How to Build a Stove with Tin Cans

Using tin cans, you can make a portable, cheap stove that can be used to cook food on camping trips or just at home. Follow these steps to find out how to make a stove using tin cans!

Things You'll Need

    • One 19-20 oz tin can (#2 can- about 4.5 inches tall)
    • Two 105 oz tin cans (#10 can- 7 inches tall)
    • Two 14 oz tin cans (about 3.5 inches tall)
    • A metal clothes hanger
    • A pair of tin snips
    • A drill with large and small drill bits
    • A cement caulk gun
    • A black sharpie or another kind of permanent marker


  1. 1
    Use the tin snips to cut out both the bottom and the tops of one of the 105 oz cans and both of the 14-15 oz cans. Make sure that one of the 105 oz cans has the bottom on it but not the top. The other 105 oz can has both ends off. The 19-20 oz can should only have the bottom on it.
  2. 2
    Take out the sharpie and trace the 19-20 oz can's circumference on the 105 oz can with the bottom still attached. Trace as close to the bottom as you can. Once this is done, you can use the drill to get a hole in the center of the circle, and use the tin snips to cut the circle out.
  3. 3
    Trace a hole in the 19-20 oz can of the 14 oz can with the sharpie.
  4. 4
    Cut it out with the the tin snips.
  5. 5
    After the hole in the 19-20 oz can is cut out, place the 19-20 oz can in the 105 oz can with the hole facing up. After the can is in, use the cement gun to glue all around the the places to secure the cans in place. Cement on the inside and outside.
  6. 6
    Place the second 14 oz can on top of the other 14oz can and cement them together. Take the second 105 oz can and take the sharpie and draw in one of the grooves about halfway down. Use the small drill bit to drill four holes in the can along the line, across from each other so it can be used to stick the coat hanger through.
  7. 7
    Take the metal coat hanger and unwind and untwist it . Once it is straight, cut it in half and then cut it to about 9 inches per piece. After the wire is straight and cut, put the wire into the holes, and across the can, so each wire goes through two holes and the wires cross each other like and x in the middle of the can. Then, cement the inside and outside of the holes.
  8. 8
    Put the second 105 oz can on top of the other 105 oz can. Cement the two cans together.
  9. 9
    Fill the inside around but not including the 14 oz cans in the middle with dirt as insulation. This will help to keep the heat in the right space.
  10. 10
    Take a small piece of chicken wire and put it inside the 19-20 oz can on the bottom. This is to hold the wood up, so it lights. There should be a space under the mesh, and a space above it.
  11. 11
    Light it up and cook something! It's good to have a small pan that will fit inside of the large can and rest on the coat hanger.

Article Info

Categories: Metalwork and Wire Projects | Outdoor Cooking