How to Make your own Stove or Oven

Vagabond Stove


  • One gallon (#10) tin can
  • Can opener
  • Tin snips
  • Punch opener
  • Gloves

Remove lid from one end of the tin can using a can opener. This is the bottom of the stove. While wearing gloves, use the tin snips to cut a 3″ x 3″ door on one side of the tin can from the open end. Bend this door out but leave attached for ventilation control. Using the punch opener, punch two or three small holes on the opposite side of the door for air holes.

Use with a small fire or a Buddy Burner (how to make a buddy burner).

Place the stove over the lighted Buddy Burner. Caution: Do not touch the stove – it will get VERY hot! Use the door to control the heat.

After the stove is heated up for the first time, wipe the finish off the tin can with a paper towel.

Buddy Burner


  • Shallow tin can ( tuna, dog or cat can)
  • Corrugated cardboard*
  • Scissors
  • Paraffin wax

Cut the cardboard into strips slightly narrower than the depth of the can. Roll the cardboard strips into a coil and place into the can. Melt the paraffin wax and pour over the cardboard in the can. Let harden.

*You can substitute sawdust for the cardboard.

Light the Buddy Burner with a match.

Use with a Vagabond Stove or for emergency fuel or drive four 6″ nails into the ground around the Buddy Burner to make a pan rest.

To extinguish the Buddy Burner, remove the Vagabond Stove with a pot holder Caution: Stove will be VERY hot. Smother the flame with a larger tin can lid or something similar. Caution: The paraffin wax will be liquid and very hot – wait till it hardens and cools before handling it.

Box Oven


  • Cardboard box with flaps removed
  • Heavy duty Aluminum foil
  • Scissors

Cover the cardboard box inside and out COMPLETELY with aluminum foil, placing the shiny side out.

The bottom of the box will be the top of the oven.

To use the oven, place the pan with the food to be baked on a footed grill (or similar) over the lit charcoal. The grill should be raised about 10″ above the charcoal. Set the oven over the food and charcoal. Prop up one end of the oven with a stone to allow the air circulation for the charcoal or cut air vents along the lower edge of the oven. Control the baking temperature of the oven by the number of pieces of charcoal used. Each piece of charcoal supplies 40 degrees of heat. Construct a removable oven top or oven door.

Bake bread, brownies, roast chicken, pizza, coffee cake etc. Works just like a regular oven. Suggested baking times – 30 minutes or less.

Try the oven over the coals of a campfire.

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2 Replies to “How to Make your own Stove or Oven”

  1. Kids love making their own pizza— use a clean tuna, cat food can. Take a biscuit, let the kids pat almost flat. Put pizza sauce on, add saguage, pepperoni top with cheese. Cover with foil and place either in coals of on grate.

  2. I love the Vagabond Stove, we all need to be prepared for any disaster large or small.

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