Apr 22, 2008 at 10:14 am #1228520
@cabbottsLocale: Upper Peninsula, Michigan
Here's the deal…I am searching for a new pot to complete my set-up. I am on a tight budget after purchasing quite a bit of other stuff.
I have settled on the Snow Peak 900. But the problem is aluminum or titanium. 3 more ounces for 25 extra dollars. I can get the aluminum for 20.
Will the aluminum be strong enough? I understand the weight difference, but my only concern is strength for those few ounces at this point.
What are everyone's thoughts? I can wait until I have the cash to fork out (no pun intended) the extra money for the titanium.Apr 22, 2008 at 10:26 am #1429512
@jimbluzLocale: Pacific NW
I'm sure you will get a number of "scientific" responses to this question, but it may come down to price, weight and personal preference. I have a variety of titanium pots (yes, I admit it, too many). I have one aluminum pot, the Antigravity 3-cup. As for what I carry the most, it's the AGG aluminum pot and my matched Caldera Cone. I've had no problems with lack of strength. Look carefully at the titanium pots – some are so thin you have to be careful not to damage them while others (MSR Kettle, Snowpeak Mini-Solo)seem rather strong. I've been told aluminum distributes heat better than titanium but have not tried to confirm this. Another factor, which would you rather lose? Keep watching, you'll get many good responses to this question.Apr 22, 2008 at 10:31 am #1429513
@clbowdenLocale: Berkeley Hills
Aluminum is plenty strong, unless you step on the pot. The only reason I have a Ti pot (Evernew 0.9 Liter) is:
a) It has a wide base which works very well with my homemade red bull alcohol stove.
b) It has built in handles. You won't appreciate this that much until you have a pot without handles and forget the pot lifter.Apr 22, 2008 at 11:08 am #1429524
Might I suggest that, if you're looking at Aluminum, GSI Outdoors is probably a better manufacturer than Snow Peak? SP doesn't even do HA (Hard Anodizing) of their Aluminum…
Seriously, paying for the Snow Peak name on an aluminum pot simply doesn't make a lick of sense to me. Many people are fans of the IMUSA pots (Non HA) that you can snag at hispanic stores as well… even lighter and rumor has it plenty durable.
Other than GSI, if you want HA (which, if you're going to spend more than the IMUSA you really do) you can also look at the pots that Antigravity Gear or Brasslite sells (both sell HA pots).
PS – Please note I am a huge fan of Ti… but if I were budget constrained I'd definitely by HA as it give you a better 'bang for the buck' in terms of lightweight… esp if you're only using alcohol or esbit… whereas Ti can be passed on to your grandkid (at least if you're not buying the craziest thinness ones)Apr 22, 2008 at 4:56 pm #1429608
Choose whichever is lighter…neither pot is going to withstand a hard blow. I wouldn't pay extra for more weight (if I understand correctly), that is against everything I believe in. :)Apr 22, 2008 at 5:31 pm #1429615
@markhurdLocale: South Texas
I have used the same aluminum pot for the last 36 years! Believe me, it has seen some rough use, but has held up fine. I picked it up at REI before I could even spell titanium, let alone new what it was. That said I now have and use some Ti pots, but I keep coming back to the aluminum.
-MarkApr 22, 2008 at 6:20 pm #1429628
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Definitely go with aluminium.Apr 22, 2008 at 6:24 pm #1429629
Anyone have experience dry-baking in aluminum?
I'm considering Ti for that specific option – it won't melt.Apr 22, 2008 at 8:29 pm #1429649
@cabbottsLocale: Upper Peninsula, Michigan
Thanks for the help everyone.Apr 22, 2008 at 8:56 pm #1429651
Slip down to your local thrift store and snag an aluminium cake baking tin. It should be somewhere between 50 cents and a dollar.
It probably won't be HA, and if you can, avoid the non stick, teflon coated variety. If you're really lucky, you may get one of the old orange anodised versions, but they tend to sell fast.
The only problem with using this as an introduction to properly lightweight aluminium pots is that you may find yourself still using it in five or even 15 years time. They're tough enough.
RodApr 23, 2008 at 6:23 am #1429687
"Anyone have experience dry-baking in aluminum?
I'm considering Ti for that specific option – it won't melt."
As long as you're not using a blow-torch of a stove (aka canister stove), there are a few people who have expressed success in this. Notable is Tinny's dry-baking with rocks and a KMart Grease Pot.
However, you're right, you're not going to be able to melt Ti in the field… period.Apr 23, 2008 at 7:57 am #1429694
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
I have had Ti…and I went back to HAA. Why? It costs less and works just fine. I still have for instance Ti cups that I can use on a stove, but overall, most of my pans/pots are HAA.
The cost is where you save – a Ti pot can be $50-100. A HAA one can be bought from say $15 to 50, depending on styles and what comes with it.
In the end I still use my simple HAA tea kettle that cost me $17 the most!Apr 23, 2008 at 12:10 pm #1429733
@barrypLocale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
“Choose whichever is lighter”
I’ve used the AGG pot several times:
3.8oz w/ lid plus 1.2oz handle = 5.0oz
I’ve used the Titan Kettle several times
4.2oz with handle
Both have about the same volume. Both boil 2c of h2o in 5.5 minutes w/ my alcy stove (mechanic mike style).
Here’s what I appreciate about the Titan Kettle:
1. lid stays on tighter. Thus I do not need a stuff sack for my kitchen/stove items when I toss it in the backpack.
2. Integrated handle; one less thing to worry about/find. This requires less coordination when lifting pot off flame and pouring into hot-chocolate cup.
3. since it’s slightly taller, I can store a taller wind screen in the pot (more efficiency)
4. and it is slightly lighter than the AGG setup.
But here’s what I like about the AGG pot:
1. When my friends need a pot, this is what I loan out.
2. Wider pot let’s me use my white box stove.
-BarryMay 31, 2009 at 3:39 pm #1504797
Aluminium conducts heat better than titanium. Therefore uses less fuel, but also burns your lips if you use it as a drinking vessel….
(I've compared alu & titanium vessels on different stoves: this is the one constant)
If I'm taking one all purpose pot it's titanium, so I can use it as a mug. If I can take several, I'll use aluminium for cooking: more efficient use of fuel, better heat spread for frying.
Hope that helps.May 31, 2009 at 3:59 pm #1504802
"Aluminium conducts heat better than titanium. Therefore uses less fuel"
That is only true if the thickness of the two pots is the same. Usually, however, Ti pots are thinner so the difference is minimised or reversed. With the extra thin walls of the Tibetan/FireLight pots your water will boil faster than in most aluminium pots.
I wouldn't use Ti for cooking, but is great for boiling (and maybe dry baking)
Any coated pot should not be used to dry bake with . The coating deteriorates rapidly if exposed to heat without some moisture on the base (food or liquids).
This applies to those Teflon coated pots some use at home.
FrancoMay 31, 2009 at 4:36 pm #1504809
"That is only true if the thickness of the two pots is the same. Usually, however, Ti pots are thinner so the difference is minimised or reversed. With the extra thin walls of the Tibetan/FireLight pots your water will boil faster than in most aluminium pots."
Hummm…..well….probably not. The coefficient of thermal conductivity for titanium is 21.9W/m per degree C…..and aluminum is 237W/meter per degree Centigrade. Soooo….assuming a similar surface area and temperature differential, Fourier's Law shows the aluminum pot would need to be about 11 times thicker to have the same resistance as the titanium pot…..and I suspect that "most aluminum pots" are not 11 times thicker. Could be wrong…..but I doubt it. (assume Roger will check my math! :) In general, I think it is safe to assume that aluminum will transmit the stove's heat to your water better.
Now, the argument that should be made is the reverse of the one being made here…..not how quickly does it heat up….because aluminum wins that…..but how quickly does aluminum cool off your food and what are the costs there? In other words, if the real advantage of aluminum is that it transmits heat quickly…..then it will just as quickly transmit the heat OUT of your pot. (this is why it burns your lips….it is transmitting heat out quickly to your lips) So, the cost of cozys should be factored into the weight savings of the aluminum pot.
RandMay 31, 2009 at 6:06 pm #1504820
"…not how quickly does it heat up….because aluminum wins that…..but how quickly does aluminum cool off your food…"
Boy do I love good science, and the ability to apply it in all directions.
I knew that $$$ Ti pot could be justified by more than weight and bling.
Thank you Rand.May 31, 2009 at 6:14 pm #1504822
@tbeasleyLocale: Pigeon House Mt from the Castle
My testing on Titanium vs Aluminum vs Stainless steel pots has shown that Titanium is the best performer followed by Stainless steel and Aluminum the worst but basically there very little difference between the three.
My thoughts are that there is a bit more into pot efficiency than material conductivity and thickness as thermal conductivity is usually negated by the thinness of backpacking pot materials, things like emissivity of the pot material is also an important factor on pot performance.
But the most important factor on pot performance is how high the flame setting your stove burner is set too.
TonyMay 31, 2009 at 10:06 pm #1504852
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
"Buy what you want" has seldom been more true than when selecting cookpots, in so far as the effect the material has on how much fuel you'll use. I've tried and tried to demonstrate that aluminum or titanium has an advantage and cannot verify a measurable difference. I've gone so far as to compare similarly shaped titanium and aluminum pots where the aluminum pot had a heat exchanger base, and still could not discern a difference in the amount of fuel it takes to bring water to boil. Of course there's a difference, however small, but I'm forced to conclude that it simply doesn't comprise a meaningful factor when compared to the more important variables, i.e., burner and windscreen design. Put another way, pot dimensions and lid design have an effect on efficiency, pot material doesn't.
And don't get me started on painting the things black :-)
My experience has been that aluminum is somewhat better for "cooking" than titanium because the heat spreads evenly across the pot bottom, reducing hot spots and burning. This makes both browning and simmering easier, as well as cleanup. For boiling water there's not a shred of difference. Ti pots and cups are easier to handle and drink out of because the sides and rims stay relatively cool while aluminum cookware heats evenly and fully, i.e., hot! Finally, I've never dented a Ti pot and pretty much all my Al pots have acquired dents, bends and the like. Ti's strength is quite remarkable, especially considering how thin they make the cookware. While some aluminum alloys are quite a bit stronger than others, they all dent and distort.
RickMay 31, 2009 at 10:26 pm #1504853
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Get whichever you can afford. The weight difference is not significant.
Like Mark, I have a Sigg Tourist nesting set that is probably older than you. :)
I also have two Gaz Globetrotters, which were awesome in their day. Still have a 1/2 dozen of the obsolete cannisters.
I am sure Mark and Roger C are familar with the Globetrotters.May 31, 2009 at 11:46 pm #1504865
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
I think Rick summarised it nicely, and i agree with each of these points:
1) pot dimensions and lid design have an effect on efficiency, pot material doesn't.
2) For boiling water there's not a shred of difference.
3) Ti pots and cups are easier to handle and drink out of because the sides and rims stay relatively cool while aluminum cookware heats evenly and fully, i.e., hot!
4) I've never dented a Ti pot and pretty much all my Al pots have acquired dents, bends and the like
I will comment on the conductivity bit to clarify why it does not matter. When the flame temperature under the pot is maybe 1,500 C and the water temperature is maybe 50 C, then whether the temperature gradient across the pot base is 0.5 C or 5 C really does not matter a hoot.
Granted, HAA is cheaper though!
PS: I still have an aluminium billy from Switzerland, made around 1950. It still works just fine. >1 mm wall thickness though!Jun 1, 2009 at 9:18 pm #1505125
@hikin_jimLocale: Orange County, CA, USA
OK, I'm probably going to look like a dunce here, but I'd rather get some good facts rather than to operate on assumptions.
TO THAT END: My understanding is that aluminum pots should be HA so that the aluminum won't get into your food. Am I wacko on that point?
Second question: Just how big is the risk if one uses non HA aluminum cookware? I'm mostly using Ti nowadays, but I still have one large (~2L) non-HA aluminum billy. It's great for snowshoe backpacks, because I can fit a lot of snow in there at a time. My assumption is that if I'm only using it in "one season" (winter) mode, that the risk of negative effects from the Al is low. Is this a reasonable assumption (or has my mind been so devastated by Al that I'm not thinking straight)?Jun 1, 2009 at 10:08 pm #1505140
@joshuaLocale: Santa Cruz,Ca
There has been some research in this matter.It sounds like it is inconclusive but I have stopped using aluminum cookware at home and while camping.
Here is just one of many links you can look up for yourself. I'm not saying that it does cause it but I never liked aluminum even before I heard of this issue.Jun 1, 2009 at 10:22 pm #1505143
@maynard76Locale: New England
Don't forget that Titanium cook wear is actually an aluminum – titanium blend. Ti pots are not 100% Ti- keep that in mind if you want to avoid aluminum.Jun 1, 2009 at 10:24 pm #1505144
@joshuaLocale: Santa Cruz,Ca
I'm screwed now. I can't remember what I was about to type.Oh yah, how much aluminum is in the bpl pots sold here on bpl?Roger?
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