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 Post subject: Cooking for 6
PostPosted: November 11th, 2007, 10:17 pm 
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I am in the midst of organizing a 5 day trip this summer. This will be the biggest group I have ever had to prepare food for. Here is my question:

1. How big a cook kit should I bring? 3 liter, 4 liter pot? How many?
2. Should I bring 2 storves?

Thanks
Ray


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PostPosted: November 12th, 2007, 3:09 am 
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#1 - the bigger the better (and more than one pot)

#2 - Absolutely, I'd even consider 3 stoves for a group that size unless your menu consists of only one pot meals or meal in a bag

Of course you could manage with a single small pot and one stove if you don't mind having 5 hungry people starring at you for a couple of hours.

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 Post subject: Re: Cooking for 6
PostPosted: November 12th, 2007, 8:15 am 
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Raymond wrote:
I am in the midst of organizing a 5 day trip this summer. This will be the biggest group I have ever had to prepare food for. Here is my question:

1. How big a cook kit should I bring? 3 liter, 4 liter pot? How many?
2. Should I bring 2 storves?

Thanks
Ray


Hi Raymond,

I'm quite experienced with this and can offer some advice (my background is both backpacking and canoeing so my approach is a little different).

You can easily cook for this many people with a 2 litre and a 1.5 litre pot combo and a single stove. That said it will make it more comfortable if you double the pot set and the stove. I highly recommend using 2 stoves but I don't recommend the 3 and 4 litre pots. Most stoves aren't designed for them - the larger pot won't speed things up and it can cause issues with the stove overheating. That and 2 smaller pots opposed to 1 bigger one allows you to share the weight.

Your best course of action is also to dehydrate the foods and then at camp you simply have to boil water and rehydrate the meals. You can have terrific tasting meals without having to carry weighty food and/or a cooler. This also means that you will use less fuel and that 2 smaller pots and 2 stoves will be much easier. It also means that you can time it so everyone eats together.

Of course everyone has their own way of doing things (in the backpacking community we always say "hike your own hike"). That said, if you can eat like this (see below) from something that is home-dried and lightweight.... why not?

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PostPosted: November 12th, 2007, 8:37 am 
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Lookin' good, WC. Would look even better with .....*****this damn' Erhard won't let me post anything that reopens the can of worms*** :) :wink:

(Text edited by Erhard - what did you expect?!)

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PostPosted: November 12th, 2007, 8:45 am 
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wotrock wrote:
Lookin' good, WC. Would look even better with .....*****this damn' Erhard won't let me post anything that reopens the can of worms*** :) :wink:

(Text edited by Erhard - what did you expect?!)


Erhard would you untwist yer knickers please

the flavors don't really go well together - but thanks for thinking of the dalas litnel :wink:


Last edited by Laurie March on November 12th, 2007, 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: November 12th, 2007, 8:45 am 
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WC: pasta for 6 in a two-litre pot? THat sounds a bit tight in my experience, I doubt that would work for me....


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PostPosted: November 12th, 2007, 8:52 am 
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Erhard wrote:
WC: pasta for 6 in a two-litre pot? THat sounds a bit tight in my experience, I doubt that would work for me....



when using the single stove with a 2 litre pot and 1.5 litre pot you can't do a big pasta meal unless you dehydrate the pasta first and rehydrate in large ziplock freezer grade bags - you precook and dry the pasta at home and all you do is rehydrate the whole dish - it's pretty easy - boil water and add it to the dinner... then wait

2 pots - 2 litres each - is necessary if you do cook the pasta on site (which I do often) you can easily do it with two 2 litre pots and the 2 stove combination - we've done it for a group of 6 without issue. The sauce gets rehydrated in the smaller pots.

As I said, this is better than trying to use a big pot on a stove for which it could be risky... there is a certain amount of risk when heating a pot larger than the recommended size on a single burner campstove (the accident the Droughts had a few years back is a fine example of what can happen although that wasn't the only factor) - even moreso if the canister is the type that sits below the flame.


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PostPosted: November 12th, 2007, 8:59 am 
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WC, what you are saying is that if Ray precooks the pasta, the smaller pots will work. If he doesn't his group will be cooking and eating in shifts. :wink:

About the six-man pot that I use, no problem with my MSR nor any of the Coleman's I have used. Specifically with the MSR DRagonfly, the windscreen will shield the fuel tank just fine. TRy it!

I'll try to see whether MSR gives specs on the pot size for each of their stoves..


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PostPosted: November 12th, 2007, 9:33 am 
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******* wrote:
wotrock wrote:
Lookin' good, WC. Would look even better with .....*****this damn' Erhard won't let me post anything that reopens the can of worms*** :) :wink:

(Text edited by Erhard - what did you expect?!)


Erhard would you untwist yer knickers please

the flavors don't really go well together - but thanks for thinking of the dalas litnel :wink:


Erhard---Could you pls stop being such a wet blanket!!

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PostPosted: November 12th, 2007, 10:01 am 
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Erhard wrote:
WC, what you are saying is that if Ray precooks the pasta, the smaller pots will work. If he doesn't his group will be cooking and eating in shifts. :wink:

About the six-man pot that I use, no problem with my MSR nor any of the Coleman's I have used. Specifically with the MSR DRagonfly, the windscreen will shield the fuel tank just fine. TRy it!

I'll try to see whether MSR gives specs on the pot size for each of their stoves..


No they won't be eating in shifts if they use the 2 pot sets like I recommended to make things more "comfortable". If you read what I said - it was double the pot set. And not once did I say to cook pasta in camp using the single pot set.

two 2 litre pots for pasta - 2 stoves - take the pasta off about 1 to 2 minutes before al dente - let it sit in the water while they use the other 2 smaller pots in the set to reheat the sauce which they rehydrated in the smaller pots

as I said you can easily make meals that can be done for 6 with one pot set and one stove. you rehydrate using freezer bags, nalgene containers or the pots. you use food cozies to keep the food warm. it works very well

I generally recommend one stove to every 3 people

the MSR Dragonfly or any other stove might not have given you a problem - or you just might have been lucky - I don't recommend that anyone use a large pot on a stove such as a backpacker single burner stove... including the MSR Dragonfly.

MSR does have a pot size limit. If you go to http://www.msrcorp.com/support/pdfs/DF-StoveInst_EN.pdf and read section six - MSR states that the cookware diameter is 9 inches or 23 centimetres maximum. Many pots above the 2 litre size are greater in diameter and can cause problems.


Last edited by Laurie March on November 12th, 2007, 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: November 12th, 2007, 10:09 am 
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******* wrote:
....

two 2 litre pots for pasta - 2 stoves - take the pasta off about 1 to 2 minutes before al dente - let it sit in the water while they use the other 2 smaller pots in the set to reheat the sauce which they rehydrated in the smaller pots

So let me understand: a total of four pots is recommend?


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PostPosted: November 12th, 2007, 10:19 am 
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Erhard wrote:
******* wrote:
....

two 2 litre pots for pasta - 2 stoves - take the pasta off about 1 to 2 minutes before al dente - let it sit in the water while they use the other 2 smaller pots in the set to reheat the sauce which they rehydrated in the smaller pots

So let me understand: a total of four pots is recommend?


not necessarily - two - 2 litre pots works fine as long as you use a ziplock/cozy combination to rehydrate the sauce - but it is easier to use two full pot sets designed to fit the size parameters set out by the manufacturer for the stove - I will repeat that using a pot larger than recommended is a very unsafe practice.... burns in the backcountry can be serious.


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PostPosted: November 12th, 2007, 10:23 am 
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We are a group of 6 to 8 on our 10 day northern fly-in trips. We carry 2 dragonfly stoves. We cook with one stove, the other for backup. A good quality large windscreen is a must. Can't stress this enough as it is as much fuel bottle protection as it is for wind protection. There is no danger of exploding fuel bottles as the windscreen protects the fuel bottle from the heat. With a proper windscreen, the fuel cannisters won't even get warm. It has the added benefit of dropping fuel consumption by 40 percent. We carry 2 pots both 5 liter. Do NOT use a 5 liter pot over a one-part stove. Been there - done that - and almost had an explosion. Too much downward reflected heat.

Breakfast 2 pots get used - one for coffee, the other for food. Food is mostly a good quality porridge or hot granola/muesli with real maple syrup and nuts/seeds and berries (cranberry, strawberry, blueberry).
Lunches are mostly cold but sometimes a broth-type soup.
Dinners are usually two part. A carb right out of the bag such as pasta, rice, or couscous and a sauce such as bolognaise, curry, or stew.

I've seen 6 adults eat after a day on the river and can't imagine using anything smaller than 5 liter. Let's not forget that there has to be sufficient room to stir things or to stop boilovers, so you really only have 4 liters of working depth.

That and the morning coffee :) Two cups is 1/2 liter per person.

cheers Ted

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PostPosted: November 12th, 2007, 10:32 am 
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Quote:
I will repeat that using a pot larger than recommended is a very unsafe practice....

We heard you the first time and no one is disputing that.
What is at issue is the size that will fit on a particular stove, and you seem convinced that any pot over two litres is too large for a stove like the Dragonfly. In my experience, it's a safe setup to have a six-person pot on such a stove as long as one places the wind screen so that the fuel tank is shielded. I am sure you can agree with that if you try it.


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PostPosted: November 12th, 2007, 10:34 am 
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it isn't just the one-part stoves Ted - perhaps you guys should call or email George Drought and talk to him like I did - you'd have a whole new appreciation for stove safety... 4 litres is enough to cook pasta for 6 people... and hearty portions at that... without boil overs, spillage, etc. Wilderness cooking is part of my day job. I tested more than 200 recipes to date (3 times each) and most of those recipes fed 3 to 4 people with 1 two litre pot. The key is in the food choices, dehydration and rehydration techniques.

Erhard you are a stubborn man - there are other ways of doing things that can make for incredible meals in the backcountry without all the weight and fuss.

I can cook for 6 people on 2 single burner alcohol stoves even.. only using 2 to 3 ounces of alcohol and with only 2 pots. Now there's weight reduction... and I bet we eat as well or better than most.

Here...

Image

or

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