After a long tiring day on the trail, refueling is vital. And if you want to eat fresh meals, you need a decent camping cookware set. What’s more, you need one that caters for the whole family.
Well, now you’ve one less thing to worry about! Sit down and have a read of my guide on the best camping cookware for family excursions.
What to Consider When Looking for the Best Camping Cookware for Family Trips
Weight and Space
When camping, we all want to carry as light a load as possible. This is especially the case when backpacking, as every ounce counts.
Of course, if you are going in a car, weight isn’t such a big deal, but space is!
Ideally, everything should nest well to save on space and accommodate other things needed for camping.
Pots with folding handles are ideal for camping.
Some cookware sets have storage bags making them more comfortable and safer to transport.
It’s a family trip, so you have to make sure that what you carry will accommodate meals enough for everyone.
Capacity in cookware is often measured in quarts (quarters of a gallon). 1 quart is 0.95 liters. Very roughly 1 quart should be enough for one person. This really depends on what you are cooking and who you are cooking for!
I find cookware that graduates in size and can be nested one inside another as one of the best choices for camping.
Camping cookware should conduct heat efficiently to take the shortest time to prepare meals. The set should also be of a durable but light-weight material.
Cookware that can withstand campfires and harsh outdoor temperatures is ideal. Some materials are very sensitive to open fires and varying temperatures.
Cookware with the proper surface coating will also save you a lot of time and energy while scrubbing.
Things drop, get hit or thrown, I mean, it’s a camping trail, anything can happen. We all want cookware that will last us a long time, especially if we’ve spent a considerable portion of our money.
You need cookware that can take the heat (literally – of a campfire).
A pot that can do a few things is much better than one that only has one function. Versatile family camping cookware opens you up to a variety of meals, giving you the platform to amaze your family with your culinary skills. What’s more, there’s more to eating outside than basic fries and burgers.
If you are looking for the ultimate flexibility, a light-weight cookware set with various sized pots and pans is ideal.
Cooking Time and Fuel Efficiency
It’s not all about the hunger; well, we all get hungry after a trail, but cooking quickly means saving on fuel.
Stainless steel on its own, isn’t great for transmitting heat. Still it’s a durable, non toxic material that is often a good choice.
Cast Iron is good but takes longer to warm up. Cast iron is great for for camping dutch ovens.
Aluminum, Copper, and Titanium will heat quickly and evenly, but also have potential downsides.
Getting yourself a reusable camp cook set will help cut down on waste. Don’t just go green in tents but also on your camping cookware set.
As much as paper plates and plastic cutlery sound interesting, they pose a danger to the environment. These items are a threat, especially when they start piling up. Bringing some dish soap on your camping adventures to keep your cookware clean won’t hurt.
Lids and Handles
Lids will save you time, as well as fuel when cooking or heating food. A lid will retain the heat and flavors, while allowing the food to cook slowly and evenly.
I suggest getting a universal lid for your camping cookware to save up on space. A detachable (or foldable), heat resistant handle is best suited for camping cookware.
Best Camping Cookware for Family
Texsport Kangaroo 7 pc Camping Cookware (Best non stick camping cookware set)
This 7 piece camping cookware set includes three pots and three pans, a pot and pan gripper, and a mesh storage bag. It is made of durable, light-weight aluminum, making the set ideal for backpacking.
The set also cooks and cleans easily due to its non-stick interior.
This 7-set cookware has pots and pans that vary in size and can comfortably accommodate a family of five. I love this cookware set because the pans can also act as lids for the pots.
The detachable handle is okay, but it is too light, conducts heat very fast and bends.
There are reports of the non-stick coating peeling off easily. Nesting non stick cookware is difficult. The pots and pans are prone to scratching each other if nested without something to cushion the pieces. Use some kitchen paper to separate them.
It’s a bit smaller than I thought but versatile. The large pot can serve chili for 5-8 people, so I can’t complain much. However, I wouldn’t recommend using over induction stoves.
- Non-stick coating
- Easy to clean
- Versatile- pans can also be used as pot lids
- Detachable handle
- Non-stick coating scratches easily
- Very light handle that conducts heat fast
- Made using Teflon
Terra Hiker Non-stick Camping Cookware (Best Lightweight Camping Cookware)
This 10-piece cookware set satisfies all your essential camping kitchen needs.
It includes non-toxic aluminum pots and pans, bowls, and a serving ladle made of food-grade PP plastic. The set also has heat resistant handles and a nylon mesh bag to pack everything neatly together. This bag makes the set easier to carry and also saves on space.
My favorite part about this cookware set is the heat resistant handles. They work as advertised and have a good grip. The handles, however, are made of plastic hence can easily burn and melt while exposed to open flames.
The bowls in this set are versatile as they can act both as bowls and cups. Cleaning this set after use isn’t stressful at all. This family sized cookware set is ideal for uptown five people.
- Good cooking performance
- Compact and portable
- Heat-resistant handles
- Well equipped with the kitchen essentials
- Not so non-stick
gear4U Camping Cookware Kit (Best Two Person Camping Cookware Kit)
This camping cookware set has a mess kit with an anodized aluminum non-stick pot with a lid and a frying pan. BPA-FREE utensils and plates include; a deep dish, two Tritan sporks, two plates, a soup ladle, and a spatula.
The set also comes with one mini stove with piezo ignition, a carrying case, silicone folding cup with a lid, and a sponge for cleaning.
What thrills me the most is the accessories in this cookware set. I love the sporks, spatula, soup ladle, and the mini stove. It is a decent camping set for 2-3 people, and you can always buy two or more sets if you have a large family.
- Small and compact
- Non-stick pots
- Small for a family
- Not the most durable
Bulin 27 PC Camping Cookware Mess Kit (Best Large Family Set)
This 27-piece family camping cookware set is the ideal set for a family of 6-7 people. It also comes in other sizes:
- 3 Pieces (works for 1-2 people)
- 8 Pieces (everything you need for 2 people)
- 9 Pieces (OK for 2-3 people)
- 13 pieces (perfect for 3-4 people)
The 27 piece set includes a hanging pot, boiling pot, frying pan, kettle, six bowls, four small plates, three big plates, a foldable soup spoon, a rice ladle, and a cleaning sponge.
The set nests together and can be stored in a mesh bag for convenient carrying and space-saving. This set also boasts solid quality owing to its durable material.
What caught my attention about this set is the hanging pot. It’s designed be hung over open campfires. Cool, right?
I also think the little kettle in this set makes it attractive for those who can’t go without a cuppa.
- Light-weight and compact
- Pot can hang over open fire
- Range of sizes available
- Non-stick layer peels off over time
Stanley Adventure Stainless Steel Base 4X Camp Cook Set (Best Camping Cookware for Families & Best Stainless Steel Camping Cookware)
This 21-pc nesting cookware made from stainless steel and BPA free material includes a Pot, Pan, Lid, Cutting Board, Spatula, Plates, Serving Spoon, Sporks, Bowls, Dish Rack, and a Trivet. This stainless camp cookware set is ideal for preparing dishes for four people.
I like that the set features stainless steel material. Stainless steel beats aluminum for toughness. It’s rust proof and durable. Its only downsides are its lower cooking efficiency and lack of a non-stick interior.
It’s also a little heavier than aluminum or titanium (but not as much as cast iron). This means it isn’t great for backpacking.
If you are car camping though, this stainless steel camping cookware set should be your first choice. I just love the way this set packs so much into it through super efficient nesting.
- Easy to clean
- Saves on space
- Tough and durable
- Rustproof material
- Pots and pans are not non-stick
- Not for backpacking
- Utensils are flimsy
STANSPORT – Heavy Duty 7-Piece Stainless Steel Clad Cookware Set (Most Versatile Camping Cookware Set)
Stansport heavy-duty 7-piece stainless steel set includes 4-qt, 3-qt, 2-qt, and 1-qt pots, a frying pan, a universal lid, and a detachable handle to be used on the pots and the frying pan. All the accessories perfectly nest together, saving on space and ensure ease of transport.
I love their idea of having one universal lid and a detachable handle for all the pots and the pan. However, I’d prefer to have about two detachable handles to serve when you are preparing two meals simultaneously. Apart from the handle, I love everything else about this set; its rustproof material is easy to clean, and it’s small and compact. This camping cookware set serves 4-6 people.
- Sleek and stylish
- Rustproof material
- Easy to clean
- The one handle is not that convenient
- No bag to store them
Best Camp Cook Set FAQs
How to Clean Camping Cookware
The inside of camping cookware you clean in the same way as you would any other cookware.
The outside can be harder to clean, especially if it has been over an open fire. Here the trick is preparation. Coat the outside in a thin layer of dish soap, before putting it over the open fire. At the end of your trip you will find it much easier to wash off the soot.
How do I choose the best camping cookware for me?
When it comes to choose camping pots and pans, start with size: You need to know how many people you will be feeding!
The move onto weight and space.
Space is normally important so you need something that stacks or nests, which the best camping pots pans normally do.
Weight matters if you are backpacking, but it’s less important for the best car camping cookware set.
Then you get to material. Non-stick is easier to clean, can be lighter, but isn’t as robust and won’t last as long over open fires.
Stainless steel is the safest choice but may be a bit heavy if backpacking (and is tougher to clean.)
The Verdict: Best Family Camping Cook Set
Best Camping Cookware For Family Trips
Most of the time, you are going to be taking a vehicle on a family vacation. It just makes life easier and you take more stuff with you.
So, for this family friendly article I’ve been looking for the best car camping mess kit. Something where space is important, but weight not so much. Robustness matters, as well as capacity.
What you want is a space saving robust cookware set that has everything you need in one place; you need nesting camp cookware.
That’s why I think the Stanley Adventure Camp Cook Set is the best camping cookware for family trips.
If you are looking for durable and convenient camping cookware for family camping, this stainless steel camping set is the one; I highly recommend it.
Best Two Person Backpacking Cookware Kit
Don’t skip this one just because you need cookware for more than two people! Instead, if you are backpacking, consider buying two of the gear4U Camping Cookware Kits.
It makes it easier to distribute space wise, and also you can split it between backpacks if you need to.
I love that the pans are genuinely non-stick, something hard to find in family camping cookware.
Besides, it is pretty light-weight, small, and compact, so, if you are a backpacking folk, you don’t have to carry lots of pounds on your back. It’s also affordable and won’t strain your pocket.
If you are looking for something lightweight, then consider a carbon steel pan.