18 Uses for #10 Cans During an Emergency - My Patriot Supply
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18 Uses for #10 Cans

September 10, 2020 0 Comments

At My Patriot Supply, we are big fans of #10 cans because they are durable and long-lasting. That’s why we offer a variety of bulk #10 cans with our Ready Hour foods. These remarkably sturdy #10 cans last up to 25 years in proper storage unopened – some even last 30 years!

If you’re new to food preparedness, the term #10 can is one you need to understand. A #10 can refers to the size and not the weight. According to Wikipedia, “The Can Manufacturers Institute defines these sizes, expressing them in three-digit numbers, as measured in whole and sixteenths of an inch for the container's nominal outside dimensions.” A #10 can is 6​ 3⁄16 × 7 inches in dimension, has a 109.43 fluid oz. capacity, and is equivalent to 5.325 traditionally sized soup cans (a size #2 can). Given the size and capacity of #10 cans, they are used for bulk food storage and long-term food storage.

In addition to using #10 cans for stockpiling freeze-dried and dehydrated foods, survivalists have found many other ways to recycle their #10 cans after they are emptied of food.

  1. Store house items

Given their size and durability, #10 cans work well to store a variety of household items, such as art supplies, craft supplies, and kitchen utensils.

  1. Store garage supplies

#10 cans make excellent storage containers for garage supplies, such as nuts and bolts. Some people keep them in their garage for dirty jobs such as catching oil, mixing paint, or making cement plasters.

  1. Make a rocket stove

You can even use a #10 can to make a rocket stove (a small wood-burning stove that burns very hot). Here are the instructions.


  • #10 can w/ lid
  • 2 large 28 oz. cans
  • Extra can (for the shelf)
  • Insulation (from the attic)
  • Tin snips (or something to cut metal)
  • Heavy-duty gloves
  • Marker
  • Wire hanger


  1. Mark and cut the center hole on the side of the #10 can.
  2. Now do the same thing, but this time measure and cut the can that will be going INSIDE the #10 can.
  3. Cut the rim off the final can.
  4. Make 1.5 inch tabs around the can.
  5. Squeeze this can through both of the cans (through the outer #10 can and into the smaller can located inside the #10 can).
  6. Cut tabs around the top of the #10 can.
  7. Fill the space inside between the #10 can and the outside of the smaller can with insulation.
  8. Cut a lid that will cover the insulated section and place it on top. Use tabs to keep it in place.
  9. Use some of the leftover metal to make a shelf that fits inside the small can that is attached outside the #10 can.
  10. Now you are ready to light it. Put kindling on the top shelf and light.
  11. Once lit, you can set a pot on top and cook.
  1. Feed scoop

Cut the top of the #10 can at an angle. Then, attach an old door handle to the side. You’ve just made a DIY feed scoop you can use for years to come.

  1. Just-add-water meals

Place just-add-water meals inside a #10 can. You can either boil water separately or heat it using a rocket stove and then add it to the meal stored in the can. This eliminates the need for extra pots when camping.

  1. Garden pots

Punch holes in the bottom of a #10 can using a hammer and nails or screws. Then, fill the can with potting soil. If you feel inclined, you can decorate your garden pots with paint.

  1. Lighting

There are several ways you can turn your #10 can into a source of light. For example, add sand to the can and place a solar light inside during the day, and you will have a great light source in the evening that can be moved wherever you need. Additionally, you can punch holes in the sides of a #10 can, place tea light candles inside, and have a beautiful luminary. Also, with wicks and paraffin wax, you can use your #10 can to make homemade candles.

  1. Buckets for picking berries

Punch two holes in the side and add a wire. Now your #10 can works as a bucket for berry picking.

  1. Trash can

A #10 can makes a small, efficient trash can when camping, as well as in other places where you don’t need a full-sized trash can. It can also be used in the car as a sick bucket for carsick travelers. A gallon-sized Ziploc bag fits well inside a #10 can.

  1. Outhouse toilet paper holder

Protect your precious TP from getting soiled or damp when camping by storing it inside a #10 can. Keep in mind, if you have to go outdoors or use an outhouse, you have to set your TP somewhere. You can avoid setting it on the ground or someplace unsanitary with a #10 can.

  1. Emergency car kit

You never know when you will end up stuck on the interstate due to an accident or bad weather. Fill a #10 can with emergency car supplies, such as flashlights, glow sticks, emergency blankets, nonperishable food, and a poncho.

  1. Sand or kitty litter containers for roadside emergencies

You never know when your car will get stuck in the mud or snow. Prepare by keeping a #10 can filled with sand or kitty litter in your vehicle to help provide traction.

  1. Protect plants

You can place empty #10 cans over the top of small, vulnerable plants for a heat source. Additionally, you can cut off the end of the can and place the tall ring around other vulnerable plants or vines to protect them while you are edging or mowing.

  1. Time capsule

Fill up a #10 can with treasures and personal artifacts and bury it. Given how long-lasting these cans are, your time capsule may be found intact decades later.

  1. Piggy bank

A #10 can is a great place to store all your loose change. Just cut a slit in the top of the plastic lid and listen as your coins pile up.

  1. Weights

When camping, fill #10 cans with sand, rocks, or soil to act as weights for your tent.

  1. Bake bread

You can also bake bread in a can. Here is a recipe from Food.com.


  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1⁄2 cup warm water
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 (13 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 - 4 1⁄2 cups flour


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
  2. Blend in cardamom and 1 tablespoon sugar and let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, milk, oil, and salt.
  4. Add 2 cups flour and beat until smooth.
  5. By hand, stir in remaining flour, enough to make the batter very heavy, but too sticky to knead.
  6. Place batter in 2 well-greased #10 cans.
  7. Cover with greased plastic lids.
  8. Let cans stand in a warm place until lids pop off tops, about 1-1/2 hours.
  9. Remove lids and bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes.
  10. Cool for 10 minutes, loosen crust around edges with a knife and let bread slide from the can.
  11. Place loaves on a wire rack to continue cooling.

18. Tin can ice cream

You can also use your #10 to make ice cream. Here is a simple tin can ice cream recipe from Food.com.


  • 1⁄2 cup rock salt
  • 1 pint half-and-half
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1⁄3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • #10 can
  • Smaller can


  1. Mix the first three basic ingredients together (not including rock salt) and pour it into the smaller can. Place the lid on securely and set inside #10 can.
  2. Add ice, and alternate layers of ice and salt outside the small can and inside the large can. When totally full, secure the lid on the #10 can.
  3. Place a sheet on the floor or wrap the can in a large towel. Roll the can back and forth for at least 10 minutes. Open the cans and check the ice cream.
  4. If it is not starting to freeze, replace lids and roll 10 minutes more. The ice cream should be frozen to the sides and bottom of the can. If not thick enough, place in the freezer and check every 10 minutes or so.

Recycle and reuse those cans, friends! If you have other ideas to add here, please do so and share below.

Stay alert! 

In liberty,

Elizabeth Anderson

Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply




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