Cooking outdoors over an open fire seems to add an extra deliciousness to your food. And just like your food has something extra special when cooked over a campfire, so should your camping pots and pans. Camping pots and pans need to be extra tough and versatile. Outdoor cooking is a lot harder on regular pots and pans than what they were made to withstand. Most regular cookware would not survive long if at all if used for camping. Camping is no place for cookware that needs to be babied. So what should you look for in your camping pots and pans?
1) Toughness and durability
Camping pots and pans have to be able to withstand the high heat of the open flame. Many conventional cookwares have low heat limits. Campfires do not have dials to measure the flame and to turn it down if it gets too hot. Sure, you can move it farther from the fire if the flame is too high but even low fires have been known to flare up unexpectedly. Also during camping, your pots and pans will be subject to being banged around more. Even if car or RV camping, the containers and cabinets that you hold your cookware in do more bouncing and shifting than your kitchen (I hope!). Bottom line is you want to invest in camping cookware that will survive the rigors of camping. From a financial standpoint as well as a convenience standpoint, having to replace pots and pans that warped or cracked during camping is a pain.
2) Dark or black bottoms
Dark or black bottoms absorb heat better. This helps heat your food more quickly. After a full day of camping fun, no one wants to spend a long time waiting for their food to cook. Dark or black bottoms will also help conserve fuel. Because your food is cooking faster, you will use less fuel, be it wood, camp fuel or something else . Therefore you will have to spend less money and precious space on fuel.
3) Tight fitting lids
Tight fitting lids have the same benefits as dark or black bottoms. A tight fitting lid will hold the heat in your pot or pan better. This will help heat your food more quickly and conserve fuel. Again this will end up saving you money and storage space.
4) Lids that do double duty
Some camping pots and pans have lids that double as fry pans or plates. This feature will cut down on the amount of things that you need to pack. For some modes of camping, this is a critical feature.
This refers to the ability to store your pots and pans and perhaps even your lids, one inside the other. This feature is great for cutting down on necessary storage space. Even better when linked with……
6) Removable handles
Other than tough and durable, this is one of my favorite features. This is not a necessary feature but it is a great convenience feature. Trying to pack around long frying pan handles irritates me to no end. It is so much easier and saves so much space to be able to take the handles off and store them all together and then nest and store the pots and pans together. This holds true for everything from backpack camping to RV camping.
7) Rounded corners and edges
Rounded corners and edges along the bottom of your camping pots and pans will reduce hot spots in your cookware. Reduced hot spots will in turn reduce places that your food will stick and burn. This will then translate into better tasting food and easier clean-up after your meal. Double bonus!