Aluminum is the cookware of choice for all-around backcountry use. It conducts heat evenly, is easy to clean when hard anodized and even easier when coated with a nonstick finish. It is also extremely efficient.
Stainless steel is very durable; perfect for when your pots take a lot of abuse. It lies somewhere between aluminum and titanium in terms of its cooking ability/suitability.
Titanium cookware's biggest advantage is its light weight. Titanium pots are ideal for boiling water, because they can be made with very thin walls and transfer heat very efficiently. They tend to develop hot spots, however, making them less than ideal for cooking temperature-sensitive foods like eggs or pancakes.
Cookware's efficiency is also dependent on its color and material. Our testing has found that darker pots (esp. the bottom) are the most fuel efficient. Older cookware, which blackens through use, becomes more efficient than new cookware.
The SimmerLite™, WindPro™, Pocket Rocket™, and SuperFly™ stoves are small enough to fit in an MSR 1-liter pot. All other MSR stoves with a flexible fuel line will fit into all MSR cooksets that are 1.5 liters or larger, except the DragonFly™ stove which fits in a 2L pot or larger. The older MSR XGK™ stoves will not fit inside a cookset because of their rigid fuel line. However the stove and fuel bottle will fit nicely in the side pocket of most backpacks.
Original MSR Alpine cooksets were sold with a strap to hold them together, rather than a stuff sack. When we designed the MSR Panhandler™ pot lifter, we did it with two upright tabs on the top of the pot lifter, which allow you to lift your pot lid by this tab. Our latest cookware has an attachment on the side that accepts our new, quick-release Talon™ pot handle, eliminating scratches on the inside of nonstick cookware while providing a secure, no-squeeze grip. It also folds to lock nested sets together.
Stainless steel and titanium pots may be used over open fire—with caution. You should expect some soot, and if you place the pot in too hot of an environment, some warping.
We do not recommend use of our aluminum cookware over open fire because they feature some plastic parts that will melt.
All components except aluminum cookware are dishwasher safe. We recommend using a liquid detergent. Aluminum cookware should be hand-washed to prevent damage to the cookware’s surface.