using a pot lifter to move a pot while camping

What Are Pot Lifters For Camping And Why You Need One

If you have found this post, you are likely wondering “What is a pot lifter and why do I need one?”. That is a fair question as most pots and pans we use in our kitchens these days. Back in the dawn of cooking in metal pots, people hung them over a fire and had to come up with a way to move it from the fire to where they were serving it. Various prongs, hooks, and poles were invented along the way, but as pots got smaller and we got more creative, someone invented a clamp on handle that acts as a pot lifter.

These handy tools, also sometimes called pot grabbers, act as a handle for pots and pans that otherwise don’t have one. The most common place they are seen these days is in the kitchens of pizzerias, where they are used for grabbing deep dish pizza pans. Beyond that, most often, people encounter them when camping.

This post will answer all the questions you may have about what pot lifters, are, what the best materials are for them, and why you should have one in your camping kit.

Pot gripper on a pan

What Is a Pot Lifter For Camping?

A pot lifter for camping is a handy tool used to safely handle hot pots and pans while cooking outdoors. It typically consists of a pair of handles with grippy surfaces that allow you to securely grasp the pot without risking burns. This tool is essential for camp cooking, as it enables you to move hot cookware around the campfire or camping stove with ease and confidence, ensuring a safe and enjoyable cooking experience in the great outdoors. I find them to be a very valuable tool when working with things like the little titanium pots for backpacking that can get very hot.

The Importance of a Pot Lifter in Your Camping Gear

A pot lifter is an essential gear for camping due to its importance in ensuring safety and convenience. When cooking in a campsite, uneven terrain and unpredictable wind conditions can make handling hot pots and pans a risky task. A pot lifter provides a stable grip and prevents accidental spills or burns, making it a crucial tool for a safe and enjoyable camping experience. Additionally, the convenience of being able to securely lift and transport heavy cookware with ease enhances the overall camping experience.

Why You Need A Pot Lifter Video

Types of Pot Lifters

When it comes to pot lifters or sometimes called pot grippers, there are different types available to suit individual preferences and needs, and I will say that we are talking about pot lifters for regular pots here, not cast iron ones. Those are a whole different critter.

The most common material variations include aluminum and titanium. Aluminum pot lifters are known for their durability and lightweight design, making them ideal for camping trips. Titanium pot lifters, on the other hand, are incredibly lightweight and offer excellent strength. Both materials provide reliable lifting capabilities and are popular choices among campers.

Material Variations: Aluminum, Titanium, and More

When choosing a pot lifter for camping, one of the key considerations is the material it is made from. Some of the common material variations include:

  • Aluminum: Aluminum pot lifters are known for their durability and lightweight design. They are resistant to rust and corrosion, making them ideal for outdoor use. Aluminum pot lifters are also easy to clean and maintain.
  • Titanium: Titanium pot lifters are incredibly lightweight yet offer excellent strength. They are highly resistant to corrosion and can withstand extreme temperatures, making them a popular choice among campers. Titanium pot lifters are also easy to clean and maintain.
  • Stainless Steel: Stainless steel pot lifters are a standard material for old-school pot lifters. They are resistant to rust and corrosion, making them suitable for outdoor use. While stainless steel pot lifters may be slightly heavier than aluminum or titanium options, they offer robust lifting capabilities and long-lasting performance.

When it comes to camping these days, the two main materials you see are aluminum and titanium. Both are light and the biggest differentiator is price. Aluminum pot lifters are significantly cheaper than titanium.

Micro Pot Lifter for 750ml cooking pots when camping

Size Matters: Choosing the Right Pot Lifter for Your Cookware

When selecting a pot lifter for camping, it’s important to consider the size of your cookware. Choosing the right pot lifter ensures a secure grip and efficient handling.

Typically, pot lifters come in one of three sizes. Standard, small, and micro.

Standard pot lifter are about 5″ long and are big enough to get a good grip on when carrying a hot pan.

Small pot lifter are typically 3″-4″ long and meant for smaller cookware like you would find in a backpacking kit. These are nice because they save space and weight, but still give you a handle for your pans in the backcountry.

Micro or ultralight pot lifters are the smallest of the bunch, typically about 2″ in length, and are designed to fit inside a 750ml pot for storage.

Benefits of Having a Pot Lifter on Your Camping Trips

Having a pot lifter in your camping gear offers several benefits that enhance your overall camping experience. From safety to convenience, a pot lifter is a versatile tool that proves to be invaluable during your outdoor adventures.

Safety First: Preventing Burns and Spills

One of the primary benefits of using a pot lifter during camping is ensuring safety. Handling hot pots and pans in a camping environment can be challenging and potentially dangerous. Grabbing a pot without a handle with a towel can be risky. I’ve cooked a lot and can tell you from experience that grabbing a hot pan with a towel with a wet spot, is a great way to make you drop a pan. Spilled food means a lost dinner and potentially burns if hot liquid splashes you. That is a problem in the kitchen, but a major issue if you are in the woods, away from medical care.

I should also add that a pot lifter prevents fires. Reaching into a campfire, or over a cook stove with a towel to retrieve a pan is just inviting it to catch fire. The flames on a cook stove are in the neighborhood of 2,500 degrees so they can burn or melt anything fabric that gets too close to them.

Space Saving: Compact and Lightweight Design

One of the other big advantages to pot lifters/holders is that it saves space and weight. There is no point in every one of your pans having a handle if you can have just one that works on all of them.

What Are The Best Pot Lifters For Camping?

Finding a single best post lifter for camping is a tough call, but I can give you some suggestions on what to look for in a good pot lifter. The first thing you want, is one made by a reputable brand that is durable. Pot lifters aren’t exactly complicated machines, but having one fall apart in the middle of a camping trip is a real issue.

The other is to give thought to the size and weight. If you are using bigger camping pots, you will want a full-size one, but if you are just using a small camping pot, you should find a small one that fits neatly inside it for storage.

That being said, here are some suggestions on pot lifters you might want to consider:

Best Aluminum Pot Lifters

Best Titanium Pot Lifters

Ultralight Pot Lifters

OliCamp Pot Lifter for camp cooking
The OliCamp Pot lifter

Common Questions About Pot Lifters

Here are the answers to a few of the common questions about pot lifters.

Can I use a pot lifter with any type of cookware?

Yes, pot lifters are designed to be compatible with various metal pot sizes and cookware types. That being said, small lifters may not work so well with big pots and the same can be said for big pot lifters on little pots. Also, cast iron pot lifters are different since they are much heavier than standard camping cookware.

How do I clean and maintain my pot lifter?

Cleaning and maintaining a pot lifter is a relatively easy task. Most pot lifters are made of durable materials that are resistant to rust and corrosion. Simply wipe it clean with a damp cloth or rinse it with water and mild soap if needed.

Are pot lifters suitable for solo backpacking trips?

Yes, the small pot lifters are suitable for solo backpacking trips when you are cooking with those 750ml pots. They are lightweight, and compact, and you should choose one that fits inside your cook pot.

Is a pot lifter necessary for all types of cookware or only specific pots and pans?

A pot lifter is not necessary for all types of cookware but can be particularly useful for pots and pans without heat-resistant handles. It provides a safe way to handle hot cookware over open flames without risking burns or damage to fabric materials.


Pot lifters are a game-changer for your camping adventures, offering safety, convenience, and versatility. Whether you opt for aluminum or titanium, these camp kitchen essentials make cooking outdoors a breeze. From preventing burns to accommodating various pot sizes, pot lifters are a must-have for any outdoor enthusiast. So, before your next trip, grab a pot lifter to elevate your camping cuisine to new heights!

pot lifters for cooking while camping

0/5 (0 Reviews)

Table of Contents

About The Author

Related Posts