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Tin Can Cooking  at Cabela's

Tin Can Cooking

Author: Janet Groene

Tin cans make superb, disposable cooking pots in your cabin or campsite.

The easiest way to handle some cans is to clamp on a can opener and use it as a handle.  Courtesy of Kuhn Rikon
Start saving them now after putting them through the dishwasher at home, and you'll soon have a complete set for your next hunting, fishing, or camping trip. Get them sooty in the campfire? Gloppy with gravy? Throw 'em away (properly).* Use cans to bake individual apple-nut bread or poppyseed loaves. (Don't fill cans more than 2/3 full). Larger cans once filled with juice, shortening, or coffee bake a big meatloaf or loaf of bread, restaurant-size cans can make an even larger loaf, casserole, or stew. Use small cans to heat small amounts of sauce or syrup. Place hard-to-heat leftovers, such as mashed potatoes, in clean cans. Place in boiling water, cover, and steam until heated.

Pheasant a L'Orange
  • Clean, 2-pound coffee can
  • Nonstick spray
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 pieces skinless pheasant breast
  • Flour, salt, pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granular chicken bouillon
  • 2 oranges, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 heaping tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons Triple Sec
  • ½ cup water
Spray the coffee can. Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet over very low flame. Put flour, salt, pepper, and the bouillon on a paper plate and dredge the pheasant on both sides. Brown the pheasant in butter on both sides, place it in the coffee can, and wipe out the skillet with a paper towel. Your cleanup is completed. Use any clean can to stir together the orange bits and their juice, the marmalade, Triple Sec, and water. Pour into the can over the pheasant, cover with foil, and bake 30-40 minutes, or until the pheasant is done through, at 325 degrees. Serve the pheasant and sauce over rice.

Open cans of ready-to-eat soups, chili or stew, place in boiling water, cover, heat, and eat right out of the can.  Courtesy of Healthy Choice®
Campfire Stew

Throw this stew together in a few minutes, using canned ingredients. You'll need a commercial-size can 7 inches high and 6 1/4 inches in diameter. Vacuum packs of sausage are dated, so they can be kept in your icebox or camp refrigerator for weeks. Or, make this stew with any smoked, homemade, venison sausage.
  • 1 pound bite-size, smoked, fully cooked, link sausages
  • 2 cans, 1 pound each, sliced potatoes, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can condensed cream of potato soup
  • 1 can condensed cream of celery soup
  • 1 can beef broth or water
  • 14-ounce jar small, whole, boiled onions, drained
  • 16-ounce can sliced carrots, drained 14-ounce package peas, thawed
Cut two lengths of heavy duty aluminum foil about 2.5 feet long and place them, criss-cross, on a flat surface. Place the can on the crossed pieces of foil. Fill the can with all the ingredients except the peas, adding the soup by the dollop so it is well distributed among the vegetables. Bring up the foil around the can and twist to form a handle. Place the can in the campfire or atop the grill or campstove, and heat until everything boils and blends. This can also be baked for an hour in a 325-degree oven. Stir in the peas just before serving. Spoon into soup plates and pass the hot sauce. Add crusty bread and a side salad. Serves 4.

Break Camp Breakfast

You'll need 10 clean, 16-ounce or #303 tin cans to make 10 breakfasts. Hearty eaters can handle two.
  • 1 tube large, butter-flavor biscuits
  • 10 peeled, hard-boiled eggs, salted and peppered
  • 10 fully cooked sausage patties
  • 5 slices cheese (optional)
Set the cans on a baking sheet and spray insides with buttery nonstick spray. Working on a floured paper towel, flatten the biscuits with your hands. Cut each egg in half, then re-assemble with a sausage patty and half a slice of cheese between the two halves. Place on the biscuit, bring up the dough around the egg to wrap completely, and place in a can, seam side down. Bake 12-15 minutes at 375 degrees or until the biscuits are golden brown. Remove from the can, place in a couple of layers of paper toweling, and eat on the go.

Use fully-cooked, smoked meats and canned vegetables to create a flavorful stew in a big can.  Courtesy of the Idaho Potato Board
Canny Tips
  • The easiest way to handle a hot or cold can is to clamp a can opener on the rim and use it as a handle. For larger cans, use oven mitts.
  • Save a can from sliced pineapple can to use as a biscuit cutter. The rim is just the right size for "grands".
  • Cut strips of corrugated cardboard and coil tightly around a piece of string (to serve as a wick) to fit into a tuna can. Melt candle stubs and saturate the cardboard until it won't hold any more. Light the wick, pile wood or charcoal around the can, and it will burn long enough to light the most stubborn fire.
  • To heat canned vegetables on the grill or burner, remove some of the juice to prevent boil-overs, but leave enough liquid so the vegetables don't burn. To heat canned beans, chili, stew, or ready-to-eat soup, take off labels and place opened tins in a pot with an inch of boiling water. Cover, heat, and eat from the can.
  • To serve cranberry sauce and other firm ingredients, open both ends of the can and push the contents through from the bottom. Use clean tin cans to mold Jello, aspics, cheese logs, or pates, then remove the bottom and push the contents out.
* Observing, of course, local rules for burying, packing out, recycling, or disposal..

About the Author
Groene's books include Living Aboard, ABCs of Boat Camping, Creating Comfort Afloat, Great Eastern RV Trips, Natural Wonders of Ohio, and Cooking Aboard Your RV.

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