Re: Diesel cooktop?
Unlike LP stove there is no visible flame. Diesel is burned in a sealed chamber that exhausts outside the camper, so there is no water vapor released in the camper.
Some models also take their combustion air from outside the vehicle so there is no danger of consuming all the oxygen inside the vehicle.
The cooking surface is a glass / ceramic top just like some home ranges. No special pan is required. The units draw diesel fuel from the vehicles tank. Units designed for marine use don't have any altitude compensation and work up to 6000 Ft elevation. Units designed for RV use have a switch that allows use above 6000. We use ours regularly in YNP.
Some models have an optional top that folds down over the cooking surface and a fan blows air over the cooktop providing heat in the RV.
They have room for 2 pans, one over the sealed combustion chamber and one that is heated by exhaust gas passing underneath. It is usually about half the temperature of the main burner.
The unit is computer controlled like an espar or webasto heater. Automatic startup and cool down. Temperature is controlled by a knob that causes the computer to adjust the output of the fuel pump and is fairly quick in response. More instantaneous heat control can be done by sliding the pan along the glass top between the two burners.
We've had one for ten years in our expedition camper without the altitude control and used it every year in YNP without any problem, but we just recently sent it to the dealer in Seatle for cleaning.
We like cooking with it so much that we bought a new unit for our Dodge Promaster conversion even though we will have to install a small diesel tank in the gas powered van. The new unit starts and cools down much quicker, has a better more reliable blower, better diagnostics, and the high altitude switch.