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Tin Can BBQ
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Mike Young
(klackamas) - F - MLife

Tin Can BBQ on 01/30/2014 09:56:22 MST Print View

So I made this last night and was wondering if anyone thought it might be ok to use in the high sierras where no fires are permitted. I just want to grill a fish or two in some foil. I suppose I could carry some briquets. It weighs in at 5.49 oz.Tin Can BBQ

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Tin Can BBQ on 01/30/2014 11:15:49 MST Print View

Sweet looking setup!

Yes, it will work. Using charcoal, as you mention should work but I haven't tried it on a small scale like this. Experiment first!

Coals from a wood fire should work nicely as well.

How will you pack it?

Also what is the grate made from? Looks like hardware cloth. If galvanized I do not recommend it due to the bad stuff that burns off. And after it burns off, the metal likely will become brittle w/high flames. Maybe a couple Ti stakes across instead? Dual use.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Tin Can BBQ on 01/30/2014 11:20:25 MST Print View

A neat little grill. What are the dimensions?

Much of the campfire restrictions above 10,000 ft have to do with the availability of firewood. I would say it would not be appropriate to collect firewood and burn it in your grill. Unless there is a specific fire restriction I am pretty sure there is nothing wrong if you packet in your own fuel (Charcoal briquets). It would be the equivalent of an esbit stove. To be fully LNT your should pack out the ashes too.

see page 6.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Tin Can BBQ on 01/30/2014 11:28:30 MST Print View

Looking at your design, I came up with a suggestion (though you may already be doing this). It looks like you have a wing nut at all 4 corners to hold the grill in place. Is that true? You could just use the screws on two corners so the grill could rotate. You would then have to bend a notch at the bottom of your v-strut at the other two corners so it would sit nicely on the screw posts. This would reduce your assembly time (2 screws instead of 4) and give you greater access to the fuel. You may already be doing that, but it is just what I thought when I saw your design

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Tin Can BBQ on 01/30/2014 11:36:56 MST Print View

"If galvanized I do not recommend it due to the bad stuff that burns off. And after it burns off, the metal likely will become brittle w/high flames. "


And it looks like the can is also galvanized. Zinc Oxide fumes are hard on brain cells.

I'd be sure to use an uncoated can and Stainless Steel mesh. (McMaster-Carr is one source.)

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
Confused on 01/30/2014 11:53:36 MST Print View

I'm confused -- I thought the fire bans in the Sierras were for all open flames, including esbit and alcohol stoves, or any kind of BBQ (like this one).

I thought only canister stoves were permitted under the fire bans...

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Confused on 01/30/2014 12:07:16 MST Print View

There is a fire ban due to dry conditions. In Inyo it went into effect last June and it doesn't look like it was ever lifted:

That bans the use of open flames except from very specific sources.

If that ban is lifted you still can't build a campfire above 10,000 ft, but you could use a charcoal grill.

Mike Young
(klackamas) - F - MLife

Thanks on 01/30/2014 12:36:07 MST Print View

This is exactly why I am a part of BPL. The insights of the experienced are invaluable! Since this in just a prototype I grabbed an insulated lunch bag to slide it into so I could bring it to work to show a friend. But i think after taking it to a grinder and smoothing it out I would just use a tyvek stuff sack. Here is a pic of it with my mug in the bag. The can is 4"x7" and the legs are on with speed nuts so it will pack better. The grate is just a bathroom tray I threw in the fire pit last night to burn off the plastic coating. I would never use this for actual cooking, it is just a prototype.

Thanks for the heads up on the galvanized coating and tips on set up. Again, this is exactly why I posted.pic2pic3

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: Tin Can BBQ on 01/30/2014 13:07:53 MST Print View

I like it...fits nice in you storage case. Wood is good!!!! :-)

How is your ear doing? avitar makes my ear cringe :-))))

I've been burning wood pellets in my wood stove. Try experimenting with them this year.

Mike Young
(klackamas) - F - MLife

wood on 01/30/2014 13:20:10 MST Print View

I like the idea of using wood and I may use it in the appropriate places. But above 10,000 ft collecting wood for fires is frowned upon and may be against the rules completely. I need to look into it further but doubt I would do it. Not sure if the weight of briquets will be worth the effort. But it is a fun project just the same.

The look on my buddies faces when I pull it out while their chili mac is re-hydrating will be worth all the effort and weight.

So you like my SUL fishing gear? Just bait the hook and hold your breath!

(smoke) - F
Can on 01/30/2014 14:25:51 MST Print View

I don't think food cans are galvanized. They are usually tin plated and non-toxic. If you could find some stainless mesh, I think you'd have a winner.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Can on 01/30/2014 14:48:17 MST Print View

Great design. I would be cautious regarding the coatings and it would be banned in a no-fires area.

My take is that any cooking method that does not have a control valve is prohibited, nixing alcohol and Esbit stoves as well. I'm sure that is all up to the Ranger du Jour and if you ask at an office, you will get the standard canned reply. I would expect stricter compliance this hiking season in the West. It's going to be a rough one I think.

Check this out:

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Tin Can BBQ on 01/30/2014 15:24:15 MST Print View

Love this thing. Love the ingenuity! What size can did you use?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Can on 01/30/2014 15:35:40 MST Print View

"My take is that any cooking method that does not have a control valve is prohibited, nixing alcohol and Esbit stoves as well. I'm sure that is all up to the Ranger du Jour and if you ask at an office, you will get the standard canned reply."

That is the common official restriction. Some backcountry rangers have been known to cut you some slack on an Esbit stove since it can't really become spilled liquid. But, there is no consistency. The story version that you get from a Forest Service office will vary day by day and with the phases of the moon.

You know, some of the national parks developed a good method of describing what was legal for bear canisters. That used photos of several brands of bear canisters, and when you went to get a wilderness permit, the ranger had you pick out the one that you were going to use. In a few cases, the ranger would make you haul it out of your pack to show. They could apply this same method with stove photos. You would have to pick out the stove photo that matched your equipment, and if you picked out a bad one, you wouldn't get a permit, or at least there would be an ugly notation "No cooking at all" on the permit.


Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Tin Can BBQ on 01/30/2014 15:59:52 MST Print View

High Sierra fire bans rarely have anything to do with fire danger (these past couple of years have been an exception). They have to do with a lack of fuel and the ecological issue of fuel depletion by campfires. So no, your stove won't be legal above whatever elevation that they determine where it's illegal to have woodfires.

However, some places allow you to have woodfires but only in designated fire rings. By having a portable wood stove you are carrying your own portable fire ring... sort of, as bob said it depends on individual interpretation of a ranger, if you happen to actually see a ranger.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Re: Can on 01/30/2014 16:07:23 MST Print View

So if there is an open fire ban, you can't use it at all, and if there isn't, then a grill over an open fire would be considerably lighter. Is that right?

Still a nice little grill set-up - I'd use one in my backyard!

Mike Young
(klackamas) - F - MLife

oh well... on 01/31/2014 08:13:21 MST Print View

I thought I had an original idea, but I found this on kickstarter...

It's a bit different but the concept is the same. (I'm not affiliated with the kickstarter in any way)

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: Re: Tin Can BBQ on 01/31/2014 12:00:55 MST Print View

Hey bg, a quote from your fire ban link:

>Temporary regulations

During periods of high fire danger, much of the Pacific Crest Trail can be placed under strong fire restrictions.

What can happen:

Campfires and charcoal fires are banned in the backcountry and at remote campgrounds. They may be allowed at some campgrounds.
Stoves become restricted. “Light” levels of restrictions allow for stoves that burn gas, jelly petroleum and pressurized liquid fuel. Alcohol stoves and wood-burning stoves aren’t allowed. Sometimes, especially in Southern California, ALL stoves are banned.<

Was the area of the GGG under this ban?

Were there alcohol and esbit stoves used at this years GGG gathering? any idea?

I had the thought that under normal fire bans a hiker could use a authorized campground as a base camp where a wood stove could be used. Wadaya think?