GSI Destination Kitchen Set 24 Review
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Regular campfire chefs have honed their packing list and perfected their routine for cooking in the backcountry. Whether you’re new to five-star camp-cooking or if you consider yourself the Molto Mario of the campground, this cookset should make your shortlist of cooking gear. Ten years ago when I began cooking mouth-melting meals in the mountains, I realized it was necessary to assemble the necessary cooking utensils for easy access and convenience. After cooking many dozen meals with my improvised camp kitchen, I thought that convincing me to buy special camping cookware would be impossible. After using the GSI Destination Cookset 24, I readily admit I was wrong. This set is awesome! If you camp like I do, this could be awesome for you too. Usually, I camp via motorcycle but occasionally I’ll join friends on a car-camping or river-camping trip. This setup works for all such adventures.
It has the items you need and room in the carrying case to add the items you want. Let’s start with the items included: A cutting board is essential. The knife is super sharp and light. As someone who obsesses over sharp knives, I could tell immediately that this is a quality blade that can be sharpened over and over again. The extendable whisk can double as a strainer and as a fish-flipper. Or an egg-scrambler. A grater you wonder? Heck yes! A block of cheese can be left in your pack for days without refrigeration and then grated on-site. Fry a filet of frozen fish, deglaze with a splash of wine or water and zest some citrus for a savory pan-sauce. Grate an apple into your oatmeal in the morning. Winter camping? Grate a frozen peach into some red wine and warm it on your stove.
Do you think a perfect cookset should include everything you need instead of giving you room to add a few things? I don’t think so, and here’s why. A peeler isn’t always needed but it’s nice to throw one in if you’re packing potatoes. Chopsticks make for great camping utensils for food prep and for eating but not everyone is comfortable with chopsticks. A couple of plastic paring knives can be helpful for some meals but redundant for others. For most meals, I pre-blend my herbs and spices and pack then in a 0.5oz container. These little containers complement the included salt shaker / spice storage. Aluminum foil and parchment paper can be folded and laid up against the cutting board for easy storage and transport. Basically, this kit has all the staples you need with extra room for adding the one-off items you occasionally want.
For me, there was nothing in this kit that wasn’t already included in my makeshift cook set. What made me a cookware convert is the handy storage pouch and how everything fits together. The added bonus: it’s lightweight and nonstick. You can easily put together these items on your own but given the very reasonable price, why bother?
Conclusion: I’ll grab this container of cookware and throw it in my saddlebag or trunk for years to come. It’s a perfect combination of convenience and pragmatism. Backpackers have had lightweight and innovative cookware sets for years. Now, the car-camper, motorcycle-camper, river-camper and even the burro-camper can have the same sort of high-tech kitchen gear. For more info on these and other GSI products, visit www.rei.com or www.amazon.com/gsioutdoors.