The Agony of Choice: In Search of the Perfect Cookware

The saying from the phrase box “Essen keeps body and soul together on tour” is still valid today. To prepare delicious food, one needs pots and pans in addition to the cooker, and you can quickly lose track of the market situation. Aluminum (treated or untreated), stainless steel or titanium, coated or not- a little knowledge of the properties of the materials used can shorten the search for the perfect cookware.

Almost all outdoor pots meet the following requirements: they are light but stable, the contents heat up quickly without burning. The noodle water is easy to pour off, and tea and coffee water can be conveniently poured into cups. After cooking, they are easy to clean. But the second look reveals: There are quite different pots and dinner sets available in market.

Aluminum is under discussion:

Aluminum is still classic despite of many discussions. The untreated aluminum versions have been around for centuries. Aluminum cookware is light and for a long time, the favorite for those who not only wanted to pay little money, but also wanted to pay close attention when packing. The excellent thermal conductivity was convincing, a little metal abrasion when cleaning and sometimes metallic taste was accepted. Whether aluminum, which comes through abrasion in the food or by lemon or other ‘sour’ food (maybe) is released on the road is harmful to health (long-term consequences included) or if the amounts are far too low, is a point of discussion that is still today a controversial debate.

Aluminum cookware

Another way to make aluminum more resistant to wear is the standard method of anodizing. Hard anodizing cookware is corrosion resistant and more comfortable to clean afterward (without scratches).

Heavier, but indestructible: stainless steel

A classic among the pot sets are the variants made of stainless steel. Really durable, they can accompany you for decades. The thermal conductivity of Stainless-steel dinner set is not as good as aluminum pots.  So, if weight does not matter that much, durability and longevity are in the foreground, then the cheaper stainless-steel pots can be a good alternative.

For lightweight trailers, there is only one material: titanium!

Lightweight, free of oxidation, resistant and therefore very durable, the pots can quickly become a favorite companion on tour if one is prepared to spend significantly more money for it. The material hardness of titanium makes it possible to build very thin-walled cookware. The thermal conductivity is lower than that of stainless steel, so titanium pots are more for quick water boiling or heating. For snow melting in winter, you should rather use another pan.

Hard facts for a quick overview:

– Stainless steel plates are more heat resistant than aluminum. Do not forget kettles or large aluminum pots in the embers. There should be people whose cookware has quickly turned into dust (melting temperature of aluminum: 650 ° C)

– Titanium has a significantly lower thermal conductivity than aluminum, but partially compensates for this with its very thin walls

– The excellent thermal conductivity of aluminum (up to 10x higher than stainless steel) is the reason that untreated aluminum is still the first choice for the pans of many coated pans in outdoor pots

– For water cooking, the aluminum or Stainless steel tiffin are perfectly adequate

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