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Dingleberry
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sure this is a dumb question, but this is the only place I could think of to get a real life answer!:thumb:

Is it OK to just open a can of food like baked beans, spaghetti-o's, etc. and just cook the can over an open fire and eat?? The only reason I'm asking is 'cause a couple guys at work said you can get some kind of metal poisoning from cooking food in the can and eating it out of the can it was cooked in. Also, is it OK to keep the unused food and chill it in the can overnight for cooking the next day?

Sorry if this is a dip$hit question, but I really have no idea.
 

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Information is Ammunition
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i think there used to be some sort of coating that would come off the interior of the can in high or low temperatures. I dont think its relevant today though
 

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I think when cans were aluminum, they thought that the alum. was leaching into the foods. A lot of cans, especially acidic cans have a white coating on the inside. I would heat and eat...just open the can before heating. Yesterday, Myth Busters had a episode of heating canned beans and meat, unopened, on the burner to see what would happen. They DO explode and could cause injury. The meat just kind of flew up into the air. The beans...well, they were just nasty. If things were crazy and I only put the can in the fridge for say 12 hrs before eating again, I'd do that. I don't currently do that (store foods in a can), but food savers, dishes and water for washing are all fine in today's environment. In a crazy world...no problem...leave it in the can.
 

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cute is not always enough
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almost all the cans I buy have a plastic coating inside them. it looks like a thin coat of white paint. I would not particularly want to heat that up and mix it in with the chow on a regular basis. thick stuff like beans, chili, pasta, and such would be hard to heat in such a small container. it would be very hard to stir and heat evenly. a larger juice can, if you can find one without a coating, would be my choice if I could not get a simple pot to cook with.

I doubt there would be an issue with metal poisoning. cans have not been sealed with lead for a very long time. I left half a can of soup in the fridge in the can for two days last week and I am not sick or dead.
 

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i think there used to be some sort of coating that would come off the interior of the can in high or low temperatures. I dont think its relevant today though
Most modern cans will have some sort of coating inside (ever open a can of "Blue Boy" Brand and see the white paint inside?). Or it may be a clear plastic coating.

Or they will be galvanized. Open a can of citrus fruit and see what I mean. Zinc is the only thing that can handle the high acid content.

So maybe heating is not a good idea.

As far as leaving the left overs in the fridge, I do that with dog and cat food and the dogs and that fussy little 4 legged rodent catcher don;t seem to complain . he he he :confused:

One other note, personally, I don;t cook in aluminum. Cast iron or Stainless. I read somewhere that you get a miniscule amount of iron in your diet from using cast iron. Maybe that's why Grandpa was so strong and healthy? ;)
 

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Say no to NWO PLEASE!
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.......

This is exactly how we learned to cook in scouts. I'm not saying it hasn't affected us, but as of yet we're not dead. Dent the can, but it in the coals, dent comes out, take off fire, let cool for a bit, punture small hole, then open and test. Ravioli, beans, soup, corn, w/e we had.
 

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Forum Administrator
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I have cooked like this several time, and so have some of my buddies - and we are still alive.

Open the can, but do not take the lid off all the way. Instead of removing the lid, bend the lid back so you can grab it with your multi-tool, this makes it easy to move the can around in the coals of the fire.
 

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DIY RPG's
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1,667 Posts
just came back from camping today and we had corned beef and hash cooked in the can twice then there was the corn and peas and heated up cheese dip for chips and we're still kick'n have been doing this for a long time but just in case i'll call a couple companies to see whats up maybe the white coating is eatable
 

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not a nut
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I was heating my cans of chili on the hot dies at work .... 300 degree 30,000 lb hot plate:D:

Then I read about the inside coating, now I'm not so sure about doing this:xeye:

BPA is used to make plastic for food packaging and other consumer and medical products, including baby and water bottles, and as a resin coating inside almost all food and beverage cans.

The chemical mimics the action of estrogen, and some studies have linked BPA to infertility, early onset of puberty, and breast and prostate cancer.

In September, the FDA assured consumers that there is no danger from the small amounts of BPA that leach into food and water. The Science Board did not conclude that BPA is harmful; it will leave that to the FDA to decide.

Meanwhile, many environmental and consumer groups continue to call for a ban of the chemical in the marketplace.

http://www.cleveland.com/living/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/living-0/1225791071125390.xml&coll=2
 

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Survivor
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Cans like store brand soups, chili, and Ravioli cans are shiny tin outside and copper or brass colored inside seem fine to cook in. The coated looking ones on the inside I wouldn't cook in those.
Used cans to cook in for years and they haven't affected me, me , me, me, me or myselfffffffffff.
Look, there's a large dinosaur standing on my stove next to my supper. More later........
 

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There definitely is a coating in all of the cans I have ever opened. This coating serves as a protective layer between your food and the raw metal. Without this layer, any exposure to oxygen would begin the breakdown process of the metal. This is where you would start to get deposits in your food. Cooking in these cans will seperate the protective layer from the can and you will be eating it with your food. I have not experienced any complications from ingesting the coating. I will say that the food tastes much better without it. As always, your safest and best option for good flavor is to use a pot designed to cook in but if your only option is the can, dump the food into a different container (a cup or anything else that will hold it for 5 minutes). You can then rinse the can and put it directly on your heat source (camp fire or stove). Let it heat until you see the protective coating start to bubble and burn off. This is called carbon seasoning. When the procedure is complete the can should be black inside and out. Rinse it with water. Replace the food in the can and cook. I do metal work as a hobby and have made many stoves and griddles. I put everyone of them in the fire until they are coated completely with a layer of carbon. Afterward, I will let them cool, scrub them with soap and water, dry, and then rub butter or crisco on them for storage (to prevent rust). Hopefully this information will help.
 

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When I drove long haul (tractor trailer) I would sometimes place a can of food, with vent hole, near the radiator. When I arrived at my destination I would have a very hot can of chow.
 

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Banned
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Omg use a pot or a pan dont use a can the "white paint" isnt paint at all its a plastic coating which has a nasty little cocktail of chemicals inside like just like bespinol A or how ever its spelt. When heated everything expands and chemicals can leak out that way as well as if the inside is sligthy burnt it will release bad thing your body doesnt really need but the tumor cells hiding away somewhere needed to jump start there growth. Im no scientist or anything of that style but and a chef of and in and around food and a hundred other ppl over the years who know more then me about this and they all told me the same thing cans are only ment to hold the food at a low temp. if they were ment to be cooked in we would see handles on the sides and pouring souts onthe fronts.
 

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Student/Teacher
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In my experience heating food in a full can does not seem to break down the coating inside while applying heat to an empty can will. I cook this way quite often practicing cooking many different type meals billy can style. I see this as no more dangerous than cooking with teflon coated cookware.
 

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V
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Personaly I prefered the method of putting a messtin of water to boil, then standing the food tin to heat up in the water, you get water for a hot drink also and the food tin isn't in direct heat.

Tried tested as was taught to me :thumb:
 

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My intuition also warns me against cooking in cans, and I've personally even limited my use of canned foods at home, buying in glass jars whenever possible, after recent years' flurry of articles about can liners leaching BPA. Example article here.
 
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