BWCA Anyone use a cancooker? Boundary Waters Gear Forum
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      Anyone use a cancooker?     

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ockycamper
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11/26/2023 03:49PM  
I saw these and they are on deep discount on other sites. Looked like an easy way to cook a full dinner for a group of 5-6 right on the fire or a single burner stove. Cancooker
 
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kjw
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11/26/2023 04:24PM  
They don't put weight on your link. Looks heavy. Smallest one is 10 inches diameter. You would have to cook on MSR Dragonfly, remote canister stove with a bigger burner such as MSR Windpro II or cook on fire grate.
 
ockycamper
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11/26/2023 04:52PM  
Considering it for cooking directly on the fire grate. Lots of youtube videos of campers using them on campfires for one pot meals.

Smallest one. . .cancooker companion. . .is 5 inches tall, 10 inches in diameter and holds 1 1/2 gallons. .feeds 4-6 people (per web site). Weighs one pound.

The idea would be to dump in the ingredients and fluids, then put it on the fire to cook while we all sit around the fire. Most recipes on the web site will cook in 30 minutes. One pot meals, no stove, and only one pot to clean
 
kjw
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11/26/2023 05:38PM  
For the price and weight you can't go wrong. Just make sure to try it out before you go on trip. Also, try it on a stove you are going to bring to see if it will work and how much fuel you will use in case you use the stove too.
 
ockycamper
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11/26/2023 05:42PM  
Decided to have the kids get me one for Christmas. Probably the junior size as we had 7 in my camp this year. Looking through the recipes on line you can cook pretty much anything in it.

I have a jetboil basecamp stove. Will try it out on that this spring before our trip in the fall.

Would really like to pull of a southern boil with it using fesh caught fish
 
OCDave
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11/26/2023 09:53PM  
I would hate that in my pack. I go to extremes to avoid the sticky-out-parts when purchasing gear. Those handles make that an ugly piece in my eyes.

My go-to pot for cooking for a group is actually an insert for a utensils bin with a lid fashioned from a Baker's Square pie tin and a coozy made from reflective foil bubble wrap. It has no sticky-out parts and has served my well for about 2 decades.
 
11/27/2023 07:43AM  
It says to use over low to medium heat. I don't think this would work well with most stoves.
 
Ahahn366
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11/27/2023 08:24AM  
It looks like a lightweight pressure cooker, without the pressure relief valves
To me it's a no go. Just get a get a good quality stainless stock pot with a triclad bottom.
 
wifishncanoe
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11/27/2023 09:19AM  
We have taken a Can Cooker the last 2 trips. I was skeptical the first trip, but it proved very versatile and usful.
Layers of walley, seasoning and bacon. Delicious
Made the biscuits in it for biscuits and gravy.

Walleye scampi!
It's an item that we'll keep bringing on future trips. When portaging it's packed with other items inside, so it doesn't really take up any extra room. And it's very easy to use right over the fire and sometimes we also use it on a MSR WindPro stove.
 
ockycamper
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11/27/2023 09:19AM  
I should mention we are base campers. All three of our camps take the shuttle to Red Rock Lake and the short portage into the lake, then basecamp. We do day trips to other lakes but basically spend our time fishing.

We also like to experiment on cooking ideas. We are not as much concerned with weight and bulk of cooking gear as much as how hard it is to cook the items we want. That is why we have majored on dutch ovens over the years. One of the guys has an egg shaped air cooker that works on a stove top and he baked all kinds of things last two years with it. We don't cook anything on backpacking style stoves. One guy does everything over the fire. . .3 meals a day. Another camp brings two coleman two burner stoves and basically cooks all week. I have a Jetboil basecamp stove that I use if not using the dutch ovens. The key is not weight but ease of cooking and cleanup

I am looking at the cancooker as a way to to breakfasts, stews, soups, etc taking up only one pot and using dehydrated ingredients and free me from having to stay by a stove. Probably will do all the breakfasts and dinners in either a dutch oven or the cancooker (if it passes the trials this spring).
 
ockycamper
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11/27/2023 09:47AM  
wifishncanoe: "We have taken a Can Cooker the last 2 trips. I was skeptical the first trip, but it proved very versatile and usful.
Layers of walley, seasoning and bacon. Delicious
Made the biscuits in it for biscuits and gravy.

Walleye scampi!
It's an item that we'll keep bringing on future trips. When portaging it's packed with other items inside, so it doesn't really take up any extra room. And it's very easy to use right over the fire and sometimes we also use it on a MSR WindPro stove."


Now that is what I'm talking about! What size did you use? For how many people?
 
11/27/2023 10:10AM  
Sorry just do not see an advantage to simply taking a similar volume pot. A 1.5 gallon CC or a 6 quart pot, at least the pot can be packed full of other stuff easier.
You can use a spacer or make one for the pot and cook the same way.

butthead
 
11/27/2023 03:30PM  
CAN COOKER IS good for home/ car camping. Not so much for packing/carrying it.
Does some wonderful corn bread however!! Also great "steamer" for seafood/veggies--- but BWCA/Q?? No thanks.
 
11/27/2023 03:33PM  
egknuti: "It says to use over low to medium heat. I don't think this would work well with most stoves. "


+1.
 
ockycamper
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11/27/2023 03:40PM  
You missed my point. We are base campers. We don't really care about packing/portaging. Also, we bring actual stoves to cook with not backpacking stoves. They can do low heat and simmer easily. (Coleman two burner stoves, Jetboil Basecamp, Camp Chef Everest).

Everyone has their own trip. We don't like to portage (we are also all 50-70 years of age). We DO like to fish and eat. We rarely leave the lake we basecamp on. With that in mind what we look for is cooking systems that can cook for larger groups (we bring up 16-20 men each fall which divide into 3 groups), and simplicity for cooking. We cook on the fire grate, or use dutch ovens primarily. The cancooker fits that mold of a cooking system that can cook for large group and produce one pot meals simply with only one pot to clean.
 
11/27/2023 09:53PM  
Hope it works well for you, Ockycamper. Looks like it will meet your needs/style and provide some excellent meals. The photos from Wifishncanoe look delicious!
 
wifishncanoe
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11/28/2023 09:45AM  
Ockycamper-
It's the Can Cooker Jr. I don't have a picture of my favorite meal, but jambalaya is great in that thing cooked over the fire. Everyone trips differently, but I would recommend to anyone looking at one. I didn't want to bring it the first time we did, but I'm glad my brother talked me into it.
 
Lawnchair107
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11/28/2023 12:17PM  
If weight and space aren't an issue, I would imagine a dutch oven is hard to beat. Those rectangle skillets (coleman has a few) put over a fire can kick out some serious breakfast volume as well.

Have you tried bringing along a reflector oven before? Those can be useful if you're not worried about tending the fire.
 
ockycamper
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11/28/2023 04:16PM  
I use a 10 inch and 12 inch GSI aluminum dutch oven already. Used to use a reflector oven. May try it again. Will experiement with the cancooker at home this winter using the stove I would use in the BWCA. Will post my results
 
ockycamper
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11/28/2023 04:17PM  
wifishncanoe: "Ockycamper-
It's the Can Cooker Jr. I don't have a picture of my favorite meal, but jambalaya is great in that thing cooked over the fire. Everyone trips differently, but I would recommend to anyone looking at one. I didn't want to bring it the first time we did, but I'm glad my brother talked me into it. "


I ordered a junior size. Already planned on trying the jamablaya as well as a seafood boil (substituting fish).
 
11/29/2023 10:24AM  
butthead: "Sorry just do not see an advantage to simply taking a similar volume pot. A 1.5 gallon CC or a 6 quart pot, at least the pot can be packed full of other stuff easier.
You can use a spacer or make one for the pot and cook the same way.


butthead"


+1. I don't see any features vs a pot.
 
gravelroad
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11/29/2023 06:03PM  
I'd be willing to bet that Sterno and alcohol stoves might suffice as heat sources with the smallest version(s). (A wood fire would not need to be very large, either.) In that event, your total cookset can get fairly light and handy with one of these, unless you're addicted to buying Mountain House instead of eating well.

These will cook food faster than a pot with an ordinary lid. And there's something in excess of a million acre-feet of water available in the BW and Q. ;-)

 
ockycamper
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11/29/2023 07:03PM  
Pretty much my thoughts as well. There are many Youtube videos of guys using these camping, several in the BWCA. I have yet to see a negative review. The concesus seems to be that unlike a regular pot on a regular stove, they dump in the stuff on one of these, set it on the fire on warm coals and just hang out until dinner is done.
 
ockycamper
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02/16/2024 08:20AM  
I have now done several meals in the cancooker. Also talked to the other camp leader in our group and all of us plan to use one this coming trip. Put the stuff for that nights dinner in zip lock bags frozen. When it gets time to cook, put the grids in the cancooker, put in the veggies, meat, and seasoning, and pour in whatever you want to steam them with. Dinner 20 to 40 minutes later.

As to the stove, it just needs to be able to support that size of pot. I bring a jetboil genesis. The other guys have single or double burner stoves.

We are base campers, but we like to eat good. . .and fresh food. We also don't like to mess with the cooking much. This is as close to crock pot/one pot meals camp cooking as you can get.
 
iCallitMaize
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02/16/2024 09:29AM  
I have had some good meals out of those things at deer camp. I own the small one and large one. Haven’t taken to BWCA but have thought about it. It would be easy enough to utilize the internal space for packing other kitchen items.
 
ockycamper
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02/16/2024 09:42AM  
I have the medium one, the junior. I don't plan on bringing any other pots, just the cancooker. My plan is the aluminum dutch oven for baking, and the cancooker for everything else. That eliminates one small pack that had a variety of pots in it.
 
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