Great 3 burner stove
Very tidy unit. Comes with non-stick plate, drip tray, and attachments for either gas bottle or 423g propane bottle, and feet (which needs a screwdriver to attach). Also has battery for the starter. I marked the unit down a star for the design of this battery compartment - mine is very fiddly to open/close. I store it without the battery in. Packs together very neatly - takes a little fiddling to get the lid down with all the accessories inside for final pack up. Used with the propane bottles, the burners still pack fantastic heat, but will chew through the propane if using all 3 with the grill plate. Recommend propane bottles for a day trip, but gas cylinder for camping trip. The carry case (extra purchase) is designed to fit two propane bottles (pockets on either side of the case) and the eventemp easily fits inside. Great stove for those who are cooking for a group.
Perfect for camping and home
This is a great size with 3 burners offering the perfect amount of heat on the included griddle or can fit a couple of large pots side by side. Easy set up and portable. Perfect for our camping adventures!
Great Concept - but will it last??
Bought one of the above to supplement our 31 year old Jackeroo 2 burner stove. We have another property a few hours away, and rather than lug old faithful between the two, we thought we'd leave it at the other place ... and get the shiny new Coleman to cover our regular family adventures locally.
Now that old Jackeroo has been bashed around the bush, and dropped from the back of the car - regularly. But one simply bends the bent bits back into shape, pops the knobs that have dropped off back on ... and it just slaves away. All it's ever cost us is a new gas line - but these should ideally be replaced every 10 years anyway!
So ... the Coleman Eventemp sports an attractive green, almost anodised looking lid. This is secured to the black base with a couple of flimsy looking hinges with spring loaded mechanisms ... that seem to - I don't know - maybe ease the opening process a little?? The lid is secured to the unit when closed by a novel red plastic clip arrangement which prevents it from inadvertently popping open in transit. It has a deeply recessed satin stainless drip tray, and wind deflectors on each side - much like the old Jackeroo. The wind deflectors fold open and latch into some frail looking tabs on either side of the lid. The deflectors seem very small in relation to the stove, not instilling any particular confidence, and when deployed the unit seems a little "bendy". The deflectors can either be deployed in cohort with the lid ... or laid flat on either side of the stove.
Everything on the stove seems to be fastened with phillips head screws (with the exception of those tabs for the deflectors) ... suggesting that the drip tray could probably be removed for deep cleaning/access to the base inner; and the gas igniters could be easily replaced if need be.
The whole shebang is mounted onto 4 plastic "feet" which are secured onto the base by the user after purchase, and effectively raise the unit an inch or so above the surface it happens to be sitting on. I like this - good for use on those park tables and the like.
A big selling point for us was that the stove can operate using either the usual refillable propane 3/8" cylinders, or Coleman's proprietary disposable cylinders. We use a Coleman hot water/shower unit that also takes these small cylinders, so we liked the interchangeability. It also means that one needs only take the amount of compressed gas that one needs ... rather than lugging around 2, 3, 4 or 5 Kg of the stuff. Can get nasty in the event of an accident along the way!!
And therein lies the first big weakness. The gas inlet on the right side of the stove base accepts a little silver stem upon which the disposable cylinder sits on a rather awkward downward and backward angle. The cylinder literally hangs on this stem - which is all OK ... if a little strange looking - but one needs to be careful how it's set up so that the stem and cylinder don't wobble around like a pendulum under the stove. The weird thing is ... if one wants to use a traditional cylinder and the supplied gas hose, this screws into the STEM - not the inlet on the stove - as would normally be the case. So one has to be carting this little stem around everywhere whether you want to use the disposable cylinders or not. I can see a potential problem here!
With our particular purchase the unit came with a great nonstick grill plate with its own transit bag. But that damned stem that has to go everywhere with the stove ... I guess it could be stored in the recessed stove drip tray - but would need to be well wrapped. That stainless steel looks as if it would be scratched ever so easily. Likewise, the package came with a neat little rectangular drip tray for the grill plate that has 3 lugs at the base that mate with matching holes stamped in each wind deflector to allow it to sit beneath the grill plate on either side and (very effectively) catch the fat coming off the cooking food. Problem number two - one of the wind deflectors obviously needs to be laid flat to accept the drip tray if you want to use it. AND you need to find somewhere to store the grill's drip tray for transit as well!!
What is really needed is a proprietary transport bag with areas for stove, grill plate, gas stem, and drip tray. Perhaps even a gas cartridge too.
The one piece stainless trivet has slots that intelligently mate with the base of the supplied grill plate, holding it and its provided drip tray in place very securely. The trivet itself has little extensions to its two rear "legs" that likewise mate with matching holes machined into each side of the main drip tray. Another weakness here - despite the trivet sitting very securely when centred in these two holes, when the stove is closed the trivet is able to flop upwards when being carried and pops out of these mating holes. Too much freeplay between the lid and the trivet to hold it in place. This results in scratching around the rear of the drip tray as those leg extensions flop around going into and out of the holes and generally bouncing all about. Design flaw. Could probably be fixed fairly easily by putting some folded cardboard or an old teatowel or two, for example, under the lid as a filler.
The stove has 3 individually controlled burners with each being lit via battery operated spark generators that work very well. There are 2 very potent circular burners, and a roughly rectangular centre burner which is noticeably less powerful. Coleman clearly had the intention of having the setup able to be adjusted so that an even temperature could be achieved across the grill plate for BBQ-ing and the like - hence the model's name - but in the real world the centre zone is noticeably cooler than the outers, unless some careful flame adjustment is experimented with.
As speculated here, the stove is VERY susceptible to disturbance by background breezes - much more so than the old Jackeroo. Despite those outer burners pumping out a scary amount of heat in still conditions, they become very nearly useless once the breeze gets up. On a recent trip we had some water set to boil ... and after 15 minutes - with deflectors deployed, unit sensibly placed, but with a fair breeze active - we were able to happily put our hand in the water. It was basically never going to boil, and we had to seek out some substantial shelter before we could get our cuppa!
Now having said all of that ... if the unit is used in calm conditions it really is a ripper. 5 star performance. However the limitations have to be borne in mind, and that gas stem arrangement is - let's face it - a ridiculous design!! The overall sense, when comparing the "sherman tank" like old Jackeroo with the new Coleman is that the Coleman just isn't going to last the distance .... but I guess we'll just have to wait and see!! So far it does what it was designed to, and it's pretty easy to clean ... but watch where you use it - and I suggest .... don't drop it!!