First Look: Primus Tupike For The Campground Gourmet

Oak slates adorning a stainless steel case hint at the luxe design of the Tupike, an upgrade from the common camp stove. Our reviewer said the Primus stove is among the best he’s used for cooking in camp.

primus stove

If your campsite is regularly filled with the aroma of gourmet cooking, you want a stove that can match your knife skills and live up to your recipes. The Primus Tupike is just that stove.

The Primus Tupike ($230) is a car (or canoe) camping stove that came to market summer 2016. It weighs in at about 9 pounds, so while you could carry it on a short hike, it’s not for backpacking.

Primus Tupike Camp Stove Test
Primus Tupike cooking salmon and mac and cheese

But when weight isn’t an issue, and you’ve got a cooler of fine foods to prepare, this stove is a solid choice. I put it to a quick test in the backyard for this first look.

Primus Tupike: Water Boil Test

The Tupike has two 7,000 BTU burners with piezo igniters. I hooked up a partially exhausted propane canister and fired one up under a liter of water.

On full power, the Tupike brought the liter of water to a boil in a covered pot in four minutes. The test was done in Denver, the Mile High City, at 5,280 feet.

Primus Tupike: Simmer Review

Primus Tupike Camp Stove Review

Water boiling, why not make lunch? I dropped in a box of Annie’s mac and cheese and turned down the burner very low. The simmer control was impressive, bringing the covered pot to a very low boil and maintaining it easily.

But mac and cheese wasn’t going to cut it for a test subject. It was time to bust out some protein.

Camp Stove Wild Salmon Test

With a buddy visiting, I decided to cook up the wild king salmon I’d caught out of Ship Creek in Anchorage, Alaska, this summer for a treat.

The Tupike comes with a small non-stick griddle plate, so I fired up the second burner and tossed some salmon on it, skin down.

I underestimated the power of the burner and got the plate a little too hot at first. But I caught my mistake as the salmon skin started to sizzle and brought the flame down to medium-low. Even with a slight scorch on the outside of the skin, and no oil used on the griddle, the salmon didn’t stick.

primus tupike camping stove review
King Salmon cooked on the Primus Tupike’s included griddle

I flipped it briefly to put some sear marks on the fillets. The salmon easily released from the griddle. The scent in my back yard was enticing.

Lunch was ready in about 15 minutes.

Primus Tupike: Camp Stove Review

This stove, sent over by Primus, worked beautifully in this early test. It seems to be a great choice for those who value a high-quality cooking surface at the campground.

Primus Tupike

Its stainless steel body is reinforced with oak lathes, which look cool and may (as the company claims) help protect the stove from dings.

It runs on gas canisters, and has an adapter so it can use either standard “green cans” or the smaller types used by stoves like Pocket Rockets.

Primus Tupike Camp Stove
Primus Tupike

It has small wind screens on the side, and while it wasn’t windy in this early test, I’m skeptical. They seem a little small, and there is some space below the screens that may allow wind to blow through. That is the one potential flaw I found with the stove.

At $230, the Tupike is a fairiy high-end stove. Compared with some others I’ve tested in this price range, it’s among the best I’ve used. The simmer is exceptional, and the piezo sparkers work perfectly with very little pressure.

Overall, this seems like a great choice for serious camp cooks who want a stove that will last. The heavy brass gas fittings appear durable, and the flexible metal gas hose is permanently attached, nesting nicely in the bottom of the stove for storage.

I expect this stove will last campers many years and prepare hundreds of meals in its lifetime.

primus griddle
Primus Tupike Griddle, ready for easy cleanup
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By

Managing Editor Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in Denver, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.

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