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Getting the best from your X-Pot
Ask Baz

Getting the best from your X-Pot

Our Backpacker Magazine Editor’s Choice Award-winning X-Pots are starting to be put to use around the world. With the introduction of such a new concept in backcountry cookware, there are bound to be some questions. We have put together a roundup of some of the most frequently asked in order to help you get the most out of your X-Pot.

Heat exposure

Won’t heat damage the silicone rubber sides? 

X-Pots are designed to be used on backpacking stoves or camping stoves. In both cases, the burner (and the flame produced by it) will be much smaller than the base of the X-Pot. Under these conditions, the X-Pot will work great – we’ve tested them over many, many hours. The key point is that the silicone rubber is not exposed to direct flame – if you have a burner that has a flame pattern wider than the base of the X-Pot, the burner and X-Pot are not suitable for use together. Also, the X-Pot must be fully ‘popped up’ before use to prevent flame contact with the silicone rubber sides.  The X-Pot is not intended to be utilized as a ‘frying pan’ (ie used on a burner with the sides folded down) – this will result in damage to the X-Pot.  Sea to Summit has an X-Pan which ideal for sautéing or frying food – see ‘What can be cooked/heated in an X-Pot’ below.

Can I use the X-Pot on a campfire? 

A campfire will have a much broader flame pattern than the base of the X-Pot and therefore would expose the silicone rubber sides to direct flame. Do not use your X-Pot on a campfire.

Can I use a stove with a windscreen with the X-Pot? 

We would recommend not using a windscreen, or only deploying the windscreen to cover a small portion of the area around the pot on the windward side.

This is because a windscreen will concentrate heat along the silicone sides of the X-Pot which would otherwise dissipate. This can lead to warping of the lid of the pot (or damage to the handles of the X-Pot/Kettle), and in extreme cases may damage the silicone rubber walls.

Can I use the X-Pot in an oven (Dutch oven/solar oven etc.)? 

The transparent lid of the X-Pot is designed for use on a backpacking stove; it is not suitable for use in an oven.

As mentioned above, X-Pots are designed for use on a backpacking or camping stove. They are not intended for use on domestic cooking stoves which will have a broader flame pattern and may have a higher heat output (up to 12.500 BTU) compared to a backpacking stove (approximately 6000 BTU).

What can be cooked/heated in an X-Pot?

Can I cook inside the X-Pot, or is it just for boiling water? 

An X-Pot is not designed for frying or sautéing. As mentioned above, Sea to Summit offers the X-Pan and Alpha series cookware for this type of cooking use. Frying – including stir-frying – or sautéing may damage the silicone.

It is essential that at all times while cooking, the internal surface of the aluminum base is completely covered by water (or similar liquid) up to the level of the silicone. Please take particular care when cooking grains, mashed potatoes or rice as these foods can soak up the liquid they are being cooked in and stick to the aluminum base.

Can I use the X-Pot to melt snow? 

You can – if you follow the same guidelines you would with any lightweight backcountry cookpot. The water content of snow varies significantly – from heavy and wet (above 50% water) to dry powder. Dry powder snow, such as we see in the Rockies, may have less than 10% water content by volume; the rest is air. If this is melted in a pot, the snow crystals touching the base of the pot will melt very quickly and evaporate up through the remaining crystals leaving the base of the pot with nothing to cool it. To prevent damage to the base, ideally, you should have some water in the base of the pot before you begin. If this is not possible to start with a very small volume of snow and heat it extremely gently until it melts and then add more snow.

What about chemicals leaching into my food or water?

The silicone material we use is food grade; it contains no chemicals at all which will leach into food or water. The base of the X-Pot is hard-anodized aluminum; the anodization will prevent any contact with the aluminum itself and is therefore also perfectly safe. The lid is made of a special plastic which is BPA-free.

How should I wash my X-Pot?

Is the X-Pot dishwasher safe? 

X-Pots have a hard-anodized aluminum base. The anodization would be damaged by the caustic chemicals in the dishwasher cleanser – therefore, like all other anodized tableware and cookware, X-Pots should not be washed in a dishwasher.

Can I use the scouring side of a sponge to clean an X-Pot? 

It’s best not to use the scouring side of a dishwashing sponge on the silicone – it can cause micro scratches which will make it more difficult to clean in the future. If you have cooked something which has adhered to the silicone, just leave the X-pot full of water to soak, then use a good backcountry soap (such as Wilderness Wash) to remove the residue.

Questions about construction/usage

Are the silicone handles (the side mounted ‘wings’) designed to be attached to the lid during cooking? Absolutely not – the handles are intended to secure the lid to a collapsed pot only. This is useful when transporting the X-Pot: you can nest X-Bowls/Mugs and even the 1.3L X-Pot/Kettle inside and the secured lid ensures that your camp kitchen stays together. Attaching the side mounted handles (‘wings’) to the lid during cooking could cause damage to the lid.

Can I use metal utensils when I’m cooking in an X-Pot? 

The hard anodization of the aluminum base is very tough and scratch resistant. You can use metal utensils – although if you do so it’s still worth paying attention to make sure that they don’t strike the base too hard. We would always recommend nylon utensils over metal for this application.

Why a plastic lid instead of aluminum? 

We wanted the user to be able to see what was happening inside the X-Pot during the cooking process – this means that you don’t have to keep lifting the lid to check on the contents (which saves you heat and therefore fuel). Additionally, the lid does not conduct heat as well as aluminum; so you can hold the handles with your thumbs and use the lid as a strainer.

As always, if you have any questions on anything we haven’t covered here (or you would just like to share recipes…) we’d be happy to provide answers.



33 thoughts on “Getting the best from your X-Pot

  1. avatar Baz says:

    G’Day Nick -

    If dishwashing soap & hot water does not remove the odors, leave a strong solution of baking soda and lemon juice in the X-Pot or X-Tableware for a couple of hours, then wash the product again with dishwashing soap & hot water. Do not put the X-Pot in the dishwasher – the caustic cleanser in the dishwasher detergent will damage the anodized finish of the base. If the Pot/Mug still retain some odors, put the products in the freezer overnight (this will not harm them). And if this doesn’t work, shoot us an email at


  2. avatar Baz says:

    G’Day Erik -

    Truly, any propane/butane canister stove will work well with the X-Pots; this includes stoves such as the MSR Pocket Rocket, the Snow Peak Giga Power and the Soto Windmaster. If you use a gasoline stove such as the MSR Whisperlite, make sure the flame is burning cleanly before you put the pot onto the stove to prevent discoloration of the X-Pot from soot. The key with any of these stoves is to keep the heat lower than you might if using a different backpacking cook pot – the thin gauge aluminum of the X-Pots transmits heat extremely well, so less flame is required. Keep the flame within the ring printed on the X-Pot base, and make sure you have enough water in the X-Pot to cover the join between the base and the silicone rubber upper.


  3. avatar Erik says:

    Can you recommend any specific camping stoves that work best with the x-series? If you can’t give brand names, are there certain specifications/ dimensions that worst best with these amazing systems.

    Thank you

  4. avatar Nick says:

    Hi there, what is the best way to remove odours from the x pot, bowl and cup? I cooked a curry in the pot and now the smell of the curry won’t leave. I’ve used dish soap to wash the x cup before, but now no matter what I drink out of there I taste soap. Thoroughly rinsing with hot water doesn’t seem to help for either the food or soap odours. What is recommended for proper cleaning, other than the soap formula that you sell? And what is definitely not recommended to use when cleaning them? Thanks!

  5. avatar Baz says:

    G’Day Jim

    The 2.8 Liter X-Pot has an 8.4” diameter, and the handles protrude out from that. It would therefore be too large to fit inside the 8” Alpha Pan. If you do nest anything inside the Alpha Pan, make sure to put in a soft, protective layer first to prevent damage to the non-stick surface.

    - Baz


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