@Bobby: I have heard good things about light grills like the Zia, but for me, anything that can be grilled can also be cooked on a stick or in a tin foil pouch.
@Kevin: I agree about a hot cup of coffee/tea when it is colder out. Which is why my spring, fall, and winter systems all include a stove. Plus hot meals taste much better when it's cold out too, and warm you up.
@Eric: That sucks about no fires in your area. If I lived in a place with no fires, or when there is a rare fire ban here, I would just take my stove. My SUL stove system is only 130g anyhow (cat can stove, Ti pot, foil lid, foil wind screen, stuff sack), so I could just swap my rain poncho out, or just take 130g and (gasp!) not be SUL. ;)
@David: Good point about a thru-hike. I took would go with a stove not only for cooking, but also if I wanted to treat my water. But as I am a proud father of two (5 month old and 2 year old), thru-hikes are not really an option for me right now, so I get by with overnighters and weekenders. Which is also why I always take an 80g penalty for my cell phone, in case something happens to my family.
And what's with bears and salami? Yikes. Good thing bears here are not like they are in North America. I have yet to see a bear after 6 years here and lots of time in the woods, though I have found bear tracks and scat plenty of times. I also have not heard any stories of bears getting into camper's food here either. I wonder why. I always hang my food bag, mostly due to mice and foxes. Back in October while me and a few friends were having dinner by the campfire, I heard a sound behind my one friend, so I shined a flashlight and scared a fox away. We all agreed the fox must have gotten within a few meters of us, but could find no tracks due to soft moss around.
What is stopping me from taking salami out more often is not bears, it's this: http://www.thelocal.se/38504/20120114/
@Nick the cretin: Yeah, you can off set the weight savings by going with higher water content foods, good point. I try and avoid them when I really want to keep my weight down. But here is a typical warm weather meal menu for an overnighter:
Lunch - potato chips, sandwich, banana, Snickers bar
Dinner - salami, crackers, almonds, chocolate
Breakfast - almonds, granola bars
The most water is in the first meal, which is on purpose. Longer than one day, for lunch I will have say corn chips, Laughing Cow cheese, peanut butter, crackers, dried figs and/or dates.
You should take a trip to Scandinavia if you ever want to take it easy with water weight! Go to Google maps and zoom in on practically anyplace here, and you'll find a lake or creek or pond around. It also rains a fair bit too. I have actually set up a garbage bag outside of my shelter during steady raid to collect water for the morning several times, and have enough to fill my bottle(s) and also to wash myself with.
@Luke: What are your favorite foods? Have you ditched the stove completely? If not, how often and what seasons do you take the stove? I agree that boil in bag meals can be not-so-great. When I do take my stove, I have found that there are some good dried soups that can be used as hardy sauces for pasta or stew, I eat a lot of that.
@John: Wow, 5 weeks and no stove, cool. Could you elaborate on that trip for us please? I'm surprised you didn't miss it at all, guess that might show that you have a pretty good no-stove system. Or that you are a hardcore minimalist when it comes to food. I once met a guy that hated cooking so much, he told me he drank diet shakes for breakfast and lunch, and then ate whatever they gave him at work (he worked as a waiter in a fancy Italian restaurant) for dinner.