If you’re a regular car camper, a camp cook set is a smart investment. Sure, you can always take your household pots and pans on the road with you in a pinch, but they aren’t particularly compact and the outdoors can be rough on cookware. Camp cookware like the Quechua Camp Cookset, on the other hand, is built tough, packs down small, and lives with the rest of your camping gear, ready to go at a moment’s notice.
So yea, camp cookware is great, but most good sets share a common problem: They’re expensive. It’s tough to justify dropping $100+ on a set of pots, pans, plates, and cups, especially when you’ve already got most of these things handy at the house and can easily supplement what you’re missing with disposable plates, cups, and cutlery. The Quechua Camp Cookset caught my eye because it looks high quality and well designed, yet costs roughly half as much as the competition. Here’s my take after a few trips with the Quechua kit.
The Quechua Camp Cookset is a compact cook set with everything you need to cook for and feed up to four people. The set includes a large 2.6-liter non-stick cookpot, an 8″ non-stick frying pan, a heat-safe table mat, a lid (with a built-in strainer) that fits over both the pot and pan, and four sets of plates, cups, and cutlery.
That’s 24 pieces in total, and all 24 of them securely nestle together inside the cookpot for easy transportation and storage. As an added bonus, the plates and cups (or bowls, depending on how you want to use them) are color-coded, so it’s easier to keep up with who’s using what dish.
Quechua Camp Cookset
Everything inside the cook set is stackable and compact, so the entire kit only takes up about 3.5-liters of space in your travel bin or organizer of choice. Both the pot and pan are made from 304 stainless steel, but Quechua also added a double-layer aluminum base to both items, which improves heat transfer for faster cooking (and also saves you fuel in the process).
- 24 piece set includes plates, cups, forks, spoons, and knives for four people
- Highly durable Xylan non-stick coating on cookware
- Fast-heating dual-layer aluminum bases
- Rust-proof stainless steel construction
- Heat-safe silicon mat doubles as carry handle
- See-through Triton lid is heat-safe and doubles as a strainer
- Color-coded plates and mugs
- It’s affordable: The Quechua Camp Cookset currently retails for about $60. That’s less than half the price of the current industry-favorite four-person kits from GSI Outdoors.
- The pots and pans are high quality: Most inexpensive camp cookware sets use cheap thin-walled pots and pans that like to warp and crack under heavy use. You can tell Quechua cookware is high-quality the first time you pick it up, from the heavy-duty double layer base to the high-quality non-stick coating.
- It’s compact: I like that the Quechua kit takes an “essentials only” approach to the camp cook set, which keeps overall weight and bulk to a minimum. You may need to supplement the Quechua set with an additional pot or pan depending on what you’re cooking, but I always bring a large cast-iron skillet along for camping trips anyways, so this was a good fit for me.
- Cutlery is included: One of the biggest selling points of buying a camp cook set is keeping disposable plates, bowls, and cutlery out of landfills. Most kits include plates and cups, some also include separate bowls, but almost all of them leave out the cutlery. Those that do include cutlery typically stick to a single “spork” per camper, which isn’t ideal for us serious camp chefs out here making pasta, salads, fresh veggies, etc. The Quechua includes a dedicated fork, spoon, and knife for each person, and all three conveniently clip into one another, so they’re easier to pack and harder to lose.
- The pot is a bit small: Most cook sets from folks like GSI outdoors or Stanley include a larger pot (3L or more) than the Quechua. The Quechua pot tops out at 2.6L, which is technically “right on the money” for four people, but doesn’t leave any room to spare for second helpings, and can be a little awkward space-wise when boiling enough pasta for four mouths.
- It’s missing some “premium” features: While the Quechua is a great value in terms of outright price vs. quality, it doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as some popular top-dollar kits. For instance, you only get one cookpot in this kit whereas more expensive kits often include two plus a pan. The cups are pretty bare-bones (they don’t include sipping lids or insulated grips), and there are no dedicated eating bowls, although the plates themselves are deep enough to get away with holding soups and stews.
- There’s only one lid: I’m a big fan of the Triton polymer lid found in the Quechua Camp Cookware set, but I wish there were a second one if I’m being honest. Granted, I don’t often find myself cooking two things simultaneously that need to be covered, but it would be nice to have the option.
Quechua (and their parent company Decathalon) are a France-based outdoors brand that’s relatively unknown here in the states but has actually been in the business for the better part of 50 years. In my experience, their products strike a great balance between quality and price, and the Quechua cook kit is no exception there. Here are some of the most common questions I could find to test in the field:
Can you use the cookware over an open campfire?
Quechua claims their products are designed for use over any heat source, be it electric, gas, or wood fire. With that being said, you’ll want to be mindful when using the pot over a large open flame like a campfire, as its grab handles are made from heat-resistant (not to be confused with “fireproof”) polymer that will melt if exposed to direct flame. Best stick to cooking over a bed of coals, or putting some space between your pot and the flames.
Is the non-stick coating safe for use with metal utensils?
Quechua uses Xylan (a non-stick polymer originally developed by DuPont) for their non-stick coating, which is tougher than traditional Teflon coatings, but still isn’t completely scratch-proof. I recommend sticking with wood, plastic, or silicone utensils for cooking if you want your coating to last.
After using the Quechua cook set on a few weekends’ worth of camping trips, I think it’s well worth the money. The main point of a camp cook set is having a separate set of pots and pans for outdoor cooking, and both the pot and pan in this kit are high quality.
You’ll miss out on some high-dollar features like premium cups, larger pots, and multiple lids, but if you don’t really need them to begin with, why spend the money? Personally, I don’t get much use out of “camp cups” anyway (an insulated coffee mug and a Nalgene are always in my gear bins), and a cast-iron skillet is just too versatile to leave at home if we’re going camping. The Quechua kit nails the essentials while serving its purpose of keeping disposable plates and utensils out of landfills, and does it for half the cost of the competition.
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