Best Camping Cookware
Many campers when camping are familiar with when it comes time to cook a meal, using solely the fire or using a portable barbecue, but we are here to tell you that camping cookware will open up a whole new world of cooking while camping. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner will be a whole new experience if using camping cookware as it allows you to grill, fry, or boil any recipe you can think of, and the best part is you don’t need a kitchen to do it. This gear is particularly great if you will find yourself backpacking, as they are lightweight and compact to ensure that no matter how deep in the woods you go, a great meal can always be made.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 14 hrs of research
Easy to clean
Lots of included items
Top 10 Camping Cookware Sets
1. MalloMe Mess Kit
Easy to clean
Lots of included items
Not easily used over an open campfire – best over a controlled burn
The MalloMe camping cookware mess kit is a great overall find if you want something that is compact, super portable and easy to use, before, during and after your meal. Whether you’re roughing it in the backcountry or sitting down for a night of camping in the backyard with the kids, this is a great mess kit to have on hand.Read more
This ten-piece camping cookware set is designed with a single hiker in mind. It features a collapsible nesting design that makes it extremely easy to store and transport in a backpack, tied to a waist or harness, or even carried by hand.
Ease of Use
The cooking surfaces of this kit are treated with non-stick material, and the serving bowls are made from BPA free plastic, so there is little chance of stuck-on food with proper care and cleaning.
This ten-piece kit is made from non-toxic anodized aluminum, wood, and BPA free plastic materials, so there is little chance any tastes or smells transferring from the camping cookware to your food. The sizes are designed for single person use, and can easily be used over a personal burner or controlled fire.
While the cookware can certainly be used over a flame, most people found that using it over an open campfire became a bit problematic because of its size and relative durability. While it certainly will get the job done, this set isn’t something that can be abused unnecessarily.
This set includes a 1-liter pot and cover, a non-stick pan, two soup bowls, a soup spoon, a wooden spatula, a stainless steel spork, a cleaning sponge, a recipe book, and a nylon travel bag.
This camping cookware set from Mallome is a great all-around choice for a wide range of camping situations that most campers will encounter. While we would have liked to see a bit more toughness around the open campfire, overall it’s not a bad set.
2. Yodo Anodized Aluminum
Easy to Transport
Easy to clean
Not as durable as we would like
Often camping is a group effort, and the evening meal certainly can add to the feeling of togetherness with the right equipment. This camping cookware set by Yodo is a great way to bring the idea of sharing a good meal and good times together.Read more
This camp cookware set is designed to be used by two or three people, but still, has the ability to be packed down into a carrying case that measures 7.3 inches in width by 4.9 inches in height. While it’s not the most compact we’ve seen, it can easily fit into a backpack.
Ease of Use
All the items in this collection feature a non-stick coating on the anodized aluminum so clean up in most cases is a simple wipe down after the pots and pans have cooled sufficiently.
The included items are made either from anodized aluminum material, wood, or high-grade plastic material, and feature welded handles that offer a protective grip. The pans can easily move from direct campfire flame to table or ground without much issue, and the overall heat transfer is quick and even, making cooking that much faster and easier.
Overall this collection is fairly durable under normal camping use and cooking. While it does transfer heat quite well, damage can be caused easily if the pans are left on direct flame for too long. This is definitely not a set of “forget it cookware”. If you’re an occasional camper who likes to use a few of the comforts of home, these pans are a good choice. If you put your equipment through a lot of abuse, you might want to consider other options.
This set includes a small and large pot, one skillet pan, three bowls, a soup spoon and rice ladle, one cleaning sponge, and a mesh storage bag.
The Yodo Anodized Aluminum Camping Cookware Set is a solid choice if you enjoy the occasional weekend camping trip with your friends or family. While we certainly would have liked it to be a bit tougher, under normal conditions it’s hard to beat the ability to cook food quickly in a wide range of settings.
3. Magma Gourmet Nesting
Stainless steel construction
Nesting design for easy storage
Pots and pans are very durable
Handles are not completely resistant to heat
If you travel by recreational vehicle or an RV as their sometimes called, having an extra set of cookware for camping that is specifically designed for use in them can be pretty handy. Not only do these stainless steel pots and pans distribute heat easily and evenly over induction stoves, but the collection is also fairly easy to store in a cramped RV kitchen.Read more
This camping cookware set is fairly easy to store within a cabinet of an RV or similar vehicle, but even when nested it is a bit large for carrying on a person during a camping trip. If your idea of camping includes sitting in the shade of your RV camper then this camp cookware set is more than adequate for your needs. If you prefer a campfire far away from civilization, there are better choices out there.
Ease of Use
Both the stainless steel construction and the non-stick treatments on the pots and pans make them relatively easy to clean overall if done promptly after cooking. Like most pans that are made from stainless steel, there is a chance that staining will occur if food and liquids are allowed to sit in the pots and pans for a prolonged period of time.
The pots and pans themselves in this camping cookware set are made from stainless steel, as are the included lids. The handles are removable and interchangeable between the different pots and pans, which make for very efficient use of space.
Overall the stainless steel pots and lids are extremely tough and durable, rivaling some of the quality seen in top kitchen cookware sets. However, the handles and the heat resistant grips do leave somewhat to be desired. There have been numerous reports of the handles becoming too hot to handle after being left too long on the stove and even partially melting with intense heat. While in most cases and under normal circumstances we don’t see that happening too often, it is certainly something to be aware of.
This camping cookware set includes a 5 quart stockpot, a 10 inch frying pan, a 2 quart saucepan, a 3 quart, and a 1.5 quart saucepan a lid to fit the larger frying pan and stockpot, one to fit the remaining pots, two removable handles, and a bungee storage cord for easy storage.
If your campground features a few RVs or yachts and you’re looking for a solid and dependable cookware set that is designed for use in that kind of environment, this product from Magma is a solid choice. We certainly would have liked to see the removable handles be a bit more durable, but overall we didn’t have very many complaints.
4. MSR Quick 2 System
Easy to store
Features both traditional and non-stick surfaces
No serving utensils
Cleaning can be somewhat problematic
If you’re looking for a truly compact and portable cooking system that is designed to be used on a portable stove, it’s hard to go wrong with the MSR Quick 2 System. Designed with the hunter and backpacker in mind, this simple and collapsible series of pots and containers can be easily used to cook a variety of meals in no time at all.Read more
This is one of the smaller camping cookware sets that we’ve come across, and while it doesn’t have that great a capacity, it is excellent in the sense that it can be easily collapsed down into a smaller compact shape for easy transportation and storage. This collection can easily fit in a daypack or a backpack.
Ease of Use
This collection features both non-stick and traditional coatings on the included items. Clean up can be a little problematic depending on what food is cooked, and how long after cooking you decide to clean it. Overall, though, a quick wash with soap and water after the meal is done is more than enough to get the job done.
The included pots and pans feature both anodized aluminum construction as well as double-walled insulation for the included mugs.
The durability of the pieces is fairly good, and under normal circumstances, this kit can be quite long-lasting. However, please be forewarned; this kit may not be strong enough to withstand camping adventure with kids and or teenagers.
This set of camping cookware includes a 2.5-liter anodized pot, a strainer lid, two deep dish plates, a 1.5-liter non-stick pot, two insulated mugs, and a Talon pot handle. We were disappointed that no silverware or serving utensils were included in the package.
When you and your partner in crime want to do a little camping, this is a great, compact way to meet your cooking needs. While we were disappointed that no serving utensils were included, overall this is a great choice for a small two-man party.
5. MSR Alpine 2 Pot Set
Durable against fire
Lids are multi-purpose
No serving utensils included
Pots and pans are not non-stick
MSR is a popular candidate on our list, and for good reason; campers alike have great things to say about the various camp cook sets. The MSR Alpine 2 Pot Set is absolutely no different, it's a solid kit made of stainless steel that will stand up to many uses. Its high durability is useful for guides on tours or avid campers that need something super reliable.Read more
To keep your packing volume to a minimum, this cookware set is conveniently designed into a compact system that nests one pot inside of the other. To keep your travel load even lighter, the lids of the pots function as plates. Not to mention, you can definitely pack other things, such as cooking oil, salt, or other needs inside of the inner pot.
Ease of Use
The lids of the pots double as plates, keeping the weight of the kit down and the versatility high. The stainless steel is not non-stick and some food can get stuck to it. However, if you find yourself near a sink, you don’t need to be gentle with these pots and pans and can scrub them clean.
This kit is made from stainless steel. It provides just enough to get you through the meal and is built to last.
For ultimate durability and lasting power, this camping cookware set is built to go the long-haul with stainless steel. The pots are both dent and scratch-resistant.
Included with this set are a 1.5-liter pot, a 2-liter pot, a lid/fry pan, a panhandler, and a nylon carrying sack.
While this kit isn't as packed with bells and whistles like others, it does the trick of being useful, convenient, and a simple go-to. And at 1 pound, the stainless steel is not only incredibly durable, but it won't weigh you down either.
6. GSI Outdoors Bugaboo
Carrying sack doubles as a sink
Teflon Classic coated pots and pans
All of the pieces nest together
Only one pot handle included
Pot handle becomes too hot to touch when cooking
No utensils included
The newly improved Bugaboo nesting set from GSI Outdoors is a great set that includes just about everything- including the kitchen sink. The carrying sack that holds all of the items neatly is waterproof and can be used as a sink for a quick and easy clean up.Read more
When the whole is compacted and put together, it measures 9.1” x 9.1” x 5.8”. The whole kit weighs only 3.19-pounds. All of the items nest together and fit into a waterproof carrying sack. While the size is too large to pack in a backpack, it’s a great kit that could be attached externally or kept in a car or RV.
Ease of Use
The non-stick pans make clean up a breeze! If you wanted to, you could simply wipe them down and repack them until you reach your home or destination and can really wash them. However, the waterproof carrying sack actually doubles as a portable sink. While it is small, it is a great way to wash the cups, plates, and silverware before packing up.
The pots and pans are both finished with a Teflon Classic coating. The straining lids are made from heat resistant nylon and the mugs have insulating sleeves. The other items are made from plastic. Some reviewers prefer to switch out the plastic plates with aluminum plates.
For such a small package, we have been impressed by the durability of the items. As mentioned, some reviewers were displeased with the flimsiness of the plastic plates, but you can either switch them out or proceed with caution. As for the straining lids, they are heat resistant and crushproof.
This kit includes just about everything, including the kitchen sink. It comes with a 3-liter pot, a 2-liter pot, a 9-inch frying pan, two straining lids, four bowls, four plates, four mugs, and the waterproof carrying sack. One important element that it is missing is utensils. You will need to pack utensils separately. Also, multiple reviewers have recommended also bringing a kitchen mitt because the pot handle tends to heat up when cooking.
With the Bugaboo, you can go anywhere. It features everything you need (besides silverware) and more. It is a great option for camping with a group and also makes for a quick and easy clean up. If you just add utensils and oven mitts to customize it as your own, you're all set.
7. G4Free Outdoor Mess Kit
Relatively easy to clean
Compact and portable
Handles may become too hot to hold
No serving utensils
If you have a slightly larger group than one, or perhaps a slightly larger appetite when it comes to food cooked over the campfire, this set from G4Free might be a great choice overall.Read more
This four-piece set stacks easily and nests into an included mesh bag for easy storage overall. While it’s a bit bulkier than other smaller sets, it’s still easy to fit inside a day pack or tied to a harness.
Ease of Use
When first purchased, the non-stick aluminum is fairly easy to clean, but the evidence does indicate that that coating wears through rather quickly. The non-stick characteristic has been known to fade after a few dozen uses.
The included camping pots are made from lightweight aluminum that has been treated superficially with a non-stick coating. The handles are aluminum as well and feature a rubberized coating to aid in the overall heat transfer. It should be noted that the rubberized handles have been known to get overly hot while near an open flame, so caution should be used while cooking.
Overall the durability of this camping cookware set is good, but nothing that is unexpected given the price. It will certainly last through quite a few seasons of regular use, but there is little evidence that it will stand up to intensive abuse.
This camping cookware set includes one small and one large pot, two frying pans, and a mesh bag for storage. No utensils are included.
While we were a bit disappointed that silverware wasn’t included, we did like the fact that the dishes were slightly larger than what is most often seen in a single person set. Also, the handles were relatively easy to grip, and as long as the proper attention was paid, clean up wasn’t that bad.
8. MSR Pocket Rocket
Easy to store
Great selection of features
Pots not always stable on the stove
Folding utensils somewhat weak
If you’re looking for a truly all-inclusive camping cookware set that is great for a solo adventure or just you and a partner, then the Pocket Rocket from MSR is certainly worth adding to the list.Read more
Overall this kit folds and nests down into a fairly compact unit that can easily fit inside a backpack or daypack. While it is a bit heavy with the included fire and fuel source, overall it’s not that much of an issue. The only other complaint we had was that the portable stove wasn’t an easy shape for storage outside of the cookware set because of its design.
Ease of Use
Overall cleaning is a relative snap with the included pots and pans. A simple wipe down and rinse out is usually more than enough to get the job done.
The pot itself is made from hard-anodized aluminum, while the serving utensils, bowls, and mugs are made from hardened plastic material that is heat resistant. The portable stove is made from a lightweight aluminum and features is-alcohol as the fuel source.
Overall the items in this kit stood up well to the abuses commonly seen in a camping environment with the exception of the folding sporks. While they certainly were designed to lock into place during use, many customers found that they would fold quite easily with just a little bit of pressure.
This collection includes a miniature stove, a two-liter anodized aluminum pot, two deep dish bowls, a clear strainer lid, two folding sporks, and two mugs.
The MSR Pocket Rocket Stove kit is a great choice if you want all-inclusive cookware set the next time you go camping. While the miniature stove does leave a bit to be desired in regards to stability, overall this is a great all-purpose collection.
9. Stanley Adventure Two Pot
BPA free storage containers
Great nesting system
The spatula and ladle might be considered weak
The Stanley Adventure Two Pot Cookware set comes with a surprising amount of items, which you may not suspect by the name. One thing it does, though, is let you head out onto your adventure with the basics you'll need to cook a delicious meal. Let's find out how.Read more
All of these items fold in together with a compact nesting system to bring you optimal compact packing abilities. As a whole, it weighs 5.6-pounds.
Ease of Use
Whether this is a kit for family camping trips or even a house-warming present for a college student, it’s a great kit. It is well thought out and easy to use. The bowls and their lids are BPA free and can be used for storage.
The included pot is made from stainless steel, making it easy to use and care for. The plastic pieces of the kit are made from a thick and durable plastic that holds up when full of food.
The stainless steel pot is rust and scratch-resistant. The plates are surprisingly durable. Overall, customers have been very impressed with the longevity of this set.
This Adventure Cook Set comes with the basics, and it includes two pots of different sizes, which can also be used as a frying pan if need be. Along with them, it includes two bowls that function as all-around plates or bowls for most meals to keep your packing to a minimum; it just takes a little imagination and adaptation. A spatula and ladle are also included.
While you will need to pack your own cutlery, this kit will provide a solid base of camping cookware to get you started in a light and compact package.
10. Winterial Camping Cookware and Pot Set
Some say the non-stick pans don't function well- food is often stuck to them
The Winterial Camping Cookware and Pot Set is a great option for many reasons. First of all, for its compact size, it comes with a comprehensive set of tools to keep you cooking for days. It was designed for backpackers in mind, so it was built to be light, compact, and useful.Read more
In order to provide you with the most portability, everything was designed to fit together into one compact package that weighs 1.5 pounds.
Ease of Use
Each piece of this kit is finished with a non-stick Teflon coating that makes them very easy to clean. If you are feeling lazy or running short on time, you could actually just wipe them clean and do the dirty work at home. However, the included sponge makes it easy to get cleaning up done and over with.
The big-ticket items, such as the pot and frying pan, are made of a light-weight aluminum oxide that is high temperature and friction-resistant.
The aluminum oxide pieces mixed with the durable Teflon-coating make this a very durable set. Reviewers have been impressed with the quality of this kit and expect it to last for years to come.
This comprehensive set comes with eleven items. The included items are a two-quart pot, a one-quart tea kettle, a one-quart frying pan, a serving ladle, a bowl, a serving spoon, a cleaning sponge, and a carrying bag.
You can cook almost any meal with these basics, but also wake up to a warm cup of tea on chillier mornings with the kettle. This a great personal kit that could last you all the way up or down the Pacific Crest Trail.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Often when it comes to camping, being able to easily transport your equipment, food and supplies to and from your chosen campground are essential. Having a set of camping cookware that can be easily stored away and moved from place to place can help in that regard. So when we tried to find the best camping cookware on the market today, one of the first characteristics that we took a look at was the portability of the cookware.
In most cases, the items presented here on this list can either be carried easily in an individual backpack or stored away in a car or mobile home. These examples often feature the ability to nest within each other, to collapse down for easy carrying and storage. With the proper packing game of Tetris, or perhaps connected to your pack with a D-ring, you'll be able to fit one of these sets into your pack.
Ease of Use
Like it or not, dirty dishes are still a part of life, even when camping. Since most campers don’t bring a dishwasher with them to the great outdoors, having a set of cookware that is easy to clean does make a bit of a difference. Characteristics such as non-stick surfaces, few unnecessary crevices and crannies, and even some included cleaning utensils can often mean the difference between a camping cookware set that gets used over and over, versus none at all.
Thankfully, the dishes contained within these camping cookware sets are designed for easy clean up overall and feature many of the characteristics that many outdoor chefs would spend time drooling over.
If you spend any time at all camping, you know that your equipment is going to go through a lot of abuse. It’s just the nature of the activity. So finding a set of camping cookware that is well made and uses quality materials is a very good idea. Thankfully, with modern technology and manufacturing techniques, there are plenty of different examples of quality materials available on the market today.
In many cases, camping cookware today is made from some type of lightweight metal such as aluminum or lightweight steel that has been given a protective coating. Handles and fasteners are also sometimes treated for heat resistance and to strengthen them. When plastics are used, they are often BPA free and heat resistant, since many of the foods and liquids stored in them temporarily may be hot.
Along with the overall construction and materials, another factor that many avid campers consider when shopping for a new set of camping cookware is its durability. There are quite a few factors that come into play when considering durability including the materials used, the level of craftsmanship, the intended use of the camp cookware, and how easy it is to care for overall to name a few.
With very few exceptions, the examples presented here on this list are durable enough to take a moderate to severe amount of abuse and still keep coming back for more.
It's the little things, isn't it? Knowing exactly which accessories are included with your cookware kit is important. Some sets include silverware and cups and others don't. Some campers have grown accustomed to using one reusable water bottle and have no need for the extra space and weight of cups. Additionally, some campers have what looks like a Swiss Army Knife of silverware. Depending on what you already own, you may not need a kit that comes with a lot of accessories. Additionally, although most sets come with pots and pans, not all come with a lid. If what you will be cooking requires a lid, that's something you should keep in mind.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Depending on what type of camping you enjoy, the tools you use can change quite a bit. This is especially true when it comes to camping cookware. The idea is relatively simple – the more conveniences you take with you into the wilderness means the more conveniences you can have in your cookware. For example, if you’re camping out of your car or an RV, portability might not be that big a concern for you. After all, the cookware can easily stay in a cabinet until you’re ready to use it. However, if you are roughing it in the backcountry, having the ability to easily nest your cookware into a more compact container is essential for easy use and portability. Of course, how you plan on cooking your food can also influence what type of cookware you use. A camping stove will often have a more direct, more consistent heat than a campfire, so you’ll need to take that into consideration when making a purchase.
When you're living out of a backpack, weight becomes everything. Every T-shirt, sock, and piece of cookware adds an extra couple of ounces. The materials of the cookware will make a big difference in the weight of the kit. If you will be carrying your kit on your back, you'll want to find a dependable and lightweight kit. Just because it's the smallest option in size doesn't necessarily mean it is the lightest.
Other Factors to Consider
For some, the idea of camping and cooking means that the creature comforts of a home need to be left behind, and only the bare necessities should apply. Things such as soups, coffee, granola, and the occasional dried meat are the name of the game. Others see campfire cooking as a challenge, as a way to try to recreate their favorite home-cooked meals in a unique setting. For these people, things such as chicken Alfredo, beef tacos, or a pasta salad are all par for the course.
Depending on which school of thought you follow, your cookware set could be slightly different overall. A more minimal approach will need fewer pots and pans, but they should be more durable and have the ability to be used in a wide range of settings. A more gourmet approach may require more pots and pans overall, but chances are you‘ll want to use them in a consistent setting, such as a stove or burner.
Before investing in a cookware set, you should determine approximately how many people you will be cooking with and what you will be eating. A set that is meant for one person is wonderfully portable but it would take a very long time for each person to cook their own individual meals one after the other. A set for four is also great but just ends up being extra weight if you are only cooking for two. Another thing to keep in mind is your meal plan. Does the set come with different sized pan options? Will you be able to fit everything you need into the pots and pans with good timing? Knowing your audience, appetites, and meal plan can help you decide which cookware set will be best for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why do I need a set of camping cookware, can I just bring some pots and pans from my kitchen?
The main reason that many invest in a set of camping cookware is due to their lightweight and compact-ability as this makes them easier to pack and travel with. The problem with bringing bulky pots and pans from your kitchen is that they are hard to pack and can be quite heavy on a long hike to your campsite. Camping cookware will give you the same cooking ability as kitchen pots or pans but less backache when carrying.
q: Does the more money I spend ensure I will get a better cookware set?
When looking at investing in a set of camping cookware, do not think the more expensive the set of cookware the more durable or better quality it will be as that just is not the case. The best thing to do when looking for a durable set of cookware to last you years to come is to look at the material and also the reviews to see how the cookware has held up for other consumers that have put them to the test. Do not solely be swayed by price as you may end up with an expensive set of camping cookware that will not hold up, make an educated purchase and do the research before buying.
q: What is important I make sure my camping cookware set comes with?
Each set of camping cookware will be different as each company will determine what is important cooking gear to include in each set, but there are some pieces of your cookware you want to ensure you get included as most likely you will be using them the most. The top pieces of cookware you want to make sure is included in your cookware set are pots & lids, frying pan, cup, and a portable handle to grab hot pots or pans. Every set will be different but ensure you have these basic pieces of cookware as they will be useful while out in the woods.
q: How many pieces of camping cookware does a person truly need?
The number of pieces of cookware that are person uses is truly a personal choice. Some, who prefer a more minimalist approach, can easily get by with a single pot or pan and a spoon. Others prefer to use multiple pans and pots to make a truly gourmet meal over the campfire coals. Generally speaking, though, a person needs three basic pieces in their cookware set. They will need something to cook in, something to eat out of, and a utensil of some sort to transfer between the two.
q: What is the best way to care for my camping cookware?
The first thing you’ll want to do when using a set of cookware for camping is to remember to clean it as soon after use as you possibly can. Allowing food to stick to the pans can not only lessen the effectiveness of any non-stick coating, but it can also lead to microscopic pits or scratches that can lead to food contamination.
Also, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when it comes to how much heat to use, and what type. Some camping cookware is designed specifically for camping stoves, campfires, or alcohol burners. If you use something that the set wasn’t designed for, damage can occur.
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