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Best cooking gear for making *real* food?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by fuzzybabybunny, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. fuzzybabybunny

    fuzzybabybunny Adventurer

    Nov 26, 2011
    I come from a lightweight backpacking background, meaning we have light backpacking stoves that are great at boiling water and then we just pour it in some dehydrated food like oatmeal, freeze dried stuff, etc. OK for short backpacking trips. Crappy for long trips.

    Sometimes you just want to buy some raw ingredients from the grocery and have a real (and cheap) meal.

    Since a RTW trip is going to be very, very long, I'm looking for some cooking options that will allow me to make real foods with raw meats and stuff. Even stews. Preferably one that doesn't require me to make an actual fire every night.

    Any ideas?
  2. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

    Feb 21, 2010
    Barrie Ont
    Use the stove in your truck camper, or bring along a coleman dual burner propane or white gas stove. With either you can use real household dishes.
  3. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

    Sep 22, 2012
    SE Michigan
    I have this stove for motorcycle camping: http://www.sierratradingpost.com/primus-classic-trail-stove~p~4415t/?filterString=s~primus%2F&colorFamily=99

    I do a lot of backpacking, too, and I have found that this stove has a nice, broad flame that's much better than the typical propane torch style flame you get from a backpacking stove, and it doesn't really weigh all that much more than my ultralight stoves, either. I wouldn't carry it in a pack on my back, but on a motorcycle the weight doesn't matter quite as much. Plus it's super cheap. That said, I think I'd want a multi-fuel stove for a RTW trip since you probably won't be able to source the gas cylinders for the above stove everywhere you go. Having a stove that can burn unleaded from your tank would probably be a big plus. Take that with a grain of salt, though, since I've never been even halfway round the world.

    IMO, though, it's just as much a function of the pans you use as the stove. My titanium backpacking pots are useless for anything but boiling water because they just scorch. Not enough heat distribution. I have some older aluminum pans that are much better for actual cooking because the aluminum conducts the heat better and gives a more even temperature for cooking. A moderately thick pan made out of aluminum would be about as good as you can get for decent cooking and still have a good weight for packing on a bike.

    Hope that helps some.
  4. Okie Preacher

    Okie Preacher Long timer

    Aug 11, 2010
    In the middle...

    Check out BeemerChef's stuff. Ara is the king of eating well on the road.


    Has some great "One-Pan Recipes"
  5. bikerfish

    bikerfish flyfishandride

    Aug 18, 2010
    western pa
    RTW trip, on a bike? take a stove that uses the fuel in your bike, stupid to carry another type of fuel just to cook with, especially going RTW. lots of folks will argue, saying you can get fuel canisters everywhere, well, maybe, but never when you NEED them, and why the hell would you want to carry the extra weight. just use one that runs on unleaded. THEN, you need one that will simmer. The coleman dual fuel kinda simmers, but it's not that great, needs constant adjustment to avoid burning, and is kinda big. If it were my money and my trip, I'd research an MSR dragonfly or an optimus hiker, both have pros and cons, but either one will do what you require.
    saying all that, you can bet someone in a day or so will chime in and tell you a fucking jetboil is the only stove you can use, even though they don't simmer, or better yet, just get your coffee at a starbucks and eat granola bars, twigs and bark for dinner. just wait for it, it's coming!
  6. DualMule

    DualMule Been here awhile

    Aug 17, 2010
    Town of Beans
    +1 on the previous post. Primus makes a great stove and it can run on gas, diesel or cartridges. Gas bottle doubles as emergency fuel...if you put gas in it.

    I do everything I need on a 8" ceramic coated aluminum pan. I cut off the handle and so that it is about 2" long and rigged it so that I can use my tire iron for an extended handle.
  7. fuzzybabybunny

    fuzzybabybunny Adventurer

    Nov 26, 2011
    I have the Jetboil.

    Hell no.
  8. SgtDuster

    SgtDuster Long timer

    Feb 23, 2010
    Province of Quebec!
    Coleman 2-Burner Multi Fuel. Period.

    Yeah, it's big

    But you asked for it.

    You can't do "real" food on a RTW trip, all day long, on a small backpacking stove, no way.

    Want to eat the real thing? Buy the real thing.
  9. Flashmo

    Flashmo Whatever...

    Dec 21, 2008
    Vagabond Hippie
    I came from a backpacking mentality as well.

    These days, I carry a GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Backpacker Cookset. It is jammed with spices, cooking oil, ground coffee, and other junk so that space is not wasted. I leave the second bowl and cup in it because you never know who you may run into who is worth sharing a meal with. Small enough that you can make a one-pot meal easily, but big enough that you don't have to (when you have a hankering for fresh fish with a side of rice and some asparagus).

    I have a bunch of different stoves: unleaded, canister, multi-fuel, alcohol. For a RTW trip, I would probably go with alcohol stoves for a few reasons (one each of the Stever Stoves).
  10. black_labb

    black_labb Adventurer

    Feb 18, 2013
    Sydney, australia
    I did/do a lot of cooking while touring on a pushbike where weight isn't as big a deal as backpacking but more so than on a motorbike. I enjoy cooking a lot and ending a day cooking a nice meal with a beer before getting in to the tent is ideal for me.

    I use a primus gravity II MF stove. I run it on petrol as it is easy to find.

    Titanium pots are useless for cooking as they don't conduct heat. I've been very happy with hard anodised aluminium. I have used a pot for 4.5 months straight cooking atleast 6 meals a week and it was just as good as new. Cleaned it often using a stainless spoon to scratch hard bits off before using minimal water. No problem there

    I use a single pot and a vacuum flask/thermos. The vac flask has quite a few uses. Most impressively I use it to make slow cooked casseroles. The idea is to bring stock/vegies/casserole meat/spices ect up to a simmer for about 5 minutes. In this 5 minutes I try to put about 100ml of liquid into the flask to preheat it. at the end of the 5 mins put the liquid in the flask back into the pot, let it get to boiling temp then transfer it all in to the vac flask. The casserole is now in the vac flask cooking away at 95*. clean up, pack up and keep riding/whatever you want to do. 2-6 hours later open up the flask and you have a hot meal ready to eat (add bread or whatever). You can do some seriously impressive meals like this but you need to do your cooking well before you eat.

    I also use the vac flask for making pasta. Basically I'll boil water and pour it into the vac flask with the pasta and seal. I try to shake the vac flask every couple mins to get the noodles moving to prevent them from sticking. The noodles are now cooking and your stove is free to make the sauce. after about 10 mins check on the pasta is ready. If it is drain half the liquid and add cold water in its place and shake. this stops the noodles from cooking as well as gets rid of some starch that is dissolved in the liquid. When you are ready to eat drain the liquid and serve. If you really overload the vac flask give it another rinse with cold water so that they are not so starchy (from having too high a pasta:water ratio). You can use this for many other things, just be careful that you don't make something you cannot remove from the flask (like making sticky rice in a flask with a narrow opening).

    It's also great for coffee, tea soup ect.

    A good meal can make a bad day better. Ending a terrible day eating instant noodles when it's all you've eaten all week is a good recipe for an abandoned journey.
  11. Thunderhart8

    Thunderhart8 Been here awhile

    May 11, 2011
    Jackson, MS
    +1 on the vacuum flask !! I think it is how much your willing to invest.

    I have tried the ultralight backpacking DIY technical approach with the penny stove, wind screen and home made cook set averaging around 1 1/2 pound with alcohol and combo freeze dried food. Penny stove cook sys located at Indestructibles.com -> outdoor section.With a total frugal cost of $10 for kit and $10 for food it was hard to beat my one person three day adventure. Although it was not as fulfilling as my medium kit.

    Medium: I have currently adapted at Stanley stainless steel cook cup 36 oz with simmer top purchased at target for 20$ it boils and does stews well.Vacuum thermos recently added. Penny stove!! 1 -2 ppl

    Heavy weight: I have the MSR Bugaboo lots of fun, received as gift and then purchased the "real" MSR fry pan 20$, for stir fry of course, to replace the plastic ,which melted, top. I love this thing like a fat kid to cake, handle comes off with ease and its teflon. Con is that is is Teflon so no steel wool cleaning material. Cooks 2-4 ppl

    I think the most comprehensive system is the "Trangia" best bang for the buck/weight ratio and is on my Christmas list.

    More DIY: I think you will be able to find all the anodized aluminum at an Asian Supermarket Market for cheep and to modify. I am trying slowly to talk with the market owner to order me some specialty pieces to make my own trangia'ish set.

    Afterthought, I think Black Labb's post was a little more comprehensive and an informative, fantastic perspective. Your perspective gave me a few new ideas. Thanks in advance
  12. bikerfish

    bikerfish flyfishandride

    Aug 18, 2010
    western pa
    I disagree, I've done plenty of "real" cooking on a single burner stove, just have to be creative with how you do it, it's not like cooking at home. I only keep some backpacking meals in the bottom of the panniers for emergency use, for when I couldn't find a store to buy supplies, all other times, I stop and buy fresh and cook up some surprisingly good meals. I carry a large msr pot, pan , and lid, had them for 20 some years now, and beside being a little dented, still function great.
  13. jodyz121

    jodyz121 Mostly Harmless . . .

    Feb 2, 2006
    Try a heat diffuser. It enables you to cook evenly in a thin pot with any stove.
  14. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

    Dec 10, 2005
    The Svea isn't known for simmering ability but by using pots that each have their own permanent handle i can do a "pot shuffle". For example, I can take the pasta water off and quickly heat sauce, then put the water back on then . . .

    So for me, pot grippers or shared lids would not work at all.

    I put gas from the motorcycle tank into the Svea and have had zero trouble with 30 or 40 tanks full. I have a quick-connect just below the petcock and replaced the vacuum petcock with a full-manual one.

    I tried a Coleman dual-fuel stove that was supposed to simmer better but it failed in a month so I went back to reliable equipment.

    I cook fresh food when possible but usually have some pasta or quick rice as an emergency supply. I can make a passable sauce from the spices and soup base that I carry.
  15. ParaMud

    ParaMud Been here awhile

    Jun 8, 2008
    Orange, CA

    Pasta from the store, then added some canned tuna to and and it was delicious!

    Its a dragonfly stove.

    It would be better to have 2 stoves, 1 pot and one frying pan. Made some real meat on the frying pan while the pasta is cooked. (pasta or rice, or anything)
  16. Retired-N-Roamin

    Retired-N-Roamin Retired and Roamin

    Nov 26, 2012
    NorCal - for a while longer... Then?

    I cannot imagine having crappy meals when away from a 'proper' kitchen - and I don't mean spending money in a restaurant either.

    As I've aged I've come to appreciate a good meal and a few sips of an adult beverage after a day outdoors.

    The idea that one has to 'rough it' just does not compute with me.

    Yes, I get that YMMV and different strokes for different folks - but eating well on something that you cooked yourself is one of the least expensive luxuries available.