• Cooking Time:
  • Servings:
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Use a clean milk 5-gallon or 10-gallon steel milk can with no leaks. Slight rust may be knocked off with steel wool. Cans with heavier rust may be sandblasted. If the can has no lid, the milk can may be covered with a double thickness of aluminum foil during cooking. A 5-gallon can will hold enough for 10-12 people. A 10-gallon can will feed up to 35.


  • 6 cans of beer or 1 1/2 qt. water
  • Polish sausages (50) or your choice of meat
  • 25 Potatoes,not peeled
  • 25 shucked ears of corn
  • 6 medium onions cut into quarters
  • 4 heads of cabbage, quarted
  • 3 lbs carrots


  • A milk can dinner should be layered, based on cooking times for the ingredients.
  • Place the potatoes and water or beer in the bottom of the milk can.
  • Then add carrots, cabbage and onions.
  • On top of those, place the corn on the cob.
  • Finally, place the meat on top.
  • Either place the lid loosely on top, or use a double-layer of aluminum foil, crimped around the edges.
  • CAUTION: Do not seal the lid tightly, as you have to let steam escape or the can may explode!
  • Build a steady (not roaring!) fire between two concrete blocks.
  • About four to five pieces of kindling at a time are usually adequate.
  • Set the milk can over the fire up on the blocks and tend the fire to keep a steady temperature.
  • After about 45 minutes, the can should begin to steam.
  • Dinner is cooked in about an hour and a half.
  • It takes 2 people to carry and pour the cans.
  • Be sure to wear insulated gloves as the cans will be very hot.
  • Pour contents into 2 large serving tubs.
  • Let guests pick what they want with serving tongs.
  • Bon appetit!

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