For about $5, this stainless coffee canister makes the perfect billy can. It’s stainless, making for increased durability and clean up. Also, it’s seamless. That ensures it won’t crack under heat or pressure and leave you with a useless scrap of metal. Target currently carries three sizes of this, the largest of which being enormous. I bought the ‘cofee’ can size. The inner diameter is slightly larger than a standard Nalgene bottle, allowing you to nest your Nalgene inside the can in your pack. The can will carry 28 oz of water easily. That’s plenty enough for meals on the trail. And the lid to the can is large and deep enough to be used for a cup. The lid can be turned upside down and stored on the bottom, this allowing you to slip your Nalgene bottle inside the billy in your pack. The cap also helps speed up boiling and cooking time, thus getting the most out of your fire. I made the wire hanger from a coat hanger. Remember to remove the zinc coating that comes on most hangers if you use that wire. Stainless wire and thin cable or chain are also good ideas for hangers. If you use a thin chain, as small "S" hook on an additional bit of chain could make for a handy hanger over a fire.
I’ve cooked a few meals with the stainless ‘coffee’ billy. Ramen noodles cook quickly and easily. Boiling water is a breeze, and rice and pasta are a snap. Often, the food you plan to cook on the trail can be carried stored in the billy can. For about $5, this billy can is one of the most versatile and useful cooking tools on the trail and around the camp. These are easy and cheap enough to make. You can have one with your emergency gear, and one in the car. They are especially nice to have along in the winter in snowy climates. Along with a fire kit, the billy can can melt snow for potable water. And lastly, there’s as satisfying simplicity to the billy can. And simplicity is really the nice part about this billy can.