Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Whether it's for your next trekking tour or your annual camping holiday - camping cookware is a must for catering on the road. The many advantages of camping cookware inspire all outdoor fans. In addition to low weight and high functionality, special gimmicks of camping cookware make cooking in nature an even greater experience.

With our big camping cookware test 2021 we want to help you find the best camping cookware for you. We have compared different camping cookware made of aluminium, stainless steel and titanium and listed the advantages and disadvantages. This should make your purchase decision as easy as possible.




Summary

  • Camping cookware is lighter and more robust than normal cookware. This makes it suitable for multi-day trekking tours and camping.
  • Many camping cookware sets stand out for their functionality. Special features such as stackable sets and built-in bottle openers are practical when travelling.
  • Depending on the area of use, camping cookware made of aluminium, stainless steel or titanium is best suited.

The Best Camping Cookware: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying camping cookware

Who is camping cookware suitable for?

Whether on trekking or motorbike tours, in a camper van or when camping - camping cookware is suitable for everyone who doesn't want to give up cooking when travelling.

Camping Kochgeschirr-1

Whether made of aluminium, stainless steel or titanium - with the right camping cookware, nature becomes an outdoor kitchen.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Stefan Siden)

While conventional cookware is usually fragile, camping cookware impresses with its robustness. Those who carry their own luggage for miles on tours and have limited space appreciate the light weight and functionality of camping cookware.

What are the advantages of camping cookware?

The robustness of camping cookware is particularly evident in the fact that it can also be used on an open fire.

Camping cookware is more robust, lighter and more functional than normal cookware.

In addition to special properties such as fire resistance, camping cookware is also less sensitive than conventional cookware. For example, titanium camping cookware is relatively scratch-resistant.

The cookware we use in everyday life is a lot heavier than camping cookware. At home, this doesn't matter because we only transport the pots and pans short distances. A trekking tour with bulky cookware is not something you want to do.

Camping Kochgeschirr-2

With robust camping cookware, unlike normal cookware, you can also cook directly on the campfire.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Mike Erskine)

Functionality is a very high priority for camping cookware. Instead of lugging around pots and pans in different sizes, the multi-in-1 solutions are particularly impressive. The camping cookware sets can often be stacked inside each other and take up very little space.

Gimmicks such as integrated bottle openers or pans that function as pot lids delight the hearts of outdoor fans.

What materials is camping cookware made of?

Camping cookware is mainly made of aluminium, stainless steel and titanium. These materials are lighter compared to normal cookware. Nevertheless, the three materials differ in weight.

Material weight place of use
Aluminium light trekking, camping
Stainless steel rather heavy mainly camping
Titanium very light especially trekking

If you are travelling in a camper van, you often use stainless steel. Because weight is not an issue there. Aluminium and especially titanium are lighter. These two materials are particularly suitable for trekking tours.

What is the difference between aluminium and stainless steel camping cookware?

The biggest difference is that aluminium camping cookware is much lighter than stainless steel.

Stainless steel is more robust but heavier than aluminium and is therefore suitable for camping.

Aluminium is light, cheap and has good heat conductivity. However, aluminium is not particularly suitable for preparing acidic food. The acid attacks the material and can damage it.

With both materials, there is a risk that food can burn quickly. Since aluminium is relatively soft, the aluminium material can be scrubbed off during cleaning. This is considered a health hazard.

Compared to the standard version, hard anodised aluminium has a harder and more durable surface. However, the layers can be destroyed by very thorough cleaning, such as with wire sponges.

Titanium is recommended as an alternative to aluminium and stainless steel. It is light, hard-wearing and harmless to health. However, titanium camping cookware is more expensive.

How much does camping cookware cost?

The price range of camping cookware is relatively wide. Prices vary depending on the quality, material and size (set for one person to several people). Camping cookware costs between 10 euros and 200 euros.

There are big differences in the quality of camping cookware. Whereby these affect the casual user less than downright trekking cracks.

Model price range
Beginner from approx. 10 euros
Casual user from approx. 30 euros
Professional from approx. 100 euros

Different expensive materials and special treatments (such as coatings by electrolytic oxidation) also determine the price of the end product. Camping cookware made of titanium, for example, belongs to the high-priced segment. This is due in particular to the complex manufacturing process.

This high price range is also explained by the fact that camping cookware sets for one person contain considerably fewer parts than a set for 6 people.

What are the alternatives to camping cookware?

As an alternative to camping cookware, you can of course use your normal cookware. This is recommended when camping, in a camper van - in other words, whenever you have enough space and don't have to carry your luggage long distances.

Decision: What types of materials are there in camping cookware and which is the right one for you?

If you want to buy camping cookware, there are three alternatives to choose from:

  • Aluminium camping cookware
  • Stainless steel camping cookware
  • Titanium camping cookware

Aluminium camping cookware is available as an uncoated version or hardened by electrolytic oxidation (hard anodised aluminium).

All three materials have advantages and disadvantages when it comes to handling. Depending on the occasions for which you want to use the camping cookware, one of the materials is best suited. In the following section we would like to make the decision easier for you.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of aluminium camping cookware?

Camping cookware made of aluminium is light and relatively inexpensive. There are two types of aluminium: uncoated and hard anodised.

In recent years, however, untreated aluminium has fallen into disrepute. However, camping cookware made of aluminium is not fundamentally dangerous to health. To be on the safe side, you should pay attention to two things:

  • if you mainly prepare meals that contain acid or salt (e.g. tomato sauces, pickled foods), it is better to use anodised aluminium or other metals
  • Be careful when using metal cutlery. Small pieces of aluminium can be scraped off and accidentally get into the food. You can avoid this problem by using wooden or plastic cutlery.
Advantages
  • Extremely light
  • Very good heat conductor
  • Very robust (anodised form)
  • Harmless to health (anodised form)
Disadvantages
  • Very soft (uncoated version)
  • Scratch-sensitive
  • Reacts with acidic and salty foods (alternative: anodised aluminium)
  • Medium to high price

Camping cookware made of aluminium is considered one of the lightest materials and impresses with its good heat conductivity. The anodised version is suitable for those who want to play it safe and don't want to worry about acid content or scratch resistance of the surface.

Alternatively, the somewhat heavier stainless steel is an option.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of stainless steel camping cookware?

Cookware for domestic use is often made of stainless steel. This is mainly due to its robustness and harmlessness to health. While the weight of the pots is not particularly important in the kitchen, other rules apply to camping cookware.

Compared to aluminium and titanium, stainless steel is much heavier. In addition, stainless steel is not a particularly good conductor of heat. However, it is comparatively inexpensive.

Advantages
  • Robust
  • Insensitive
  • Harmless to health
  • Inexpensive
Disadvantages
  • Heavy
  • Poor conductor of heat

If you want to use your stainless steel camping cookware mainly on camping trips and in a motorhome, you won't mind the comparatively high tare weight. Since stainless steel is very robust, you can use the camping cookware for several years.

Also inexpensive to buy, camping cookware is particularly suitable for occasional users.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of titanium camping cookware?

If you are now wondering whether there is camping cookware made of a material that is robust but still light, you will come across the star of the outdoor scene: titanium.

Many people who pay attention to the low weight of their equipment on trekking tours choose titanium camping cookware. Compared to aluminium, titanium is more stable and harmless to health.

However, it can easily happen that something burns when frying in the uncoated version. This is due to the rather poor thermal conductivity of titanium.

In addition to being rustproof and harmless to health, the material is not affected by acidic or salty food.

In terms of price, the titanium version is above the level of camping cookware made of aluminium or stainless steel.

Advantages
  • Extremely light
  • Robust
  • Stainless
  • Harmless
Disadvantages
  • Poor heat conductor
  • Higher risk of burning
  • Rather expensive

Those who prefer very light but robust camping cookware and are prepared to spend a few euros more will enjoy the titanium version.

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate camping cookware

In the following, we will show you which criteria you can use to decide between the many different types of camping cookware.

The criteria you can use to compare camping cookware include:

In the following paragraphs, we will explain what is important for each criterion.

Material

The three most commonly used materials are aluminium, stainless steel and titanium. Depending on the activity for which you use your camping cookware, one material is more suitable than the other.

Aluminium is often seen as a good intermediate solution, as it is light, inexpensive and, in the coated version, relatively robust. When using the uncoated version of aluminium camping cookware, plastic or wooden cutlery is recommended so that no aluminium parts are accidentally eaten.

Stainless steel camping cookware is also inexpensive, very robust but relatively heavy. This variant is suitable for all those who go on holiday in a camper and enjoy particularly durable cookware.

Titanium camping cookware is an extremely light, robust and safe alternative. However, titanium camping cookware is in the upper price range and its thermal conductivity is rather poor.

Weight

Depending on whether it is a multi-piece set for one person or several people, the weight varies.

In general, titanium is the lightest material used for camping cookware. This is followed by aluminium and stainless steel as the heaviest variant.

Camping cookware weighs between 100g and almost a kilo. As already mentioned above, the respective size of the camping cookware set explains the large weight range.

Number of pieces

As already mentioned with the weight, the number of pieces also depends on how many people the camping cookware is for. A camping cookware set for one person starts with at least two pieces (1 pot, 1 lid that also functions as a plate).

More extensive camping cookware sets for several people can consist of over 10 pieces (e.g. 1 frying pan, 1 saucepan, 1 teapot, 1 cleaning sponge, 3 bowls, 3 spoons, 1 knife).

Special gimmicks

Functionality can save a lot of extra weight, especially on trekking tours lasting several days. It is particularly practical if pot lids can also function as pans.

Stackable camping cookware also saves a lot of space - whether in the backpack or the boot. An mL scale on the inside of the pot is another practical gimmick.

Practical gimmicks such as a built-in bottle opener are also a pleasure on camping holidays. A special luxury is an extra kettle for morning tea.

Suitability for induction

As the name suggests, camping cookware is mainly intended for camping or trekking tours. In principle, it is therefore not intended for use in the kitchen.

There is special camping cookware made of stainless steel that is also suitable for use on the induction cooker.

Materials such as aluminium, stainless steel and titanium have too low electrical resistance compared to steel, metal and cast iron. Therefore, most camping cookware is not suitable for the induction cooker.

Dishwasher safe

In any case, it is advisable to check the product description or instructions for use to make sure that your camping cookware can be cleaned in the dishwasher.

In general, you cannot assume that camping cookware is dishwasher safe.

Stainless steel camping cookware can often be washed in the dishwasher. The same applies to odised, i.e. coated, aluminium. Titanium camping cookware is considered the most robust of the three materials. However, this does not automatically mean that it is dishwasher safe.

Trivia: Interesting facts about camping cookware

What is the difference to normal cookware?

Compared to regular cookware, camping cookware is sturdier and a lot lighter.

While you can use your kitchen cookware for a camping holiday, it is not suitable for backpacking or motorcycling due to its bulkiness.

Camping cookware is also used on an open fire or gas flame. Special fireproof versions are better suited for this than ordinary cookware.

How do I clean camping cookware when I'm on the move?

If you are camping and have running water or sewage, you can clean your camping cookware with a little washing-up liquid and warm water.

If you clean your camping cookware in nature, always use environmentally friendly washing-up liquid.

Pay attention to the scratch resistance of the materials and do not use steel sponges on uncoated aluminium. Heavily burnt-on food residues should be soaked in water and carefully removed with a wooden or plastic scraper.

Camping Kochgeschirr-3

Multi-in-1 solutions such as pans as pot lids for camping tableware not only mean less weight, but also less washing up.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Scott Umstattd)

If you don't have running water on the road, it's best to clean your camping cookware with some drinking water. Make sure you use environmentally friendly washing-up liquid.

3 tips for clean camping dishes without detergent

  1. Boil stubborn food residues with a little water, scrape away and pour out. If you add the juice of a lemon, the residues will dissolve even better.
  2. A mixture of sand and water will get your camping cookware clean in no time. Even burnt-on food can be removed with a sand scrub. Then simply rinse and wipe off the remaining sand particles with a cloth.
  3. If you have cooked on an open fire, you can use the cold white wood ash to clean your camping cookware. Mixed with water, the ash makes a cleaning lye. Then rinse with clean water.

To give you a better idea, here is a video on how to clean camping cookware without soap.

Image source: Yakimova/ 123rf.com

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