- Nov 25, 2016 at 10:36 pm #3437393
The first question I would be inclined to ask is what size cook pot(s) do you use but inherently that requires asking what type of cooking you are doing (FBC, cooking in pot, etc)?
I’m looking for a new cook kit myself and starting to wonder what the ideal size pot will be. I have just started to dehydrate my own meals and I’m considering FBC (so the real question is how much water will I need for a solo FBC DIY meal) and I have also considered rehydrating those meals directly in the pot (which I somewhat assume is just double the capacity of the water needed, correct).
To keep weight and pack size down I want the minimum pot needed but I certainly don’t want to find myself needing more capacity and cornered by my pot size.Nov 26, 2016 at 4:59 am #3437410Jim CBPL Member
@jimothyLocale: Georgia, USA
If you cook in the pot, I recommend about 900ml. I use an 850ml Toaks pot myself, and it’s a good compromise between size and volume. A shorter, wider pot might be more fuel efficient.
Like you said, if you cook in a freezer bag, you can get away with a smaller pot, probably 500ml.
I flirted with FBC cooking for a while, but wasn’t crazy about carrying the dirty bags. I now prefer cooking in the pot. This also meant changing the types of meals I cook, to more “soupy” foods, instead of foods that absorb basically all the water. That does mean I need a bit more volume, but it also means I don’t have to be exact on the amount of water I use. More or less soupy, who cares?
Of course, find out what approach works for you. The good news is, cooking pots are easy to both buy and sell on Gear Swap, so if you change your mind, you won’t be out too much.Nov 26, 2016 at 5:52 am #3437411JCHBPL Member
For reference, I use a Soto Windmaster canister stove.
I recently changed from a “tall-narrow” 850ml pot to a “wide-short” 900ml and was shocked at how much faster I was able to achieve a full boil. I would easily say it reduced boil time by half.
Regardless of what size you deem appropriate for your situation, if efficiency is of importance, I strongly recommend a short-wide pot.
I too have recently gone to dehydrating/packaging my own meal and also struggled with the mess/health concerns of FBC in ziplock bags. I settled on a vacuum sealer and these bags, which are safe for boiling water. I don’t like cleaning a pot so simply put the bag back in the pot for rehydration then use the bag for carrying out trash.Nov 26, 2016 at 6:56 am #3437415Dan YBPL Member
You’ll need 3 cups of water. Get a 900ml pot. I recently purchased 2 Toaks 900, really like the wider, more efficient size.Nov 26, 2016 at 7:53 am #3437421matthew kModerator
I’m very happy with a 550 pot for FBC.Nov 26, 2016 at 8:12 am #3437425jimmy bBPL Member
Of course an important factor is what size meals you will be consuming. That will lead you to pot size. The wife and I share a two portion serving of freeze dried meals from a MSR ti kettle (850ml) or a home dehydrated meal of the same quantity. Some folks will require that amount solo. The kettle for us is the perfect size paired with a starlyte stove and ti windscreen that doubles as a pot stand too. Now with a 4 dog top its pretty darn skinny weight wise as well.
We ditched the idea of cooking in bags and now hydrate and eat from the pot. Much happier. We cook some pasta meals that require longer simmer times and they have worked out really well in the kettle. The pour spout is also nice. The kettle is of course a 3 season set up as I would think a much bigger pot would be necessary for melting snow in winter.Nov 26, 2016 at 8:51 am #3437429rick .BPL Member
@overheadviewLocale: Charlotte, NC
3C mug if solo, 5C pot if there’s 2 of us.
I like to eat from a Tupperware style screw-on lid 3C container. it weighs not much more than a few soggy ziplocs and holds the cook kit (or fragile cookies!) definitely not the lightest, but I did a few years of ziploc eating and graduated to a bowl.
If I take smoothie mix I can make in the bowl, or granola or anything else. I mostly like it for the easy cleaning, shake some water and drinkNov 26, 2016 at 10:03 am #3437437David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
I hear “what size pot” and I think of aspect ratio and lid style. Wider is better for fuel efficiency – less fuel carried and your meal is ready sooner.
A smaller lid reduces losses while heating and typically gives you a more secure lid.
A solid handle handle prevents you form burning your hand and dumping your hot water on the ground or your feet.
Put all that together, and you end up with something like the Optimus Terra Kettle, a bit heavy at 5.4 ounces and a bit small at 700 ml, but you need no additional lid or pot-holder. And at $16 (Moosejaw, $17-$19 form others), it pretty affordable to experiment with.
Until 10 minutes ago, kettles always struck me as a bit silly since they are much harder to cook in, but if you are only boiling water for FBC and hot drinks. . . . I think I’ll survey the kettle options out there. Unless someone already knows that answer?Nov 26, 2016 at 10:48 am #3437450Lester MooreBPL Member
@satoriLocale: Olympic Peninsula, WA
For FBC or simple hot water re-hydrating in the pot (no cooking), a 550ml toaks mug with folding handles (2 oz with aluminum foil lid) works well for me. On the JMT last summer we used one 550mL mug each and one BRS-3000T gas stove, cooking one modest-sized dinner per person each night. It was a light and efficient system – a single small (3.9oz fuel) isobutane canister lasted for 12 nights for both our dinners, simply heating water to near boiling.Nov 26, 2016 at 2:07 pm #3437461Roger CaffinModerator
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Rather than say this pot or that pot, I suggest the following:
The pot should be as wide as possible for best fuel efficiency and best stability.
The amount of water used should do little more than half-fill the pot, especially if you are cooking in the pot. That avoids problems with spills and boiling over.
Ti or Al – your call. Ti is supposed to be less conductive than Al, but with those thin walls there is little difference in practice. Al may be lighter, but Ti is more robust – and dearer.
CheersNov 26, 2016 at 2:19 pm #3437463
Just to be clear those of you saying a 550ml pot are you talking about adding your dehydrated food AND water in pot or just heating the water and re-hydrating in a freezer bag (or some other container)?Nov 26, 2016 at 2:35 pm #3437465Jon FongBPL Member
@jonfongLocale: FLAT CAT GEAR
FBC only? about 500-550 ml pot [1 person]
FBC & Cook in pot (assuming that you want to simmer as well) ~850 – 900 ml [for 1 person]
Pot or mug? Meh, I like the MSR Titan (850 ml), nice lid. I like the Evernew 0.9 l pot
For heating water, materials don’t matter, but if you use an aluminum pot, I would use an anodized one.
Cooking in your pot? I would pick titanium (uncoated), you can scrub it out with rocks and sand. My 2 cents.Nov 26, 2016 at 3:08 pm #3437469
To be clear of the largest size pot/mug I would be interested in is one that allows me to rehydrate inside of it. I have no desire to simmer or do actual cooking.Nov 26, 2016 at 3:44 pm #3437476J RBPL Member
Just to be clear those of you saying a 550ml pot are you talking about adding your dehydrated food AND water in pot or just heating the water and re-hydrating in a freezer bag (or some other container)?
A typical rehydrated meal, such as a Mountain House single bag with “2 servings” (which many will eat as a solo meal), calls for 2 cups of water, that’s roughly 500ml, so a 550ml pot is just large enough to boil the water you need with a bit of headroom for safety and then rehydrate in the freezer bag or some other container. If you want to rehydrate in the pot then you need room for the dried food as well, figure that will be ~1/2 the volume of the water, so a total of 750ml minimum for the pot, that’s where the recommendations for 850-900 are coming from.
Shorter/wider pots are more fuel efficient — depending on the type of stove and windscreen. I use a caldera cone with a tall/skinny Fosters beer can pot with a Starlyte stove and it is very efficient because of the cone design. But, it’s not good for eating out of or cleaning, on those measures a short/wide pot wins without qualification.Nov 26, 2016 at 4:01 pm #3437479William KerberBPL Member
@wkerberLocale: South East US
I cook in my pot as well. Go get this and one of his lids. I just use a cut out from an aluminum pie pan for a lid. Hard to believe, but lighter than titanium for the same size and much cheaper. My total cook kit is 6.25 oz with pot, alcohol burner, stand and wind screen.Nov 27, 2016 at 1:48 pm #3437551Mike MegeeBPL Member
I use an old 10 cm IMUSA pot to cook/rehydrate my meal in. FBC just not my thing. It’s cheep and big enough. I don’t do Mountain House just meals I dehydrated or buy at the store like Bear Creek, Knorr’s , ect. Example I’m going for an overnighter this week and for supper I’ll be having Bear Creek navy bean soup and corn bread. The corn bread I’m dehydrating as we speak.Nov 27, 2016 at 2:46 pm #3437560Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
AND most efficient shape:
Tall, narrow pots/mugs are not as fuel efficient as lower, wider pots. Shape is as important as size.
EX. My 3 cup anodized aluminum pot is wider than it is tall and very fuel efficient. (My pot is an Open Country brand)
And yes, 3 cup size has turned out to be the best size for solo cooking in all the decades I’ve backpacked. Plus, I use ESBIT for three season camping and that size is about the max size for cooking with ESBIT (as opposed to merely boiling water).Nov 27, 2016 at 3:09 pm #3437565Myles BBPL Member
I use the gsi solo minimalist, most recently, and really like the versatility of it. Yes, it is a smaller, narrow pot, but it works well enough for me, and I have tried all kinds of set ups. I just throw my food in the pot, get it close to boiling, and set the pot back in the neoprene sleeve to steep. I also like the lid, and use it as a mug. But I do agree that a wider, shorter pot is the most fuel efficient. Such as the evernew 600 I used for some time.Nov 27, 2016 at 3:32 pm #3437572
The one thing I hate to lose in moving away from the ‘mug’ style is the ability to prepare and drink tea/coffee from it.Nov 27, 2016 at 4:54 pm #3437585Jim CBPL Member
@jimothyLocale: Georgia, USA
By the way, if you need a new pot, Toaks is having a 20% off sale through Monday. Use code CYBER20.
P.S. I wish the word “cyber” would die.Nov 27, 2016 at 6:33 pm #3437600James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
I just (2 weeks ago) picked up another grease pot at Kmart for my daughter. This is 1qt, or, 945ml. Mine weighs about 3.6oz for the pot and lid (also makes a good cutting board.) It also has a heat exchanger built in. In a Caldera cone, it does about 5/8oz (a little less) for boiling 2 cups of 40F water to 210F. It also acts as a stuff sack for my 17oz tarp when in my pack. It also has a light gauge wire handle for carrying water back to camp. Being aluminum, it also distributes heat better than ti so it also cooks corn bread & fried cakes fairly well on the trail. Get it wet, rinse off with a splash of water, dry it. I never bother with BIB cooking anymore, too much fussing to get ready. Meats are already preserved (jerky, salami, summer sausage, dried beef, pepperoni, etc.) Rice, macaroni & ilk, dried veggies are easy to obtain. Red pepper if I really screw something up…Nov 28, 2016 at 7:03 am #3437656Tipi WalterBPL Member
I’ve been thru at least a dozen backpacking pots over the years, from copper-clad stainless steel with the heavy handles cut off with a hacksaw, to miserable MSR Flex fry pans (3 in fact) whereby every single one delaminated PTFE which is great if you like Polytetrafluoroethylene as a steady component to your diet—To silicone-based fry pans which are more healthy than teflon but dang heavy and the handles hard to remove due to the rivets (and then you end up with two holes on the side of the pan).
Let’s look thru some of my pots as a history lesson which you might find captivating on this late November day—
An old stainless pot with the folding handles.
A butt-cheap walmart Texsport teflon pan which delaminated flakes of PTFE so bad I had to use it only to boil water and place my meals inside a Tasty Bite pouch and sit in the boiling water.
Here’s the technique I had to use to avoid the steady consumption of teflon. Run screaming from Texsport cookware.
Here’s a healthier but heavier silicone-based stickless pan but the rivets were hell to remove and compromised the pot with two visible holes, negating the ability to boil up large amounts of water.
For solo backpacking I recommend the MSR titanium .85 liter kettle (next to my homemade cozy).
For two people or for long winter trips where snow needs to be melted I like the MSR titanium “seagull” two liter pot (sitting next to a tasty bites pouch). This pot doesn’t even need a pot handle because the top lip never gets hot.
Oh and I can’t forget the MSR Flex pan which is a good concept but terrible engineering. Notice this new pot starting to delaminate teflon on the top lip by the spoon handle. Not good.Nov 28, 2016 at 8:49 am #3437666JCHBPL Member
Friends don’t let friends use Teflon cookware…Thanks for the reminder Tipi.Nov 28, 2016 at 12:45 pm #3437682Roger CaffinModerator
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
I agree, but what in Hades name is that pink stuff in the SS pot in the first pic????
CheersNov 28, 2016 at 2:26 pm #3437697matthew kModerator
i bet a nickel it’s black bean soup with frothy scum floating on the top
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