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Top Quality Camping Cookware Sets for Outdoor Cooking Enthusiasts

The camping cookware set you choose can greatly impact your outdoor meal preparation and clean-up process. We went on a mission to find the best camping cookware sets for outdoor enthusiasts like you.

If you love cooking outside, you’ll love looking at our top five camping cookware sets. This post will discuss cast iron, anodized aluminum, enameled cast iron, and stainless steel. We’ll even share our best backpacking pick.

Keep reading to learn all about the best camping cookware sets. Later, we’ll walk you through what to consider when purchasing camping cookware sets and frequently asked questions from buyers.

Making an omelet over a campfire. Camping cookware.

Our Top Picks

Best Cast Iron
Cuisinel Cast Iron Cookware Set

Best Anodized Aluminum
T-fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware

Best for Backpacking
Alocs Camping Cookware

Best Enameled Cast Iron
Basque Enameled Cast Iron

Best Stainless Steel
Stanley Even-Heat Camp Pro CookSet


Best Cast Iron

Cuisinel Cast Iron Cookware Set

Cuisinel Cast Iron Cookware 11-Piece Set - Pre-Seasoned 6

Cast iron cookware sets are a favorite of many outdoor enthusiasts because these sets have a tendency to be passed down through the generations–making them an excellent value.

The Cuisinel Cast Iron Cookware Set comes with a lifetime guarantee, so you shouldn’t expect to need to replace the set during your lifetime (and it’s quite possible your children and grandchildren will use it too!)

Aside from being incredibly durable, this Cuisinel Cast Iron Cookware set comes with just about everything you need to prepare the finest camp meal.

The set includes an 8-inch skillet, a 10-inch skillet with a glass lid, a 12-inch skillet with a glass lid, a grill pan, a round griddle, a pizza pan, and a 12-inch pan rack and organizer.

Pros

  • Topnotch quality
  • Easy to clean
  • Excellent customer support and a trusted US brand

Cons

  • Cast iron cooking does come with a learning curve
  • Reviewers recommend re-seasoning the pans when they arrive
  • Pot handles that come with this set aren’t the best at protecting your hands

Best Anodized Aluminum

T-fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set

T-fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set 17 Piece Pots and Pans, Dishwasher Safe Black

Anodized nonstick cookware is popular because it’s sturdy and is built for extreme outdoor culinary adventures. The T-fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set has a tough exterior to stand the test of time.

Made with a titanium-reinforced interior, this camping cookware set prevents your food from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Thermo-spot technology is also a cool feature of this camping cookware set. This unique heat indicator turns a solid red when the pans are fully preheated and ready to cook.

This 17-piece set comes with a 5-quart covered Dutch oven, 3-quart covered saucepan, 3-quart steamer insert, 2-quart covered saucepan, 1-quart covered saucepan, 3.5-quart covered saute pan, 11.5-inch covered fry pan, 10-inch fry pan, 8-inch fry pan, 10.25-inch griddle, and a one-egg pan.

Pros

  • Amazing heat distribution for cooking evenly
  • Easy to clean
  • Every skillet has a lid

Cons

  • Not compatible with induction cookware (common in portable cookware)
  • Cookware may warp over time

Best for Backpacking

Alocs Camping Cookware

Alocs Camping Cookware, Compact/Lightweight/Durable Camping Pots and Pans Set, Camping Cooking Set for Outdoor Backpacking Camping Hiking Picnic, Included Mesh Carry Bag

One big challenge for backpackers is figuring out how to carry their camping cookware sets since they can be quite bulky. Alocs Camping Cookware solves this problem with its lightweight, durable camping pots and pans set.

The description says this whole set only weighs a whopping 2 pounds, and it comes with a nice mesh bag that will fit easily in a backpack. This set is made from hard anodized aluminum and has a gem coating. It also comes with silicone handles.

This camping cookware set comes with everything backpackers need to make a delicious meal–a 1.3-quart pot with a lid, a 1-quart pot with a lid, a 2.3-quart pot with a lid, and a 7.5-inch frying pan with a lid.

Pros

  • Packs down small for comfortable traveling
  • Heat-resistant handles
  • Strainer lid included

Cons

  • Thin material
  • Very small, so you won’t be able to cook huge meals
  • Not expected to last a long time

Best Enameled Cast Iron

Basque Enameled Cast Iron

Basque Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Set, 7-Piece Set (Biscay Blue), Nonstick, Oversized Handles, Oven Safe; Skillet, Saucepan, Small Dutch Oven, Large Dutch Oven, 10.25

Hear us out on this one! While we are not recommending enamelware for cooking over a fire, we are recommending it for RVers or those who cook over fuel-run camp stoves. The Basque Enameled Cast Iron Set is gorgeous, easy to clean, and provides superior heat retention for your meals.

This cast iron enamelware set is oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and is compatible with an induction top. It can easily handle whatever you want to cook.

The set comes with a 4.75-quart large Dutch oven with a lid, a 2.25-quart Dutch oven with a lid, a 2-quart saucepan with a lid, and a 10.25-inch skillet. Picture simmering soup while baking some delicious hot bread.

Pros

  • Excellent heat distribution
  • Easy to clean
  • Versatile camping cookware set

Cons

  • Not campfire safe
  • Will chip easily if not stored correctly

Best Stainless Steel

Stanley Even-Heat Camp Pro CookSet

Saving space is a must whenever possible when selecting outdoor camping cookware sets, and the Stanley Even-Heat CampPro CookSet was designed with this in mind. The set fits perfectly together to save you space.

The set includes a 4.75-quart stainless-steel stock pot, a 1.8-quart stainless-steel saucepan, an 8.5-inch frying pan, and a collapsible cutting board. Other items include a 2-piece handled spatula, a 2-piece handled spoon, and a locking bungee.

Pros

  • Covered by a limited lifetime warranty
  • Space efficient
  • Heats food evenly

Cons

  • Food sticks
  • Tricky to clean

What to Consider When Buying Camping Cookware Sets

Cooking breakfast food over a campfire.

Materials

The material your camping cookware set is made from makes a huge difference. It impacts how you can use your cookware, so pay close attention to materials when selecting your new camping cookware set.

Cast Iron

Cast iron is the most popular type of camping cookware material. This is because cast iron tolerates hotter heat than any other type of cookware material, which allows you to put your cookware into the embers of the fire–perfect for when you don’t have access to a cooking grate.

Enamel Cast Iron

Unlike regular cast iron cookware, enamel cast iron is much more delicate. An open fire could cause serious damage to an enamel cast iron cookware set, so it’s important to use these cookware sets only on an RV stove or a fuel-run camp stove.

Anodized Aluminum

Anodized aluminum is stronger than plain aluminum cookware, which is what makes it ideal as a camping cookware set. A regular aluminum pan will burn your food because it can’t handle the heat.

These pans can handle being cooked over open fires just fine, although you shouldn’t put them directly on hot coals because this will damage the cookware.

Hard anodized aluminum campfire pans are much heavier than regular aluminum pans, so that is something to consider when bringing them along on your camping trip. However, anodized aluminum is still much lighter than stainless steel.

The biggest disadvantage of anodized aluminum is that it includes a non-stick coating that can be scratched over time and expose the aluminum (which is toxic if cooked on).

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is highly durable and resistant to scratches and corrosion. It does not pose the risk of toxins getting into your food since it does not have any additional coatings.

Stainless steel camping cookware on a campfire grill.

It’s safe to cook with stainless steel over an open fire, but you should never place the pot directly in the fire. Although a stainless steel pan won’t melt if placed too close to the flames, the outer part of the main may darken on the bottom.

Care and Cleaning

How you care for and clean your pan will be determined by the material it’s made from. To ensure the longevity of your cookware, you should become aware of how to care for and clean your cookware before using it.

Cast Iron

Cast iron is one of the lowest maintenance cookware choices, which is another reason it’s popular among outdoor enthusiasts.

Wash your cast iron camping cookware set with only a small amount of soap. If necessary, you can use a pan scraper (included with the Cuisinel Cast Iron Cookware 11-Piece Set) or buy extras if needed).

This Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Care Kit has everything you need to ensure your cast iron stays in tip-top shape. Learn more about caring for your cast iron skillet.

Enameled Cast Iron

While you can wash enameled cast iron in a dishwasher, washing it by hand is the safest way to preserve its coating. Wash your enameled cast iron cookware in hot, soapy water. You can use the same pan scrapers you’d use with your regular cast iron pans to remove caked-on food.

Store your enameled cast iron cookware in a cool, dry place. Use pot protectors to prevent your enamelware from scratching.

Person using an enameled cast iron Dutch over on a propane camping stove.

Anodized Aluminum

If grime and dirt are not removed from anodized aluminum promptly, the coating can be damaged and become corroded.

To keep your anodized aluminum clean, you should clean often with soap and water, though if your cookware still seems dirty, there are a couple of methods to clean this type of cookware.

Vinegar or baking soda are two ingredients known to help prevent discoloration or corrosion in enamelware cookware. Mix one of the ingredients (not both) with water. Vinegar will make a spray, and baking soda will make a paste.

Stack your anodized aluminum camping cookware sets carefully to prevent scratching or dents. Do not stack them on cookware made from other materials because this can damage your anodized aluminum cookware.

Stainless Steel

The biggest disadvantage of stainless steel is it can be very difficult to clean and remove food particle residue. Wait for the stainless steel cookware to cook before you begin cleaning it fully, then rinse off food and soak it in warm, soapy water.

Wash the pan with a non-abrasive scrubber in warm, soapy water, and wipe the pan dry with a microfiber cloth.

If your stainless steel camping cookware has burnt food particles on it, sprinkle the surface with a generous amount of baking soda, fill the pan with water, and bring it to a boil.

Remove the dirty water, clean the pan with warm, soapy water, and wipe dry.

If your pan is discolored, pour vinegar onto the pan and wipe the pan with a non-abrasive scrubber, rinse, and dry.

As we recommended for the enamel cookware, store your stainless steel camping cookware with a layer of cookware protection to prevent scratches.

Weight

Cookware weights vary, even in pans made from the same materials. For example, cast iron skillets typically weigh between 4 and 12 pounds. Pan weight is greatly impacted by its size.

Typically, online listings will include the total weight of the cookware set, which is important to pay attention to if you’re going to be backpacking or hiking with your cookware sets.

If the entire set is too heavy to bring with you on a backpacking trip, you may need to pick and choose your must-have pieces.

Cooking fish in a skillet over a campfire.

What’s Included

You will see cookware sets with various pots, pans, and utensils. The best camping cookware sets should have everything you need to prepare a delicious meal. These are some basic items to look for:

  • Skillets for varying sizes (6 to 12 inches)
  • Pan covers
  • Dutch oven, pots, and/or saucepans

Anything else is a bonus. Some sets include pizza pans, griddles, spatulas, and other outdoor cooking utensils. If you need additional items, buying them all at once can be a huge time saver and, in many cases, a money saver.


Camping Cookware Sets Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need special cookware sets for camping?

You can use any cookware set, for the most part, when camping. The trick is selecting the best camping cookware sets for the type of cooking you intend to do. We recommend avoiding any aluminum pan that is not anodized since they are too lightweight to handle the outdoors.

What are induction stoves, and why is some camping cookware incompatible with them?

An induction stove creates a magnetic field between the cookware and the coils beneath the cooking surface. These are sometimes used in RVs because they are more energy-efficient than gas or electric cooktops, and food heats faster.

Cast iron, enameled cast iron, and most stainless steel are compatible with induction stoves. However, you will find that aluminum, copper, and glass cookware are not compatible with induction stoves unless they have a layer of magnetic properties on the bottom.


Wrapping Up the Best Camping Cookware Sets

A cast iron Dutch oven with seasoned cuts of meat in it.

Cooking with the best camping cookware sets can impact the taste and overall experience of outdoor cuisine. Nothing compares to cooking with cast iron like the Cuisinel Cast Iron Cookware Set, but all of these camping cookware sets are excellent choices for your future outdoor meals.

Need more cooking and food tips, ideas, and suggestions? Check out our Food section on Survival World.