I’ve been seeing this CanCooker for over a year now in Bass Pro Shops and I’ll admit I’ve had my eyes on it for about as long. So, when I had the opportunity to try this bad boy out, I jumped on it. So what is the CanCooker? Well, in a nutshell it’s a steamer that cooks by the same principles a convection oven does. Without getting all scientific, a convection oven circulates heat with a fan and the CanCooker circulates the heat by steam – and steam equals moisture.
The CanCooker needs steam in order for it to cook properly. This is where the liquid comes in. You need at least 12 ounces of any liquid. Beer, wine, broth, water, soda, etc. Think long and hard when you’re adding this liquid because you’re imparting that flavor. You don’t want to cook shrimp in red wine but you may want to cook beef in a red wine broth combo.
The CanCooker is offered in 3 different sizes: 1.5 gallon called the “Companion” which can feed up to 6 people, 2 gallon called the “Jr” which can feed up to 8 people, and the whopping 4 gallon called the “Original” which feeds up to 20. They’re made of 1060 FDA grade approved aluminum and has an anodized coating on it. They claim “The material has the second best heat transfer next to copper.” All have a non-stick coating on the inside.
I have the Jr. and it’s big folks. You can throw a lot goodness in that pot. I can only imagine that the Original would be for…an army or tailgating.
4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs or breasts
1 onion large chopped
4 carrots sliced
1 cup cubed potato, optional
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt, less if using regular table salt
1 tablespoon Uncle Chris steak seasoning
2 12 ounce cans of Dr. Pepper
BBQ seasoning for chicken
1 cup ketchup
Season chicken with BBQ seasoning, or whatever seasoning you prefer. Brown the thighs in a little butter or olive oil. The browning is optional but it optimizes taste and color. Remove your chicken when brown and deglaze with a little of the Dr. Pepper.
Throw in your veggies, place the chicken on top, pour both cans of Dr. Pepper in, and then all your seasonings and ketchup. Stir it around a bit, not too vigorously, but you want to incorporate the soda and seasonings and ketchup.
Lock your lid and cook over medium heat until you see steam coming out. Once you do, cook over low heat for 45 minutes. That’s it! Be careful when you open the lid – steam burns suck.
**Note: If you can’t find Uncle Chris steak seasoning you may want to add an extra 1 teaspoon of salt.
I also want to note that I made this on a campfire but you can use it on a stove or any other heat source.
I didn’t know what to expect from the CanCooker, I just knew I wanted it. I was really, really surprised at how great the food came out. It got my wheels turning about all the things I wanted to throw in it and I’ll try to do that once a week or couple of weeks and share the recipes with you.