Cook pot lids as plate/skillets

2:42 a.m. on June 4, 2013 (EDT)
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WHY in the world don't backpacking cook pot makers offer lids that also serve as both plates and skillets???

5:53 a.m. on June 4, 2013 (EDT)
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The Trangia pot sets are like this -- saucepan with a nonstick frypan lid and a separate pothandle-grabber that fits both pieces.

But yeah, you'd think more companies would make this, it's such a smart design.

2:24 p.m. on June 4, 2013 (EDT)
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I just made my own.

3:07 p.m. on June 4, 2013 (EDT)
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I've got an old set of nesting al no stick pots that do just that - the lid is a little frypan plate with its own handle. these were probably made back in the seventies, I can't tell the brand, the logo is worn off. I like them - they are a little heavy but they cook well, and are very well made. I think rei used to carry them back in the day. 

6:42 p.m. on June 4, 2013 (EDT)
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There used to be quite a few cook sets on the market consisting of a set of several pots, designed as the OP describes.  Some were complete cooking solutions, like the Sig Tourister, that included a stove wind screen abd base, all designed to stow in the pot set.  My hunch is the UL movement, smaller group size, and shift away from real cooking to boiling bags of food, caused a shift away from the multi pot design concept, under the assumption one now only needs a small water boiling pot, cup, and a spork. 

I also have several sets of aluminum nesting pots similar to what Lee describes, known as billies,  from the 1970s, each with its own bowl shaped lid.  All the pieces of the set were equipped with handles.  They came three pots per set.  Mine, however, were uncoated, so the lids would have made for unsatisfactory frying pans.  The company that made them was Bulldog Brand.  I still use these sets, finding them equal or superior to anything that has been marketed since.  I tried to locate another set as I no longer have lids for the large pots, but Bulldog Brand seems to be no longer around, nor does it appear anyone makes a similar set of billies.

Ed

1:11 p.m. on June 5, 2013 (EDT)
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Yep, I still have my SIGG Tourist cook kit (& my SCEA 123 stove). Can't bear to part with them.

But perhaps if we asked folks like MSR to do it maybe they would get the hint that it would be a good design to have a lid/plate skillet combo. I'll start calling today and put my mouth where my post is.

1:42 p.m. on June 5, 2013 (EDT)
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good luck in your quest. although I am not so sure that msr is going to halt production and do a major redesign all because of one phone call. give it a shot!

2:19 p.m. on June 5, 2013 (EDT)
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You didn't say how big a pot you wanted.

For a small pot with non-stick fry pan / lid and a good little pot gripper, look at the Trangia 28-T.  Weight of this is about 6 ounces. The pot holds about three cups or a tad more.

Oh yeah, it comes with a stove and pot stand too, which add less than another six ounces. Total weight is about 12 ounces, pretty good for a small cook kit and stove, and the cost is less than some small fancy pots do alone!

 Trangia does sell just cook kits, kettles and pots without the stove, and the cost is quite reasonable. I love the light non-stick fry pans. Campsaver has some of them on-line.

Another low cost option is the U.S.G.I. Mountain cook kit, which comes with a steel fry pan /lid and two big aluminum pots. This has been my standard cook kit for two decades now.  The steel pan is kinda heavy, but it works quite well if you really are intending to fry up fish or steaks and eggs, or just a big 'ol mess of sausages, peppers and onions in olive oil, etc...

For simple boilin' glop up inna pot kinda cooking, the set is big enough to cook for four in.

On "go-light" trips I typically take just one big pot and an improvised lid.

I like having the extra capacity for towel baths, hauling water and the like, and I use them over a fire as often as not, so I like the wire bails.    

http://store.colemans.com/cart/mountain-cook-kit-us-gi-p-1340.html

 


P7130067.jpg

That's the USGI steel fry pan below, but the aluminum lid on the pot full of rice comes from a different kit.


P1010466.jpg

 

 

 

 

2:39 p.m. on June 6, 2013 (EDT)
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 @ Bob>  I normally use a small 3 cup pot that is just right for solo cooking - low and proportionally wide for efficient heat transfer. Plus my CC Sidewinder stove was made to fit that pot. I'm an ESBIT fanboy when it's permitted so I use the Sidewinder for a fair amount of my camping.

I'll check out the Triangia lid dimensions. It may fit.

6:57 p.m. on June 6, 2013 (EDT)
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Check out Snow Peak.

I love they're pot / pan system. All their stuff is designed to nest together, I usually carry their Mini Soloist set, but I also carry the Trek Combo 900ml / 1400 ml nesting cook set for longer trips with two people.

Anyway - I agree lids should be designed to serve as a fry pan & small plate.

I like being able to fix a large pasta / rice meal in the larger pot, and a meat or what ever in the fry pan.

Mike G.

 

 

7:28 p.m. on June 6, 2013 (EDT)
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MSR already makes quite a few pot combos where the lid is a frypan/plate.... no need to call them, just buy one haha.

Snowpeak also makes quite a few sets.

IMO the MSR ones are great, the snowpeak ones suck really reallly really bad, and i have found that i much prefer a seperate frypan if i need that functionality. I have a MSR handleless frypan that works great, and is what i bring when i want a frypan. The lids on all of these sets out there work fine as a bowl/plate, but no so well as a frypan, well they work just not anywhere near as well as a dedicated/purpose built frypan.

 

1:36 p.m. on June 7, 2013 (EDT)
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Rambler, The only MSR frypan/lid combo is their Alpine stainless steel cookset, a heavy, car camping set.

I talked  to MSR yesterday and the rep said he would pass the suggestion along to the design guys. So now all we need is about another 50 calls to MSR on the topic. ;o)

1:51 p.m. on June 7, 2013 (EDT)
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TheRambler said:

MSR already makes quite a few pot combos where the lid is a frypan/plate.... no need to call them, just buy one haha.

Snowpeak also makes quite a few sets.

IMO the MSR ones are great, the snowpeak ones suck really reallly really bad, and i have found that i much prefer a seperate frypan if i need that functionality. I have a MSR handleless frypan that works great, and is what i bring when i want a frypan. The lids on all of these sets out there work fine as a bowl/plate, but no so well as a frypan, well they work just not anywhere near as well as a dedicated/purpose built frypan.

 

I like MSR too, but I'm curious, what did you dislike about the Snow Peak pots / pans?

I use the aluminum pots and find the quality to be good, I also prefer built in handles as opposed to pot grippers. 

4:15 p.m. on June 7, 2013 (EDT)
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The snowpeak ones are really small, so it takes alot of prep and planning to actually be able to use it for much effectively without cutting alot of stuff down to size etc. The handles on them are TERRIBLE, i have accidentally dumped a lid of food quite a few times when not being super diligent.

I have only used the Ti snowpeak sets. They do work, but are small and the handle needs a major redesign IMO.

I like to use my fry pans for fish, making flatbreads, cornbread, eggs, steaks, etc. For steaks and fish you really have to cut stuff into small pieces so that it will actually fit.

MSR sets- The alpine set is one, and is one of the best IMO. Yes it is a tad on the heavy side being SS but is a much more pleasant experience to cook on, and it does its job well, very very well.

Then there is the blacklite set. Its a HAA set otherwise identical to the Alpine set.

Then there are the stowaway sets. These arnt advertised as the lid being a fry pan, but it works just dandy in my experiences as long as you have a stove where the little tab on the top can sit down in the middile of a stove and allow the lid to "sit flat"ish..

Then there are things like the blacklite skillet, and flex skillet that fit on many of their pots as lids, so can be dual purpose.

If you want a cook set to have a lid that doubles as a frypan then it is going to be a larger set like the alpine set or the blacklite set. A tiny little frypan is not really much use lets be honest here.  That or buy a seperate frypan. Tiny frypans make me more violent than anything, and cooking in them truly makes me want to gouge out my own eyes.

6:48 p.m. on June 7, 2013 (EDT)
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Rambler, thanks for the reply. I was just curious about what your perspective was, I'm not trying to change your mind. 

I can certainly see frying a steak or fish fillet in a small diameter pan being irritating, and I agree that the MSR Alpine set is a great set, I love the ones I have - even if they are a little heavy. I usually get to grill steak on a small fire where I go backpacking and I like to cook trout in tin foil.

The Snow Peak Trek series (900 / 1400 ml) is small in diameter but the pot is tall which I like for making soups, stews, and other one pot meals like chicken gumbo. Then I can fry a crab cake or salmon patty in the pan and the shape of those fit well in the small diameter pan, single serving spam also fits in the 1400 ml pan.

If I'm going to fry Bream or Catfish nuggets I bring either my MSR Alpine set (especially for cooking on a fire) or my Snow Peak Multi Compact set with the 6" diameter pan. This is the Snow Peak set that is shaped more like my MSR Alpine set.

I do also like to use a stand alone 10" skillet, like you mentioned, and a Titan Kettle or Mors Pot for cooking certain meals - and like I suppose most people do, I just bring the cook set that I feel will work the best with my meal plans.

I don't like pots & pans with non - stick coatings; at home I cook with stainless and cast iron but my wife prefers the non - stick cookware.

I haven't had problems with the Snow Peak handles myself but I do understand what you mean.

Anyhow, I think it's great that we have so many cook wear choices available nowadays so we can all find what works best for the way we each like to cook. 

 

 

9:08 p.m. on June 7, 2013 (EDT)
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I really like the Snowpeak Ti pots, just not so much the lids/frypans. They are a good size for small fillets, crab cakes etc i agree, and that is about the extent that i use them for now. If I know my meal plans will involve needing a fry pan then I just bring a dedicated one nowadays.

I also am not a huge fan of nonstick cookwear. I only got the blacklite skillet because it was on steap and cheap for only a few bucks last year.

I used to never have problems with my snowpeak lid handles, and then one day sitting in a shelter I was telling my friend about how i have never had a problem with them even though i had read alot of negative reviews about them. And as soon as I said that the lid plops over and my oatmeal spills everywhere haha. And it happened to me once or twice after that too.

I am really a fan of the Mors pot, but am always kinda leary of alluminum cookware, even HAA stuff. So I think I am going to buy a Snowpeak 1400 from four dog stoves with a Ti bail and  custom lid. Essentially a Ti Mors pot.

1:31 p.m. on June 8, 2013 (EDT)
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OK, so Ti and stainless "lid/skillets" exist. But I want aluminum. I have a Japanese Ti frypan and it absolutely does not heat evenly. I may give it away I dislike it so much. Ti cookware is nearly an oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp and military intelligence. (IMHO, of course.)

I doubt if I'll get "Oldtimer's Disease" from cooking with aluminum if it has a ceramic non-stick coating. Maybe the Swiss will once again turn out a few nice cooksets. My old SIGG Tourist set had a lid/frypan AND the ability to have a double boiler which was useful when I made cheese fondue to go with our fresh-caught brook trout. (Not that I'll carry two pots ever again.)

 

The search for the perfect skillet/lid continues - as it does for Unobtanium hiking poles.

2:40 p.m. on June 8, 2013 (EDT)
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300Winmag,

My experience with Ti fry pans is that I had to move them around on the burner (like the ole 'Jiffy Pop popcorn pans) to get even heat, or use a solid diffuser plate underneath them that will heat evenly, of course carrying a heat diffuser negates the weight advantage of carrying the Ti pan.

Aluminum cook sets with lid / fry pans are out there, then again, one skillet that I use a lot came from Wally world, it's just one of their mid priced 10" skillets and when packed up it fits over the bottom of one of my larger pots.

So I just kinda made up my own set.

Unobtanium - haha.

 

 

 

2:58 p.m. on June 8, 2013 (EDT)
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the only ti cookware I have is my ti kettle by msr. it's good for boiling water in but that's about it. ti would be really crappy for a fry pan/skillet, because it just heats too unevenly. the only good frypans are cast iron, but that's a little too heavy for the trail. I have an aluminum 10" frypan that I use, it's nonstick and works rally well, nice thick aluminum, although it's not really heavy.

4:01 p.m. on June 8, 2013 (EDT)
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I find Ti works fine for boiling water, steam baking, and general sauteeing or frying though the last two take a little bit on adjustment and fine skill. I agree alluminum and SS make much better cookware for actual cooking.

Like Mike, i found that when you want to actually cook in the Ti cookware be it the frypan or not, the key is to either keep the food moving constantly or keep the pot moving constantly. Basically i just turn my stove on and set my Ti cookware on to begin heating up, but when i start cooking i just hold the pot by the handle and hold it slightly off the stove and just move it a little.

The big problem with Ti is that it is too good of a heat conductor, so wherever the flame is hitting is going to get super hot where the other areas willl be significantly cooler. So by just moving the pot/frypan around in a small circle above the stove i have found this issue is largely negated.

Thankfully most items i am actually cooking only take a couple minutes of cook time so its not a huge inconvienience.  If I know my trip will involve heavy use of a skillet then I always bring my msr blacklite.

6:48 p.m. on June 8, 2013 (EDT)
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Heh, I agree with The Rambler - Small fry pans drive me nuts!

On a cycle tour of Iceland I went so far as to buy an ordinary aluminum frypan at WalMart to take with me. I simply took the handle off every time I packed it away in my panniers -
DSC01932.jpg

 

I mean, if yer gonna be frying fish and so forth allot, ya gotta do what ya gotta do! On a cycle tour I simply cannot shovel in enough food.

Much of my cooking at home seems to revolve around a huge cast iron frypan, and that doesn't help.

My USGI frypan and even my 8.66 inch diameter Trangia 25 frypan are really to small.

 
SAM_1830.jpg

It sorta gets the job done and the Trangia pan is indeed very light, but I could wish it was twice as deep. It is hard to do a decent stir fry in the thing.

Trangia does make a nifty 8" fry pan that is 3" deep and comes with a lid. Sells fer 22 at Campsaver I think.

It weighs 13.7 ounces, but if the lid also worked with yer pots, it would make a slick bit of kit.

  

3:03 p.m. on June 9, 2013 (EDT)
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trangia has some good options. I also like msr. thir blacklight stuff is good. hard anodized aluminum is the way to go for frying in the backcountry.

4:16 p.m. on June 9, 2013 (EDT)
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@ Mike > I agree, at present one must hunt around for a lid/skillet combo. So far I've only found a non-stick "one egg" skillet that I'd be willing to carry. I removed the handle and use my pot gripper.

But, yeah, a nice 8" minimum diameter skillet would be so much more useful.

@ Bob > Lordy those photos of food in your skillet makes me hungry!

2:37 p.m. on June 10, 2013 (EDT)
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almost too good for trail viddles.

3:48 p.m. on June 10, 2013 (EDT)
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Last Fall I got two Esbit Cooking systems from The Climb and this spring tried out the larger of the two sets.  This set:
41v99nTHMhL._SY300_.jpg

I did not take the whole set as it was just me.  I took the medium pot, frypan, and stove set.  The majority of my meals are one pan meals, and I found that the medium pot was good to "fry" stuff in before adding the other parts like rice or patios.   I use the Frypan once, but I really did not need it, at least on this trip. 

If I had had the kids with me I would have used it to make pancakes and the like.  Although I like a frypan with a handle better.   I would have also taken the larger pot, as it can easily cook for 3 hungry campers.  Probably 4 with no problem. 

The other kit I got was the small kit:
41RGtyCPYSL._SY300_.jpg

I have not used this yet, but it would be good for prepackaged meals, or that is my hope. The "frypan/Lid is only 3" to 4" wide, so what ever one was to cook in it would have to be fairly small.  I did someone say spam?  Or maybe those foil packed tuna or salmon flays.  Maybe some slices of sosage too.  I am going to use this this year when I don't go to the beach, thus no fire and lighter pack.  I hope to post a review on these soon. 

Wolf

3:05 p.m. on June 11, 2013 (EDT)
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you said esbit. the stove sets you show are trangia.

5:47 p.m. on June 11, 2013 (EDT)
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Nah, that’s the Esbit Trangia look-alike alcohol stove. They have a different simmer cap.

You can see ‘em at campmor  –

http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___81703

Can’t say who makes it though, it might be a relabeled Trangia. I haven’t heard about any direct comparisons between the burners so I don’t know if there is any difference in performance.

A nice deep 4” fry pan says “Poached Eggs!” to me.

Especially on a cycle tour. Eggs are usually cheap and the protein is good.

A low power alcohol or Esbit tab stove should be good for poaching eggs.    

You can poach ‘em up in olive oil instead of water for lots of calories! Or use water, and make tea with the water after the eggs are done.

Oh yeah, camp cookery is fun!

7:23 p.m. on June 11, 2013 (EDT)
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Trailjester said:

you said esbit. the stove sets you show are trangia.

 There probably made at the same place in China, :)  but mine came in Esbit labeled boxes.   But they are  just about the same thing. 

As for Poached eggs, I might have to try that, can you poach a egg solid though?  Can't stand the runny stuff.  :)

Wolf

10:01 p.m. on June 11, 2013 (EDT)
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Oh yes, you can easily poach them solid and the nice thing about poaching in water is you don't have to worry about burning them or messy pot cleanup!

Lest see - You'll need to toast an English muffin, poach some eggs, cook up some hollandaise sauce and fry up a little spam - Then you can have Eggs Benedict while out on the trail!

All the other hikers will be green with envy!   

 

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