I’ve researched the best camping pots and pans for a family, and my top choice is the Stanley Adventure Camp Cook Set.
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.
That’s why it’s important to choose the right cookware. I like the Stanley Adventure Camp Cook Set for its toughness and durability. But if you’re going on long backpacking trips, it may not be your best option. Fortunately, I’ve reviewed several of the best sets so you can find the right set for your unique situation.You’ll have one less thing to worry about when planning your next camping trip!
Ready to learn more? Sit a spell and keep reading my guide on the best cookware for family camping excursions.
What to Consider When Looking for the Best Cookware for Family Camping 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. If you’re going on overnight backpacking trips, it becomes even more important.
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 items needed for camping.
Pots with folding handles are ideal for camping. Pieces that do double-duty are also helpful. Some cookware sets even have storage bags, making them more comfortable and safer to transport.
Size & Capacity
It’s a family trip, after all, so you have to make sure that what you carry will accommodate meals enough for everyone. Making a campfire stew is a great idea, but only if everyone has a bowl and spoon to eat it!
Capacity in cookware is often measured in quarts (quarters of a gallon). 1 quart is 0.95 liters. Generally, you can roughly estimate 1 quart for each person. So if you have a family of four, you can estimate 4 quarts (3.79 liters). Of course, 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. This gives you a choice as to which size pan to use.
Camping cookware should conduct heat efficiently to take the shortest time to prepare meals. The set should also be made from a durable but lightweight 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.
Look for durable materials like titanium, stainless steel, or even cast iron. Aluminum is super lightweight, but you can overheat it. If you choose aluminum cookware for camping, be sure to avoid leaving it on an open flame for too long.
Most of the time, aluminum pans have a non-stick coating, as well, which makes clean-up easier but is easy to chip. Use a paper towel or cloth to separate the pans when storing them.
Things drop, get hit or thrown, I mean, it’s a camping trail. Anything can happen. We all want cookware that will last for a long time, especially if we’ve spent a considerable portion of our money on it.
It’s important to consider the location and climate you’ll be camping in. Will you be dealing with extreme temperatures? Rain? Snow? Wind? High altitudes? That can affect how well your cookware will hold up over time.
You need cookware that can take the heat (literally – of a campfire). You might have to balance durability with portability. The lighter cookware materials are often the least durable, so you’ll have to consider what’s most important.
A pot that can do a few things is much better than one that only has one function. Versatile 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. Hearty chili, beef stew, pasta, you name it. There’s no reason you can’t eat delicious, healthy food while camping! But you need the right cookware to do it.
If you are looking for the ultimate flexibility, a lightweight cookware set with various-sized pots and pans is ideal. Don’t feel like taking the entire set on the next trip? Pick and choose which pieces you plan to take. You have to be adaptable when camping with family, so your cookware set should be adaptable, as well.
Cooking Time and Fuel Efficiency
The faster you can cook the meal, the less fuel you use. Not only that, but it also means you get to eat faster, too! Even though it’s not all about hunger, everyone can get hungry after a day on the trail!
Stainless steel on its own isn’t great for transmitting heat. It’s slower to cook. 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.
Ultimately, you have to choose what is most important to you.
Getting yourself a reusable camp cookware 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. Having reusable eating utensils is safer for the environment and saves you money over the long haul. Many camp cookware sets include utensils with the cookware, so you don’t have to purchase them separately.
Bringing some dish soap on your camping adventures to keep your cookware clean won’t hurt. Some cookware sets include a bag for storage, so it’s not an inconvenience to store them until you reuse them.
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 camping cookware sets to save up on space. A detachable (or foldable), heat resistant handle is best suited for camping. It needs to be sturdy enough to hold the cookware. After all, you can’t carry a cast iron pot with a plastic handle! Most of the time, sets include a handle that’s appropriate for the cookware material.
Best Camping Cookware Sets for Family
Texsport Kangaroo 7 pc Camping Cookware (Best non-stick 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, lightweight aluminum, making the set ideal for backpacking.
The set also cooks and cleans easily due to its non-stick interior. Wipe away food residue quickly and easily.
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. The quality could be better.
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 or a cloth 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 it 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 Family 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. Wash with soap and warm water. Towel or air dry. Easy, right?
The outside can be harder to clean, especially if it has been over an open fire. The trick here 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. Voila!
How do I choose the best camp cookware for me?
When it comes to choosing camping pots and pans, start with size: You need to know how many people you will be feeding! You might also consider if your group size ever changes. For instance, do your kids bring along a friend when you go camping? Don’t forget to plan for guests.
Then move onto weight and space.
Space is normally important, so you need something that stacks or nests, which the best camping pots and pans normally do.
Weight matters if you are backpacking, but it’s less important if you’re traveling to the campsite by car. If you’re going on overnight hikes, get something lightweight.
The weight can influence which material is best. If you need highly-portable cookware, I recommend getting an aluminum cookware set. Aluminum is lightweight and easy to transport. Often, aluminum is covered with non-stick. Non-stick is easier to clean, 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 Sets 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 cookware for family camping 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.