To support my new camping style, I am upgrading my van and adding items to provide more comfort off grid. I want more battery power, more DC outlets, change everything I can over to DC power or propane, install items that use less power, etc. More power! Aar! Aar! Aar!
This week I tested out a new CanCooker Companion 1.5qt. My van has a 2 burner propane stove and a microwave oven but no oven so I wanted something to cook roasts, etc. in that does not use electricity. While I do have a portable inverter generator that will be traveling with me, I want to use it as little as possible and can’t use it in some places I might stay.
The CanCooker can be used over any source of heat except induction. You can use it on a stovetop, a grill, on coals, or even a campfire. It works similar to though not the same as my favorite appliance, my Instant Pot. Liquid in the bottom is heated to a steam and then the design of the pot creates convection. There is a hole in the lid for steam to escape so it is not a pressure cooker. You can put all the food in directly on the bottom or you can buy an insert to keep food above the water so it is less mushy or to make a cake. NOTE: If you have an Instant Pot, the insert for that does fit through the mouth of the CanCooker to dual purpose it.
There are three different sizes of cookers. I chose the smallest to feed up to 4 people which is the 1.5 qt. It is about 10 x 7 inches and made of lightweight aluminum. Every part of it gets very hot while using so be sure to use pads when touching it. The inside is coated with a non-stick coating so be sure to use proper utensils so as not to scratch it. It does come with instructions and a bag made of a poor material that won’t last long. If you go to cancooker.com, there are numerous recipes available.
For my first experiment, I cooked a pork roast with potatoes, carrots, celery, and onion. The vegetables go on the bottom while meat should be placed on top. I used a bit over a cup of beef broth for the liquid though plain water would have worked too. They stress that the heat should be kept to low or low-medium for cooking. I waited the required 15 minutes for steam to come out the top but nothing happened so I turned the stove up to medium and that got the ball rolling. 45 minutes later I had a fully cooked roast with flavorful potatoes and perfect texture carrots, celery, and onions. Of course, a little salt and pepper after dishing it out always helps too. I’m thinking ribs or perhaps a dessert for my next experiment.
Cleanup was a breeze! I let it cool down a bit then turned it over and dumped the remaining food out into a large storage bowl. Then I easily rinsed it out and done. I like that! One thing they mentioned that I never knew, if you rub soap all over the bottom before using over a campfire, the soot will come right off. Nice!
This is definitely going in my RoadTrek van to use on the road.