Food Preparation & Storage

Make Your Own Soda Can Stove For Emergency Cooking

After it hits the fan you still have to eat. Getting and keeping food is one thing. Then there’s cooking it. The modern kitchen of convenience may be left far behind. In the rough you will have to be creative. There’s the open fire cooking method. Then there’s the soda can. Yes, a soda can may be carved into a little stove.

The Die Hard Survivor site has a great article on making a Stove out of a Soda Can. All you need is a can. And some food and fire too, I suppose.

Photo by Craft Hubs.

The Soda Can Stove

First, make sure your cooking area is clean and clear of debris. Don’t start a forest fire. Avoid high winds.

Cut the can down to a portable size (as if it’s not small enough). Take some of the middle out of the can. Secure the top portion into the bottom with a little tape. Punch some burner holes around the top. That will allow the fire to evenly heat your meal – a simmer ring. And that’s the construction part. Easy.

Pour in a little denatured alcohol or cooking fuel. Fill it about halfway for a good ten minute burn.

Light the fuel. You may hear a little “puff” and see a small flame appear. Use a support for your pot or vessel. That can be a ready commercial item or something you cook up yourself. Now you’re ready to cook. Remember not to leave the stove unattended when burning.

You can cook “open” or with the simmer top in place. When using the top make sure the fire doesn’t snuff out. Pay close attention. And watch out for burns. The can will, of course, get plenty hot.

When you’re done snuff out the fire to save fuel for later. Let the stove cool off before handling it.
Use a stick or other tool to handle and adjust while heated.

Photo by Bike Packing.

It’s not as glamorous as a Coleman but it is much cheaper. Free, in fact. And it works.

Make yourself a little stove for the bug out bag. Keep one in the car or the boat. Use it when camping for practice. Or just cook up something at home. You don’t want to field test in the field. Troubleshoot at home.

And don’t limit yourself to soda. A beer can – or any can – will work just fine. Convenient cooking in a can.

Related: Is it really safe to drink urine?

Perrin Lovett writes about freedom, firearms, and cigars (and everything else) at He is none too fond of government meddling.

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