Gear Advice: Cooking Pots

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What can I say about a cooking pot. It turns out, quite a bit. A basic pot is typically made of aluminum, and is used to heat water. I like to eat, so I get a bit more fancy. Many pots have Teflon coatings, and this makes cleanup easier if you are doing more than boiling water. The problem with Teflon is that it scratches and peals off, especially if it is not well cared for. Pots get banged up on the trail. To get around this, you can get Black Anodized pots where the nonstick coating is bonded to the metal in such a way that they do not peal or scratch. You pay more for this, but it is worth it in my opinion. In addition to cooking pots, there are backpacking ovens. Basically these sit on top of the stove, and disperse the heat evenly around the unit. Typically these use less heat, and give you much more flexibility in what you can cook. If you are simply boiling water for freeze dried meals, an aluminum pot will do. If you fancy your self more of a chef, pay the price and experiment.

Bill’s Choice

I still have my square aluminum pot I had for an old Peak 1 stove, and my boys use it for their Colman Extreme stove. It is beat up, but functions well.

For a cook set, I run the GSI Hard Anodized No Stick 5 piece Cook Set, and have removed the smaller pot & lid. This way, my stove will fit in side the larger pot. I have used this pot for a few years, and it is no worse for the ware. The neat thing about the black anodized pot is that it heats up in a very even manner, and I do not get hot spots.

I also recently purchased the 10” Backpacker's Pantry Outback Oven. My first time using this, I made a pizza. I have also used it to make a couple of cakes. The first one turned out well, but the second had a few issues. First of all, do not wrap your heat shield tightly around the oven. If you do, the heat will not be able to circulate around the oven, and you will burn your contents. Secondly, let cakes cool before inserting candles, or they will melt! This is known from experience.

All of this is quite the departure from normal trail fare, and I look forward trying out new ideas with the oven.

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