Stainless Steel Dinnerware & Other Metal Dishes

Stainless steel dinnerware, tinware and the all modern enamel dinnerware are often used as outdoor dinnerware and all of the above is phenomenal for camping dinnerware. These materials are often used in mess kits for campers, soldiers, and so forth. You can also find some fancier steel dinnerware that is used for serving "proper" meals as I have run across butter dishes and gravy boats made of this material - dishes that you would rarely use as outdoor dinnerware.

Stainless Steel Dinnerware

A stainless steel dinnerware set is not too attractive because it is usually formed in divided food trays that are not decorated at all because they are intended for picnics or outdoor dining. While they may not be visually appealing, they are very practical for their intended use. They are durable, so packing them along won't be a problem, and they are easy to clean and reuse. At one time they were used frequently in cafeterias because of their durability and utility.


Enamel dinnerware (i.e. enamelware) is very popular from vintage enamelware to modern camping dishes. Enamelware is basically metal dishes (usually aluminum or stainless steel) that are covered with a porcelain enamel finish.

Enamelware has been around for a long time; however, in the 1900s the recognition of its usefulness grew. These tough dishes are very versatile and can be used for serving and some cookware is even made of the material because of its great heat conductive capability.

The smoothness of enamelware makes it stain resistant and easy to clean which is a must on a camping trip. Coleman, the leading manufacturer of camping gear, realized the quality of stainless steel and enamelware in their production of camping cookware and enamelware dinnerware.


Tinware is another form of unbreakable dishes that are often used in outdoor adventures. Vintage and antique tinware is also a favorite of collectors. It dates back to the 1800s in the United States, although it was available in other countries in the middle ages.

Antique dishes made of metal may be subject to rusting; however, modern production minimizes that somewhat with stainless steel being less subject to corrosion. Aluminum and titanium also have corrosion resistance. If you are using enamelware and the coating chips, repair of the chip may be necessary to prevent corrosion and keep the dish food safe.

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