If you could only have one pot, when camping, what would it be? You would want a pot of proper size, lightweight, compact, easy to clean, efficient to heat, and practical.
Pots come in all shapes and sizes. Titanium, cast iron, steel, aluminum, special Teflon coatings, and … You often see pots advertised on TV for a special value.
Native peoples made pots out of rocks. Soap stone bowls were common. They could shape the rock into a large bowl, pitcher, or whatever they needed. To heat them, other rocks were heated and added to the soapstone. If Soapstone were placed onto the fire, air pockets inside the stone would explode. This style of pot was simple and efficient. Carved soapstone pots would be left at seasonal campsites.
Any metal could be beaten into a pot shape and used. Old cans could also become a pot in a pinch. Campers and survivalists must sometimes become creative.
The most practical and traditional One Pot would be a Dutch oven. These pots are made of iron or aluminum. Iron is heavier but is more durable and easily heated. Aluminum is lighter and practical for backpacking.
The perfect Pot comes with a lid and a handle. The handle needs to be sturdy and centered so you can hang it over the fire. The lid must be concave so it can double as a fry pan. Having a pair of pliers or pot tools is helpful when things get cooking.
Cast iron allows you to sear, fry, bake, stew, poach, or steam. One pot meals are easy with this Pot. Cast iron is made by pouring the iron into a mold or cast. As they cool, tiny air bubbles form. To address these pockets, you must “Season” the metal using a thin coat of oil. Without the “seasoning”, your cast iron will rust. A few applications will do the trick. Your pot will also become nonstick and easy to clean.
A correctly seasoned Dutch Oven will need no soap when cleaning. Simply add some boiling water and scrub. Wipe the pot dry and re-season if needed.
Baking in a Dutch oven is easy and fun. You can also bake with them over charcoal or smoker style grills. The metal heats easily and stays warm. Fresh camp biscuits, desserts, and breads will make you the hit of every campout.
Used Dutch Ovens are common at lawn sales and flea markets. You can buy them for a few bucks. These pots survive for centuries. If you find one that is rusted, simply scour it with a steel wool or copper pad. Sink cleaning, Bartenders Friend, products are perfect to clean out the rust and residue. Now re-season the Dutch Oven and enjoy!
Good pots will last a lifetime or two!
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