Over the years I’ve amassed quite a wide range of outdoor cooking implements, from BBQs to wood burning stoves. My favourite for quite a while was Weber's Smokey Joe BBQ, which we'd chuck in the back of Deux Smurf and enjoy a meat-fest somewhere pretty.
More frequently however we’ve fancied something a bit more, well, varied for our alfresco lunches. The problem here is that my BBQ skills are limited to throwing on slabs of meat, and that's pretty much it, that was until we took delivery of the durable Primus 18/8 stainless steel Campfire Cookset.
The set consists of two pots (1.8ltr & 3ltr), which have lids with integrated colanders (which is genius!) and a frying pan.
All 3 are very easy to handle, the large 3ltr pot has a foldaway handle that can be locked in the upwards position so it can be suspended over an open fire, though we haven’t tried that yet. Both the frying pan and the smaller pot have side folding handles that also lock into position and when full of food are very easy to grip and control.
So, what are they like to cook with?
The first meal I cooked was quite easy, I used the Primus Essential stove and the frying pan to cook a bacon and egg butty. Usually in a non-stick pan I would simply throw the bacon in and let it cook in its own fat, but on this occasion I used a bit of oil. The bacon cooked nicely but the egg stuck a little, what I think I’ll do next is season the frying pan with a bit of oil to make it non-stick and see how that works out.
Because they’re made from thicker stainless steel I’ve found that the heat distributes more evenly and when everything is at temperature, using the small leather toggles that are attached to the lids means that you don’t burn your fingers, which is always a bonus.
Using the Primus Onja twin burner stove on a trip out we got creative and made a variety of pasta dishes using both pans, which is where the integrated colander in the lids proved to be very useful, not only to allow steam to release whilst cooking, but also for draining the water.
Over the past couple of months I’ve used the set on a variety of stoves, from our hob at Muddy Towers, to gas fuelled outdoor stoves and wood burners like the Horizon Stove and Coleman's legendary dual fuel, and they’ve done the job every time. Obviously it’s better to use one of the Primus stoves!
It’s worth a quick mention that none of the pans have any silicone or plastic parts that can easily break or melt. No one likes plastic in their porridge. I was also told recently at a trade show that the reason that the toggles are leather is so that every part of the set is recyclable or bio-degradeable, so it's eco-friendly too.
Being stainless steel means that they are able to stand up to a lot of wear and tear and should last a lifetime as they won’t chip, rust or stain easily. Primus have made them to withstand the toughest of trips, year after year.
Packing away couldn’t be simpler, the small pot fits into the large pot which in turn sits into the frying pan and slots neatly into the storage bag.
They’ve been a great addition to our outdoor camping kit, they’re extremely strong and beautifully designed, in fact when they first arrived I didn’t want use them as they were too shiny!
At around £90 they aren’t cheap, but as the old saying goes - 'the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten'.
This isn't the last you've seen of the Cookset as soon we’re hoping to begin creating some camping meal videos, and you can be sure that they’ll have a staring role, so watch this space…