For those craving some campfire cooking while stuck in the house.

We’ve all lived through product shortages. Fluffy cheesecake that people will queue up for hours to taste, special edition Nintendo Switches, and so on.

Another recent example is Trianga’s Mess Tin: a small, rectangular box to transport food, cook in, and eat from. Eliminating cooking clean-up is an especially attractive concept for people stuck inside avoiding the virus, but the only problem is… the Mess Kit is sold out. Everywhere.

When our Japanese-language reporter Ikuna Kamezawa tried to buy one for curiosity’s sake, the store clerk regretfully informed her that they were completely out of stock. Undaunted, Ikuna asked for the store’s recommendation for a replacement, and they suggested the Uniflame Ramen Cooker 900.

▼ An aluminum cooking pot like the Mess Tin, but round instead of rectangular.

While many imitators of the Mess Tin have cropped up to capitalize on its popularity, the store clerk assured Ikuna that this product really measured up to the quality — albeit in a different shape. Satisfied, Ikuna purchased a Ramen Cooker and took it home to put it to the test.

2,240 yen (US$21) will net you this pot, spanning 15 inches (38 centimeters) in diameter and weighing about 5.3 ounces.

Ikuna set about honoring the Ramen Cooker’s namesake by cooking some instant noodles in it. The noodles cooked far faster in this pan, not only due to the small size compared to a regular pot, but because aluminum is a much more efficient thermal conductor. The trade-off is that aluminum deforms much more easily, so take care when cooking.

Due to its awesome heat-channeling capabilities, you’ll want to take precautions when touching the handle, too.

Ikuna’s experiments continued with staple examples like frying an egg.

▼ Looking sunny!

Stir frying some beansprouts.

▼ You can practically hear the sizzle.

And even deep-frying some foods.

▼ Perfect!

As she cooked up various concoctions in her little aluminum pan, it became more apparent to Ikuna why people were ordering things like the Mess Tin in droves: cooking like this is fun.

While other pans are more durable and yield higher portions, there’s something charming about cooking your dinner like a camper nursing a boil-in-the-bag meal. There’s also the fact you can eat your dinner right out of the pot, which means less dirty dishes afterward.

There are some areas where the Ramen Cooker falls short. Ikuna noticed that its round shape made heating up boxed bento more challenging, whereas the rectangular Mess Tin would shine. It was also less equipped to quickly toast up sandwiches and the like, but still, there’s no denying it’s a perfect fit for soups and stews.

▼ Will it fit…?

▼ Kind of.

If you’re curious about trying camp-style cooking in the relative safety of your home, and don’t feel like traipsing over to a Yakinuku Camp restaurant, why not try cooking in an aluminum pot? We’re pretty sure you can even cook Evangelion rations inside one too if that sweetens the deal.

Images: ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]