Tin Can Pancakes

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Introduction: Tin Can Pancakes

I learnt how to cook these pancakes many years back and kids that visit us always enjoy the experience.

It teaches some cooking basics as well as how, with a few simple tools and 3 basic ingredients you can make something that tastes great and is actually pretty healthy & nutritional (albeit you'd need to cook a lot of them to get a lot of nutrition from them ! )

Supplies:

Ingredients:

This will make a couple of dozen tiny pancakes:

  • 1/3 US Cup of flour (50 grams)
  • 2/3 US Cup of milk (150ml)
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt to taste (optional)
  • Cooking/Olive oil (just a couple of drops per pancake)
  • Jam/Chocolate/Peanut spread for the filling (or you could use sugar and lemon juice if you are English !)

Tools:

  • Empty tin cans (cleaned inside and out before using) - Note it’s important to use cans with no coated lining either inside or out since it could be toxic when burnt.
  • Tealight candles
  • Lighter/matches
  • Tin can opener (one that allows slots to be made in the tin)
  • Whisk (or a fork will work fine)
  • Knife



Step 1: Prepare the Batter...

Put the milk, flour and egg in a bowl (and the optional salt to your taste).

Whisk for a couple of minutes by hand until you have a smooth batter.

Leave to one side (30 minutes is ideal).

Step 2: Make the Stove...

Take the tin cans, larger tins will make larger pancakes :-) and empty the contents if you have not already done so - helps if you eaten the baked beans already for breakfast (use some forward planning) and wash out the inside with water, also remove the label. Now check carefully that the inside of the tin is actually shiny tin and not coated with some type of plastic, burning a tin that has a coating could be toxic so don’t do that !

With a tin can opener make slots all the way around the top and bottom (as shown on the large tin picture), this is needed to allow air in for the candles. Take care as the inside of the tin will be quite sharp now.

You could also drill small holes around near the top and bottom but you are unlikely to have a drill at summer camp (as shown on the small tin picture).

Next, arrange the tealight candles on a fireproof surface, stack them 3 high so that the flame is about half way up the tin (otherwise there will not be enough heat reaching the top of the tin).

Light the tealights and place the tin can on top. Look through the slots to make sure the candle is still lit.

Step 3: Cooking Time...

After a minute when the stove is hot put a couple of drops of oil on the top, after a few seconds its warm and you can pour a small amount of the batter mix into the middle.

Start with a small amount of batter and see how long it takes to cook. After a minute or so turn it over to cook the other side.

Once both sides are done, remove with a knife , fill with your favourite filling, fold into quarters and enjoy !

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    14 Discussions

    0
    Italiankiwiblog
    Italiankiwiblog

    1 year ago

    This looks like a lot of fun to do! This is a good motivation to get my kids to go camping :D

    2
    mikesmithfl
    mikesmithfl

    1 year ago

    I don't know for certain, but I'm concerned that the coatings on cans might be a little toxic when exposed to flame and heat. Google didn't help because I didn't know how to ask.

    2
    sk8nmike
    sk8nmike

    Reply 1 year ago

    Along with BPA you can also find various epoxy coating. While safe in their intended purpose of keeping the food for coming in contact with the metal, heating the with direct flame will release possibly toxic fumes.

    0
    MaxwellA11
    MaxwellA11

    Reply 1 year ago

    I don't know of any tomato juice cans that aren't lined with one sort of plastic or another. Burning plastic fumes can be fatal, so even a little bit may be toxic.

    0
    OculumForamen
    OculumForamen

    Reply 1 year ago

    Usually there are no plastics on the outsides of tin cans, the ones with pull tabs on the top can have plastic coatings on the inside though, so there isn't much worry they are eating melting plastic. However, the cans that have the plastic on the inside will release a black acrid smoke, and that will poison peoples lungs, if they breathe it. If the smoke gets onto the food cooking on the outside it will make it unpalatable. I used these in Scouts a very long time ago, and there was no worry of plastics in cans back then. We cooked our own hand made hamburgers on them when out in the middle of nowhere. Nowadays the people who are making these will be able to tell if there is plastic inside or out, and simply not use them. Just use the tall, bigger tins that Tomato juice still comes in, those are perfect for this kind of activity. :) but a tea light isn't hot enough, we used Tuna tins and loosely coiled cardboard inside it then soaked the cardboard in melted wax and that was the used as the burner for the "stove" made from tin cans.

    0
    owlmoose
    owlmoose

    1 year ago

    Made these on school camp 30 years ago. haven't since, thanks for the reminder! going to make them with my kids this weekend :)

    0
    definingsound
    definingsound

    1 year ago

    Like marshmallow over a candle

    Having 1 is nice but the wax soot gives pause to having 2 (pancakes)

    Great introduction to minimalist cooking; a low tin (cat food) still using a tea light tin (filled with alcohol, no wick) can be used with safety precautions and hungrier students.

    0
    spark master
    spark master

    1 year ago

    As a survival situation could happen , this is a keeper of an idea, but, for common use it is like an easy bake oven.

    In fact an incandescent lightbulb perhaps a 100 watt type might work, or a candle, or a Pepsi -G alky stove.

    I am partial to alky stove and a One Egg Wonder with a home made lid. it'll take 2 jumbo's and fixin's for a great meal, a single burger or a single 4 inch cake, you use a lid and you don't need flipping so much. Make like an English muffin/cake. Nooks and crannies for the butter and stuff.

    A larger can (28 or better 35 Ounce) can would yield a nicer larger cake.

    To deal with the toxic stuff, ha you can not escape it, just put the can in a camp fire until it burns off. or use a torch, or a stove top gas range, (unless you get caught by SWMBO).

    I have 5 tomato can lids from 39 years ago, I use them as flame spreaders under big pots on my stove top. Crank up the exhaust fan real high, put them on the flame and turn them every few secods.

    Kinda like flame roasting sweet peppers. I have them a very long time. Newer cans have really nasty heat resistant epoxy's so good luck. A can from Italy or England has less stuff on the metal and will burn off quicker.

    0
    jsolterbeck
    jsolterbeck

    1 year ago

    Just wanted to point out, your title is actually a fabulous tongue twister! :)

    0
    Alaskan Bev

    Oh, my, now I know what exciting project I'll have going this week-end! I haven't made one of these stoves for a while, and I have never cooked pancakes on mine. Yum - here we come! Thanks for this awesome idea, tonywye! Cook on!

    0
    eemke
    eemke

    1 year ago on Step 3

    Nice , I made these from soda cans and because the bottom is half round you get little pancakes in the netherlands we call them "poffertjes" , the batter mix is also slightly different so the poffertjes become round and fluffy

    0
    tonywye
    tonywye

    1 year ago

    For the younger children (grade 4) I have the tin cans already prepared since there is a risk with using the can openers. Also good supervision is needed due to the candles. Older children can experiment with the batter mix ratios (more milk, less flour etc) to see if the ratio in the instrucable is indeed the best one.

    0
    jessyratfink
    jessyratfink

    1 year ago

    So neat! I'd never seen this done before :)