cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

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cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by ChaoticL0gic » Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:37 pm

This occurred to me on my last camping trip. I know that cooking beans, chill, soup etc in the tin can they came in is a old standard. But aren't many cans today lined with a thin layer of plastic coating inside. If that melts into the food would it be a health concern? In a PAW SHTF situation this seems that it could become an issue.
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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by lonewolf15002000 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:32 pm

Ok first question.
Since you thought about this on your last camping excursion did you cook your food in its original can? If so...........














Second question, Has it killed you yet?

I understand that yes while there may be some side affect from prolonged exposure in use/cooking this way. I myself and many others have either a stainless steel, or aluminum cup/canteen/pot, or even some of those fancier cooking/eating kits for that matter on hand to do our cooking in. So can you do it yes (as long as you don't die it only makes you stronger right?) is it recommended probably not.
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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by TacAir » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:49 pm

A couple of 'givens' here

A) You are going to die. Everyone does this at some point. The real question is -- will you be a Zombie?

B) The Bisphenol A leaching polymer coating for most canned foods has been in use for years (since the 1940s). If you heat the can, more of the BPA come out. See (A) above.

C) Some cans, most notable for acidic products, the BPA leachs out even faster. See (A) above.

Suggest you buy a USGI canteen, matching cup (Stainless) and cover.

Problem solved and it is tacticool to boot!
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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by lonewolf15002000 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:13 pm

TacAir wrote: B) The Bisphenol A leaching polymer coating for most canned foods has been in use for years (since the 1940s). If you heat the can, more of the BPA come out. See (A) above.
Is that what is really lining a tin/aluminum can? If that is what it is I'm going to :lol: :lol: :lol: because of all the people who freak out over the plastics in water bottles, food storage etc., and they have probably no clue that it is in every canned food that they eat.
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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by TacAir » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:38 am

lonewolf15002000 wrote:
TacAir wrote: B) The Bisphenol A leaching polymer coating for most canned foods has been in use for years (since the 1940s). If you heat the can, more of the BPA come out. See (A) above.
Is that what is really lining a tin/aluminum can? If that is what it is I'm going to :lol: :lol: :lol: because of all the people who freak out over the plastics in water bottles, food storage etc., and they have probably no clue that it is in every canned food that they eat.
I don't make up stuff - unless it (or should be) *totally*, like, obvious.

BPA is part of the spray in lining, used to harden the material - it's a type of epoxy.

It's not just me. The PoGs at Consumer Reports ****** down their collective leg over it.
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/maga ... l-a-ov.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

As for the science - either it is safe, or it will kill you. I suspect the BPA is much less of a risk than food contaminated from the metal in the cans leaching into the food.

See (A) above - we're all gonna die.

Me? I want to go out, shot in bed, by a angry husband - at age 104. (just kidding of course)
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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by Sworbeyegib » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:59 am

I know that there must be some long term side effects... but it hasn't stopped me yet. Of course, I have a few pieces of cookwear that I use when I have room to pack it. Of course, it's not like I'm eating it everyday.

Maybe this is on the line of the 5 second rule. We know better, and yet people still do and are just fine.
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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by lonewolf15002000 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:29 pm

TacAir wrote: I don't make up stuff
I wasn't implying that you were making it up, I've just never really looked into what lined my tin/aluminum cans, nor do I care whether or not my food storage containers are BPA free. It hasn't killed me yet in my 29 years or my grandparents in their 75+ years so why should I worry about. It is funny though because I have a sister in law who freaks out over every little thing biggest freak out was the BPA free plastics, newest issue is Aluminum (in her eyes it is evil, ha ha jokes on her her canned food in the pantry has both Aluminum and BPA).
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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by Squirrley » Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:13 pm

Also keep in mind that, at least in my experience, you never actually need to COOK the food that comes in cans - its already pre-cooked in the can and only requires warming up. Obviously you should read the label to make sure before you go eating it. If so, you shouldn't be getting anywhere near hot enough temps to melt the plastic, and you could always throw the can in a pot of boiling water if you're bad at cooking and have trouble with over-cooking food usually.

Its also my understanding that the food is actually cooked in the can at the factory, cause its the way they kill off all the bacterias and such in the can - and if the can is already sealed, then no more can get in. That means that the factory already did what you're concerned about doing, so its kinda a moot point. But I have no official source for this besides my ass.
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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by Woods Walker » Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:56 pm

Squirrley wrote:Also keep in mind that, at least in my experience, you never actually need to COOK the food that comes in cans - its already pre-cooked in the can and only requires warming up. Obviously you should read the label to make sure before you go eating it. If so, you shouldn't be getting anywhere near hot enough temps to melt the plastic, and you could always throw the can in a pot of boiling water if you're bad at cooking and have trouble with over-cooking food usually.

Its also my understanding that the food is actually cooked in the can at the factory, cause its the way they kill off all the bacterias and such in the can - and if the can is already sealed, then no more can get in. That means that the factory already did what you're concerned about doing, so its kinda a moot point. But I have no official source for this besides my ass.
Yup.

I would use a can to hold or boil water if there were no other options though.
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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by rpc » Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:06 pm

Chances are, since they put the plastic in contact with the food, the plastic is not a deadly poison. So if you heat up the food in the can, chances are, it won't immediately kill you.

If you get the can so hot that the plastic melts, then it might make a sticky mess, and it probably won't taste very good.

But it probably won't immediately kill you.

I've warmed up stuff in the can before and lived to tell about it. If you're really worried about it, you can just eat it cold.

Of course, there's a slight possibility that, 40 years from now, some doctor will tell you, "I bet during the zombie uprising of 2011, you ate one can of beans after warming it up in the can. I know this because you now have cancer!" If he says this, you can tell him, "well, at least I didn't starve 40 years ago!"

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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by pj_01 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:02 pm

Cooking in the can is not uncommon. espeacialy for anything that does not need water added to it. such as canned stew, spegettios, beans, etc...

Cans need to be punctured to allow preasure to escape otherwise you might as well be working with explosives because that is what it is going to do. blow up and burn you. (not much more then that, cans will just rupture at the weakest point and spit fluit and ashes all over you).

i have cooked in cans whenever i went camping to save weight on having to take another pot or plate with me. just cook in the can let it cool and then eat out of it.

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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by DonTrusTheMEDIA » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:05 pm

If you live in Canada we don't have BPA in our cans anymore. Not sure what they line them with now though or if it is any safer. If it comes down to starving or increasing my chance of cancer, I will die with a full belly

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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by Kelvar » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:12 pm

DonTrusTheMEDIA wrote:If you live in Canada we don't have BPA in our cans anymore. Not sure what they line them with now though or if it is any safer. If it comes down to starving or increasing my chance of cancer, I will die with a full belly
I bet you heard that from "TheMEDIA"!!!111 :shock:
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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by Mad0Hatter » Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:27 pm

I cook things in tin cans, sometimes repeatedly using the same can. When I was really down on my luck I had a large can I called my soup pot cause it was big and I made soup in it, mostly from veggies I got from dumpsters. When the soup was ready I poured it into another smaller can to eat. So it was real cooking. When times were good I'd save the regular sized cans and bake cornbread in them. I have not to my knowledge suffered any harmful effects from eating from cans.

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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by ChaoticL0gic » Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:36 am

While planning a camping trip I revisited this issue and Wow, my post is the 3 result in Google for "Cooking in the Can" :clap:
I found a link i thought I would add
http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... -can-dont/

Given my new job lets me go out and do this about once a decade, I am not to worried
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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by Mikeyboy » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:36 pm

The only ones I would really worry about are the thick white plastic layers in canned tomato & sauce. Apparently the acid in tomatoes is some strong stuff. Otherwise I know tons of guys who use cans because they are cheap ass hikers that don't want to buy a Stainless or Ti cup or pot.

Also think of it this way, in the canning process most food stuff goes in boiling hot anyways.

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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by tedbeau » Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:41 pm

Mad0Hatter wrote:I cook things in tin cans, sometimes repeatedly using the same can. When I was really down on my luck I had a large can I called my soup pot cause it was big and I made soup in it, mostly from veggies I got from dumpsters. When the soup was ready I poured it into another smaller can to eat. So it was real cooking. When times were good I'd save the regular sized cans and bake cornbread in them. I have not to my knowledge suffered any harmful effects from eating from cans.
"No harmful effects other than a preoccupation with survival and Zombie's" you mean.

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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by Mad Mike » Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:16 pm

TacAir wrote:
lonewolf15002000 wrote:
TacAir wrote:
Me? I want to go out, shot in bed, by a angry husband - at age 104. (just kidding of course)

For me it's celebrating my 100 th birthday with a pair of 18 year old redheaded twins. :mrgreen:

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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by Wraith6761 » Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:26 am

Mad Mike wrote:
TacAir wrote:
lonewolf15002000 wrote:
TacAir wrote:
Me? I want to go out, shot in bed, by a angry husband - at age 104. (just kidding of course)

For me it's celebrating my 100 th birthday with a pair of 18 year old redheaded twins. :mrgreen:
I prefer the Tyrion Lannister style..."In my bed at the age of 80, with a belly full of wine and a girl's mouth on my ****"....

As for the BPA stuff, unless you're actually eating your waterbottles or tv dinner trays, I have a feeling that the "you'll get cancer!!!" claims are less related to actual health issues and more related to marketing hype to justify higher prices on plastic products, along the same lines as "organic free-range animals/plants that were only hand-fed rainbows and good feelings by fairies and nymphs while listening to nurturing Mozart music" labels on meat/dairy/produce that's now in nearly every major grocery store chain out there.
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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by manowar1313 » Sun Sep 14, 2014 4:08 pm

Sorry I skipped to the bottom but are assuming you have the common sense to open the can first right?

I only ask because last Thanksgiving we couldn't eat turkey because someone who should have known better didn't thaw it before trying to fry it.

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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by mark9atq » Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:49 pm

Food inside a can is most likely already cooked. No need to cook it twice.

But warm food is nice.

One legit reason you may be tempted to place the food can into a fire is if it is frozen solid.

Resist if you can. Set it close until it melts.
Best if you find or make a larger container and submerge the unopened can into boiling water
to heat the food. Boiling closed cans will not make them explode.

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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by TacAir » Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:18 pm

mark9atq wrote:Food inside a can is most likely already cooked. No need to cook it twice.

But warm food is nice.

One legit reason you may be tempted to place the food can into a fire is if it is frozen solid.

Resist if you can. Set it close until it melts.
Best if you find or make a larger container and submerge the unopened can into boiling water
to heat the food. Boiling closed cans will not make them explode.
Years ago I used to heat my C rations by sticking the box on the tail pipe of my M-151 (it would power the radios indie and so ran for hours at a time)

More than once I came back to a mess - the cans - mostly the ones with beans - had blown up, spewing my dinner over a wide area. AT least the peaches and John Wayne bars were still good to go....

Yes, I would wash the can before opening...

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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by raptor » Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:20 pm

TacAir wrote: A) You are going to die. Everyone does this at some point. The real question is -- will you be a Zombie?
Indeed truer words have never been written. In the long run we are all dead anyway so only the short run matters. :D

Back on the subject at hand. I think any concerns about the coating inside the can should be viewed in the context that virtually all cans and canned foods in the process of canning/sealing are subjected to boiling water and temperatures of at least 212F. Thus the coatings are likely to not be an issue at or below these temperatures.

As has been mentioned above canned food is generally cooked and thus really only requires re-heating as opposed to cooking. Thus if you put the can in boiling water it is not likely to reach a temperature hotter than that to which it was subjected during canning.

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Re: cooking in the can, safe or unsafe

Post by Mad Mike » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:18 pm

TacAir wrote:
mark9atq wrote:Food inside a can is most likely already cooked. No need to cook it twice.

But warm food is nice.

One legit reason you may be tempted to place the food can into a fire is if it is frozen solid.

Resist if you can. Set it close until it melts.
Best if you find or make a larger container and submerge the unopened can into boiling water
to heat the food. Boiling closed cans will not make them explode.
Years ago I used to heat my C rations by sticking the box on the tail pipe of my M-151 (it would power the radios indie and so ran for hours at a time)

More than once I came back to a mess - the cans - mostly the ones with beans - had blown up, spewing my dinner over a wide area. AT least the peaches and John Wayne bars were still good to go....

Yes, I would wash the can before opening...

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AHA :clap: - you didn't vent the cans, did you?

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