How to Clean Camping Cookware (Titanium, Cast Iron, Stainless)

How to Clean All Kinds of Camping Cookware

Published: Nov 02, 2020

Cleaning all kinds of camping cookware involves several ways to remember. You should know the types of cookware, how to prepare your camping cookware before cooking and checking some tips in washing your dishes. Always be careful and mindful of the cleaning materials you are going to use as it greatly affects the physical appearance and performance. 

Cleaning Your Cookware

Utilizing your cookware over a period of time using heat leaves burnt food, black tar, and soot sticking on its surfaces. Most of us directly scrub the pan carelessly without thinking that not all of the cookware can withstand hard scrubbing.

With such, these pans' exterior will have scratches or damages of the pan's layer coating. That will make your equipment less usable with constant cleaning behavior.

The said difficulties are commonly experienced even in our household. So let's discuss a few tips on how to clean it by categorizing each type of camping cookware. 


Titanium Camping Cookware

Boil water into your cookware. That will make the burnt element soft. After that, remove the pan then put liquid cleaner. Use a nylon dish scrubber to take off those black components.

If there are residues left, boil it again. It will also serve as maintenance to sustain its titanium layer. For black tar, put an enormous amount of table salt in the pan then clean it using a cloth with lemon juice.


Cast Iron Cookware

Use sea salt then scrub it with a soft scrubber or cloth. This cookware is vulnerable to scratches so be careful of the cleaning material you are going to use. Continuous scrubbing with paper towels drizzled with cooking oil can remove black tars. 


Stainless Steel Cookware

Boil water and baking soda together in the pan for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from heat then leave it for another half hour. We advise you to use a non-abrasive cloth to take off those burnt elements. Soak it with water and a bit of biodegradable soap to remove black tar or soot. 


Enamel Cookware 

Similar to stainless steel type, boil water and baking soda then remove the burnt material but for black soot, just immersed it with water and soap. 


Aluminum Cookware

Steep water, baking soda with any biodegradable soap in the pan for a few minutes. Another choice for hard to remove burnt elements is to simmer vinegar in your pan for about 14 minutes.

Similar to other cookware, use a soft dishwashing cloth to clean the pan however use a stain remover for aluminum with vinegar to clean your pan from black tars and soot.

Avoid forcing to remove the burnt food with hard scrubs especially if the materials used to coat your cookware is not capable of intense cleaning. 


Preparing Your Camping Cookware Before Cooking 

Apart from the ways to remove burnt food, black tars, and soot, we should be wary of how we use our cookware. There are also methods of prevention of these negative effects on your pan. That will reduce your struggles in removing those stains after using your cooking equipment. 


  • Avoid burning your food


Clearly, this is the most prudent practice to prevent the stains in your pan. But bear in mind that no matter what food you are going to cook or how you cook it, there will always be a bit of stain or food residue left in your cookware.

This may not be visible on top of the pan but anywhere on its exterior surfaces. And yes, preheating the oil or boiling your food will alleviate the black elements to appear. We suggest you cook in low heat then monitor your food to fend off the cause of burnt food. 


  • Cook in freezer bags and camping stoves


Using this material can avoid burnt stains on your cookware because the food will not have direct contact with the surface of your pan. All you need to do is place your food inside the freezer bag then boil it in the cookware however, we can't assure that all kinds of food can be cooked in this method.

You can use this way to cook easy to prepare food like eggs, vegetables, and fish.  Another suggested technique is to cook using camp stoves. It can prevent the stains or permanent discoloration of your pans. Take note that different kinds of woods can greatly affect the appearance of black tars. 


  • Put dishwashing soap


Yes, but not inside your pan where you will be cooking your food. Coat the outer parts of your cookware with a small amount of dishwashing soap. It works as a barricade to prevent the black tar and soot.

The cleaning process after you use it will be easier. Some of our hikers have already applied this technique which helps them to hamper the burnt elements on their cookware. 


  • Use Titanium or Cast Iron Cookware


Cast iron cookware is durable and quite expensive but the quality is impressive. Apart from this, it also has a non-stick surface. It is best to utilize to avoid the stain caused by burnt food on your pan. This goes similar to titanium cookware. They are lightweight, sturdy, and nonstick.


Tips in Washing Your Dishes While Camping

There are many ways of washing your cookware during your camping activities. Being cautious of the dishwashing soap and scrubs you are going to use are just the primary ways for washing routine in order to maintain the performance of your cookware.


Let's tackle more in this area.

  1. Some people tend to clean only the top portion of their pans or the insides of their pots without minding the exteriors. We advise you to clean them thoroughly and never leave any bits of food leftover and burnt coating on the bottom part of your pan. It helps to take care and sustain the materials instilled by the manufacturer on the cookware. 


  1. Another tip for you to reuse the water you used to clean the cookware is to strain while pouring it to storage. You can use this water to clean your equipment as long as it is still clear and not oily. 


  1. The use of environment-friendly cleaning materials is recommended. We're not just focusing on how we wash our dishes but also to prevent the pollution of the surroundings from the waste coming from your cooking activity. We advise you to use biodegradable soaps. 


  1. To maintain proper hygiene even if you don't have any dishwashing stuff, hot or boiled water can lend you a hand in disinfecting and washing your dishes.


  1. Use appropriate dishwashing scrubs and sponges on your cookware. As mentioned earlier in the Cleaning Your Cookware section of this article, there are types of cookware that cannot resist the hard scrubs or extreme cleaning. So we suggest you to prepare your dishwashing materials.


  1. Lastly, if you don't want to clean your dishes during your camping, you can carry it along with you by covering it with plastic. This technique is possible if you are going to cook one time because if you reuse it without cleaning, bacteria may form and it will be hard to clean on your next cooking pursuit.


Final Thoughts

When our campers use the different cookwares, they experienced some difficulties and negative results to their equipment. That happens because we lack the knowledge that each of the cooking materials needs to be maintained and oversee to make it last longer.

Most of all, you should prioritize the cleaning process and routine after you cook to avoid further problems that may develop in your pans and pots. Beware of the cleaning materials you will be utilizing to clean the surfaces of the cookwares that are used to cook your food because it may damage and scratches.

We really admire the nonstick features of cast iron and titanium cookware. Aside from being lightweight, you can ensure that your food won't stick big time on the pan.

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