Zebra Bushcraft Billy Cans

zebra1If you’re looking for camping cookware which can handle considerable punishment, Zebra billy cans are ideal.

They come in four sizes. 10cm, 12cm, 14cm and 16cm. The 10cm and 12cm cans are ideal for one person, the 14cm for two, and the 16cm for three to four.

As you’ll see in the image, they also come with what looks like a dog bowl, which fits inside the main pot held on the rim. This allows steaming, smoking meat, cooking two layers of food or as a plate or shallow bowl.

Hang them from a tripod over a fire (the handle has a curve in the middle allowing this), pop them on a camp stove or lay them on their side and even use them as an oven to bake bread, these are versatile pots which will take years of abuse. Expect them to discolour slightly after use, but that just adds to their character.

The 14cm can is an ideal size to snugly hold a wood gas stove during transportation. Due to its height and unlike a normal pan with a standard handle, we find this more stable on a smaller stove allowing safer cooking.

What we like:

  • Solid construction;
  • The odd inner pan for steaming food;
  • Size.

What we don’t:

  • A design flaw is the plastic clips used to hold the handle upright – these melt if the pan is on a campfire. Take them off when cooking.

The issue with the clips is not enough to detract from just how good a piece of kit this is.

Some complain that the handle gets hot. Use a stick to lift the billy can when you’re ready to serve. Set it on the ground, and then use the stick, gloves or an oven glove to lift the lid. It’s not rocket science. Stainless steel gets hot! If not cooking with the lid on, you can also use an aluminium camping pan grip which are cheap to buy to handle the pot. This can also be used with the internal pan, and hey presto, you then have a mini frying pan.

In the following video a zebra billy can is used as an oven to roast a whole chicken on a small spirit burning stove. We know of people who use theirs to bake fresh bread in the morning. Please note the zebra can in the video has a minor modification, in that the plastic clips have been replaced with sprung wire.

 

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