One of the most innovative outdoor cooking methods (and is excellent to have for power-related emergencies at home) isthe simple homemade tin can stove which can be used for frying,boiling and toasting. It is best used for one or two peoplebecause of its small size. It is also disposable.
A buddy burner (a tuna can—or a can similar in shape—filled with rolled corrugated cardboard and melted paraffin) isthe main source of heat for a tin can stove.
To make the tin can stove:
First, cut out one end of the #10-size can (102-ounce or 6-pound 6-ounce) available from restaurants.
With tin snips cuttwo slits 3 inches high and 3 1⁄2 inches apart on one side of thecan at the open end, leaving the top attached.
Pull the dooropen.
With a punch-type can opener, punch two or threeholes on the backside of the can near the top. These act as achimney, allowing the smoke to escape during cooking.
A skillet may be used on top of the tin can by removing thetop of can so it is open. When using pans, be sure to rub liquid soapon the bottom of the pan so they will clean easily.
To make the buddy burner:
Cut corrugated cardboard (across the corrugation so holesshow) into strips the same width as the height of the tuna can.
Roll strips tightly to fit inside the can.
Heat the wax in a doubleboiler and pour melted wax into the cardboard. Or set apiece of wax on the cardboard and light a match next to thewax.
Continue adding wax near the flame untilthe buddy burner is filled. The cardboard serves as a wick, andthe wax serves as the fuel, providing the heat for the stove.
When lighting, it may help to lay the can on its side so that the flamespreads across the cardboard.
To refuel, adda new small piece of wax when it is burning and let it melt into theburner. When finished, let the wax harden before storing.
To make the damper:
A damper covers the buddy burner to control the amount ofheat. It is easy to make out of foil or from the lid of a tuna can.
To make: fold an 18-inch by 15-inch piece of heavy-duty foilinto 3-inch sections again and again until all the foil is used.
Bend the foil down as a handle to set over the tuna can. Tomake a handle with a cardboard pant hanger (minus the cardboard),bend ends together.
Punch holes in the top of the tunacan lid on each side.
Wire the lid to the ends of the hanger.
Bend the handle of the coat hanger down so that it will propitself up while the buddy burner is burning.
Move the damperto increase or decrease the heat.
Anything that you can cook easy in a small skillet can be cooked on top of the tin can. Some of my favorites are eggs, pancakes, and a hamburger.
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