Using the humble tin can to cook food goes way back through history, and it is still just as useful today. It also goes to show us that a piece of trash, can sometimes be a valuable treasure.
The Tin Can Cook Pot
A cooking pot is an easy and versatile use for an empty can that would otherwise be garbage. Use the tip of your knife to punch a hole just under the can’s rim, punch a second hole on the opposite side of the can, and string a piece of wire through each hole. Twist each loose end of the wire to secure your new bail, and you have a cooking ready stew pot. That is, providing that the can did not have a plastic lining. Some cans have a white or clear plastic lining to better protect the food flavors inside. Just burn the open, empty can in the fire for 5 minutes to remove this lining and you’ll be ready to move forward.
Hang your cook pot over the fire using a single, forked stick stuck into the ground. Or you can create a spit to allow your pot to dangle over the flames.
The Tin Can Oven **
My buddy Hueston first introduced me to the tin can oven about 10 years ago. He walked into my camp with a large empty can (number 10 size, I think) and a Cornish game hen. He then stuck a thick stake into the ground, so that only 6 inches stuck out of the soil. To my surprise, he sat the hen down on the stake so that the stake was completely inside the bird, which looked like the creepy little headless plucked chicken was standing up. Hueston then covered the whole hen with the large can, and then buried the strange set up with coals from the fire.
After adding a few coals over the next hour and a half, he let the can cool a little and removed it – leaving a strange little golden brown bird standing there, meat starting to fall from the bone. It was absolutely delicious and very memorable.
Ever cooked in a can? Let us know how it went and what you cooked by leaving us a comment.