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Camping Cookware 

 August 9, 2021

By  Mike Millerson

Food and cooking are some of those familiar things that we take ordinarily. However, this is not the same as cooking in your equipped kitchen. The good part is that the best camping cookware kit will make your life easier, and the cooking performance will be up to par.

Camping requires developing new skills and applying ideas in practice. Camping cookware is one of the important items on your survival gear shopping list when preparing for camping trips. Once you know where you will sleep, you will want to take care of your food and cooking ability. Today, we will go over five different versatile camping tools and hacks concerning car camping and hiking cookware sets in hopes that you will be able to look over all the information and pick the one that will best suit your own needs.

Remember to think about what it would be like to have only this set with which to cook and see what comes to mind.

Important Features: What To Consider When Buying Camping Cookware Set

We advise you to start with a small checklist or list of questions and highlight your qualities in ascending order of priority. For instance, it might look like this:

  • Define a budget
  • Determine the number of people
  • Decide by the number of pieces in the cookware set
  • Decide on the size and weight

Let’s talk a little more about the importance of some points.

Budget

If you want the cook set to last longer, you will most likely have to pay more for it. Decide how much money you are willing to spend and look for deals in that price range. In our article, we provide examples of both budget camping cookware sets and more expensive products. In addition, you can look for seasonal discounts or special promotions from manufacturers.

Number of People

If most often you are going solo camping or just with a partner, then small cookware set for two will suffice. And if you are more frequently traveling with a large company or the whole family, then it makes sense to buy one large cookware set that includes plates, cutlery, insulated mugs, and a large pot with a vented lid. It will cost you less than everyone would buy their own cook set. In addition, it is easier to take a set in which everything is already in the right amount than you would be mistaken and take, for example, 3 frying pans, but not a single pot for the whole company.

Number of Pieces

This point overlaps with the previous one but depends on the number of people and what you cook more often. If your cooking performance is as simple as possible, you hardly need a camping cookware set with many varieties. But if you are a fan of complex but delicious meals, you may need more tools for this and more pieces of cookware.

Easy to Clean

Remember this — you do not want to take something difficult to wash or collect. At home, you most likely have a dishwasher and an equipped sink. There is no such thing in the forest and nature. Get something that you can easily clean with a minimum of effort and extra tools.

Size and Weight

Of course, the smaller and lighter, the better. This is the first law of camping. But if you are a car camping lover, the bug-out bag’s space-saving option will suit you.

This point depends on the way you travel and on the capabilities of your tents. If you prefer to equip an almost complete kitchen and use special camp folding kitchen cabinets for this, then you can afford the bulkier camping cookware.

If you combine camping and hiking, or space in your car is minimal, we recommend that you pay attention to everything that folds and has minimum weight.

Handles

What beginners are unlikely to pay attention to, so we consider it important to mention.

Firstly, it is better if the handles are folded or detached. So your camp cookware will take up less space, and in the second case, you can generally take only one handle.

Secondly, it will be a pleasant bonus if your hands do not heat up. Metal utensils may have rubber or silicone sides on handles.

Third, pay attention to how comfortable it is for you to hold them in your hand. Cooking performance in the great outdoors takes a lot of skill.

If you have bought camping cookware where the handles get hot, make sure you can handle something like a tea towel or a T-shirt.

Material

The material depends on how long camping cookware will last you and how you can use it:

  • Hard anodized aluminum / hard-anodized aluminum and nonstick surface — lighter than other materials and easier to clean
  • Cast iron — a weighty material, but the distributed heat is even; you can pay attention to cast iron cookware if you like RV camping and there is a lot of space in your car.
  • Stainless steel — more expensive material, but very durable and high quality, such cookware sets will serve you for a very long time.
  • Rubber and silicone — not suitable for heating over a base camp stove or any other fire; handles are often made from this material, so be careful and turn them away from the fire or remove them when it heats evenly.
  • Titanium cookware— the most durable solution

Varieties of Camping Cookware

On a camping trip, the particular cookware set you bring along with you can completely make or break your mealtime. There is nothing quite so unnerving as to get to your campsite, ready to cook and realize that you have either brought along the wrong pots, pans, and dishes or forgotten something altogether. It will mean that there are certain things you simply cannot cook or that you will have to go out and purchase something on the spur of the moment, if that is even possible. It all depends on where you are camping.

  • You can find many specialized cook sets or adapt yours for the purpose. If you’re thinking about where to start, the first thing you’ll need is a pan with a (vented) lid. With its help, you can boil water, which means it becomes possible to drink tea, coffee, cocoa, or cook pasta, porridge. You will also need to boil water to cook dehydrated meals. In general, this is a basic necessity.
  • Then you need a frying pan. On it, you can fry meat, eggs, bacon, and other food kits. If you are not limited in weight, you can also purchase a Dutch oven. This is a good tool for stewing food or even baking a cake or bread.
  • The Dutch oven is usually quite bulky and heavy, which is why it is more often bought by car camping travelers. If you want to save space, you can hide the fuel canister inside.
  • If you are on foot, it is best to get something lighter and more foldable, like the X-pot from Sea To Summit. It is made of durable silicone and rubber and has folding sides so that backpackers will like it. But keep in mind that this cannot be used over an open flame, only on backpacking or camping stoves.

Emergency cooking

In an emergency, not having the right camping cookware can be a complete catastrophe, so you definitely want to figure out everything you might need and equip yourself with it. It is definitely better to have everything long before you ever actually find yourself needing it. A camping cook set is a deeply personal set of items as well, as each person prefers their own style and often doesn’t like to deviate from it. Some camping cookware is suited to be interchangeable, which helps a great deal.

So today, we are going to go over five different versatile camping and hiking cookware sets in hopes that you will be able to look over all the information and pick the one that will best suit your own needs. Remember to think about what it would be like to have only this set with which to cook and see what comes to mind.

Cookware type definitions

Depending on the type of your campsite, you can find a suitable camping cookware set. There are sets for:

There is also a division among these groups:

  • Cook sets with stove
  • Durable sets
  • Kits that are easy to clean

In general, you have a lot to choose from. To begin with, we advise you to limit yourself to a few products to understand what exactly you need. Does it make sense to buy a dutch oven, or is your simple pot enough for you?

Consider buying

Also, don’t forget about additional purchases:

  • Cutting board
  • Plate
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Spatula
  • Individual cutlery

It is best to choose items that combine multiple uses. For instance, the strainer lid can be a plate or a cutting board at the same time.

Top 5 Best Camping Cookware Sets

It is impossible to single out one best camping cookware set. Therefore, we have highlighted the 5 best camping cookware sets.

1. BeGrit 8-Piece Camping and Picnic Cookware Set

This set of cookware conducts heat easily and is made of 410 stainless steel that leaves no looming health concerns after cooking. For larger families or just to have some extra sets in the case of dire need, you can always purchase a few more mess kits and store them away. They are built to last forever and will serve you well.

Suitable for two to three people, this set includes a big backpacking pot, a small pot, a camping pan, a plate, a two-reel edge plate, two insulated mugs, and it all stores in a handy carrying for ease in taking it along where ever you need to go.

The two pots included in the cook set are universal and suitable for any cooking purpose — boiling, frying, stewing. In just a couple of minutes, you can boil water to make tea, coffee, cocoa, or dehydrated foods.

Features in detail

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Space-saving
  • Stainless steel
  • Good heat distribution

Cons:

  • No cutlery

Consists of:

  • Two pots
  • Frying pan
  • Plate
  • Includes plates
  • Two mugs
  • Carrying bag

And just look at this price! This is a great offer for such a cookware set. Buy a few more utensils, and you are fully equipped for your camping trip.

2. MalloMe Camping Cookware/Mess Kit 10 Piece Cook Set

Nothing like an average cheap cook set, this one is made from high-quality materials that are FDA-approved, non-toxic, anodized aluminum. These pieces conduct heat quickly and are the perfect size for one person. This backpacking cook set cleans and stores with ease and collapses to fit into the small bundle for easy storage and portability.

Included in this kit is an aluminum nonstick pot with a 1-liter capacity, a pot cover, a nonstick pan, 2 bowls, a folding stainless steel spork, a soup spoon, a wood spoon/spatula, a cleaning sponge, a nylon travel bag drawstring pouch and a recipe eBook.

With this backpacking cook set, you are able to enjoy the great outdoors without having to second guess whether or not you remembered to pack everything needed to cook and serve your meal. Just grab this kit and know that it’s all in there. It also makes a great gift choice for family and friends, as it is the #1 outdoor cooking, backpacking, and hiking cook set in the camping world.

Features in detail

Pros:

  • Easy cleaning
  • Compact
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • Cutlery is not included

Consists of:

  • Two bowls
  • Nonstick coating pan
  • Anodized aluminum nonstick coating pot
  • Pot cover/lid
  • Folding stainless steel spork
  • Soupspoon
  • Spatula
  • Cleaning sponge
  • Travel bag

 

3. OuterEQ Lightweight Outdoor Camping Cookware

This set comes with a backpacking pot with a cover, a frying pan, two bowls, a rice ladle, and a soupspoon. The pot and frying pan are made of anodized aluminum, which makes it solid while still light at the same time, and is nonstick. There are foldable handles on the pot, frying pan as well as soupspoon that can be folded to save space. The handles do not get hot while you are cooking food or boiling water.

They are small and convenient, and all the pieces of the set can be stored together in the convenient mesh bag that comes with it, all for convenient carry and portability. With all the units nested together, they are 3 3/4” tall, but the pot is still big enough to contain 2-3 cups of liquid or food all at once. The bottom of the pan doesn’t burn black like some cook pots in outdoor cooking situations, which makes cleanup and storage a lot easier. Over an open campfire, however, exercise caution, as the plastic handles can melt if too close to the flames.

This backpacking cookware set is perfect for one or two people. The set is lightweight, thanks to hard-anodized aluminum. This material has qualities that are of great value in the best camping cookware. It is lightweight, food does not stick to it, and at the same time, it is very durable, which means it will serve you for a long time. That being said, you can easily clean it with water and wipe it with a cloth.

Features in detail

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Lightweight
  • Compactness
  • Easy to clean
  • Heats evenly
  • Boil time

Cons:

  • Lack of cutlery
  • Plastic parts can melt

Consists of:

  • Backpacking pot and cover
  • Two bowls
  • Frypan
  • Serving spoon
  • Rice ladle

4. OuterEQ 4-Piece Lightweight Outdoor Camping Cookware Set

This OuterEQ 4-Piece camping cookware set is perfect for the single traveler. It is very lightweight and compact, which allows you to take it with you on a hiking or backpacking trip. To take full advantage of this cookware set, you will have to purchase some additional items, such as cutlery and a cutting board.

Pots are equipped with foldable handles, which are covered with silicone. But we would be careful with them, as they can melt. So it’s best to cut them off or be careful and turn them away from the open flame.

Perfect for all kinds of outdoor recreational situations, it’s also great to have as part of a survival kit or bug-out bag. When all the pieces are nested together, there is still plenty of space to carry matches, seasonings, a dish sponge, and other things to help keep your overall space consumption to a minimum.

Features in detail

Pros:

  • Small size
  • Portable
  • Good quality
  • Boil time

Cons:

  • No cutlery
  • Better remove plastic parts

Consists of:

  • Small pot
  • Large pot
  • Bowl
  • Cup

 

5. Coleman 24-Piece Enamel Dinnerware Set

This camping cook set is a full set of plates and silverware that you might need if you are camping with a family. It includes four 10-inch plates, four 6-inch bowls, and four handled mugs, all covered in a double-fired red speckled enamelware durable finish. The utensils are all plastic handled and include four forks, four spoons, four knives, all in a roll-up storage pouch. This is only a serving set, and it should be noted that there are no pots, pans, or other cookware in this set. In the event that cookware is also needed, you will have to purchase a different set.

If you don’t want to eat with the not-so-nice plastic cutlery, and even at a picnic or camping, you want to stick to the coziness and beauty in the details, then this dinnerware set is for you. Yes, this is not a camping cookware set. This set does not have a pot, frying pan, serving spoon, or base camp stove. But this is what you will also need during a camping trip with your family or friends.

Features in detail

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Timeless design

Cons:

  • Not suitable for microwave use
  • Does not include pots or pans

Consists of:

  • Four bowls
  • Four plates
  • Four mugs
  • Silverware (4 plastic-handled knives, spoons, and forks)
  • Roll-up pouch for silverware

My Vote for Best Camping Cookware, Best Backpacking Cookware

My favorite pick of these five is the BeGrit 8-piece Camping Cookware set. First, the fact that the set is stainless steel camping cookware is a huge determining factor, as this will last a lot longer than most aluminum. When looking for something to keep in a bug-out bag or survival backpack that might be needed in emergencies or survival situations, the longevity of the product is a hallmark quality to possess.

The plates in this set are also nice in that they have raised edges to keep the contents from easily sliding off. This is a great attribute in a camping cooking set, as you rarely have access to a level table while camping. There may be times when you need to hold a plate on your lap or some other uneven surface where it is apt to tip over, and these edges are a safeguard in such a case.

The fact that you can use this cookware over just about any cooking medium also makes it a great choice. Many sets limit you to cooking over a particular type of base camp stove or solar oven due to the handle that might melt or burn over a campfire, but that is not a worry with this set.

FAQs

Do you need special cookware for camping?

Of course, if you really want to, you can get by with your usual utensils, but it would still be better to purchase a special camping kit. Such cookware is lightweight, compact, and has a lot of functionality. For instance, the lid can also be used as a cutting board or strainer lid.

In addition, camping cookware sets are usually made from materials designed not only for stoves but also for open sources of fire. The most popular and expensive ones are made of stainless steel. Such material will serve you for a long time. But if you are traveling by car, you can also pay attention to the cast iron (Dutch oven). Products made from it are hefty but durable.

Is camping cookware safe?

Mostly — yes. Be sure to pay attention to what materials your cookware is made of. Now there are excellent durable eco materials that do not harm others and you. Check with trusted manufacturers such as Sea To Summit or GSI Outdoors. They have a variety of kits for every taste to hit great outdoors.

Is stainless steel cookware good for camping?

Yes, this is an excellent material, and most importantly, solid and durable. Combined with non-stick coating, stainless steel would be one of the best choices. For instance, check out the Even-Heat Base Camp Pro Cook Stainless Steel Set by Stanley. It is not very cheap, but it is worth every cent. Plus, the kit will last you much longer than you might imagine. The kit includes everything you need so that you will be satisfied.

Is enamel cookware good for camping?

It is one of the popular materials for camping cookware. These are usually cast iron cookware with an enamel coating on top. That is, such an item will weigh a lot. Most suitable for car trips.

It is a durable, safe material that is easy to clean. It can be used over a campfire.

How to Clean and Store Best Camping Cookware Set?

  • Remove any leftover food and dispose of it environmentally away from the camp. Then soak the dishes in warm water. You can also use soap (prefer biodegradable products) and a sponge. If your stainless steel pots or stainless steel pans have a non-stick coating, be very careful with them. Do not rub hard; just wipe with a soft cloth or just plain boiling water.
  • Also, snow is used for washing dishes (it can be melted) or sand. After that, you still need to rinse everything with hot water. This will kill the germs. You can also use salt or just water to clean your Dutch oven.
  • However, remember to rinse all the cookware when you arrive home thoroughly. Then place it in a dish drying rack to dry it well. Store your base camp kitchen tools in a cool, dry place. If a special bag or package is attached to the camping cookware set, then store them in it.

This way, all of your cookware is always ready to use.

Mike Millerson


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