Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy punching tags as much as the next guy, but one of my favorite parts of hunting is spending time in hunt camp, especially for the food.
Maybe it is the excitement of the early mornings carrying over to the evening’s campfire talk, or simply the fatigue from the countless hours and miles put in chasing our favorite game animals, but camp meals just flat out taste better than most home-cooked ones.
I consider myself camp savvy, at least when it comes to the cooking portion. You name the method of preparation, and I have probably used it in hunt camp — open fire, Dutch ovens, camp stoves, old aluminum pots and pans, foil packs …the list goes on.
But, it wasn’t until I saw the CanCooker in action at the 2019 NWTF Convention and Sport Show, that my interest was piqued enough to give it a go.
Now, I had often seen them in commercials while watching shows on well-known hunting and fishing channels, and I had a hunting buddy who used to tote one to camp every year, only to have it stay in the bed of his truck. But, I picked up my own CanCooker Original and the Multi-Fuel Portable Cooktop, to see how well these things truly worked.
For me, hunt camps don’t really start for the year until turkey season opens, but I wasn’t about to let that stop me from firing up my new cookware. So, with St. Patrick’s day just around the corner, I decided to try out the CanCooker on some corned wild turkey, cabbage, potatoes and carrots.
I first gave the pot a good washing, read the instructions for the portable cook surface and then had to wait five days because I procrastinated the corning process on my wild turkey breast. But, in the meantime, I glazed over the mini cookbook included with the cooking pot, checked out recipes online and tested out the cooking surface by boiling water on it.
Five days quickly passed and with my wild turkey breast finally brined for a good amount of time, I was ready for some can cooking. Following manual instructions, I filled the bottom of the can with potatoes and carrots. I even tossed in an onion and some chopped garlic for good measure. I placed my rinsed turkey breast on top, filled the pot with just enough water to cover all ingredients and clamped the lid shut. You might be wondering why I left out the cabbage, but I didn’t want it to overcook, so I planned to add it later.
From there, the process went quite smoothly. I fired up the stove, placed the CanCooker on top of the flame and waited. After about 12 minutes, a small puff of steam billowed out from the lid, and I started a cook timer. Since the packaging says meals take “less than an hour” and corned beef is typically a longer process to cook, I would shoot for 30 minutes and then check in on my meal.
My timer went off, and I took the pot off the burner, released the clamps and gave my cooking a look. The potatoes and carrots were done, and while I hadn’t yet sliced the turkey, it too appeared to be ready. The aroma hitting me in the face was absolutely incredible. Knowing I didn’t want to overcook things, I quickly dropped in my chopped cabbage, resealed the lid and began to let the steam roll again. Five minutes later, I was ready to serve up an Irish meal.
A table full of cleaned plates told me the recipe was a success, and the cooking process could not have been easier.
It only took one go ‘round with the CanCooker, but it will be with me at every hunt camp from here on out.