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Camping Cookware

Tuesday, 9 January 2007 | Tags: ,

If you enjoy the outdoors, no doubt you like to go camping. For preparing your meals, it's best to use cookware designed specifically for use over an open fire or camp stove. We take a closer look at tools available for campfire cuisine.

The Basics

  • Camping cookware is available in a variety of materials:

    • Stainless steel, cast-iron, and titanium cookware are durable, though may be heavy and hard to clean. Look for lightweight models, especially if you’re backpacking, and pre-seasoned cast iron pots, or remember to season cast-iron before leaving on your trip.

    • Non-stick cookware is easy to clean, but they are also easy to scratch, so less durable.

    • Aluminum alloy cookware is lightweight and inexpensive, but is not as durable as steel, iron, or titanium. Some people also find that aluminum affects the taste of food.

  • Look for pots with tight-fitting lids so food cooks quicker, saving on fuel.

  • Nesting sets are available with features like pot lids that double as fry pans and detachable or folding handles for more compact packing. Just remember to bring potholders because the handles get quite hot over open flames.

  • Base the size of pots and pans on how many people you’ll be cooking for.

Dutch Ovens

  • An old-fashioned Dutch oven is a traditional camping favourite for slow-cooked meals. Look for a cast-iron model with short and sturdy legs, a long wire handle, and a slightly concave lid with a rim around the outside.

  • The long wire handle makes it easier to pull the pot out of a hot fire.

  • Legs underneath will allow you to set the pot directly over the coals in your fire, while still providing enough air circulation to keep the coals hot.

  • For additional heat, you can place hot coals on top of the concave lid.

  • The most common Dutch oven size is 12 inches/6 quarts, which should work fine for cooking roasts, poultry, fish, stews, potatoes, beans, rolls, breads, and desserts.

  • Consider using wooden utensils as they won’t scratch the surface of the metal or damage protective coating.

Other Considerations

  • In most cases, two pots or a pot and a pan is enough for simple meals. If you plan more complex meals, bring at least two pots and one pan.

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