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One of the most important items that you can pack on your next trip into the great outdoors is your camping cookware. Without a sturdy set of pots and pans (and maybe more), it’s going to be pretty hard to whip up some food while you’re camping. Whether you’re the kind of camper who wants to create elaborate meals or you just need a vessel to boil some water and warm up a few things, there is a camping cookware set out there that will fit your needs and price range.
When shopping for camping cookware, it’s important to consider the weight and size of the set, the materials used, what the set includes, and how easy it is to clean and pack up the set. Consider how many people you are typically cooking for when you set out on an adventure and also factor in if this cookware will be used over an open fire or a camp stove. Once you’ve picked out a tent and a cooler, your cookware set might be the next most important component of your camping toys, so definitely weigh your options before deciding on the one.
Here, the best camping cookware for your next adventure.
Best Overall: GSI Cookware Pinnacle Base Camper Cookset
Stuff sack can double as a dish sink
Includes cutting board
Teflon is triple coated and nonstick
Doesn’t include utensils or plates
If you’re ready to take your camping cookware setup to the next level, this set is going to get you there. The nonstick coating is perfect for frying eggs and searing steaks, plus you don’t have to worry about a difficult cleanup. The hard-anodized aluminum surface is extremely durable, scratch-resistant, and nonreactive. The set stacks up super easily, making it a compact addition for backpacking or car camping. Not to mention, the sack that it nests in can also double as a sink when it’s time to rinse everything. While it doesn’t include plates, bowls, or utensils, this set has you completely covered in the cookware department, and it can support large groups of people.
Includes: 5-liter pot, 3-liter pot, 9-inch frypan, (2) nylon strainer lids, a cutting board, a folding pot handle, and a waterproof welded stuff sack
Best Stainless Steel: Stanley Adventure Full Kitchen Base Camp Cook Set
Includes cutlery and other utensils
Durable and works over an open flame
This stainless steel set for four people has everything you need. Not only does it have a pot and pan, but it includes a cutting board, utensils, bowls, plates, and sporks. A dish drying rack also makes for an organized cleanup station. The 18/8 stainless steel heats evenly, is super durable, and cleans up like a breeze—plus it’s totally fine to use it over an open flame. The efficient nesting makes this set incredibly easy to pack on a trip where you might be a little pressed for space.
This set can easily accommodate four people, though it can support a bigger crowd, if necessary. The pot (which is nearly 4 quarts in volume) is equipped with a vented lid for simmering items. Reviewers love this set for their family camping trips, and many people love the curved handles and how easy and comfortable they are to hold.
Includes: 3.5-liter pot, vented lid, 7-inch 3-ply frying pan, cutting board, spatula, serving spoon, (4) 6-inch plates, (4) 22-ounce bowls, (4) sporks, dish drying rack, heat resistant trivet, locking bungee
Best Splurge: GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper Cookset
Includes mugs, plates, and bowls in a range of colors
Removable handles store easily
Too large for backpacking
If you’re planning a handful of upcoming camping trips and want to go all out on your fireside meals, then maybe you’re ready to invest in a top-of-the-line cookware set. Not only does it have you covered in the cooking department, but also the eating department, with insulated mugs (with tops and sleeves!), bowls, and plates. Plus, they all come in a variety of colors, which is not only visually appealing but a great way for everyone to keep track of their own items.
The stuff sack can double as a washing sink. The anodized aluminum pots are food-safe, durable, and easy to clean—plus they heat evenly and quickly. The folding and removable handles lock easily, and when you’re done using them, you can easily stow them away for easy nesting storage. This set is probably too large and heavy to take backpacking, but it’s a great option for car or RV camping.
Includes: (4) plates, (4) insulated mugs with sip-it tops and sleeves, (4) bowls, 2-liter pot with strainer lid, 3-liter pot with strainer lid, fry pan, folding handle, stuff sack/washbasin
Best Cast Iron: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Combo Cooker (2-Piece Set)
Heats extremely well
Large and heavy
Tough to clean
Cast iron is the heaviest material for any camping cookware item, so if you’re going to bring it on your next adventure, you want to make sure that you can use it for as many tasks as possible. This combo cooker can act as a deep skillet, a fryer, and a Dutch oven, while the lid can also convert to a shallow skillet or griddle. With so many different uses for just a two-piece set, we think it’s definitely worth the extra weight and space.
The enameled cookware is super durable, holds heat evenly, and can withstand the outdoor elements. Cleaning is a bit more involved than an aluminum or steel pot, so definitely make sure to pack some clean rags to wipe it out and maybe a little bit of oil so that you can season after you use it.
Includes: (1) combo cooker (pot and lid)
Best for Backpacking: Terra Hiker Camping Cookware
Lightweight and compact
Nonstick aluminum is easy to clean
Doesn’t include utensils or mugs
When it comes to backpacking cookware, you need something that's super light, efficient, nests well, and is compact. This set checks all of those boxes. The heat-resistant handles fold for easy storage and they have an anti-slip design that makes them easy to hold and transport. The teapot is a great addition to have in your set, as it can boil water in just two and a half minutes. This set is also great if you’re backpacking with a group, as it has enough space to prepare a meal for four people. Reviewers love how this is a great value set and the lightweight nature of the pots for a backpacking excursion.
Includes: Boiling pot with lid, frying pan, teapot, (2) plastic plates, loofah, soup ladle
Best Budget: Olytamxi Camping Cookware Set
Includes utensils, bowls, and a loofah for cleaning
Not suitable for large groups
If you’re not looking to break the bank with your camping cookware set, this baseline set will be exactly what you need for an outdoor adventure. With heat-resistant handles, a sturdy aluminum material, and a compact nesting design, this set is easy to use, durable, and space-efficient. Its lightweight nature and small size make it just as suitable for backpacking as it is for car or RV camping. The food-safe, nonstick coating makes it super easy to clean and you don’t have to worry about any harmful chemicals. The convenient mesh sack protects it while it’s stored and helps to keep track of all of the pieces. This set can feed up to four people comfortably.
Includes: large pot (1.9 liters), large frying pan (1 liter), small pot (1.2 liters), small pan (0.66 liters), (3) bowls, spoon, soup spoon, natural loofah sponge, stainless utensils set (folding fork, knife, and spoon)
Best for Large Groups: Odoland 29-Piece Camping Cookware Mess Kit
Can feed 4 or more people
Includes plates, bowls, cutlery, and buckets
Too large and heavy for backpacking
If you tend to hit the outdoors with a large squad of people, you certainly want camping cookware that can keep up with the crowd. This 29-piece set is sure to feed everyone easily. Though it might be pricier than the average set, because it includes so many pieces, we definitely think this set is worth the extra money. The pots have a huge volume capacity and the collapsible bucket makes for an easy place to clean dishes. The pans are made of anodized aluminum for a hot, even sear and a breezy cleanup.
Additionally, the included cutlery ensures that you don’t need anything else to enjoy your camping meal from start to finish. At 5 pounds, it’s not the lightest cookware set (you probably don’t want to take this backpacking), but for all that it offers, this weight seems reasonable.
Includes: Large pot (2.4 liters), medium pot (1.5 liters), fry pan (1.5 liters), kettle, collapsible container, collapsible bucket, (4) stainless steel cups with silicone protectors, (4) stainless steel plates, (4) sets of dinner cutleries (forks, knives, and spoons with storage bags), (2) cleaning cloths, carrying bag
Best Nonstick: Sinloog 11-Piece Outdoor Cookware Set
Nonstick is easy to clean
Plates and cutlery not included
Finding a sturdy, nonstick set is a great way to ensure that you won’t spend your entire camping trip cleaning and scrubbing dirty dishes. This nonstick set is going to be your friend after cooking when it comes time to clean up. The pans can withstand high temperatures, they’re scratch-resistant, they heat evenly, and their nonstick coating is a real game-changer.
Use the pans over an open fire or a camp stove—plus, this set can easily prepare a meal for four people. Everything nests easily and is stored in a convenient mesh bag. The compact, lightweight nature of this set makes it a great option for both backpacking or car camping.
Includes: Kettle, nonstick pot, pot lid, nonstick frying pan, cleaning sponge, bamboo spatula, food-grade plastic soup spoon, food-grade plastic bowl, mesh bag
What to Look for When Buying Camping Cookware
Number of Pieces
Every camping cookware set is different and will offer a different variety of pots, pans, cups, bowls, plates, and utensils. Some include other handy tools like a colander, a cutting board, and even some spatulas or whisks. If you already have a separate set of cutlery or plateware for camping, you’re probably better off opting for a set with solely cookware, but if you want to get more bang for your buck, then it’s certainly worth looking into sets that include plates and utensils. Additionally, you should consider how many people you’re typically cooking for on these trips. If it’s for 1-3 people, you probably don’t need as many pots as if you’re cooking for larger groups.
The material of your camping cookware will indicate how durable it is, how easy it is to clean, and how well it performs over a camp stove or open fire. Cast iron is super durable and heats evenly, but it’s extremely bulky and heavy. Anodized aluminum and nonstick are both lightweight and great options when it comes to cleanup. Silicone and rubber handles are also something to look out for as it’s not a good idea to place these over an open fire.
Weight and Size
Whether you plan to take this set car or RV camping versus backpacking is another consideration. If this is for a solo backpacking trip, you definitely want something light, compact, and small so that you have room for all of your things. If you’re in a car or RV and you’re not as pressed for space, you can likely size up to bigger, heavier sets. Cast iron is a great material for the great outdoors, but it’s far too heavy to carry by hand, so definitely keep that to car or RV excursions.
Ease of Cleaning
Owning a set of cookware that cleans up quickly and easily will make your cooking in the great outdoors much more enjoyable. Cookware with a nonstick coating is typically much easier to clean off with limited water because the stuck-on food bits come off easily. If a pot requires an excessive amount of scrubbing or cleaning product, this is probably not the best investment for your camping cookware inventory.
Is enamel camping cookware safe?
Enameled cooking is typically a cast iron material with an enamel coating. This material is known for distributing heat well and cleaning up easily, and it’s non-reactive, so it’s safe to cook any food on it. This material is highly durable and it is fine to use metal utensils on it.
Is aluminum camping cookware safe?
As long as the aluminum cookware that you’re using is anodized, then it’s safe to use. Without this coating, it can be reactive with highly acidic foods, so make sure you confirm that the aluminum cookware is anodized. This coating does not make the cookware completely nonstick but it certainly helps, so if you want nonstick aluminum pans, make sure there is also a nonstick coating.
How do you clean camping cookware?
In order to clean camping cookware, you definitely want warm water. You can heat water in a kettle over the fire, and if it starts to boil, you can cut the heat with some room-temperature water. Create a small camping sink (you can use a small cooler) and handwash all of your items with warm, soapy water. It’s always helpful to start with the cleaner items first and then move to the dirtiest. Separately, it’s helpful to create an additional sanitizing sink where dishes can soak. Towel dry the plates and then either dispose of the dirty water at any nearby facilities (if your campsite has them) or distribute it among the soil far away from any water sources.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Sara Tane has written nearly a dozen buying guides for The Spruce Eats, understanding what consumers and cooks need to consider before making a new purchase for their culinary adventures. She is a professionally trained chef in addition to a camping and outdoor cooking enthusiast. With many weekends of cooking elaborate, delicious meals out in the great outdoors, she is no stranger to what it takes to have a successful bout of cooking at a campsite. After researching different camping cookware sets and their materials, she can help you find the best camping cookware for your next adventure. She not only takes her camping menu pretty seriously, but she understands what makes for an easy, seamless cooking experience. Nobody wants to be fussing with their camping cookware in the middle of nowhere.