Introduction: Cancakes - Mini Pancake Cooker

The mini cooker is ideal for frying 3" versions of English, American or Scotch pancakes. We have used a 500g fruit tin, but any similar sized tin-can will do. The cooking heat is provided by two tea light candles.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Required bits;
  • The cooker body is made from a 500g fruit tin. This can is 3 1/4" in diameter.
  • Tin-snips, pliers and a skewer are required for construction of the cooker.
  • The cooker is powered by two tea-lights/tea candles.
  • Cooking a pancake requires nothing more than a spoon and slice.

Step 2: Construction of the Mini Cooker

Firstly take your empty fruit tin and wash it thoroughly with hot water to remove any labels and glue.

Then create a ring of air-holes around the top of the cooker. These are vital, they allow air to flow upwards through the cooker. To make the holes simply pierce the tin with the skewer, taking care not to stab yourself, leave a 1/2" gap between each hole.

Cut a square access hole in the front of the cooker. This allows air in for combustion, and also where you light the candles from. Use the tin-snips to cut a square from the open end of the tin. If you wish to make the access hole safer, you can use pliers to turn the edges over as shown in the picture.

For best results, the candles should be no more than 4" from the cooking surface, so some cutting down of the can may be nessasary. Make sure that the cooker is stable before attempting to use it.

Step 3: The Batter - English Pancake Recipe

Ingredients:

1 medium egg
2 ounces of plain flour
150 ml (5/8 cup) milk
1/2 tea spoon salt

For best results:

Sieve the flour into a bowl and create a dip in the middle.
Crack the egg into the dip and add the salt.
Whisk the flour and egg while also adding milk until. Mix until smooth and lump free.

Step 4: The Heat Source

The cooker can be run using either two or three candles depending on how hot you want your cooking surface.

Please note that the whole cooker will become much hotter with three candles, and you risk burning the butter and or fingers.

Using two candles provides sufficient heat to fry pancakes, and leaves the cooker cool enough to hold at the base.

Step 5: Cooking a Cancake Mini Pancake

First, apply a small ammount of your favourite butter to the hot cooking surface.

Then take one tablespoon of the batter mixture and pour it onto the cooking surface, making sure that the batter goes up to the edge but not over the edge.

Cook until the batter has risen and no longer looks liquid. When one side is done it will be firm enough to flip over with the slice.

Normally they will take 2 to 3 minutes on each side. A cooked pancake should be lightly browned on each side.

Step 6: Serving Your Cancake Mini Pancake

An english pancake should be served with a sprinkling of sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice.

A gentlemanly way to enjoy your cancake mini pancake is with a nice cup of tea and a sit down.

Comments

author
Orngrimm (author)2012-09-10

Hahaha! First i tought "Yeah... Seen tons of stoves before. Nothing new". but then it stroke me: Pamcakes in the depression of the rim!
How brilliant is this???
I will add this to the woodgas-stove i have as a simple addon. The batter can be brought in a sealed bag...
Mmmmm... Pancakes on the hike. Thanks for that idea! :)

author
gncater made it! (author)2016-02-12

Made them on steamed pudding tins last night with our Explorer Scouts. Worked a treat :-)

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author
extreme_pk (author)2015-11-14

Is it hot enough to cook eggs? Has anyone tried to cook eggs on it?

author
milkdud55 (author)2014-09-21

Why is everyone so worried he survived.

author
CrayfishYAY made it! (author)2014-02-02

Did it a long time ago.

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Tuatha (author)2013-12-02

Wow THIS IS cool...

author
milkdud55 (author)2013-05-12

Im making these for my upcoming scout trip and would you recamend aunt jemina our bisquick. Email me @ ldlawsoniii@gmail.com. Plz hurry were leaving in two days.

author
tannixth (author)2012-06-12

Very inspiring & cool!

author
Lectric Wizard (author)2011-11-24

Realize this is older post but thought I'd throw in on the ZINC thing "Tin cans" are coated with TIN because they are designed to be used for food. So no problem there. Modern cans usually are coated with a plastic coating, to prevent rust on the outside. Just heat the can to a deep red with a propane torch , clean with steel wool til it shines & everything will be safe. GREAT IDEA , am sending to a couple of fishers I know.... mmm, pancakes ...

author
watermelon (author)2008-01-18

The zinc on the can might kill this idea.

author
spark master (author)watermelon2011-09-06

I didn't think they are zinc coated, but they sure are loaded with epoxy-ish coatings, just smell it as they cook. I have 5-6 can tops I burned off the coating so I can use them under my sauce pot when making large pots of termaterrr sauce . * 28 ounce cans several pound merat and then meatballs and sausage, then herbs and spices....mmmmmmmm..

errr but it is a real job to burn off the coatings cus when you don't as you ae making sauce the house will fill with plastic stink.

very good idea though. If outside lids aren't coated and you torch it with sticks / coal before making , then, this is really swift idea.

author
notker (author)watermelon2008-01-23

when you put aluminum foil on it, then it shouldn'T be so bad...

author
watermelon (author)notker2008-01-23

...yeah, notker, a thumbs up on your aluminum foil idea, except for any possible fumes coming from the heated metal, coatings or residue on the can.

author
chippy (author)watermelon2010-11-02

Great idea, I am dreaming of making can cakes in a snow cave http://www.flickr.com/photos/pablography/sets/72157604374163548/ this winter (with proper ventilation of course)
NOTE: at least some cans are lined with a plastic coating contain BPA http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/04/bpa-danger-from-cans.php . So I think a warning to at least "burn the stink off" is in order. As far as the exterior, it is anyone's guess...if I were super health conscious I wouldn't use it at all but if you do at least first get the cooking surface so hot it changes color...outdoors of course, perhaps with an alcohol pepsi can stove or a propane torch.

author
tz1_1zt (author)notker2008-01-23

Hi. You mentioned this zinc thing first, and now someone else has. However, neither of you have provided any links or references to the use of zinc in food cans. As far as I'm aware, food cans are made from steel. There is nothing bad about them.

author
paddlesport (author)tz1_1zt2009-05-03

Zinc will melt at around 900 F and vaporizes at around 1200 F. I don't think this would be an issue when using candles. Hope this helps. : )

author
watermelon (author)tz1_1zt2008-01-23

Since this isn't the Wikipedia I did not think references would be needed. Besides you would have to ask the can company if there was anything else covering the steel besides the zinc like varnish. However, notker has provided a solution even if there is rat poison left over from where the grocery store warehouse extermination team sprayed it all over the cans and floor while it was there in the warehouse. With the aluminum foil idea all you have to worry about is cross contamination so be sure to wash your hands before and after handling the can ans the pancakes unless of course you do not care about any possible medical complications resulting from not having done so.

author
watermelon (author)watermelon2008-01-23

P.S. ...also be aware that when rat poison residue is heated up by the candles that it may turn to vapor and might cause some kind of reaction if inhaled or might enter the pancake if the AL foil is not used as a barrier. Good luck on this one.

author
notker (author)watermelon2008-01-25

Ehm.... OK... just don't do this foodproject if you think it could harm you.... but No Risk No Fun _

author
tz1_1zt (author)watermelon2008-01-23

You suggest that "zinc on the can might kill this idea", I'm just asking whether there are any facts to back up this idea. The rat poison claims are just unnecessary and hysterical, please delete the vapor post.

author
yousouf (author)2011-03-06

I loved the idea but do you know what chemicals are in this metal just be careful

author
Biggsy (author)2011-02-07

After spotting this when you posted it... we decided to make hobo pancakes thhis shrove tuesday with my scouts hehe

ta for that ;)

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tz1_1zt (author)Biggsy2011-02-21

Hope they worked out well

author
Biggsy (author)tz1_1zt2011-03-03

Well we had 20 Scouts making them tonight... despite two of them almost setting a table on fire, and all of them forgttign the oil... they turned out okay... i'll post some pics when I get round to it

author
tz1_1zt (author)2011-02-21

Mentioned on the Alan Carr Show, BBC Radio2 Saturday 20th of February 2011

One of the listeners contacted the show to say she was making mini pancakes with her children. A very proud moment :-)

author
Puzzledd (author)2010-09-03

Love this idea - quirky but practical, easy, well-presented and cute! Really inspiring, thanks!

author
jonnybo111 (author)2010-06-30

awesome ive got a coffee can bit big but the bigger the better

author
zack247 (author)2010-05-25

i am totally going to try this! i love pancakes and i can never get enough!

author
finnrambo (author)2010-05-24

www.instructables.com/id/Cool-Little-Miniature-Stove!/perhaps this is an alternative to candles? 

author
Marble of Doom (author)2009-08-10

Yum, yum, love pancakes! Really cool idea!

author
boblordofmonkeys (author)2009-07-02

I am going to make one ASAP

author
I_am_Canadian (author)2008-10-03

I like this a lot. I made one a while back... It was cool. I just made another, but its really short. It has two openings to let in enough oxygen. Im yet to use it.

author
tz1_1zt (author)I_am_Canadian2008-10-04

Nice work. Post the results if you find any improvements. The height might affect the temperature and spread of heat across the cooking area, you need to avoid small hot spots that burn the batter. It's easy to spot when the candles are starved of oxygen, either they go out or soot forms around the vent holes. I've always wanted a means of making clean round holes around the base without deforming and bending the metal. The side window on our cooker was sufficient to allow in air, but makes it less stable.

author
I_am_Canadian (author)tz1_1zt2008-10-04

Ok, here are a few pictures. 1: Cooking station 2: the cooker 3: Just the way I like them. Burnt!

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jamez03 (author)I_am_Canadian2009-06-19

Sweet pictures makes me wanna make 1 now

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Nikki213 (author)I_am_Canadian2009-04-08

COOl!!

author
tz1_1zt (author)I_am_Canadian2008-10-06

Thanks very much for posting photos. It's great to see people actually making mini-cookers. Your design seems to work work well with the two openings, how many candles have you got under there?

author
I_am_Canadian (author)tz1_1zt2008-10-06

Four. It gets really hot!

author
awang8 (author)I_am_Canadian2009-01-09

That's why it got burnt!

author
I_am_Canadian (author)tz1_1zt2008-10-04

Yeah. I tried with only one hole, but the candles burned out right away. It still had enough heat inside the can to keep all the wax in the candles melted :-p I shall get a picture soon.

author
Ghost Wolf (author)I_am_Canadian2008-11-27

Try a BIG tin try it BIGGER pancakes

author
szechuan53 (author)2008-06-28

yum yum yum. bite sized pancakes. :v)

author
awang8 (author)szechuan532009-01-11

More like pikelets!

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Lance Mt. (author)awang82009-06-01

Its alllll goooooood -Cheers, Chris

author
Lance Mt. (author)2009-06-01

Oh this is soooo awesome. We have so many 10packs of tea candles! I'll get back to you when i'm able to mass preduce 30 pancakes at once.. -Cheers, Chris P.S. Gentlemen...

author
mage (author)2009-05-25

mmmm...cancakes

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GEEK1 (author)2009-05-02

nice thinking

author
Nikki213 (author)2009-04-08

Awesome instructable!!

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enixgoober (author)2009-03-19

WOOHOO oh yeah! I used a very thick tin can, so I had to drill holes in it! Nonetheless delicious!

author
chuckr44 (author)2009-01-29

A thicker cooking surface will spread out the heat more and prevent burning. I'm just sayin.

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