Pots and Pans

Submitted: Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 05:00
ThreadID: 104858 Views:3648 Replies:11 FollowUps:15
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Hi again,
I'm talking fry pan, and a couple of pots (and a crockpot / pie tin)....
What is best? I have a gas (LPG) oven and two burner stove top (companion brand) built permanently to my slide on camper. Not looking at cooking for crowds, just me and the missus. Plus something sturdy for the rough corrugations. The last cooking set I had wore holes in itself from the Gibb River and everything tasted like Teflon.

I want to steer away from heavy cast iron stuff, I do love a camp fire, But it just gets dirty and is extra weight.
I have been eye'ing off the 'http://smartspacecookware.com' units, mainly for the stacking ability, but I'm finding it hard to justify 100s of $$$. I like the look and feel of them but haven't heard any feedback....
OR-- am I best off getting a crappy set from coles or woolies for $12 and throwing it out every 6 months?

Let me know what you use, what you have tried, and what you recommend not considering.

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Reply By: Iain M - Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 07:06

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 07:06
We use stainless steel pots and a frypan, solid construction that you wont wear a hole in and no Teflon to come off.
Get some for a good price from a Salvo's or Vinnies type store. Might take a little while to find some, even garage sales could be a good source.
They last for years and are not too bad to clean, if real bad a spray of oven cleaner gets the really burnt on bits off.
Certainly not the place for a flash set if you can not protect them from the damage corrugations cause.
AnswerID: 520306

Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 17:12

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 17:12
Agree. From our experience the best non stick frypan is a well maintained cast iron one - and it will withstand corrugations as well. A couple of cheap saucepans, a kettle and cake tin, and you can cook just about anything inside. For outside cooking a small folding BBQ and a cast iron camp oven. Sure the cast iron costs a bit in weight but its robust and with a bit of care will last a lifetime. Look around secondhand places and you can probably set yourself up for a few dollars.

I could not justify spending big bucks on cookware to have it rattling around over corrugations - and I doubt that the food tastes much different either way.


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Follow Up By: Iain M - Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 18:43

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 18:43
Yep you are right John, we have a cast iron frypan that is a cracker but I'm not allowed to take it camping.
The upturned camp oven lid works a treat though.
We have the camp oven, wok, billy and "fire" coffee pot as well as the SS pots.
The frypan doesn't get taken if the CO is packed.
Maybe an overkill but I do like to live well on the road !!!!
FollowupID: 800781

Follow Up By: Herbal - Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 19:24

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 19:24
Hi Val, I read Iain's post as being stainless steel...But I agree also. Cast Iron is the best !

If you can take the weight then cast iron, will in my experience and opinion, out perform any non-stick surface whether it be Teflon, enamel or stone or anything else.

For what it is worth, I suggest using animal fat to season cast iron. It aint gunna kill ya! Animal fat gives a very good seasoned surface just as good as any non-stick surface...I use fat rendered from ham, which is very cheap in a few months after the silly season :).

But cast iron is heavy.
FollowupID: 800783

Reply By: Herbal - Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 07:18

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 07:18
As said, stainless steel. Those cheap ones from Kmart are good ! Justcheck that they have a heat spreading base. You can tell just by looking at them, the base will be a lot thicker than the rest of the pot.

What do you mean by "a crockpot / pie tin" ?

If it were me...I would get one SS heavy based pot of about 5lt size, for your carbs, rice, pasta, spuds etc... and a wok for the rest.
AnswerID: 520307

Follow Up By: stoooge - Saturday, Oct 26, 2013 at 03:16

Saturday, Oct 26, 2013 at 03:16
Hi Herbal,
I'm leaning towards the cheapo gear from kmart/target/coles/big W, etc etc get a new set for each trip, give the old scratch set to the sammies/salvos....

I have one of these (http://www.companion.net.au/companionleisure.com.au/index.php?p=line&sid=1320635501) built in permanently to my camper. So looking at something for a simple 'leftover' pie, shepherds pie or a stewed fruit crumble for the oven section. And the two burners for normal everyday cooking. Thinking el cheapo pie tin, crock pot plus a wok and a couple of pots (as you said one for carbs, the other for whatever)

** Please no one give me Jip abut having one of these bulky cooking units, we will see who's laughing when im tucking into an apple and rhubarb pie with custard for desert ahaha
FollowupID: 800802

Follow Up By: Herbal - Saturday, Oct 26, 2013 at 07:43

Saturday, Oct 26, 2013 at 07:43
Your link says the product cannot be found. It goes to the Companion web site OK.

I see now where you are going with this.

Couple of suggestions. Instead of a pie tin, think about a loaf tin. You can still do pies but also bread and meatloaf etc.

When you say crock pot, do you mean a slow cooker? If so why not think about a simmer pad instead. It is simply a thin steel sheet which allows you to get your burner temp down very low. A simmer pad is a fraction of the size and weight of a crock pot.

For your deserts and leftover pies etc, take a look at ramekins. They are basically individual ceramic oven baking dishes. Wollies, Kmart etc carry them and they are not expensive. I am thinking ramekins because they give you the quality of ceramic cooking, but are less likely to break because of the small size.
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Reply By: AlbyNSW - Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 07:38

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 07:38
Depending on what/ how you cook but another alternative is the cheaper non stick type because you can wipe clean with a paper towel so much easier for cleaning and saves water
You need to replace them regularly though
It depends on the type of traveling you do
AnswerID: 520308

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 23:00

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 23:00
Similarly Alby I go for light weight and do all my cooking on gas (no heavy and bulky electric cooking appliances). I love my Woolworths non stick light as a feather fry pans.

A flat surface for frying, toasting, grilling, stir frying, stewing, making crumpets or pikelets. At $8.99 when on special I use one at home everyday day and have another in the caravan. Cheap to replace if need be.

I pack pots and pans in tea-towels which may come out looking like lace after bouncing around on the back of the ute on rough roads, but the pan remains relatively unscathed.


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Reply By: The Landy - Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 07:41

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 07:41
Bedourie Oven...light weight, and do most things with it.

The other thing we take is a Paella Pan, easy to clean, light weight and has multiple applications...

AnswerID: 520310

Reply By: bks - Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 07:48

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 07:48
I went for the smartspace cook ware. Either wait for a camping show that has show specials or google for them and you will get them a bit cheaper. I have only used them once but was very pleased. They are easy to clean and very solid so they cook well.

They save an enormous amount of space.

I got mine from http://www.caravanandrvworld.com.au live nearby so collected them myself and saved on the postage.
AnswerID: 520311

Reply By: Member - Brenton H (SA) - Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 08:43

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 08:43
Personally I only use Teflon...and the best there is. If its not easy to clean it gets the boot!
Tried all sorts over many years and it wins hands down.

Use your tea towels to pack in between them to save on scratches.

AnswerID: 520317

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 12:35

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 12:35
Will you still use teflon after read this?

Teflon health effects
FollowupID: 800765

Follow Up By: Herbal - Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 13:09

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 13:09
I just read the story. I see it is dated 2006.

I note that the story identifies a self proclaimed and self appoint "consumer group" that does not agree with the rest of the world. Including Governments around the world, scientific bodies, health authorities and authorised consumer protection departments to mention a few that this group does not agree with...In fact this self proclaimed and self appointed consumer group of probably self proclaimed experts, appears to be the only group that does think there might be a problem...Everyone else says there is no problem.

Yes, I sure will be using my Teflon cookware. In fact, my dinner tonight is left over pasta that I cooked in my non-stick wok. I am going to re-heat it my "highly radio active" microwave oven :)

FollowupID: 800766

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 15:59

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 15:59
LOL fair enough.

Don't forget to be on the phone with its radiation, and use organic food.

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Follow Up By: Herbal - Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 16:17

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 16:17
Funny you should mention that... I always put the mobile phone in the mickywave when ever I get a call from someone that says they are from Telstra...I figure they can have the radiation !

All the food I cook is organic...I have a cupboard full of additives to make sure it is :)
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Reply By: Caravan & RV World - Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 09:32

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 09:32
Hey Stoooge,

The Smartspace cookware is an excellent idea! A couple of the guys here took a set home to use as well!!! Haha!

We actually have the pots on special at the moment and for a limited time only offering freight free on orders over $200 on selected items.

This means if you get the pots and the frying pan freight is FREE!

See below for the appropriate links:

Frying Pan


We hope this helps!

AnswerID: 520322

Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 15:19

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 15:19
Anyone noticed how hard it is to buy pots and pans from Wollies & Coles WITHOUT glass lids????
AnswerID: 520338

Follow Up By: Herbal - Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 15:59

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 15:59
As a professional cook (or former, retired now), I find glass lids are a great idea. Especially good for those things that need just the right amount of cooking...Like rice. No need to remove the lid to see exactly where it's up to, so all the steam stays in.

What I have noticed thou...Is the very strange ideas caravan and RV designers have, and people that make things for said RV's and caravans. Square pots have been around since about 10 years before god was born. But they are used for bulk cooking...when you are feeding a lot of people...I just fail to see why you would need square pots in a caravan, to maximise your cooking surface. They are harder to use, limit stirring ability and are harder to clean because of the corners...

But then again, I have seen a caravan designed with a full bar with hanging racks for 2 dozen wine glasses...Like they are expecting 2 dozen visitors :)
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 16:31

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 16:31
Herbal, as someone who has just spent 6 weeks traversing the AB Highway and the CSR, glass lids are ..... how would you put it ? ...... a perishable item. Agree they're great for cooking, however a potential time bomb in the *rse end of a 40 series.....
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 16:35

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 16:35
However agree with you on the square pots... more trouble than they're worth.
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Follow Up By: stoooge - Saturday, Oct 26, 2013 at 03:04

Saturday, Oct 26, 2013 at 03:04
Thanks herbal and scott,
Good point with the "squareness" (yes, its a real word) of the pot. I'll take the :squareness" into consideration...
Glass lids, has its benefits in the home kitchen, but on the road/in the bush.... one less item I think i can handle smashing everwhere.
FollowupID: 800800

Reply By: Gnomey - Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 17:15

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 17:15
Mileage obviously varies but it's black iron for me. Even expensive teflon fry pans seem to have limited tolerance for heat and in combination with olive oil it's downhill all the way. Still have all the black iron pans and woks I bought dating back to the 70's. Just need to know how to treat them and season them. Black iron goes into an oven, under a griller and onto a camp fire without ill effects. Not as slippery as non-stick but good enough.

Stainless steel for saucepans. French enamelled cast iron stuff for french ovens. Just a different $0.02AUD.

AnswerID: 520341

Reply By: Ron N - Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 22:15

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 22:15
Pots? Frying pans? Saucepans?? Whatever happened to eating straight of out of cans heated on the exhaust manifold?
Next thing, you'll be wanting wine and napkins with your meals. [;-)
AnswerID: 520353

Follow Up By: stoooge - Saturday, Oct 26, 2013 at 03:06

Saturday, Oct 26, 2013 at 03:06
Hahah, Thanks Ron N, If i were solo camping, I'd eat the beans from the can cold. But in need to convince the missus to go around australia she needs some luxuries ahaha.
FollowupID: 800801

Reply By: stoooge - Saturday, Oct 26, 2013 at 02:45

Saturday, Oct 26, 2013 at 02:45
WOW, much more of a response than I was expecting, definately some food for thought in there (pun intended). Thanks for everyone who put their two bobs in. I think at this stage I'll be doing the cheap woolies gear, I wont be two sad about throwing it out after one trip. Good tip with the teatowels, I did do that on other past adventures. I see theres alot of pros for the cast iron stuff, might have to look into this.... Plus the ability to use the fire pit if the gas runs dry. I will consult the missus and see what she says, she is a big fan of the smartspace cookware, but i think its the novelty factor of it. BUT, good to see theres a special on it thanks to that replier.
AnswerID: 520360

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