (piezo can last over 10 years), but damp or ageing ignition systems are a notorious weak point, and spare batteries can disappear, so best retain your lighter or flint.
In the field
On set-up the stove sat neatly on our camp-kitchen benchtop, however the hooks for holding the windshield are a bit of a pain to affix and dismantle due to the need to work around the trivet. This means the windshield cannot fold down when nudged by a pot and should ensure you don’t pack the unit away when hot. Thankfully, the supplied hose (and regulator) was long enough to reach a gas bottle placed on the ground (not all manufacturers think of such nuances) but we’d love to see a tool-free option for secure attachment of the hose to the cookers inlet connection just like the regulator to bottle connection. Once lit the hobs were more than adequate for quickly browning onion in a cast iron pot and whilst a higher output hob would have delivered boiling water quicker for our cous-cous, it wasn’t a deal-breaker. What impressed us was the ability to dial down the hob to slow cook our Moroccan lamb, proving my conversation with ‘Developer Dan’ at Companion where he advocated a “simmer to seer” approach and ability to regulate the burners in less than 500 BTU increments was not just marketing gobbledygook.
A favourite feature was the magnetic light-sensitive, motion-controlled LED light that attaches to the rear windshield. Sitting behind the cookers, it meant no-shadow cooking and turned on and off as we came and went.
We found the windshields adequate but the combo of low pressure and small gap at the rear windshield’s base highlights a potential weakness when windy. In saying that, our stove fluttered occasionally but never went out.
The final word on the Companion ProHeat Low Pressure Two Burner Stove
The Companion ProHeat Low Pressure Two Burner Stove worked as it should have, didn’t skip a beat and is a good option for those wanting an all-round gas stove for controlled cooking, with the additional bonus of fitting directly to a bayonet mount of a camper or RV. All of this, plus its compact dimensions, twin-ignition and that nifty LED light (it really does aid night-cooking) make it a worthwhile consideration for your vehicle-camping kit.
RRP: $240 www.companionoutdoor.com