What do you look for in cook ware?

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henryk-yonza
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What do you look for in cook ware?

Post by henryk-yonza » Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:16 pm

What do you look for in cook ware?
Durability?
Weight?
Material composition?

Do you have different cookware kits for different purposes?
Personal minimal kit?
Car family kit?
Rv cook for the whole city?

What is in each kit?
Pots? Pans? Plates? Bowls? Cutlery?

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Re: What do you look for in cook ware?

Post by Halfapint » Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:24 pm

I generally look for durability. I had a Ti cook pot that I paid good money for, it lasted a couple hikes before it somehow got crushed. Still don't know how, I put my cook pots in the same area and the Ti one is the only one that's ever been crushed. I've stuck with the MSR Soloist/Dualist because they come with a lot of stuff in them (bowl, cup, pot, cheap spork that I throw away) and they last. However I think I'll be looking for a Ti frying pan soon.
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Re: What do you look for in cook ware?

Post by PWA2600 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:03 pm

henryk-yonza,

Welcome aboard! I have the GSI Dualists, and Soloist as well; to include other pots or pans that came as a set with the main container. I would suggest if you can figure out what type of meals you will be preparing (dehydrated - boil water only / or gourmet meals), this will help narrow down the amount of pots, pans, and flatware needed to feed you and yours. At this point in my preparing I am trying to cut back on all the gear that I have; as well as reduce the overall weight associated with surviving a SHTF scenario.

So in conclusion, there are numerous companies out there that make quality products. At this time I do not own any Titanium (Ti) gear, the Dualists are anodized aluminum, but the rest is Stainless. I plan in the near future to replace my GSI space saver cups (SS) to Toaks or other Mfg Ti cups; but will keep the SS pots etc.

I hope this Helps!

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Re: What do you look for in cook ware?

Post by Stercutus » Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:03 pm

Calaphon, cast iron and the occasional non-stick pot and pan. Bake ware is either silicon or Pyrex or glass.
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Re: What do you look for in cook ware?

Post by ineffableone » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:10 pm

henryk-yonza wrote:What do you look for in cook ware?
#1 thing I look for is function. Cookware needs to function properly. There are a lot of things out there labeled cookware that really aren't good for much.

A lot of folks pretty much only use their cookware to boil water to purify it, pour into freeze dried bags, or to make coffee/tea with. They don't actually do any real cooking with their cookware. I like to cook, and so make sure I actually have the ability to do so. I want to have at the least a pot that can hold a minimum of 4 cups, and a fry pan that is minimum 8" with a tall lip. This is the minimum size I feel to be able to really cook with. That said, having multiple pots and pans is a bonus and I rarely ever just have one pot and pan. Having a good spatula, and large spoon is helpful though utensils can be carved if needed. I have a Jeff White Nessmuck style knife which is my dedicated food and game knife. I have the Case HOBO knife, fork, and spoon set and a folding TI spoon and fork.

*edit to add, BTW i am not knocking folks who just boil water with their cookware. I just happen to have learned to cook as a kid and enjoy cooking, so prefer to do more than reheat freeze dried stuff if I can.
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Re: What do you look for in cook ware?

Post by ineffableone » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:15 pm

Halfapint wrote:However I think I'll be looking for a Ti frying pan soon.
Careful with Ti frying pans. Titanium heats unevenly and tends to warp if there isn't something in it. A Ti frying pan would likely be a big disappointment since you don't tend to fill the pan with something to heat. For Ti pots they usually have enough water or other food in them to not warp, but I don't think a fry pan would work too well in Ti.
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Re: What do you look for in cook ware?

Post by taipan821 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:25 am

henryk-yonza wrote: Do you have different cookware kits for different purposes?
minimalist kit: canteen cup and GI kidney stove running hexamine tablets with aluminium foil lid. i can make soup, heat water for cook in bag meals etc, but can only do one thing at a time

hiking: 900mL titanium pot, collapsible silicone cup, titanium spork and pot cozy. can do everything i ask of it.

everything else: BBQ, plates, cups, bowls etc
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Re: What do you look for in cook ware?

Post by flybynight » Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:48 pm

Bacon :clap:
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Re: What do you look for in cook ware?

Post by Wraith6761 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:43 pm

henryk-yonza wrote:What do you look for in cook ware?
Durability?
Weight?
Material composition?
Yes.

I factor in all 3. I mostly just use Toaks titanium stuff, it's strong, lightweight, and it's about the same quality as Snow Peak for about a third of the price. There's nothing wrong with aluminum or stainless steel gear (my old cook kit was a SS Coleman set from Wal-mart). I just went through trying to lighten up my gear to a more comfortable load, and this was an easy and relatively cheap way to drop pack weight.
henryk-yonza wrote:Do you have different cookware kits for different purposes?
Not really. About the only things that change are my pot, my spoon, and my stove. My pot size changes based on what I'm doing and how many people are with me. If I'm day-hiking by myself, all that comes is just the cup. If I'm day-hiking with somebody, or overnighting by myself, I'll bring a 750ml pot with me (enough for 2 cups of coffee or a meal and a cup of coffee/cocoa). If I'm overnighting with somebody, or just a longer trip with more advanced meals, I'll bring a 1100ml pot with a lid that doubles as a frying pan.

I switch from a long-handled titanium spoon to a long-handled plastic spoon in the winter...plastic spoons don't get nearly as cold, at least not as quickly, so it doesn't feel like you're eating a tv dinner that's not been heated all the way through (hot on the outside, icicles on the inside).

Typically I take an alcohol stove, but in the winter I'll generally switch to a gas stove. It's just easier than forcing an alcohol stove to work in sub-freezing temps (it is possible to use an alcohol stove in sub-freezing temps, it just takes more time and prep work than I generally feel like doing, especially in the morning before I've had coffee).
ineffableone wrote:
Halfapint wrote:However I think I'll be looking for a Ti frying pan soon.
Careful with Ti frying pans. Titanium heats unevenly and tends to warp if there isn't something in it. A Ti frying pan would likely be a big disappointment since you don't tend to fill the pan with something to heat. For Ti pots they usually have enough water or other food in them to not warp, but I don't think a fry pan would work too well in Ti.
Depends on the size. I have one from Toaks that's maybe 6 inches in diameter with a folding handle. Haven't had any problems with it warping while cooking bacon, sausage, or an egg. The one thing that it will do however is burn food very quickly. It's not so much that it doesn't heat evenly as much as that it heats insanely fast compared to aluminum or SS, and food will stick to it very quickly. I found some silicone/teflon sheets designed for grills and cut out a circle large enough to cover the bottom of the pan with just enough tension to hold itself in place, haven't had a problem with it since.
Halfapint wrote:I generally look for durability. I had a Ti cook pot that I paid good money for, it lasted a couple hikes before it somehow got crushed. Still don't know how, I put my cook pots in the same area and the Ti one is the only one that's ever been crushed.
You managed to crush a titanium pot? Wow...I've genuinely never heard of that happening before. Wonder what happened to it.
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Re: What do you look for in cook ware?

Post by reppans » Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:08 pm

Carry by foot - then usually just boil water for freeze-dried: lightweight, minimalist size. Nesting with Nalgene water bottle, Snowpeak Ti pots/cups, 5oz Varga Ti alcohol/wood stove.

Carry by wheels (small campervan) - nesting, Teflon coated, but I'm a lousy cook.

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Re: What do you look for in cook ware?

Post by Halfapint » Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:55 pm

Wraith6761 wrote:You managed to crush a titanium pot? Wow...I've genuinely never heard of that happening before. Wonder what happened to it.
Sorry crush my have been a bit of a misnomer. It was pressed on its side and bent in. It did it with enough force that it made a little hairline facture in the metal. I have no idea what I did. Must have dropped my pack on the side where the pot was at, or my hiking buddy stepped on it and didn't admit it.
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Re: What do you look for in cook ware?

Post by RonnyRonin » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:05 am

My cookware is pretty evenly split into 2 catagories: Footmobile and vehicle

for footmobile I fall pretty squarely into the "heat water only" crowd, so a ti mug is all I have used for a long time. Before that I used a al tea kettle (GSI) which arguably worked much better at heating water, but wasn't that great at cooking top ramen or rehydrating potatoes and took up more room in my pack.

for vehicle use (and this could include bike, pulk sled or BO cart) I think a big pot and a frying pan takes care of most of my needs (melting snow, whatchagot stew, re-heating, grilling etc). I have a cheap enamelware pot and a GSI skillet, but will probably upgrade at some point.

I find plates/cups/bowls to have limited utility but I usually keep a folding bowl around just to keep my ti mug cleaner. ti spork is usually my only utensil, but spoon+chopsticks works really well, I often find myself making field-expediant chopsticks when my spork isn't getting the job done. Vehicle kit will probably end up with a few lexan spoons/forks, big spatula and a serving spoon is about all the cooking tools it will have.


durability is a pretty low concern for me, not because it is unimportant but just because I don't really break stuff in general. Weight is pretty important, even on the vehicle side of things, which usually means aluminum.
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Re: What do you look for in cook ware?

Post by Halfapint » Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:44 am

I hate to derail the thread from the OP but I hate making new posts if an different one will suffice. But with that said I'm looking for an 8-10" pan that's relatively lightweight (not cast iron). My roomie (my main hiking partner) are looking to start fishing and would like a pan large enough to fry a couple fish (of course we are optimistic about our catch). So what do you guys use. I usually use the dualist or the minimalist (originally I said the soloist but I dun made a mistake). Neither of these have a fry pan option.

I've looked around and found some stuff for $50ish, but if that's the case I'll buy a cheap non stick pan and just hike the extra pound of weight. I'm cheap not stupid.... Hell I have 3 10" cast iron skillets that are laying around, I may just bring one of them if I cant find better.
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Re: What do you look for in cook ware?

Post by RonnyRonin » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:45 am

Halfapint wrote:I hate to derail the thread from the OP but I hate making new posts if an different one will suffice. But with that said I'm looking for an 8-10" pan that's relatively lightweight (not cast iron). My roomie (my main hiking partner) are looking to start fishing and would like a pan large enough to fry a couple fish (of course we are optimistic about our catch). So what do you guys use. I usually use the dualist or the minimalist (originally I said the soloist but I dun made a mistake). Neither of these have a fry pan option.

I've looked around and found some stuff for $50ish, but if that's the case I'll buy a cheap non stick pan and just hike the extra pound of weight. I'm cheap not stupid.... Hell I have 3 10" cast iron skillets that are laying around, I may just bring one of them if I cant find better.
the REI brand GSI knock-off is the only pan on my radar:
http://www.rei.com/product/765752/rei-c ... -frypan-10
but I doubt it is much lighter then a thrift store pan like you mention.

nothing like a cast iron pan strapped to the outside you your pack to let people know where you stand. Might weigh more then your tent but frying stuff is IMPORTANT.
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Re: What do you look for in cook ware?

Post by Wraith6761 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:59 pm

Halfapint wrote:I hate to derail the thread from the OP but I hate making new posts if an different one will suffice. But with that said I'm looking for an 8-10" pan that's relatively lightweight (not cast iron). My roomie (my main hiking partner) are looking to start fishing and would like a pan large enough to fry a couple fish (of course we are optimistic about our catch). So what do you guys use. I usually use the dualist or the minimalist (originally I said the soloist but I dun made a mistake). Neither of these have a fry pan option.

I've looked around and found some stuff for $50ish, but if that's the case I'll buy a cheap non stick pan and just hike the extra pound of weight. I'm cheap not stupid.... Hell I have 3 10" cast iron skillets that are laying around, I may just bring one of them if I cant find better.
I use this model for car camping, but it's light enough to work for backpacking as well. The non-stick coating seems to be holding up pretty decently.
http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-200001487 ... B0009PUR18
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Re: What do you look for in cook ware?

Post by 74 or more » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:46 am

I'm a JetBoil guy. Coffee, freeze dried meals, noodles are usually what I'm eating. I rarely "cook" when I'm in the woods but when I do, I'm a fan of the MSR pots or the USGI mess kit. The MSR pots are great with the JetBoil stove attachment.

Edit: I should also add that I bring some kind of lightweight wood stove (Vargo Ti, esbit, ect) and a SS cup in case I run out of fuel or if there is a failure to the JetBoil.
Last edited by 74 or more on Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What do you look for in cook ware?

Post by LowKey » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:29 am

When on foot I'd stick with a simple Stainless steel pot. I prefer the old Swedish mess kit pots. They're heavier than the new stuff, but the durability is fantastic. I also try to stick with cooking using "found" cookware. Green stick spits, fish on planks, ect.
Really, just a steel pot to boil in should be all you need to carry.

Not on foot?
Cast iron for frying.
Enameled cast iron for almost every thing else.
Silicone for baking.


BTW, may I suggest some of you try out this little bit of specialty cookware-Image
Image
Put it over coals, place the meats (preferable with some fat) on the top portion, add water/broth/bullion to the bottom portion along with noodles and veggies. Enjoy.
Most of them are pretty lightweight, and yes they do resemble the hubcap from a '68 Buick. :lol:
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Re: What do you look for in cook ware?

Post by Redbad » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:49 am

For home or vehicle mobile use weight is really not an issue and space is possibly the only issue. Get the best cookware that you can afford. Cephalon and similar cookware will give excellent results and will also last a long time.

For short -- weekend length -- backpacking trips I use a titanium mug/pot/kettle (a MSR Titan Kettle). This is a bit larger than a USGI canteen cup (I have one of these as well), but its size makes it more versatile -- .75l makes it big enough to melt snow for water, make a large cup of hot chocolate/tea/coffee, cook soup, boil 16oz of water for dehydrated meals, etc. For a weekend trip GSI makes a smaller nesting cup that will fit on Nalgene bottles or Kleen Kanteen bottles.

For longer backpacking trips I will add a Banks Frybake pan (this is a lighter weigh backpacking frying pan with a flattened lid which allows for dutch oven style baking -- there is nothing like having fresh baked pizza in the backcountry...). I also have a MSR Alpine cook set with a 1l and 1.5l pans with a cover which I will take components from as needed. These cookware items allow for a more varied cooking approach. (I did a NOLS type extended wilderness ski trip in college and picked up the NOLS type wilderness cooking approach).

For a basic BOB cookware setup, I would go with a USGI canteen cup or a GSI nesting cup and just plan to heat water to rehydrate meals. If you have access to a car/ motor vehicle in a bug out situation you can also car cook so bring lots of aluminum foil (wrap food in aluminum foil; place wrapped food in the engine compartment away from belts, fans, etc., while the engine is running; wait 20 minutes or so and have a warm meal).

For an INCH cookware setup you might want to go with a more versatile set up.
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Re: What do you look for in cook ware?

Post by justsomeguy » Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:23 pm

I have GSI Cups that go on Nalgene bottles, USGI canteen cups that go on canteens, USGI stainless mess kit, coleman MAX kit, GSI Fork, knife, spoon set for 4 plastic, several plastic sporks, one titanium spork, east german aluminum mess kit, a couple of the cheap stansport solo kits. MSR camp kitchen, sea to summit kitchen sink, sea to summit mug (lost), MSR coffee maker, GSI one quart coffee pot, GSI half quart coffee pot, and some larger stansport frying pans and two quart pots. I probably have other stuff stowed away somewhere, but these are the products I have used recently or used along time ago and liked so I kept.

Of these how ever the one that seems to always end up in my pack nowadays is the east german mess kit. I've had it a long time, its more ergonomic to me, and seems to be able to store more things inside of it. this and a alcohol stove and I'm all set.

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Re: What do you look for in cook ware?

Post by RonnyRonin » Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:32 pm

Redbad wrote: For longer backpacking trips I will add a Banks Frybake pan (this is a lighter weigh backpacking frying pan with a flattened lid which allows for dutch oven style baking -- there is nothing like having fresh baked pizza in the backcountry...).
Just recently heard about these, would love to hear more. Looks more versatile then the GSI pan I have now, I don't really cook much on trips but now that I live in pulk sled country I'm leaning more that way.
also looks like a great INCH kit item.
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