Is this a flamin’ good piece of cooking gear or will it only add to your camping clutter?
Words by Grant Hanan and Linda Bloffwitch, Images and Video by My Aussie Travel Guide
We’re probably not telling you anything new by saying there’s no shortage of choice in the market when it comes to camp cooking gear. But when weight is always at the forefront of our minds when we travel, we look for good quality cooking gear that’s light, compact, and packs well, but versatile enough for the range of dishes we like to cook. With all this in mind, we ended up choosing a nesting cook set made by Japanese camping specialist, Uniflame.
This particular set comprises a range of cooking bits and pieces; there’s two pots with lids, a frying pan, rice cooker with lid, and a mesh colander/drainer that all neatly fit together like a puzzle. The larger 4.3-litre pot is made from stainless steel and designed with a recessed area at the top of the pot to hold a stainless steel lid that has a wooden knob. The pot has a 1cm wide flat strap type stainless steel handle that folds to the side of the pot when not in use. Similar to the larger model, the smaller 1.8-litre pot is stainless steel and comes with its own lid.
This model differs from its bigger brother as its handles are located on the side of the pot that fold away for easy storage. A deep-sided 2mm thick aluminium frying pan is another component in the set that has a non-stick cooking surface to prevent food sticking while cooking. The size of the frying pan has been designed so the lid from the 4.3-litre pot fits the frying pan if needed during cooking. The frying pan handle is a wooden removable type that screws into the frying pan when in use and removed when the cook set is packed away to save space.
The aluminium rice cooker has a recessed area for its lid, and the handle folds to the side when not in use. Cup measurements display on the rice cooker’s interior to assist with calculating the rice-to-water ratio. To complete the kit, a large stainless steel mesh colander/drainer with thick mesh fits into the large pot which can be used for cooking and draining pasta, or simply used as a drainer for other veggies. And to keep the entire cook set together (which weighs just under 2.5kg in total), a nylon mesh drawstring bag is included in the kit.
HOW IT WENT
It didn’t take us long to realise how well thought out the cook set was to have a mix of stainless steel and aluminium items. Not only did that help with keeping the set lightweight, but the aluminium frying pan and rice cooker heated quickly as expected on our gas stove, while the stainless steel pots were effective when more balanced and longer heating times were required.
The Uniflame Cook Set comes in two sizes (medium and large), and we chose the medium-sized set which was a good fit for the two of us (the larger size has been designed for 4-5 people and weighs 3kg).
Our pot sizes suited us well for cooking a range of dishes, and the lid recess design on one pot and the rice cooker prevented any contents boiling over the sides, which is another clever feature.
We were also impressed the set has a good quality colander included as it means one less item for us to carry separately. While the frying pan isn’t massive, it was more than adequate for a couple of eggs, an omelette, pancakes, or simply a toastie.
As far as fully integrated and nesting camp cooking gear goes, we’ve found the Uniflame Cook Set to be a top quality product and simply the best we’ve used. The size of the cookware is perfect for using on our gas burner, and we don’t have to continue packing a bundle of cooking gear that we’d raided from the kitchen at home when everything we need is contained in one bag. And with the entire set weighing in at a little more than 2kg, it’s as light as a feather, and we have no problems finding a spot for it when we travel. We opted for the good quality canvas bag (sold separately) to further protect the cook set while we’re hitting the tracks.
RRP: $209 for the Medium set and $258 for the Large set.
For more information, click here.