Lightest weight cook pot?

Posted by: Jim M

Lightest weight cook pot? - 11/16/19 12:40 AM

I'm looking at all my gear very critically to see if I can reduce weight. I have a few Titanium pots, aluminum pots and tea pots. Oddly enough the one with Ideal volume easily holds 16 ounces, has a handle and weighs only 3.5 ounces (no lid). It is the lightest I have for the volume I need. I use aluminum foil for the lid.
Is there a pint or more pot out there that weighs less?

One other less important question; Does anyone know how much the lightest aluminum canteen cups weigh?
Posted by: Bill Kennedy

Re: Lightest weight cook pot? - 11/16/19 03:14 PM

The larger pot of this set weighs 2.5oz (w/o lid) and holds 2.5 cups easily (the capacities given on the Snow Peak site are full-to-the-brim). The smaller pot weighs 2.1oz but is awfully full with 2 cups. The frypan/lid weighs 2.1oz also. These weights are from my postal scale.

Not sure it's worth spending $50 just to get the larger pot.
Posted by: Glenn Roberts

Re: Lightest weight cook pot? - 11/16/19 06:03 PM

The Snow Peak 600 single-wall titanium cup weighs 2.8 ounces and holds 20 ounces for $35; the 450 single wall weighs 2.4 ounces and holds 15 ounces for $30. (I usually use the 750 pot with lid as my entire kitchen, but if I need a second pot, I the 450 cup.) You'd need an aluminum foil lid, of course. I don't believe either cup has measuring marks, but it looks like the rivets visible on the inside are approximately 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 of the volume.

I really like Snow Peak cookware. The measuring marks in the pot put it a step above MSR, in my opinion. (MSR is good, too. Not sure how prices, weights, and volumes compare.)
Posted by: Petro1234

Re: Lightest weight cook pot? - 11/17/19 07:29 AM

I take a 26 oz aluminium fryingpan at about 4.5 oz. Does everything a saucepan does but , more efficiently and more versatile if you like more than boiled water.
Posted by: Glenn Roberts

Re: Lightest weight cook pot? - 11/17/19 09:21 AM

"...more than boiled water."

Good point - I've been using freeze-dried or one-pot meals for so long, I forget there are people that like to cook. My recommendations, above, would strictly be for the boil-and-soak crowd.
Posted by: Petro1234

Re: Lightest weight cook pot? - 11/17/19 09:26 AM

The only thing i have against freeze dried meals os that they are not as easily come by unlike regular food. I would take it with me more often, but resupply problems means you have to think of other food anyway. Also the small pans mean you cant do bacon or steak when you hit a town.
Posted by: Rick_D

Re: Lightest weight cook pot? - 11/17/19 11:38 AM

I think the most volume-for-weight efficient pots are roughly equal height-diameter, which may or may not suit one's particular kit. Your stove type and burner configuration could favor something wider and there's the issue of what you stow in the pot when it's packed.

Generally, shorter, wider pots are the most fuel-efficient so fuel weight enters the equation. An effective windscreen adds further efficiency.

Aluminum and titanium seem on par weightwise, with Ti winning the strength comparison. I tend to cook more than boil, and Ti is trickier than Al due to hotspots. It takes extra effort to avoid scorching.

In sum, IMHO it's best practice to evaluate the complete kitchen when selecting the pot and cup. How do they fit together in the smallest possible packed space? How do the stove and pot work together?

One more observation: Aluminum cups are awful for hot drinks. Ti or plastic will avoid blistered lips.

Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Lightest weight cook pot? - 11/17/19 01:56 PM

As mentioned above, the important factors are whether you just want to boil water or whether you actually cook. Another factor is the fuel efficiency of a short and squat pot vs. a tall skinny pot. A third, not yet mentioned, is whether or not you camp in winter when you'll be melting snow for water. A 4th is whether you go solo or will be preparing meals for 2 or more.

I strictly boil water, go solo, and do not winter camp. I get along fine with a 500 ml Ti pot, 2.0 oz. including lid. This gives me enough boiling water to rehydrate a dehydrated dinner in a freezer bag and make a cup of herbal tea (which I brew in and drink from the pot while my dinner is rehydrating). My dinner servings are relatively small, so if you get really hungry, a 750 ml or 1 liter pot might be better. If you want to wash yourself in the leftover warm water after dinner, definitely the 1 liter pot. (You probably don't want to wash in cold water at bedtime!) In this case, you really need a cup for your tea, since you don't want to smell of peppermint or camomile tea to passing bears!

If I'm fishing, I also take a 4.2 oz. frying pan, which I consider part of my fishing gear.

If I were going to cook meals from scratch instead of rehydrating, I'd take anodized aluminum which spreads the heat much better than titanium, and I'd take both a cooking pot and a frying pan. Hopefully the frying pan could be used as the pot lid. If you're cooking pasta, you really need a 1 to 1.5 liter pot so it won't boil over.

If I were going to melt snow for water I'd want at least a 2 liter pot.

In other words, weight isn't everything! Function is more important.

For weight reduction, your best bet is to reduce the number of pots and pans. For me, one pot does it all. Since I eat out of the freezer bag I pack my dinner in, all I need to do is rinse the pot (if I've made tea) and my spoon, which really saves on washing dishes. (Can you tell that I hate washing dishes? laugh )
Posted by: BZH

Re: Lightest weight cook pot? - 11/20/19 11:37 AM

Originally Posted By Rick_D
I think the most volume-for-weight efficient pots are roughly equal height-diameter ...

Ok, I've heard this often and this is the kind of thing I should be able to figure out easily. It turns out the Algebra is more difficult (at least for me) than it first appeared. I tried several years ago and failed. You spurred me on to give it another try and I got out the other side this time!

If I didn't screw up the Algebra, I calculate that the most efficient volume-for-weight ratio for a pot is when the height is equal to the radius. If any other math-o-philes are having difficulty figuring it out for themselves or if anyone at all wants to check my work (you would need to know what derivative is) I would be happy to post my solution.
Posted by: Petro1234

Re: Lightest weight cook pot? - 11/20/19 05:11 PM
Posted by: Bill Kennedy

Re: Lightest weight cook pot? - 11/20/19 08:03 PM

Not a math-o-phile so I may be missing something, but lst's say we have a pot 6" in diameter that's a perfect cylinder, and the sides are 3" high (height equal to the radius). If we double the height to 6", we've doubled the volume, but the weight is a bit less than doubled, since the base remains the same. Doesn't that mean it's now more efficient, volume for weight?
Posted by: BZH

Re: Lightest weight cook pot? - 11/21/19 06:17 PM

You are changing height and volume in your calculation so it is hard draw conclusions. You are comparing two different pots. You should compare two different pots that hold the same volume.

Let's take your 6" diameter/3" tall pot. It will hold 84.8 in^3 (pi x 3"^2 x 3" height). The weight of the pot will be proportional to the surface area (To get the weight of the pot take the surface area and multiply it by the wall thickness and the metal density). The surface area of your pot is 84.8 in^2 (pi x 3"^2 (for the bottom of the pot) + pi x 6" (diameter) x 3" (height) (for the sidewalls)).

The question then is there a pot with a different height and the same volume that has a smaller surface area. Let's try doubling the height to 6". The diameter would drop to 4.24" (sqrt(4*84.8/pi/6")) but the surface area would increase to 94 in^2 (pi x 4.24^2/4 + pi x 4.24" x 6"). Since the surface area increased the pot would weigh more.

We can also try a pot with the same volume and the height equal to the diameter. The would be a pot with a height and diameter of 4.76" (cuberoot(4*84.8/pi)). The area would be 88.9 in^3 (pi x 4.76^2/4 + pi x 4.76 x 4.76) and would therefore also be heavier than the pot where height is equal to radius.
Posted by: Glenn Roberts

Re: Lightest weight cook pot? - 11/21/19 07:40 PM

We all knew this was going to happen, didn’t we? smile
Posted by: Petro1234

Re: Lightest weight cook pot? - 11/22/19 01:27 AM

Does anyone have any children ?
Posted by: Bill Kennedy

Re: Lightest weight cook pot? - 11/22/19 03:53 AM

OK, I get it now. Thanks.
Posted by: BZH

Re: Lightest weight cook pot? - 11/22/19 06:59 PM

Originally Posted By Glenn Roberts
We all knew this was going to happen, didn’t we? smile

This was just a couple simple hand calculations... it wasn't the derivation which is much more complicated smile
Posted by: Jim M

Re: Lightest weight cook pot? - 11/23/19 05:36 PM

PETRO--thanks for that. I knew it must involve calculus because the volume increases with the radius squared times Pi times the height while the weight increases with the circumference.Then you have to add the area of the bottom. Very interesting beyond me nowadays. Maxima and minima and all that.
Posted by: JerrySC13

Re: Lightest weight cook pot? - 11/24/19 06:53 PM

Originally Posted By Glenn Roberts
We all knew this was going to happen, didn’t we? smile

I'm loving this thread. Nice laughs.

I suppose I sacrifice weight for simplicity sometimes. Or maybe I'm just a little too lazy to work on shedding weight.

I purchased a Stanley Cup (24oz) in 2015 from Tardmart (Walmart). My 12oz coffee cup, my MSR Pocket Rocket, and my lighter and spoon, all fit inside. I use the Stanley Cup to boil water.

The whole setup is inexpensive and works great. Lightest option? Doubtful. But I'm kind of married to this system now.
Posted by: CamperMom

Re: Lightest weight cook pot? - 11/30/19 10:51 PM

My all time favorite backpacking cook set is an emptied 12 oz Vienna sausage can (Goya) with a cut down lid from another aluminum can (cat food, another V. sausage cut with a side-opener) inside an aluminum-foam cozy over a generic version of a Ziplock bowl, along with a titanium spoon. The can is my pot as well as cup. I added some grab spots and lip guard by dabbing on some RTV high temp silicone. My meals are pretty much add water and wait a bit, pre-cooked and dehydrated or freeze-dried. If I need more than about 10 oz of hot water, I just heat a bit more. IIRC, along with a micro stove made from tea light aluminum cups,foil covered corrugated cardboard table protector/heat reflector, and a hardware cloth stand,the whole shebang was about 4 oz. I've tried a lot of other things,but small size and weight win out when I want to make miles and go super light.I even got down to one hot meal per day in the summer, needing only .5 to 1 Esbit tabs per day (then no need for the alcohol stove). I eat out of my little prefab food bags and lick the spoon clean, sanitizing it the next time I heat water. A cold coffee shake or chocolate covered coffee beans take care of my caffeine boost in the morning. If I have hot coffee, I tend to sip and linger too long. OK for base camp, but not when I need to get in miles.