Heading out on a camping trip or RVing adventure doesn’t mean compromising on cooking. But, having a good quality camper cooking set can elevate your indoor and outdoor culinary experience and make cleaning up more manageable and efficient (and who wouldn’t want THAT?!?!).
But when you’re camping or RVing, there are several essential things to consider where cookware is concerned. So, whether you’re thinking of investing in camp cookware that consists of a single pot, a complete mess kit, or a set of RV pots and pans that are designed to save space, this post will help to guide you toward some high-quality products that are well-suited to the RV and outdoor lifestyles.
- 1) What Is a Camper Cooking Set?
- 2) Qualities and Features to Consider When Shopping for a Good Camper Cooking Set
What Are the Best Camper Cooking Sets?
- 3.1) GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper Cookset
- 3.2) Stanley Adventure Base Camp Cook Set
- 3.3) Magma Products 7-Piece Induction Cook-Top Nesting Stainless Steel Set
- 3.4) Stanley Even-Heat Camp Pro 11-Piece Cookset
- 3.5) MSR Alpine 2 Pot Set
- 3.6) Bisgear 16-Piece Camping Cookware Set w/camp Stove
- 3.7) GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Troop Cookset
- 4) Free RVing Tips, Tricks, Reviews & Giveaways
What Is a Camper Cooking Set?
First, we want to clarify what we mean by “camper cooking set.” We’re referring to cookware sets that can be used for traveling in an RV of any size or for those who car camp or tent camp.
In this post, we’re focusing mainly on cookware, though we’ll include a good mess kit for anyone looking for a compact cooking and dining set.
Ideally, good camp cookware should be versatile and capable of being used inside or out. This covers campers and RVers who sometimes cook inside the rig but enjoy cooking outside on a camp stove or over a campfire, too.
Qualities and Features to Consider When Shopping for a Good Camper Cooking Set
When selecting camping and RVing cookware sets, it’s important to consider several key qualities. This will help ensure you have a functional and durable set for outdoor and RVing adventures.
Here are some qualities to look for in a good RVing and camping cook set:
Choose cookware made from lightweight, durable materials that are easy to clean and rust-resistant. Remember that if you want to use your RVing cookware outdoors over a campfire, it needs to be capable of withstanding the rigors of camping. That includes high heat and maybe even a bit of rough handling.
At the same time, while heavy-duty cast iron may seem like a good idea (it’s undoubtedly durable!), cookware made from cast iron is heavy. Not only does this mean more weight in your RV or camping backpack, but it also means that you must be able to carry and maneuver the pan over a fire, etc.
That said, some campers travel only with a single cast iron pan for everything. That’s fine, but lighter-weight cookware has become increasingly popular for a reason…or several.
Whether you’ve got a large RV or you’re a backpacker, campers generally need to opt for compact equipment that doesn’t take up a lot of space and is lightweight (weight is an issue whether your gear is carried on your back or in a big rig!).
Stackable/nesting pans and cookware sets are popular because they’re easy to pack and take up a smaller amount of space in your RV or camping gear. Look for sets that can nest together, fold, or have removable handles if space is an issue.
Good cookware should distribute heat evenly to prevent uneven cooking/burning. This can be tough to gauge, and you must pay attention to real-life reviews when shopping. Good heat distribution is vital for pots and pans used over open flames or portable stoves (that are inherently less uniform), but it’s essential no matter how you’re using your camping cookware.
Depending on how you travel, consider a set that includes a variety of pots, pans, cups, plates, and utensils to handle all of your cooking and dining needs. Look for multi-functional items that can be used for boiling, frying, and simmering. We’ll include some suitable mess kits in our highlighted products for this type of need.
A nonstick coating makes cooking and cleaning easier and reduces the need for excessive oil or butter. This can be convenient when camping by making cleanup easier (and using less water) in addition to being healthier. But beware of cheap nonstick coating materials, which can be unhealthy and ineffective.
Please read product descriptions carefully and thoroughly check user reviews for reports on the effectiveness of the non-stick coating.
Handles and Lids
Make sure that the handles of the cookware you choose are heat-resistant and securely attached. Some camping cookware can have cheap folding handles that don’t hold up well and are difficult (and even dangerous) to use. Folding/removable handles can be great space savers, but make sure they’re sturdy and durable. User reviews can also be helpful here, in addition to taking note of what the handles are made of and how they’re attached.
Lids should be included with your set and may even have features like integrated strainers that can be useful (pasta anyone?).
Easy to Clean
Choose cookware that’s easy to clean. This keeps water use down, which is very important, particularly when camping/boondocking. Here again, non-stick coatings can be helpful. Either way, you’ll want to focus on materials that don’t require extensive scrubbing.
For some RVers, dishwasher-safe options may also be desirable.
Make sure that the cookware you buy for your camping adventures is compatible with the cooking you plan to do, whether over an open fire, a portable stove, or with RV kitchen appliances.
Note that if your RV has an induction stovetop, you will need induction-specific cookware. We’ll be sure to highlight a good induction-ready cookware set below.
As we noted about cast iron, you’ll want to keep in mind the weight of the cookware, especially if you’re backpacking or need to manage weight restrictions in your RV.
Consider your budget, but keep in mind that investing in high-quality cookware can pay off in terms of durability and performance in the long run. If you camp frequently and intend to use your cookware for a long time, consider your budget, but remember that you want to avoid having to replace your cookware every year or two (the lowest price may also mean the lower quality).
What Are the Best Camper Cooking Sets?
Now, let’s look at some of the best and most popular cookware for camping and RVing.
GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper Cookset
We’re kicking things off with the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper Cookset for those looking for a comprehensive mess kit. This is a complete and compact solution for cooking outdoors or inside your camper. The set comes complete with four plates, four insulated mugs (with sip tops), four bowls, and a 2-liter pot with a strainer lid, all of which nest into a generous 3-liter pot and frypan with a strainer lid.
This 4-person cookware set includes pots, pans, plates, bowls, and mugs – all designed to nest together for efficient storage. The non-stick coating makes cooking and cleaning a breeze, and the durable construction ensures longevity. This set pretty much checks all the boxes if you’re looking for a decent mess kit!
The Pinnacle Camper Cookset has cookware made of anodized aluminum with a nonstick coating free from PFOA (the chemical Perfluorooctanoic Acid). This makes it food-safe and easy to clean. The tableware is made of durable plastic, and the set packs into an included stuff sack for easy storage and portability.
Reviews of this camper cooking set are excellent, with the biggest complaint being that the plates scratch easily, so here’s a heads-up on that.
- Cooking & mess kit: The Pinnacle Camper is a complete solution for cooking and eating while camping and backpacking; Its compact, nesting design can...
- All in one: Includes 4 plates, 4 insulated mugs and sip-it tops and sleeves, 4 bowls, 2L pot with strainer lid, 3L pot with strainer lid, fry pan,...
Stanley Adventure Base Camp Cook Set
Stanley is a trusted name in outdoor gear, and their Adventure Base Camp Cook Set appears to live up to that reputation. This set features a durable stainless steel construction that’s good for withstanding the rigors of camping life, with stainless steel offering just the right balance between durability and (light) weight.
This 21-piece camping cook set combines an efficient nesting design with versatile cooking options, including a vented lid and 3-ply frying pan (Stanley offers other kits if this isn’t the precise type of cookware set you’re seeking).
Reviewers say this set is heavy-duty while still being lightweight and sturdy, cleans nicely, heats evenly, and nests back together easily. One reviewer noted that the lid didn’t seal as tightly as desired, and another was disappointed in the frying pan but loved everything else about the kit. As always, user reviews with lots of details are a good research tool.
- 21 NESTED COMPONENTS: (1) 3 5L pot, vented lid, (1) 7" 3-ply frying pan, (1) cutting board, (1) spatula, (1) serving spoon, (4) 6" plates, (4) 22oz...
- TOUGH AND DURABLE: Manufactured using 18/8 stainless steel this cooking set is strong, scratch proof and rustproof No maintenance other than washing...
Magma Products 7-Piece Induction Cook-Top Nesting Stainless Steel Set
Made of 100% 18-8 mirror polished stainless steel, this premium cookware set from Magma is compatible with all stove types, including gas, electric, and induction, thanks to the ferromagnetic stainless steel base.
The bottoms of these pans are described as perfectly flat for even heat distribution. Except for the removable handles, the cookware and lids are also oven-safe to 500° F (260° C) and dishwasher-friendly.
This 7-piece set stores in less than 1/2 cubic foot of space. Included in this compact camper cooking set are one 5-quart stock pot, one sauté/frying pan (10″ diameter), one 2-quart saucepan, two lids (to fit every pan), one removable handle, and a bungee storage cord.
- 7 Piece Stainless Steel Nesting Cookware Set for use with Induction Cook Tops
- 100% 18-10 Marine Grade Stainless Steel with encapsulated Tri-clad (stainless steel, aluminum, stainless steel) bases
Stanley Even-Heat Camp Pro 11-Piece Cookset
This 11-piece camping cook set is another highly-rated set from Stanley. It includes one 4.75-quart stock pot, one 9-quart saucepan, one 8.5” frying pan, vented lids, a collapsible cutting board, a spatula, a spoon, two trivets, and a locking bungee.
The pots and pans included with this set are designed with a unique, multi-layer bottom to offer even heating over campfires, stove tops, and grills. And it all nests together to save storage space.
- CAMP LIKE A PRO: Everything you need to whip up a hearty meal This 11-piece camping cookware set includes a 4 75qt stock pot, 1 9qt saucepan, 8 5”...
- EVEN-HEAT DESIGN: We’ve crafted the cooking pots and pans with a unique, multi-layer bottom The result? Even heating over campfires, stove tops, and...
MSR Alpine 2 Pot Set
The MSR Alpine 2 Pot Set is for minimalists. It includes two stainless steel pots (1.5-liter and 2-liter) that nest together and are lightweight and durable. The set comes with a lid and a handle that can be used for both pots (note that the “PanHandler” pot lifter safely supports up to 10 pounds).
The simplicity of this set makes it ideal for backpackers and campers looking to minimize weight without sacrificing quality. The set weighs less than 2 pounds.
- Stainless steel construction is incredibly strong and offers the ultimate in durability
- Efficient nesting design is compact and saves valuable space in your pack
Bisgear 16-Piece Camping Cookware Set w/camp Stove
Another mess kit for real minimalists is this 16-piece cookware set from Bisgear, complete with a little camp stove. This set is most appropriate for backpackers and tent campers, though some travelers with tiny campers (vans, teardrops, etc) might also enjoy this minimalist set.
It comes with:
- Anodized aluminum pot (5.70″x 3.14″)
- Frying pan (6.10″x 1.37″)
- Pan cover (5.43″)
- Mini stove with piezo ignition (compatible with any 7/16 thread fuel canisters)
- Stove storage box
- Two BPA-free bowls
- BPA-free soup spoon
- Portable carabiner
- Wooden spoons
- Stainless steel folding knife, fork/spoon set
- Vegetable sponge
- Portable nylon bag
The set does need to be hand-washed. It gets good reviews, but we suggest you take a quick look at a couple of the video reviews to familiarize yourself with the size of the pans before buying to make sure they suit your needs.
- ✔MULTI PROTECTION--Portable screened shelter offers protection from the sun, wind, and uninvited guests,let you enjoy the outdoors with abandon
- ✔EASY SETUP-- This hexagon shape canopy designed with fully assembled One-Piece frame in high gauge sturdy metal, requires zero assembly,seamlessly...
GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Troop Cookset
This is a good set if you like to hang your cookware over a campfire to cook. These pots are steel-constructed, rust-proof, and are reported to heat quickly and evenly. With double-bail lockable handles, pots can be hung over a campfire and withstand open flames and coals.
The set consists of an 8.5-liter pot, a 5-liter pot, two lids, and a 10-inch fry pan with a folding handle. All items in the set are dishwasher-safe, and the entire set nests together into a 12.4″ x 11. 7″ x 8.6″ stuff sack for easy storage and portability.
Noteworthy is GSI’s lifetime warranty (for the original owner) backing the products against manufacturing defects for the product’s lifetime.
- INCLUDES: Steel constructed rust proof 8. 5-liter pot, 5-liter pot, 2 lids, and a 10-inch fry pan with a folding handle. These pots heat evenly and...
- EASY TO CLEAN: All these items are dishwasher safe, making cleaning up easy and hassle free.
These are some of the best and most popular camping cookware sets available, and there are many more. Whichever set you choose, the most important thing is to make sure it fits your specific needs and cooking style.
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