My backpacking cookware collection began with a small pot and a tuna fish can. I cooked the main meal in the small pot and sides of vegetables and hot apple sauce in the tuna fish can.
I stopped cooking in tuna fish cans because they have a plastic epoxy
lining which contains BPA, a hazardous chemical which may have leached
into my food after being liberated by the heat of the stove. If you ever
see me hiking or writing in circles, that is probably the reason.
Evernew makes a collection of backpacking cookware that includes non-stick pots with fry pan lids.
I don’t fry anything in the lid. I use it as a second pot to rehydrate and heat food over three tea light candles.
I own the Evernew ECA-417 and ECA-418 Backpacking Cookware sets which I highly recommend. Here’s why I like them so much:
Evernew model ECA-417 has a 900 ml titanium non-stick pot with a 500 ml fry pan lid for a total cooking volume of 1400 ml. That’s almost four cups capacity in the pot and a little over two cups in the lid.
Evernew model ECA-418 has a 1300 ml titanium non-stick pot with a 650 ml fry pan lid for a total cooking volume of 1950 ml. That’s about five and a half cups capacity in the pot and almost three cups in the lid.
The ECA-417 is ideal for solo backpacking and the the ECA-418 is ideal for two people who like to cook one meal in the same pot to share while also cooking a side in the lid. However, two people can still share the smaller ECA- 417 by dividing their meal into two portions and cooking one in the pot and one in the lid. Yes, you can cook an entire meal in the lid!
Titanium is light-weight but strong. There is only an ounce of difference between the two sets.
The pots and fry pan lids have insulated wire handles that fold back in opposite directions against the outside of the pot when packed. Cooking with the built-in handles is easier than using a separate pot gripper and there is one less tool to carry.
I compared the Evernew handle design with the handle design of a similar pot/fry pan set, the Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact Cook Set.
The Evernew handle feels more secure in my hand than the Snow Peak. The attachment points of the handles to the pots are wider with the Evernew pots than the Snow Peak pots, so the two handle parts come together perfectly and are comfortable to grasp.
The Snow Peak handle parts are joined closer together to the
pot and slide inside each other rather than meet firmly in the middle. They squirm around when you grasp them.
The Snow Peak wire handles have no insulation which makes them even more wobbly and hotter to handle.
The Snow Peak fry pan lid handles fold up and over the pan when
packed, rather than against the sides When extended in the cooking
position, the handles rattle in your hand, rather than provide a snug
connection to the pan.
Update Warning: The Snow peak fry pan lid handle can suddenly collapse when you have food in the pan. This happened twice during tests. It's no fun seeing a nice meal spilled out on the ground.
I achieve great results cooking with Evernew backpacking cookware.
The fry pan lids add versatility to my cooking options with hardly any weight increase compared to a regular lid.
However, if you prefer a pot with a regular lid, or a larger pot, Evernew makes those, too.
Buy Evernew Pots at Amazon:
How to Make Ultra-light Pot Lids & Heat Shields
Since I cook in the pot and fry pan lid at the same time and want to keep them both covered while cooking, I made pot lids out of aluminum pie pans. I also cut out two heat shields from pie pans to place under the stoves.
Evernew pots flair out at the top which forms an internal ledge to support a homemade lid. To make your own light-weight pot lid, simply trace the outline of the top of the pot with a Sharpie on an aluminum pie pan or roasting pan and then cut it out just inside the line. Cut away small pieces of the pie pan as you go along. Go around a few times with your scissors, checking each time until you get a good fit. For the larger pot lid, I folded a one-inch wide strip of foil tape around the edge to make a better seal. I made the lid for the fry pan slightly smaller so the lid would slide down over the food to trap more heat. I didn’t bother with foil tape around the edge of the fry pan lid.
attached a one-inch by four-inch strip of aluminum tape folded against
itself in the middle to form the handle. To make this easier, fold the 1
X 4 foil tape in half, foil side out with the backing still attached,
and press on the fold. Next, fold the two sides up so that they line up
with the first fold and press on the folds. Your foil tape will form the
letter M. Remove the tape backing three-quarters of the way and stick
the two middle parts of the M to each other. Stick the exposed tape from
one end to the lid and then peel and stick the other end. You can
reinforce the fold area with additonal foil tape since it will wear out
from repeated foldings.
Tip: Don’t use any non-food grade aluminum or tin such as roof flashing to make your lids since it would probably be galvanized. You don’t want acid rain in your chili!
Keep it Simple
I eat directly out of the pot and fry pan lid. The photos of plated meals on the website are for show and to put one of Grandpa’s old aluminum plates to good use. He had a large backpacking cookware set and our boat rode low in the water when we hauled all that gear across the lake to the loggers’ cabin in Quebec.
The only backpacking utensil I use is a short stainless steel spoon from the kitchen drawer. Plastic spoons break easily and aluminum or titanium spoons tend to be made in shapes that feel awkward in my mouth. I scratch up the non-stick coatings of my pots a bit with my spoon, but the pots still work fine.
For measuring water, I carry one or two 20-ounce beverage bottles as part of my hydration system. I draw lines on the bottles with a Sharpie at different levels to mark ¼ cup, ½ cup, 1 cup, etc. so that it is easy to add the right amount of water to a meal. If you carry a coffee mug, you could use that for measuring instead.
How to cook with three tea-light candles.
How to make Chef Glenn’s simple alcohol stove.
How to make simple, light-weight pot supports and wind screens for cooking with pots and fry pan lids.
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