Currently, I use this cooking setup and it is pretty convenient when the travel space is tight:

Coleman's Propane Fuel Burner

However, its BTU potential is understandably modest and I would sometimes like to cook a soup or beans when on a multi day trip. So I was thinking of a regular sized propane tank (20 lb), that people use for deck grills and can be refilled at stores like Home Depot or Lowes:

BBQ Propane tank

Unfortunately, I am not having any luck finding a cooktop (similar to the Coleman one on the first picture) for it that is mounted directly on the tank here in the U.S. I have seen exactly that setup in other countries where some people use it for regular cooking outside their homes. Any idea where to get that?

  • 4
    Maybe they don't offer these because top-mount burners are less safe and you really don't want an accident with a 20 lb tank.
    – Steed
    Jul 7, 2014 at 10:46
  • 4
    What is your reason for wanting a top mount? If you are going to haul a 20lb propane tank weight can't be an issue. Why not take a separate stove? Jul 7, 2014 at 20:45
  • 2
    Some of the larger gas tanks like this require a regulator a well, so I would assume you may need a stove with an adapter for one, or one built in. I also believe regulators themselves don't always fit on the older gas tanks, so this might be why you've had problems finding one?
    – Aravona
    Jul 8, 2014 at 8:28
  • 1
    What happens when the tank falls over and its weight is enough to bend your top-mounted stove? Bad idea.
    – furtive
    Jul 11, 2014 at 4:03
  • 1
    Did you ever find a solution? I'm looking for a low profile single burner stove. Everything else seems quite bulky. Jun 25, 2018 at 14:05

3 Answers 3


Try at forestry supply stores. The guys that sell pulaskis, fire pumps, etc. They have the entire setup for portable kitchens.

The ones I've seen were a separate stove and bottle, but the stove and pedestal were sized that the stove would stack on the bottle.

We used such a rig on a large canoe expedition, and used a pot that would fit the bottle and stove. We could boil 5 gallons of water in about 20 minutes.

Yes, you will need a regulator.

You could make one of these yourself. You'd need a regulator, a short hose, a stove, then some form of adapter fitting. That you might have to make, or hire made.

Short brackets bolted to the upper flange of the bottle would support the stove. You need room to turn off the stove valve. It's also a good idea to have at least a reflective layer between the stove and the bottle so that the stove doesn't warm up the bottle too much.

Stability is a concern, but is certainly no worse that the first stove pictured. You definitely want an auto-shutoff if tilted.

I think that the height of your proposed unit is actually inconvenient. It's too tall to use sitting down, and not tall enough to use standing up. If you are using while car camping, you almost always have picnic tables. A stove that sat on the table, and connected by a short hose to the propane bottle below would be far easier to use.

The downside is that you need to detach the hose from the bottle each time. This requires a wrench. We had enough experience losing the wrench that we tied it with a 2 foot rope to the ring on the bottle. The wrench applied to the bottle made a good supper bell too.


As mentioned a few places here already, mounting a cooking surface directly to 20lb LPG container is going to be a stability problem.

If you shop for a Turkey Fryer you should find something that will meet all of your needs accept the direct mount to the top of the tank. The entire unit with cooking surface, large pot, and gas regulator can be purchased new starting at around $30 (US).

You can cook soup for a crowd with this.

Turkey Fryer

Image source Wikicommons

  • 1
    Turkey fryer burner is definitely the way to go. Jun 30, 2018 at 0:16

Use a propane distribution tree:

Propane tree attached to 20gal propane tank

For additional table-height stability, clamping a cutting board with a hole in it to a picnic table top might help. Or you could build it into a box stand.

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