If there is one piece of gear that matters the most in Adventure Picnicking, it’s the lowly cookware set.
Not only must it stand up to the sooty flames of camp cooking hell, but also the intense scrubbing needed to remove that blackened Alfredo frittata experiment that ended in regret.
Camp cookware comes in a wide variety of materials, including cast iron, stainless steel, and aluminum. But let’s get right to the point: titanium cookware is the coolest.
Not only does it look like a prop from a science fiction movie with its strange, space metal gray color, but it’s also durable, light weight, resists corrosion, and transfers heat very quickly (meaning you have to carry less stove fuel).
Unfortunately it’s also expensive. Usually.
Enter TOAKS Titanium Cookware
TOAKS Titanium Cookware meets all the above expectations of titanium cookware save one: it’s relatively cheap!
For the money, TOAKS absolutely rules, especially when you take into account that you can get many, many years of service out of these pots and pans. They are lightweight, hold up to adventure, and are one of those products you appreciate just holding and looking at. Yeah. Titanium is cool.
Now that you are hip to the overall virtues of titanium cookware (did we mention it was cool?), let’s get in depth with a few specific TOAKS cookware items.
Before we get started, however, we should mention that all the TOAKS products listed below come with a padded, bright orange, nylon mesh stuff sack. This is perfect for keeping the pot or mug from rattling around in your pack. But resist the temptation of using the stuff sack as a hot pad – it will melt.
The TOAKS 450ml Titanium Cup
If you want a cool, ultra light mug, the TOAKS 450ml Titanium Camping Cup is a bargain. The fold out handles are pretty comfortable in your hand considering how very basic and lightweight they are. They pivot easily after years of use and are still solidly attached to the cup.
Ideally, all camp cookware should have graduation marks to help measure water and ingredients, but unfortunately our 450ml cup doesn’t These may have been added on newer versions of TOAKS cookware, so check the specs before you buy if this is critical.
Lastly, keep in mind that titanium gets hot. When drinking any hot liquid out of a titanium mug, be careful about burning your lips. Snow Peak makes some handy lip guards for just this purpose, but we haven’t tried these yet.
TOAKS Titanium 1600ml Pot with Pan
The TOAKS Titanium 1600ml Pot and Pan is a great choice for two person outings, or for more elaborate dishes where you need both a pot and a small frying pan. As on the 450ml mug above, the handles on our 1600ml pot are functional and very well attached. Unlike the mug, they are also covered in black silicone to help insulate your hands from heat. The pot does have graduation marks, but since this is the newest of all the TOAKS cookware we’ve tested, gradutions may be present on other TOAKS pots and cups now as well.
The lid for the pot doubles as a frying pan. As a lid, it is not a super snug fit, but it’s perfectly fine for any cooking situation.
As a frying pan, it is tiny (about 5 1/2 inches in diameter), but we have found it to be very serviceable and have successfully used it to cook vegetables, fish, sausage links, and bacon. We’ve also found it big enough to cook two fried eggs at the same time.
The handle on the frying pan is also covered in silicone and locks in position pretty securely. It is also pretty easy to remove which comes in handy when cleaning.
The bottom of the frying pan became slightly warped after a few uses, but considering how small, thin, and light it is – and what we’ve put it through – it really has not been a disappointment or an issue in cooking. If you are going to try to tackle some more elaborate frying situations, a larger, more substantial pan would be a better choice.
Overall, the 1600ml Pot and Pan and the 450ml Cup has been our go to cookware setup for paddle camping where we still need to be space and weight conscious, but tend to carry more perishable foods and get a little more adventurous with our cooking.
The 750ml Pot : Your #1 Piece of Adventure Picnicking Kit
If you are looking to purchase your first piece of ultralight adventure cookware, I would start with the TOAKS Titanium 750ml pot. The 750ml is perfect for solo adventures and can function as both a cook pot and large mug.
A 4 ounce (110 gram) fuel canister will fit perfectly inside with plenty of room for a small stove, fire steel, and other odds and ends. Alternatively, a Nalgene water bottle can also nest inside (without the pot lid of course). The 450ml Toaks mug mentioned above nests perfectly inside as well.
The 750ml is also the perfect size to hold a quart-sized freezer bag for ultralight freezer bag meals. If you are more apt to cook over a fire, hobo-style, then you may want to choose the option with the bail handle. Don’t be surprised if your 750ml titanium pot becomes one of your favorite pieces of gear ever!
The ultralight titanium lid has three small vent holes, and a flip up grip that locks in the up position. It’s minimal, but actually works very well.
In future blogs we’ll get more in depth in choosing the right ultralight cookware for different situations like adventure picnicking, and multi-night backpacking trips. But if you are itching to buy a new piece of camp cookware, you won’t regret at least buying a 750ml titanium pot for solo adventures. And TOAKS is hard to beat for the money.
A Note About Cleaning Titanium Cookware
As mentioned above, titanium cookware transfers heat very rapidly. This is primarily because of the thin walls of the cookware rather than the properties of the metal itself. What this means is, if you do anything more than boil water, you will eventually burn something to the bottom of your titanium pan or pot that will look like cement made from moon tar and bat depression. And you will have that crushing feeling that you may not be worthy of titanium’s coolness. But titanium is like the honey badger. It doesn’t care.
It says, “Say hello to my little friend! Bar Keeper’s Friend!” This abrasive, Comet-like cleaning powder is safe for use on dishes and awesome for cleaning titanium cookware. Just boil some water in the deflowered pot or pan, let cool, dump out the water, and then go at it with the Bar Keeper’s Friend and a Brillo pad (that doesn’t sound right). Anyway, your titanium pot is as good as new!
If you want to learn some more great titanium cookware cleaning tips, read our blog post on the topic.