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  1. #1
    NES Member cockpitbob's Avatar
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    Default Is Cooking in Tin Cans Safe?

    When I was a kid we cooked beans and stews right in the cans. Today, the cans I open have a plastic coating inside to prevent rust. That can't be healthy to cook in...or is it? Of course, in a SHTF situation, I'd rather die of cancer later than starvation now.
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    NES Member P-14's Avatar
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    Get one of these and don't worry about the cans: http://www.amazon.com/s/qid=12826728...s=sierra%20cup

    Cook, eat, or drink. With a spork, it's complete.


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  3. #3
    NES Member Andy in NH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cockpitbob View Post
    When I was a kid we cooked beans and stews right in the cans.
    I remember doing the same thing with spaghettios. We'd open the lid about 80% or so and fold it back. Then we'd fold the sides in; that made a decent handle to hold when stirring the food.

    Just a thought, but you might try putting the can in a larger can filled with water - a field expedient double boiler if you will. Maybe with a couple of small rocks on the bottom as a stand off? (I'm going to have to try this myself now - thanks!) I've got a larger sized can (I think pineapple slices came in it) that does not have the plastic lining that I use to heat water.

    I have heated MRE meals inside a water filled ammo can over an open fire - that works real good!


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  4. #4
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    I've done the same as a kid with canned stuff on campfires. I think the linings in cans nowadays is ceramic, not plastic, which should be OK for heating the food. There are some cans I've noticed that explicitly say don't reheat in the can. Canned goods are heated to a high temperature in the canning process however so it should be OK in general.

  5. #5
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    That stuff is all heated to over 240 degrees as part of the canning process so if you are just warming it up it should be OK. Some of the linings are BPA which is a plastic. Try emailing the companies like Campbells or Dinty More and they will probably tell you what is in the lining and if you should heat it in the can.

  6. #6
    NES Member glostamon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coastie View Post
    Try emailing the companies like Campbells or Dinty More and they will probably tell you what is in the lining and if you should heat it in the can.
    I'm guessin' the company spokesman says it fine.....and will not disclose what is in the lining.

    ...its alot like askin' a multi-national company that makes lead based window blinds assembeled in "Red China if their product is safe for kids to chew on?...Y,yes,mr.Jones,, A-OK!
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy in NH View Post
    I remember doing the same thing with spaghettios. We'd open the lid about 80% or so and fold it back. Then we'd fold the sides in; that made a decent handle to hold when stirring the food.

    Just a thought, but you might try putting the can in a larger can filled with water - a field expedient double boiler if you will. Maybe with a couple of small rocks on the bottom as a stand off? (I'm going to have to try this myself now - thanks!) I've got a larger sized can (I think pineapple slices came in it) that does not have the plastic lining that I use to heat water.

    I have heated MRE meals inside a water filled ammo can over an open fire - that works real good!
    I might be confused, but I thought the concern is whether or not cooking food in these cans is safe (given the lining, etc.) regardless of how the can is heated.

  8. #8
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    As long as the can is opened first you'll be fine.

  9. #9
    NES Member Andy in NH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titan View Post
    I might be confused, but I thought the concern is whether or not cooking food in these cans is safe...
    You bring up a good point.

    When I read the OP's post, I immediately thought of scorching the the inside of the can over an open fire (BTDT) and the "nasties" from the burnt lining getting embedded in the food. After just a little thought, I wondered if double-boiling (like you do with chocolate) would still heat the food without burning it or the lining. Just an idea - not an answer, but I think I'm going to give it a try.

    coastie's post make sense to me if we are just going to heat the food up enough to enjoy.

    Of course if the SHTF you can still eat canned food cold and not worry about it. It wouldn't be as palatable, but you could still do it.


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy in NH View Post
    Of course if the SHTF you can still eat canned food cold and not worry about it. It wouldn't be as palatable, but you could still do it.
    Chef Boyardee is actually better cold, right out of the can. (IMO, of course)

    Beans aren't so bad cold either.

    That being said, I am interested in the answer here. Is it safe to heat up the lined cans?
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