What do you consider to be the best cookware kit?

Christian P.

Expedition Leader
Staff member
#1
I am thinking plates, silverwares, pots, pans, etc.

The kits I have in my truck usually take a lot of abuse and do not survive very long. The plastic stuff has a tendency to break and disappear.
Aluminium/steel is better but rattles more.

REI sells a titanium serie – has anyone tried this?

http://www.rei.com/product/764178

also:

http://www.rei.com/product/670618

Any other suggestions? I need to get a new one and I am curious to know what people are using.

tks!
 
#2
Plates--Really, I almost always use paper, but the stackable Lexan ones are great. Bowls, same-I use 2 large lexan ones(salad bowl sized), and a SS one I found at a thrift store for $0.50.

Kinves, forks, spoons---plastic.

Pots--A coffee pot type pot with a handle heats water most efficiently. For a regular pot I like tall relatively narrow ones since they pack better. Works great for pasta. Both of mine are thrift store finds. When I know I need to make a really big meal, I'll take a big pot from home. I made chili for 20 last year on the Rubicon at Buck Island in a really big All-clad pot my wife did not realize she was missing.:D

Plus, of course, a cast iron skillet.

Now with that said, I don't have the time in my life to plan around the globe ventures. I'm lucky to get out for a week or 10 days. If I did, I'd give a bit more thought to what I take. Thrift stores are great for this type of gear. It's cheap, you're recycling, and if you mess it up, it's OK to throw it away. Titanium is way too fru-fru, plus it "rings" when you strike it, ie it's noisy.
 
#3
I'm hard on cookware, hence, emphasis for cookware is on cost. I like the grocery store cheapies, sometimes you can find one on clearance, and the quality isn't bad either. I avoid teflon...I just don't like cooking with it, and it doesn't stand up to pocket knives, fire or scouring. I also avoid plastic or rubber grips, because they don't stand up to abuse or direct heat.
 
#4
Right now I pack along 2 cast iron skillets (12" and a 10") for the main cooking. One pot that I believe is a 10" as well, probably something I bought at a grocery store too. ;) Silverware, I just pick up a big box of plastic forks/spoons/knives. They generally last me 4-5 trips, depending on how many others forgot their's. My plates and bowls are all some sort of plastic, pretty thick, but very light. Same with my cups.....and all this packs into a nice ActionPacker in the back of my XJ. :)
 

spressomon

Expedition Leader
#5
I carry two Circulon non stick pans: The Infinity series 1.5Q and the 3Q models: http://www.potsandpans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/FullAssortment_10001_43601_10001_-1_0
These pans have a thick base and about the best NS I have found...and they're not brutally expensive if you shop around for sales etc.

I don't cook with nonstick at home...but I get tired of scrubbing the bejesus out of the pans when out camping (I heat milk for cappuccinos; make brown rice; etc. that tends to be a PITA to clean up in regular SS pans) . The NS takes almost no water to clean up. I have sewn up a couple 5mm neoprene covers for the pans to keep them from getting beat when in transit...works great so far!

I also carry a pot for heating water mostly and an 8" and a 10" cast iron fry pan (I will take a 12" on some trips if I plan on needing its capacity)...well seasoned of course...the 8" is prefect for chili verde and eggs for breakfast (thanks Mike S. for that idea you gave me at Pyramid ;-) and a 6Q pan and lid for cooking pasta once in a while. And of course my stove top espresso maker!

I am switching to paper plates as Andy mentioned...washing plates wastes too much precious water out there.

What type of pans you carry really boils down to how big a foodie you are...or not! I like to cook so my choice of pans has worked out real well for me.

Mike S. had this neat Cuisinart Stowaway pot/pan set http://cuisinart.com/catalog/product.php?product_id=498&item_id=609&cat_id=356
They used to make a 10-piece kit but now just the 8-pc...which is still plenty for most...nice compact nesting kit.
 
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#6
Speaking of plastic forks/spoons/knives, the ones they have at "Baja Fresh" are outstandingly excellent. I often try and keep a few extras each time I go in. You can't buy plastic silverware this good.

I had a full set of the fancy lexan ones, but Desertdude took them from me and didn't give them back, then claimed to have lost them. I think he works for Baja Fresh.:1888fbbd:
 
#7
T-Fal Bivouac

I use the T-Fal Bivuoac 5 piece cook set. the set is aluminum, teflon coated, and lightweight. The pots and pans have a special "something" on the bottom which evenly distributes the heat from camp stoves. The lid snaps on the large pot and frying pan and can be used to strain or pour. The pots and pans pack inside themselves and the set comes with a potholder. I have had this set for a couple of years and it is awesome. I bring a medium sized teapot to boil water for coffee, cocoa, or tea. I bring reusable lexan plates (similar to the ones in your link), plastic cups, and chow kit flatware. I have multi-spice and multi-grill canisters for seasoning my grub. I also have an aluminum teflon coated griddle that I put over the burners of my stove for breakfast chores. If I know I am going to cook meat over coals I bring a camp grill instead of a BBQ box.

I typically don't use disposable plates, flatware, and cups because if I'm going to have to wash pots and pans, plates and cups aren't much more work. Plus by doing so I make less trash therefore have to carry less trash. I also have a good sized bottle of camp soap which is biodegradable and can be used for dishes, hands, body, and hair.
 

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spressomon

Expedition Leader
#8
MuddyMudskipper said:
I use the T-Fal Bivuoac 5 piece cook set. the set is aluminum, teflon coated, and lightweight. The pots and pans have a special "something" on the bottom which evenly distributes the heat from camp stoves. The lid snaps on the large pot and frying pan and can be used to strain or pour. The pots and pans pack inside themselves and the set comes with a potholder. I have had this set for a couple of years and it is awesome. I bring a medium sized teapot to boil water for coffee, cocoa, or tea. I bring reusable lexan plates (similar to the ones in your link), plastic cups, and chow kit flatware. I have multi-spice and multi-grill canisters for seasoning my grub. I also have an aluminum teflon coated griddle that I put over the burners of my stove for breakfast chores. If I know I am going to cook meat over coals I bring a camp grill instead of a BBQ box.

I typically don't use disposable plates, flatware, and cups because if I'm going to have to wash pots and pans, plates and cups aren't much more work. Plus by doing so I make less trash therefore have to carry less trash. I also have a good sized bottle of camp soap which is biodegradable and can be used for dishes, hands, body, and hair.

I have not seen this pot/pan set before: Neat! How do you isolate the pans from each other when transporting so that the bottom of one pan isn't rubbing/scraping/scratching the non-stick portion of the top of another?
 

FourByLand

Expedition Leader
#10
Snow Peak

Mr. Brady... (I don't know why I am still calling you that but whatever.)

I had issues with our previous cookset and will just leave it at that but have decided to go with the Snow Peak field cook set and was wondering if you had a photo of it compacted, just curious to see.

Have you used it? How well does it "non stick" and how evenly does it cook?

Thanks
 
#11
The Ti kits are nice. Super lightweight, however, they are not the best to cook with. It seems they don't heat up fast or evenly.

I've got a MSR non-stick set. Very light, and nests together into a compact package.
 

paulj

Expedition Leader
#12
If you are hard on gear, avoid titanium. The metal is tough, but the pots are made from the thinnest sheet possible, both because of the cost, and the weight savings. These pans are aimed at backpack packers who want the lightest possible gear. Rough use may not break them, but certainly will dent them.

I am probably too careful with my gear to give advice, but:
- all my kitchen gear is carefully packed in a plastic storage bin (8 gal RM). This maximizes the amount of gear that can fit an given space, but also keeps it from banging around
- my main pots are the aluminum ones that came with the stove, an alcohol Trangia stove set. For the main task of boiling water, non-stick is not necessary.
- for foods that stick, like scrambled eggs, I like to use a small GSI non-stick wok. I pack that carefully in a plastic bag to minimize scratching.
- I also have a GSI hard anodized 10" dutch oven. Hard anodized is better than stainless steel or bare aluminum when it comes to sticking, though not quite as good as well seasoned cast iron or PTFE.

- I like the inexpensive GSI plastic plates and bowls. They are lighter and more flexible than their lexan bowls, but I have yet to break one. Plus the plastic cleans very easily.
- I also have several inexpensive aluminum plates (from REI). I've used one for years as a heat shield under the stove, and got a couple of more because they nestled well with the rest of the gear.
- another durable choice for table ware is (blue) speckled enameled steel. Coleman sells these, though most of what I have is distributed by GSI. Mexico is a major producer. It is also a good choice for pots and pans, even coffee pots.
- restaurant supply stores are a good source for sturdy sauce pans and fry pans, usually thick aluminum. However they can be awkward to pack.

paulj
 

ntsqd

Heretic Car Camper
#13
Even though it really takes shavings or a flame beyond that obtainable with a camp stove, my reaction to exposing Ti to flame is "Ah, no thanks!".

I once read that Napoleon had an aluminum spoon because at the time it was a far more exotic metal than silver. I sort of feel the same way about a Ti spoon. But then I can't back-pack either....

My own cookware is a hodge-podge of stuff from stores like Big Lots, $.99 Store, etc. Service is a 4 place cheap set of home use service stored in a rectangular Tuperware along with the can opener, spare lighters, and a couple steak knives. Must admit though that I've been searching the forum & elsewhere for ideas to better pack it all into a smaller yet more usable system.
 
#14
spressomon said:
I have not seen this pot/pan set before: Neat! How do you isolate the pans from each other when transporting so that the bottom of one pan isn't rubbing/scraping/scratching the non-stick portion of the top of another?
I use the thin foam that the cook set came with. It prevents scratches, no noise, and everything packs away snug (the small pot in the center stays in the center).