Everything You Need to Know About the Best Camping Cookware

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Whether you are looking for the best camping cookware for backpacking, car, or motorcycle camping, this article will help you find the best solution. Here, we focus on different kinds of camping cookware such as utensils, pots, and mess kit that are ideal for backpacking and camping. We also share a buying guide for camping cookware based on the type of material. This can be found near the end of the article so keep on reading!

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What is the best camping cookware?

Best camping cook set

Odoland 12pcs Camping Cookware

Capacity

2 People

Included

Pot, Pan, Kettle, Camping Stove, 2 Cups, Spoon, Fork, Knife, Carabiner, 2 Carry Bags

Total weight

2.3 lbs

Material type

Aluminium Non-Stick Cookware + Stainless Steel Cups

The Odoland 12 piece camping cookware mess kit was designed for anyone that enjoys camping and is in need of the ultimate camping cookware set. The pots are made from a high-quality aluminum alloy that has a Teflon coating to help keep food from sticking to the side and bottom of the pots.

It also comes with 2 cups that are made from stainless steel to make them easy to clean when out exploring nature and other outdoor activities. It also includes a storage bag to help keep all of the smaller pieces of the mess kit together.

It has everything you need for different types of backpacking trips, and the cookpot has a heat-resistant handle to ensure safety. Finally, this mess kit includes its own ultralight portable outdoor camping stove that helps to complete the cooking system by providing heat transfer efficiency.

Pros
  • Everything you need: Besides the fuel, this cookware comes with everything you need for going camping with family or friends. The included camping stove is what makes this set one of the best cookware sets for gas stove.
Cons
  • Limited capacity: Comes with one set of utensils even though the cooking capacity of the cookware set is 2 people.

Best camping mess kit

Bulin Camping Cookware Mess Kit

Capacity

2 - 4 People

Included

2 Pots With Lids, 1 Frying Pan, 1 Kettle, 4 Bowls, 2 Plates, 1 Foldable Soup Spoon, 1 Rice Ladle, 1 Cleaning Sponge, 1 Carry Bag

Total weight

3.3 lbs

Material type

Aluminium Non-Stick Cookware + Plastic Plates, Spoon and Rice Ladle

When looking for straightforward camping cookware sets, you can’t go wrong with this mess kit. It has no frills and allows you to really see what you are going to get without all the extra nonsense that other sets try to sway you with. This set will give you a high-quality camping cookware set for a low price without sacrificing functionality.

The pans have non stick coatings that make cleaning them easy and an excellent choice for backpacking trips that will keep you away from a formal cleaning area. The top of the pots has a pot gripper that makes it easier to handle them when moving them to and from the fire.

This is one of the best types of camping cookware because for people with health concerns it uses BPA free materials that are capable of withstanding a boil test. Not to mention, this cook pot set can is lightweight, which will make it easier to move it around, as needed from camping trips to car campers.

Pros
  • Compact: This kit has most of the cookware that you need for a group up to 4 people neatly packed into one carry bag.
  • Durable: The pots and pans are made of non-toxic aluminum with non-stick coating for easy cleaning. They also have heat insulated and non-slip handles to avoid burning yourself when cooking.
Cons
  • Noisy: None of the items click together so carrying during travel is extremely noisy when hiking. Hence, this cooking set is more ideal for motorcycle or car camping and less for backpacking.

Best camping dishes

Stansport Deluxe 24 Piece Enamel Tableware Set

Capacity

4 People

Included

4 Plates, 6 Bowls, 4 Mugs, 4 Silverware Sets

Total weight

5.2 lbs

Material type

Enamel

This tableware set is an excellent choice for car campers as camping cookware options. It has a double coat of blue glazed enamel that helps to provide the pieces with durability, and it has enough pieces for a group of four people. The enamel acts as non stick coatings that make the set easy to clean, which is important when out in the wilderness.

It is the best camping cookware set that a family can find to take with them. It comes with plates, bowls, mugs, and basic utensils. The set is lightweight, which will make it easy to carry in a pack without being a major hindrance, and have a stainless steel construction that is unparallel to other camping tableware sets.

Pros
  • Good design: The pots, pans, mugs and bowls are made of lightweight material that is easy to clean and that won’t retain strong aromas like garlic or onion in the seasoning like regular cast iron is known to do.
  • Value for money: These are sturdy and good pieces that should last a long time despite the small investment.
Cons
  • Poor Quality: The silverware are poor quality so you might need to get a better utensil set

Best camping utensils

Silverant Titanium Knife Fork Spoon

Included

Knife, Fork, Spoon, Portable Bag

Total weight

1.44 oz

Material type

Titanium

This cutlery set was designed to be taken out on camping trips. They are made from 100% titanium, which makes them durable, and each set comes with a storage bag that makes the set easier to travel with without the pieces getting scattered around. This sport set is capable of working as everything, a spoon, a fork, and even a bottle opener, which means you will have fewer utensils that you have to worry about.

Each set comes with a lifetime warranty to help provide people with peace of mind in their purchase, and it can go well with any pot sets. Finally, each piece in the set is high quality and it has a low price that makes it affordable for all sorts of budgets while still providing functionality.

Pros
  • Lifetime warranty: The manufacturer provides a lifetime warranty to repair or replace any defect occurred during the manufacturing process
  • Lightweight: This spoon fork knife combo is extremely lightweight and yet durable thanks to the type of material being used. Thus, they are a perfect choice for backpacking.
  • Long handles: The handles are long enough for scooping food at the bottom of food packets where you pour water into.
Cons
  • Less robust: This set of silverware is exceptionally light weight, but it is flexible and can bend if you use too much force and also scratches easily. Hence, it is not a good idea to put it in the bottom of the backpack

For more reviews on the best camping utensil, check out the following article!

Best camping pots and pans

Alocs Camping Cookware Pots and Pans Set

Capacity

2 - 4 People

Included

3 Pots, 1 Frying Pan

Total weight

2.05 lbs

Material type

Hard Anodized Aluminum

These pot sets are made from a food-grade high-quality silicone mater that makes the set eco-friendly and helps with different resistances, like high temperatures, oxidation, and scratch. They all have silicone handles to ensure that you can pick up and move the pots onto and off of the fire without getting burned, and they have an anti-slip design that helps you keep a better grasp on them.

This set comes with everything you need, including a strainer lid for the pots that makes it easier to cook different types of meals with ease, which is useful for a camping trip and for those that might have some health concerns. Not to mention, the handles have a folding design that makes it easy to stack and fold the different pans together to help save space, which is important when going on a long-term camping trip.

Pros
    Cons

      Best camping frying pan

      GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Frypan

      Dimension

      9.2 x 8.6 x 2.6 inches

      Total weight

      0.8 lbs

      Material type

      Non Stick Coated Aluminium

      We understand that cleaning up can be difficult when camping, and this frypan will provide you with an easy cleanup solution. It has a Teflon coating that provides it with non stick capabilities. This frypan is an excellent substitution for the traditional cast iron pot that can sometimes be difficult to get clean when out in the woods.

      It can be used over a gas canister grill or cooking area, and the handle is designed to fold into the center of the pot for easy storage. Plus, it will work well with other camping cookware sets for a complete camping experience. The only downside to this frypan is it could use silicone handles to make it easier to grip the handle securely.

      Pros
      • Portable: Handle folds into the pan for convenient storage and transport
      • Easy to clean: It has a teflon non stick coating that keeps food from sticking while cooking and therefore easy to clean afterwards.
      • Good design: The material being used ensures that food is cooked evenly when using the frying pan.
      Cons
      • Not ultra lightweight: It is a bit on the heavy side and thus not ideal for backpacking

      Best dutch oven for camping

      Lodge Deep Camp Dutch Oven

      Capacity

      2l, 4l, 5l, 6l, 8l, 9.5l

      Included

      1 Dutch Oven, 1 Cover Lid

      Total weight

      3lbs, 12.3lbs, 13.1lbs, 19lbs, 20lbs, 28.1lbs

      Material type

      Cast Iron

      When looking for a no frills cooking system, this camp Dutch oven will allow you with a portable camp stove because it is capable of being placed directly over any campfire as needed. This is one of the many different types of camping cookware that will allow you to create delicious meals that are not possible with a regular camping cookware set.

      This Dutch oven can hold up to 8 quarters of ingredients, and it is an excellent cast iron pot that has no synthetic chemicals, and it is classified as being pre-seasoned cookware, which means that the more it is used to cook in the more seasonings will only get better. The lit of the pot has a pot gripper that makes it one of the better camping cookware options.

      Pros
      • Easy to clean: The Dutch oven is cleaned through hand wash, drying out and rubbing it with cooking oil. It is very important to replenish the seasoning of the cast iron cookware by applying a thin layer of oil after each cleaning.
      • Good quality: Made of cast iron, this Dutch oven evenly distributes the heat from the bottom through the sidewalls and retains heat better so that your meal remains warm for a long time.
      • Multipurpose: It is great for searing, sautéing, simmering, braising, baking, roasting and frying. It also comes with a tight fitting lid that works wonders with slow cooking recipes. Also, it can be used with a variety of heat sources such as at home in the oven, on the stove, on the grill or over the campfire.
      Cons
      • Heavy: Although the weight is mainly due to its durability and longevity, it is quite heavy and hard on your wrists as you get older. Thus, it is in no way a suitable cookware for backpacking.

      Best camping oven

      Camp Chef Outdoor Camp Oven

      Dimension

      16 x 8.5 x 10 inches

      Total weight

      35 lbs

      Top Temperature

      450° F

      Material type

      Stainless Steel

      If you want a serious camping cookware kit, this outdoor camp oven could make an excellent addition to any camping trip. This oven can reach up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and it has a stainless steel construction that makes cleaning it easy. It is designed to be used with a 1-pound gas canister, but it can be adapted to work with a 20-pound tank if needed.

      It has a built-in oven thermometer and two oven racks that will allow different dishes to be cooked at the same time, which helps to add convenience to the design. Finally, it has a non stick enamel cooking surface, and it only weighs about 35 pounds which makes it an ideal cooking system for campsites that you can drive up to or only have a short distance to travel to.

      Pros
      • Durable: The oven is made from durable material and has good insulation to reduce the amount of fuel usage.
      • Indoor compatible: The unit is designed so that the majority of the external heat is vented upward, which means it can be used in close quarters.
      • Spacious: The stove top has plenty of room for 10inch frying pans and has a non stick enamel surface for easy cleaning.
      Cons
      • Hard to control oven temperature: There is no built in thermostat so adjusting the oven temperature is a learning process by opening the door a crack or wider to modulate the temperature. This is not ideal because the knobs of the oven and stove top get hot when baking.

      Best camping stove

      Coleman Gas Camping Stove

      Dimension

      12 x 21 x 3.5 inches

      Total weight

      11.7 lbs

      Material type

      Aluminum

      Warranty

      3 Year Limited Warranty

      This gas camping stove has heat transfer efficiency in cooking on both sides of the play, which is excellent when having to do a boil test or cooking over both burners. Both of the burners are adjustable, which means you can choose the amount of heat that each burner gives up. It is made from aluminum steel, and it comes with a 3-year limited warranty to provide you with peace of mind on the purchase.

      It has two side panels and a back section that will provide you protection from the wind to help ensure the burners are not blown out and the food is properly cooked to the right temperature. Finally, it can work well with just about any sort of cookware set, even those that have a strainer lid because the windbreak will help to ensure that the water isn’t splashed down into the burners when pouring it.

      Pros
      • Compact: The camping stove is lightweight and is easily packed away in a durable case.
      • Good design: The stove features side panels for shielding the burners from wind. They can also be adjusted to fit larger pans and fold down for use as side tables on calmer days.
      • User friendly: It is easy to set up and clean.
      Cons
      • Difficult heat adjustment: It is difficult to adjust the heat using the valves due to the lube not functioning well. Luckily, there are instructions from a customer on how to resolve this issue so that the valves can be adjusted neatly and precisely to reduce flame for simmering and easier control.

      What is the best backpacking cookware?

      Best backpacking mess kit

      Odoland Camping Cookware

      Capacity

      1 - 2 People

      Included

      1 Mini stove, 2 Aluminum Non-Stick Pots, 1 Spoon, 1 Fork, 1 knife, 1 stainless steel cup, 1 Silicone Insulated Cup Protector, 2 Carry Bags

      Total weight

      1.41 lbs

      Material type

      Stainless Steel Tableware + Aluminum Pots

      Pros
      • Compact & collapsible design: The cooking set is compact and comes with a pouch making it an ideal choice for backpacking and/or motorcycle camping. Hence, this is an excellent backpacking cookset.
      • Easy to clean: It has a non stick coating making it easy to clean once done with cooking.
      • Lightweight: The material used in making this cookware set is what makes it lightweight and portable.
      Cons
      • Unstable burner: The arms of the mini stove are a bit unstable and so you need to be careful with them when cooking.

      Best backpacking frying pan

      Lixada Camping Frypan

      Dimension

      7.9 x 7.9 x 1.4 inches

      Total weight

      0.32 lbs

      Material type

      Titanium

      Pros
      • Easy to clean: Due to the material being used, the titanium frypan keeps food from sticking while cooking and therefore easy to clean afterwards.
      • Lightweight: The frypan is constructed from pure titanium resulting in a lightweight, corrosion resistant and durable frying pan for backpacking, hiking, picnic and other activities.
      Cons
      • Poor insulation: The handle has no heat insulation material.
      • Poor heat distribution: The frypan doesn’t distribute heat evenly and so you have to be careful to cook on a lower heat, because it also transfers heat quicker than other pans.

      Best backpacking grill

      Nashrio Portable Camping Grill

      Dimension

      12 x 1.8 x 1.8 inches

      Total weight

      0.75 lbs

      Material type

      Stainless Steel

      Pros
      • Compact & Lightweight: This is a collapsible camping grill that is lightweight and yet large enough to cook food for 3-5 people at the same time.
      • Easy to clean & set up: The grill can be dismantled into different parts that are dishwasher safe. It also takes less than 5 minutes to fix the different parts together and form the camping grill.
      Cons
      • Poor quality: The rods tend to bend under high temperature such as when placing the grill directly under a fire. Luckily, it’s not too hard to straighten them out if you have reasonable hand strength and dexterity.
      • Tight storage: All the materials that go inside the storage tube are very tight fitting and once you have used this and grilled things on it and the grilling grates are no longer clean it makes it very hard to put everything back into the storage tube.

      How to choose the best camping cookware

      Unlike kitchen cookware, pots, pans, and dishes meant for camping, hiking, kayaking, and other adventure sports are built to travel. They often feature lightweight materials and multifunction parts; they can also come with insulated, fold-away handles or removable handles for carrying hot pots. Ideally, they’re compact, easy to carry and clean, and tough enough to stand up to weather backcountry use, and nontraditional cleaning methods. The weight, durability, and cooking experience is heavily influenced by the material type of your camping cookware. Thus, let’s have a detailed look at the different materials being used in making camping cookware.

      Aluminum


      Aluminum cookware is very affordable, lightweight and a good conductor of heat. Its advantage lies in distributing the heat evenly, which is contrary to stainless steel cookware, resulting in less cooking time. Also, meals are able to simmer on low heat which reduces the likelihood of burning your meal. However, aluminum dents easily, and if non-coated, it can be corroded away by acidic and/or alkaline food, causing serious health issues. Thus, they are less durable when compared to stainless steel cookware. As a solution for this, you have hard-anodized aluminum which has an up to 300% thicker coating than ordinary and anodized aluminium. This keeps the metal from reacting with acidic foods and provides a hard, smooth surface that is very durable.

      Cast iron


      Cast iron is durable, inexpensive and naturally non-stick if properly seasoned. Also, it distributes the heat evenly, imparts iron to foods which is an added benefit to some. It is also great for long, low simmering and browning, but compared to aluminum and stainless steel cookware, cast iron is heavy. Camp pots, for instance, can weigh up to 20 pounds, which will surely increase the load you’ll have to bear. Although the weight is mainly due to its durability and longevity, they are certainly not a good option for backpacking. In addition, it doesn’t take well to acidic foods such as tomato sauce as the iron will turn the food color to something darker or alter the taste slightly. 

      Enamel


      In essence, enamel is made of glass particles that are fused to an underlying layer with intense heat. This creates a non-porous finish that creates a natural nonstick protection coating for the core material of the cookware. It’s a great heat conductor, washes easily, won’t rust, lightweight and won’t retain strong aromas like garlic or onion in the seasoning like regular cast iron is known to do. They also reduce the time required to cook thin slices of vegetables and meat comes in a variety of stylish colours.  The caveat with this type of cookware is that they are quite fragile, because the enamel can chip off resulting in the metal underneath to rust. Also, food can scorch easily while cooking and cool off quickly once removed from the heat source.

      Plastic


      Plastic cookware for camping are heat resistant, lightweight, affordable, non-abrasive and can be used as insulators as they do not conduct heat or electricity. Thus, they make a good choice for utensils and food containers. However, campsite cooking involves a lot of uncontrolled heating than home cooking which will melt down the plastic. In addition to that, plastic cookware can retain the smoke, taste and colour of food and aren’t as durable and heat resistant as metal.

      Stainless Steel

      Stainless steel cookware are much tougher and more scratch-resistant than aluminum, don’t dent easily and are durable and long-lasting so they can be viewed as an investment. They can be used for acidic foods such as tomato sauces or anything containing wine or vinegar. The downside is that they don’t conduct heat very well if they don’t have a copper or aluminum core. Also, they are heavier than aluminum and don’t have a naturally non-stick surface, so proper care must be taken when cooking.

      Titanium


      Titanium cookware are corrosion-resistant, heats up quickly, extremely sturdy and have the highest strength-to-weight ratio. Due to the non-stick surface, you can cook your food using a reduced amount of oil or butter. As it’s non-reactive, titanium doesn’t react or change the taste of your food, guaranteeing a better cooking and eating experience. If you’re planning to travel or cook away from home, titanium pots and pans are the perfect choice. They’re lightweight and easy to carry around, making them the ideal travel companion. The disadvantage is that they are expensive and suffer from uneven heat distribution. Thus, cooking in titanium cookware doesn’t guarantee that all parts of the food will be cooked evenly. As a result, some parts might be already burned while other parts are still cooking. However, this problem can be overcome by using cookware that features an excellent heat-conducting metal like aluminum.

      Ally Mash
      Ally Mash
      Ally is an avid outdoor enthusiast who has spent most of his free time backpacking through South America, Iceland, Vietnam, and Europe. He loves sharing his experience through blogging. His mission is to get more people in the mindset of protecting our planet by sharing its beauty.

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