Cooking and cleaning aluminum

After using a small backpacking cook kit on my last kayak camping trip I would like to get some tips on what you use to coat it before you cook something in it and how do you clean burnt food out it.

I have two of these type of cook kits and don’t plan on buying anymore, was just hoping to find better ways to cook and clean them.


there are no better ways
Aluminum is a lousy material for camping cook kits, at least unless it is anodized or coated with a nonstick surface. Those old cheap Boy Scout cook kits are for the birds. The only thing I would use one for is boiling water (that said, 90% of my camp cooking is just that… but even so, I use coated titanium pots and pans).

I do carry a small bottle of olive oil, which I put in a pan if I’m frying something. Nice to have anyway…

Hey Ken …
will we see you at Big shoals this year?

We are planning on hiking in on Friday to check out the take out and put in

Jack L

ahh to soap or not soap, that is the
question! Before cooking on a fire, some folks soap the outside of the pot once and carry the pot in a plastic bag the whole trip, some wash and resoap before each meal, and others not at all.

For nasty burnt mess or food stuck in the edges try a little river or lake sand- nature’s scrub pad.

Easy Off works surprisingly well at the end of the trip without soaping at all- let the spray dry and try not to get it on your hands. You can do all your cooking in a metal coffee can or number 10 and pitch it at the end of the trip, super easy.

On extended trips there is rarely any residue left on the inside of a pan. It is all eaten and scraped out of the pan due to hunger. The pot is sterilized by boiling water when you cook the next time. My methods are crude, primitive yet effective.

poison ?
Aluminum in the ground is generally toxic for plants. NASA people notice aluminum cookware in use advised that aluminum may cause Alzheimer’s.

I have 3 , one a deluxe sipper, the other 2 pasta containers unused bought before BPA advisories.

Bought replacements. As a BPA website concludes, ‘why not ?’

Not this year
I got too much going on that weekend. Hate to miss it though, I love camping at Big Shoals and watching the racers go by thru the shoals. Will try to make it next year.


Utter nonsense!
The crap about aluminum and Alzheimer’s was discredited a long time ago. It’s the same type of stupidity as the belief that vaccinations cause autism. Some people are so paranoid that they’ll believe anything.

As for aluminum camp cookware, I agree that it really is best to get non-stick coated pots. I’ve used uncoated and they work OK as long as you don’t burn anything in them. If you do, it can take a fair amount of work to get them clean.

I think you’re probably right
about aluminum and Alzheimer’s. But I don’t think it’s so absolutely crystal clear that words like “stupid” are appropriate. Just my totally unscientific, lay person who reads things but doesn’t believe them all, view.

The website says this:

“On the whole, scientists can say only that it is still uncertain whether exposure to aluminum plays a role in Alzheimer’s disease.”

Who knows. There’s obviously tons of sites (and scientists) who will say definitively, either way.

I don’t put much credence in any of it. Still, when my Calphalon stuff wore out years ago, I replaced it with stainless steel cookware (for the home). And I generally try not to eat aluminum. :expressionless:


negative neutral positive
The NASA folk are not dummies so I stowed the aluminum. I bought Teflon. Paddlenet roasted me for eating carcinogenic cookware so I found

No, aluminum is negative in the eco niche humans live in…idea Al opens portals for brain damage suggests a possibility for what is generally true…same as BPA.

It’s not to argue A causes B but to suggest there are better tools available.

Rub it in the bottom. Then boil some water and heat the pan dry for a minute to sanitize.

Use sand if it’s available
You don’t need or want the organics that come with typical “dirt”. That said, it works like a charm!

Best if you can get the soil/sand around rivers. Either way, I’m trusting science on organism destruction.

He Ken
I sent you a private e-mail, but for some reason it didn’t go through, so I’ll ask here:

The Suwannee right now is at a higher level then we have ever paddled it.

The gage at White Springs is 62.16, and on some reports I have read, it says that at that level Big Shoal is an “easy Class II”.

We were planning on racing our Comp Cruiser, and portaging around Big Shoals, but now are thinking of bringing our 17 foot Jensen and paddling straight through.

Have you seen Big Shoals at this level, and if yes, are then any high standing waves ?

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated

Jack L

Tried boiling clear Everglades water for drinking. Clarity held mega protozoa et al cooking into a very light yellow liquid.

Yak !