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  1. #1
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    Default Who really "cooks" in a 900ml pot. Is it too small?

    I'm contemplating stepping down a size in my cook setup. Unfortunately because Titanium is expensive, I cannot just buy a new pot and practice with it then find out it does not work. I think I might go out and buy a really cheap similar sized pot (900ml or slightly less) and began experimenting at home with it too see if I can COOK in it.

    I'm considering picking up the Trail Designs Caldera Sidewinder Ti-Tri with all the goodies. The full inferno setup with floor, etc. I'm interested into getting into wood-burning when I want. But having an efficient alcohol setup for my regular cooking duties. I'll even keep the gram cracker in there with one esbit cube just for fun. I like options.

    I like to go ultralight where I can, but these accessories only add 1-2oz and I'll use them outside of ultra-light backpacking trips. Well, I'll even use them during ultra-light backpacking trips. Weight isn't even what I'm addressing here.

    Does anyone have any resources of people cooking meals for one in their 900ml pot with success? I know I can cook in my 1.3L pot with ease for one. I can make a really hearty meal if need be. I feel like if I step down to a 900ml pot it would be too small/inconvenient in the volume department. However I gain advantages such as packability and weight savings.

    My only nitpicks with the 1.3L is it is a "little" too big for me personally. I don't know why but it bugs me because most of the time I'm not utilizing the volume the of the pot, and therefore it's a waste. However, it is easy to cook in. Has plenty of volume for a hearty meal and hot h20 for a drink.

    So, COOKING in a 900ml pot. What's your success stories?

    Furthermore, if Evernew or Toaks offered a 1.1L wide bottom pot... I think it would be their best seller. A thru-hiker's dream pot.

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    Someone was offering a swap 1.3 for a 0.9 recently here IIRC.

    But to answer your question, what do you mean 'cook' I have used a 0.75l Ti pot, practicing at home, to make almost everything imaginable. On the trail my cooking is simplified. Sometimes I do have to cut the ingredient down to fit (lets say if I'm making sausage and peppers, I have to precut the sausages instead of cook them whole), but volume wise I find it is good for 1 person 'cooking'. YMMV

  3. #3

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    I use a 900ml pot, and it works just fine for dehydrated meals. I use a smaller frying pan on top, which functions both as a cover and to boil water (well, sometimes it doesn't quite boil, but it gets close enough) for tea. And a piece of folded aluminum foil serves as a cover for the whole thing. The 900ml pot, with fry pan inverted as a lid) is big enough to hold my pot scrubber, aluminum foil cover, small lighter, two short coat-hanger sections, aluminum flashing windscreen, and a plastic spoon. And the whole thing fits neatly with the rest of my gear. A 1300ml pot would be much more of a space hog.

  4. #4
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    read, but missed responding to your first thread-
    If you truly cook in your pot- you may want to get a hard anodized aluminum, perhaps even non-stick pot instead of TI.
    I cook in TI pots, but constrain myself to liquid type meals, soups and stews or just boiling water for freezer bag meals.
    I do not cook things like Mac and cheese or "dry" meals in TI. (though I don't use them, many lipton side style meals would be meals I would think of as dry) You can brown a few things or cook with some oil over a low enough heat, but the instant heat transfer and very high hot spot behavior of TI makes them hard to truly cook in. Once you char them, even at home with a good brillo pad they are hard to clean back up and more prone to burning foods in the future.

    Generally speaking- when I want to go light and fast- I use TI and keep the meals simple. When I'm out and taking time to cook, the ounce or two heavier pot isn't a deal breaker and produces better meals.

    Regarding size- I consider 750ml about the smallest pot I would use to cook in my pot. A pack of Ramen, a few dried veggies and water to cook it all will take 600-650ml easy, and it's no fun to stir any meal at the brim of the pot or spend 20 minutes ensuring you stove is dead level. 900 ml is a good size for most meals. If you require meals bigger than that solo, likely you need to eat/snack more frequently during the day. If you are looking to one-shot a meal and hot drink, a better plan in my experience is to consider the hot drink separately. If you want it prior to the meal, fill the pot, pour off your drink into a cozie and then top off the pot to finish cooking. If you want the drink after the meal, then transfer the food into a cozie and refill the pot to boil your drink. This does your dishes at the same time.

    I would rather have a cozie along (currently using the Ziploc twist lock style) than a bigger pot. This container allows me to rehydrate things on the move if needed and provides more versatility than a bigger pot. I can soak some veggies or food to cut down cooking time, as well as take meals "to go". I often do this when moving quickly as it lets me cook and do chores at a water source(low spot), then carry my meal a short distance to a view (high spot) to sit down and eat.

    Caldera Cone is an excellent stove, with the only big ding being the one you mentioned- you have to be sure what pot you want to use.
    I would suggest getting a hard anodized AL pot in 900ml and play with it a bit before you pull the trigger.
    FWIW- I prefer the Esbit/wood combo to the Alchy. You can leave the fuel bottle and stove at home, carry the gram cracker Esbit instead. Now you are really talking a 2 ounce stove (cone, gram cracker, and two stakes, Tyvek sleeve). In addition, I carry a film canister to store partially used Esbit tabs in. These can be used at dinner time to start a fire. An extra tab or two also does double duty as emergency fire starter, although a small packet of Vaseline cotton balls is lighter and more useful) I DID NOT purchase the inferno insert, I didn't feel it was worth the money. In addition, when I make a wood fire, it is often because I will have a full fire for dessert. So the cone is set up in a pit and used much like a chimney charcoal starter for the evenings fire. You can always add the insert later...
    If enjoying a fire, I may even rake a few coals over, set the caldera on top, and heat up/warm up that drink I mentioned earlier to save fuel.
    Finally- once you choose a pot size- wide flat is better for the caldera cone (and generally) Also- if you shop carefully- you can likely find both a TI and AL pot style that will work with the same stove so that you have each option. Rand is very helpful, he may have a combo deal for you, or even allow you to buy the AL pot/cone combo now and add the TI pot later.

  5. #5

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    I have the 1L Ti evernew pasta pot. First time using it I wanted to COOK! So I made up this habenaro cheese penna chicken which resulted in me permantly blackening the bottom inside of my 80$ pot, and having burnt tasting penne. SO, I only use my TI pot for boiling now, as well as coffee. I stick to the boil bags, I also use it to cook the uncle bens rice still in the bag.
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    I like my Olicamp XTS pot. It not really UL, but it is anodized aluminum, and it has a heat exchanger on the bottom for efficient heating. It is listed as a vol. of 1.0 L so a bit bigger than 900 mL. I like the fact that the height to width ratio is about 1:1. Easy to get into while keeping down weight and surface area.

    http://www.olicamp.com/products-pots/xts-pot

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    I like to cook just about anything. A cup of pasta and some veggies is a "normal" meal for me. A packet of ramen and some extras is never enough. I'm gonna have to buy a cheap .9L pot and experiment at home before I commit to a Titanium setup.

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    Maybe go to Xmart and get a cheap pot the size you're thinking of just to check out the size. When you decide what size pot you want, Go out and buy it in Ti.

  9. #9
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    I like to cook just about anything. A cup of pasta and some veggies is a "normal" meal for me. A packet of ramen and some extras is never enough. I'm gonna have to buy a cheap .9L pot and experiment at home before I commit to a Titanium setup.
    Sorta my point with the cozie. The twist loc comes in 1L or .5L sizes. I prefer the 1L. Let's look at your pasta prima-vera-
    Boil 750ml of water, pour off about a cup to into the cozie to "cook" your veggies in.
    Add enough water to the pot to cook pasta Al-dente. Strain veggies, and dump pasta (water and all) into the cozie with the veggies. Let stand to finish cooking.
    Add a little oil to the bottom of your pot, fresh garlic and spices and toast it up a bit. Add sauce of choice (let's say dried pasta sauce flakes) into the pan, pour enough of the pasta water over to reconstitute sauce and stir often.
    Remove from heat- strain pasta/veggies then dump sauce into cozie and eat. Or dump in pot if you prefer and reserve water for tea.

    You can do a lot more with pot+ cozie (or combo pot with lid as mentioned above) for a given volume. Usually it's no so much volume as space to cook everything.

    Regarding the Ramen-
    I agree- ramen is my junk food, I like it for lunch or snack. What you need to look at isn't cooking a double batch of ramen to fill you up, but eating food of double the quality. 750ml of beans, rice, and veggies will fill you up, 750ml of junk food, not so much. Soaking the beans and veggies in the cozie for a few hours before dinner, means I can simmer those up with some additional water and cook 5 minute brown rice at the same time in the same pot. I can even transfer that mess into the 1L cozie, drop a little oil, garlic, and sunflower seeds into the pot to toast a little and build flavor, then remove from heat and combine.

    It's not that often that we use a single container at home to cook complicated, healthy, filling meals. I find the second container meets this need and allows cooking full meals in as small as a 750ml pot. It also allows you to cook side dishes like mashed potatoes or mixed veggies in the cozie while your main dish heats up in the main pot. Examine a bit how and what you cook at home and how you do it, for most meals I've found that using my cozie as a second pot makes meal time easier and more diverse.

    BTW- the cozie is an excellent substitute for the "freezer bag" in freezer bag cooking- saving messy trash, weight, and adding an actual bowl to eat from that is easy to clean up.

  10. #10

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    Yes, forgot to mention that both my pot options are anodized aluminum. Food doesn't burn, for the most part, and they clean up easily. I don't lose any sleep over the extra weight. I do like to travel light, but I'm not obsessed with the notion, and ti just strikes me as way too pricey.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Man Out View Post
    I like my Olicamp XTS pot. It not really UL, but it is anodized aluminum, and it has a heat exchanger on the bottom for efficient heating. It is listed as a vol. of 1.0 L so a bit bigger than 900 mL. I like the fact that the height to width ratio is about 1:1. Easy to get into while keeping down weight and surface area.

    http://www.olicamp.com/products-pots/xts-pot
    I would add that I use the Olicamp pot with alcohol stoves, but you can't use a side burning stove where the pot sets on the stove (like a super cat or bottle stove). You need to have a center burning stove with a pot stand. I have not used Esbit, but should work fine. It also works with canister stoves. With the heat exchanger, it is a bit like a Jetboil. I'm not sure if I have "cooked" in this pot. It depends on your definition of cook. I put in food, water, boil, put the whole pot in a pot cozy (AGG DIY kit), let set, eat.

  12. #12
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    http://www.olicamp.com/products-pots/lt-pot
    [U][COLOR=#0066cc]http://www.amazon.com/TOAKS-Titanium...ds=toaks+900ml

    Just an example- 2 oz more, 100ml more room- half the cost for the Olicamp without the heat exchanger.
    Not talking enough weight really to agonize too much...

    I would talk to Rand at Trail Designs- I'm pretty sure he knows of pot combo's that are the same size and come in TI or AL versions so you have the option of buying one Caldera Cone.

  13. #13
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    I mostly freezer bag so usually just boil water in mine, but I have cooked ramen in it. Once you get it right, I think freezer bagging is the way to go if you don't like to carry a lot of cooking gear.


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  14. #14
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Man Out View Post
    I would add that I use the Olicamp pot with alcohol stoves, but you can't use a side burning stove where the pot sets on the stove (like a super cat or bottle stove). You need to have a center burning stove with a pot stand. I have not used Esbit, but should work fine. It also works with canister stoves. With the heat exchanger, it is a bit like a Jetboil. I'm not sure if I have "cooked" in this pot. It depends on your definition of cook. I put in food, water, boil, put the whole pot in a pot cozy (AGG DIY kit), let set, eat.
    Only issue with heat exchanger and Esbit- if you don't take the pot to a regular fire every so often the Esbit gunk builds up pretty fierce.
    Otherwise good system overall and as you mention, at least half of the Jetboil's success comes from using a heat exchanger.

    Coupled with this stove- http://www.amazon.com/Olicamp-Ion-Mi...s=oicamp+stove

    you have a light system that is very efficient for under $80 and eight ounces. Cheaper than jetboil, just as good, AND you can take it to the fire or use your pot with alchy stoves too. Right up there with CC system IMO.

  15. #15
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    I just experimented with a 1L steel cook pot I have in my house. Boiled three cups of water. 2 for some pasta and one for a cup of coffee. I definitely feel like it would be too small to actually cook in. Just enough volume to get by, but not convenient. It would be hard to stir and the pot would always be filled to the brim at the start of cooking. And by that I mean, a good portion of pasta needs more than two cups of h20 to cook it properly. On the other hand, by incorpartiong a pot cozy such as Just Bill is suggesting then the pot would be sufficient in volume to make really just about anything. Unfortunately, I want the option of doing full cooking in the pot. I think the 1.3L is still going to serve me better. I can make generous portions of food easily, melt decent amounts of snow, cook for two if need be, all hassle free.

    I'm not completely concerned about conserving fuel because I want to get into wood burning. Those are the instances I will prob do most of my "real" cooking. If I'm using my alcohol, I'll prob be boiling a little water for FBC or just simple 2 cup meals. With wood burning, I don't care about how much fuel/water I use. But I love the option.

    I should note, my cooking isn't setup for JUST an AT thru-hike per say. If I was doing a thru-hike, my approach would be similar, but i would probably simplify my meals more. On overnights and such, I would lug up real food and cook in pot over a wood burner. On a thru, I would probably still cook over a fire sparingly. But I like having the option to do so.

    I'm ranting a little and don't know if I fell off subject, but by testing out my 1L pot I have in my kitchen to cook a meal. I made some observations.

    I can cook in it. I made a pot of pasta with sauce and Parmesan cheese. Easily ate all the pasta and I'm not even hiker hungry. But it was a MEAL.

    I almost max'd out its volume for REAL cooking with something I consider a normal meal. Sometimes I like to eat more. So, that's a big negative for the 900ml. Not enough food can fit when I'm pigging out.

    Cooking in my 1.3L is more convenient when it comes to stirring, boil overs, adding more ingredients, experimenting with different foods.

    It's going to take some refining to make a 900ml pot work. I don't like that when it comes to food, I like to be flexible in my diet and have alot of options rather than FBC and boil in bag methods.

    I can do everything I need in the 1.3L but not the other way around. In the 1.3L I can use 3-4 cups to cook with, and still have plenty of room for extra fluid for a hot drink. This may sound crazy to some of you to use 3-4 cups for dinner. But that's what it takes to properly cook a lot of pasta or rice.

    For now, the 1.3L is just a tad too much volume. But when the hiker hunger kicks in, it would probably be perfect.

    I still think Evernew would sell a lot of wide bottom 1.1L pots. Would be ideal for me.

  16. #16
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    We've used a 900ml Snow Peak pot for two people for a while. We do cook in it, usually a Knorr side or something similar (couscous, mac and cheese) with a bag of chicken or bacon and some dried veggies. It's perfect for us.

    This summer we got a JetBoil and to save weight I got the Ti version, 800ml. It doesn't seem much smaller, but it was just a bit too small for this sort of cooking. We made do, but I would buy the 1-liter JB pot for next time and save the smaller one for solo hiking.

    If you want to try the 900-ml SP Ti pot, I can probably make you a good deal
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  17. #17
    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
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    dont use an aluminum pot unless you want cancer or alzheimers. go with Ti or stainless
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    I'm not completely concerned about conserving fuel because I want to get into wood burning. Those are the instances I will prob do most of my "real" cooking. If I'm using my alcohol, I'll prob be boiling a little water for FBC or just simple 2 cup meals. With wood burning, I don't care about how much fuel/water I use. But I love the option.
    FBC is inherently inefficient. It is a tradeoff between efficiency and convenience.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    FBC is inherently inefficient. It is a tradeoff between efficiency and convenience.
    How do you figure?


    "Your comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    Only issue with heat exchanger and Esbit- if you don't take the pot to a regular fire every so often the Esbit gunk builds up pretty fierce.
    Otherwise good system overall and as you mention, at least half of the Jetboil's success comes from using a heat exchanger.

    Coupled with this stove- http://www.amazon.com/Olicamp-Ion-Mi...s=oicamp+stove

    you have a light system that is very efficient for under $80 and eight ounces. Cheaper than jetboil, just as good, AND you can take it to the fire or use your pot with alchy stoves too. Right up there with CC system IMO.
    Good to know about the Esbit. I've sometimes thought about getting the Olicamp pot without the heat exchanger. It would be a great chance to test otherwise identical pots to see what the real effect of the heat exchanger is. I've looked at that Olicamp Ion Micro Stove. I'm not convinced that that pot supports are long enough to support my pot with the heat exchanger. Should be fine with a flat bottom pot. I'm a bit paranoid about tipping over my dinner so I tend towards wide pot stands. I'm considering the Soto Windmaster instead. It's gotten lots of good reviews. Also very light. Gives me an option for when there is a fire ban and alcohol is not an option. As you pointed out, having options is nice.

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