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Titanium or Aluminum cookware?


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kwhowell

Hello All,

I was wondering what opinions and facts there were to the pros and cons of titanium vs. aluminum cook pots.

When I first started backpacking I purchased a cheap $10 aluminum pot that I basically just used to boil water in. A few years down the line an REI associate talked me into purchasing a titanium replacement because, "after a few years aluminum will release a chemical when heated up that will get into your food/water that is bad for you."

Now I'm doing a bit of expanding on my camp kitchen, and when I was on the phone with a Jetboil rep earlier she stated that Ti cookware is only good for boiling water since it was dangerous to cook food on. She was unable to offer an explanation as to why.

Does anyone have insight about the "dangers" of cooking with either of these two metals? I'm familiar with many of the other pros and cons, but wasn't able to find much information regarding this particular topic.

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grizzled

Assuming whatever you're cooking isn't acidic, neither aluminum or titanium will leach anything of significance into your water or food. Acidic contents will pit aluminum but that is more of a concern from ruined gear than any health concern.

The backpacking versions of most cookware are about as thin as can be made and still stand a little abuse. That results in both Al and Ti cooking with similar results-ie, frying anything is a bit of a challenge. In my experience, the Ti has a slight edge only because it has more strength and can therefore be of lighter construction. Is it worth the extra expense? Only if you are counting grams. I used aluminum for 4 decades and only being well into my geezerhood have I switched to titanium.

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I find that titanium / aluminum is hard to actually cook with and only use both for boiling water. I use both and really like the design and weight of the titanium over aluminum (just looks cooler LOL). When I expect to actually cook real food I use the MSR SS alpine fry pan or just use the grate on my Core or Emberlit wood burner.

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KW,

I have used titanium cookware for many years (TiWare)-1 liter pot with stuff sack, alway nested a cup inside the pot, along with spoon and stove (Soto). It has served me well for 7-8 years. I have always been a bit leery of aluminum pots--not because of chemicals that will leach from the pots, but from the metal itself--aluminum is not healthy for you. Having said that, I recently purchased a new cooking pot/system--GSI 1.1 liter pot/cooking system which includes a mug--the mug will nest within the pot, and also leave you enough room to put up to a 230g fuel canister inside. I'm hoping/suspecting that the anodized aluminum will solve any leaching problem for the metal. Also encouraged by the space saving aspect of the system. If interested, here's a link to a review of the system: http://www.trailspace.com/gear/gsi/ultralight-soloist-cook-system/ Like you, I haven't seen much out there that speaks to health issues related to either aluminum or titanium cookware, but do know that the cheaper aluminum pots would result in some (minimal) leaching of the metal into whatever you are cooking.

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  • 4 weeks later...
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My understanding is that titanium is one of the safer choices, although I'm not sure how much leaching would occur in a backpacking scenario. I use all lightweight titanium cookware (Usually the ECA252 or 253 900ml / 1.3L from the Evernew Ultralight Series) ...but mostly just boil water for dinner and heat some in the morning for coffee. Sounds like the rep was more worried about scorching a meal, but it can be done in these thin pots...with care! For me where actual cooking is more of a rarity, it's a good tradeoff.

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Dogwood

First, I've ever heard of any health concerns of Ti cookware used under  typical backpacking/camping scenarios.  I'd like to see the research to which this REI Associate was referring to substantiate any such claim. 

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NorcalBowhunter

I've never been a fan of aluminum. I just carry a old can I turned into a little cooking pot and I can fit my all my cook ware, stove, fuel and fire starters into it and it's pretty light. Though it really only works as a pot for boiling water or making soups/stews so it is a limited setup if I wanted to fry an egg or something.

Just from my personal experience aluminum doesn't work that well in the long run. I've never tried titanium. But as far as leaching goes I've never notice any in the kits I used.

Edited by NorcalBowhunter
Fixing my phones stupid auto correct.
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