Don't Have Room for a Barbecue? You Can Turn a Tin Can Into a Tiny Grill

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iStock

You don't need a big backyard to barbecue hot dogs this Fourth of July—or even a full-sized grill, for that matter. As this video from Mr Useful illustrates, all you need is a tin can, some charcoal, and a few other basic supplies you may already have in your toolbox at home.

First, start out with a clean, empty tin can. Use a wire cutter to slice the can in half lengthwise (also known as hot dog style). From there, you'll need to do some simple handiwork. Drill four holes into one of the can halves and plug them with four bolts to act as the legs holding up your tiny grill. Next, join both halves of the can together with a hinge, and screw a small knob into the lid to use as a handle.

Now that the basic structure has been assembled, you're almost ready to grill. To build the grate that will hold your food above the coals, bend a metal wire into a zigzag shape that's just big enough to fit inside your barbecue.

The next steps aren't very different from what you'd do with a regular barbecue: Load in some small nuggets of charcoal, fire them up, and lay your favorite grillable item on the grate. Then keep the lid closed until your (tiny) meal has been charred to perfection.

You might need to make some sacrifices when cooking with a tin can barbecue—it's not great for feeding a crowd, or even feeding yourself a ribeye steak—but if you're sticking to smaller items like shrimp, hot dogs, or mushrooms for one or two people, the miniature grill makes a lot out of a little. Check out the full instructions for putting one together below.

[h/t Mr Useful]

Friday’s Best Amazon Deals Include Digital Projectors, Ugly Christmas Sweaters, and Speakers

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Amazon
As a recurring feature, our team combs the web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, December 4. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

Why Neatly Carve Your Meat When You Can Shred It Like a Bear With These Handy Meat Shredders?

It's bear-y satisfying.
It's bear-y satisfying.
BBQ Butler/Amazon

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Unlike animal claws, our spindly fingers aren’t particularly well-suited to ripping through large hunks of meat, even those cooked to fall-off-the-bone perfection. Though the market has plenty of manual and electric knives to carve or slice it, shredding is a different beast entirely. A couple of forks can work in a pinch, and hand mixers have also proven useful. But the task really calls for a device of its own—something as sharp and resilient as bear paws.

Enter Bear Paws, the six-pronged, handheld shredders that’ll help you produce the most mouthwatering heap of pulled pork, barbecued chicken, or whatever other shredded protein you’re serving for dinner. The devices can handle temperatures as hot as 475°F, so you don’t have to wait for your meat to cool down before you start shredding.

Bear Paws can solve other culinary conundrums, too. When you’re cooking something especially large, it can be difficult to transfer it from pan or grill to platter; you can’t exactly pick up a searing-hot turkey with your hands, and trying to balance it between serving forks or spatulas seems ill-advised. Sticking a Bear Paw in either end does the trick. You can also stick one Bear Paw in the turkey (or watermelon) to keep it steady while you slice it with a knife, much like you’d do with a fork while cutting something smaller on your plate.

And after you’re finished, you can toss your Bear Paws in the dishwasher or wash them by hand—an especially easy task, since there aren’t any hard-to-clean holes, cracks, or hinges.

Bear Paws are available to purchase from The Grommet ($12) or Amazon ($13).