Picture of 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.
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Step 1: Materials and tools

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of The Batter - English pancake recipe

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.
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Orngrimm2 years ago
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! :)
milkdud556 months ago
Why is everyone so worried he survived.
CrayfishYAY made it!1 year ago

Did it a long time ago.

Tuatha1 year ago
Wow THIS IS cool...
milkdud551 year ago
Im making these for my upcoming scout trip and would you recamend aunt jemina our bisquick. Email me @ Plz hurry were leaving in two days.
tannixth2 years ago
Very inspiring & cool!
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 ...
watermelon7 years ago
The zinc on the can might kill this idea.
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.
when you put aluminum foil on it, then it shouldn'T be so bad...
...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.
Great idea, I am dreaming of making can cakes in a snow cave this winter (with proper ventilation of course)
NOTE: at least some cans are lined with a plastic coating contain BPA . 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.
tz1_1zt (author)  notker7 years ago
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.
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. : )
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.
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.
Ehm.... OK... just don't do this foodproject if you think it could harm you.... but No Risk No Fun _
tz1_1zt (author)  watermelon7 years ago
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.
yousouf4 years ago
I loved the idea but do you know what chemicals are in this metal just be careful
Biggsy4 years ago
After spotting this when you posted it... we decided to make hobo pancakes thhis shrove tuesday with my scouts hehe

ta for that ;)
tz1_1zt (author)  Biggsy4 years ago
Hope they worked out well
Biggsy tz1_1zt4 years ago
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
tz1_1zt (author) 4 years ago
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 :-)
Puzzledd4 years ago
Love this idea - quirky but practical, easy, well-presented and cute! Really inspiring, thanks!
jonnybo1114 years ago
awesome ive got a coffee can bit big but the bigger the better
zack2474 years ago
i am totally going to try this! i love pancakes and i can never get enough!
finnrambo4 years ago!/perhaps this is an alternative to candles? 
Yum, yum, love pancakes! Really cool idea!
I am going to make one ASAP
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.
tz1_1zt (author)  I_am_Canadian6 years ago
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.
Ok, here are a few pictures. 1: Cooking station 2: the cooker 3: Just the way I like them. Burnt!
Sweet pictures makes me wanna make 1 now
tz1_1zt (author)  I_am_Canadian6 years ago
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?
Four. It gets really hot!
That's why it got burnt!
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.
Try a BIG tin try it BIGGER pancakes
szechuan536 years ago
yum yum yum. bite sized pancakes. :v)
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