Onion Soup –

A very tasty soup with red wine and herbs

Serves 10

* 1 teaspoon of Olive Oil.
* 3 tablespoons of Tomato Paste.
* 2 kgms of Onions, peeled and sliced into large chunks.
* 10 cloves of Garlic, peeled and crushed.
* 6 Shallots, peeled and chopped.
* 1 kgm of Leeks, slice the white part approximately 6mm thick.
* 1/4 of a tablespoon of Cayenne Pepper.
* 2 1/2 tablespoons of fresh whole Thyme leaves.
* 1 1/2 cups of Red Wine.
* 1 litre of Vegetable Stock.
* 1 teaspoon of Salt.
* 2 Bay Leaves.
* 3/4 of a cup of grated Parmesan Cheese.

Cooking time on the stove: – 15 minutes.

Thermal cooking time: – A minimum of 2 hours.

1. Over a medium heat, brush a large skillet with the Olive Oil.
2. Add the Tomato Paste and cook until the colour darkens, stirring to prevent scorching for about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the Onions, Garlic, Shallots, Leeks, Cayenne Pepper and Thyme and then cook until the Onions become
translucent and start to caramelize, about 8 minutes.
4. Stir in the Red Wine and bring to the boil.
5. Transfer the Onion mixture to the Cook and Carry pot.
6. Add the Vegetable Stock, Salt and Bay Leaves.
7. Raise the heat and bring it to the boil.
8. Turn off the heat and transfer the pot into the Thermal Cooker.
9. Allow to cook for a minimum of 2 hours.

To serve: –

Ladle the soup into individual bowls and garnish each with about a table spoon of grated Parmesan Cheese.

Pumpkin Soup –

A deliciously creamy pumpkin soup with a touch of bacon tang. Ideal for cold winters afternoons and evenings.

Serves 6

* 40 grams of Butter.
* 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil.
* 2 diced Onions.
* 3 cloves of Garlic.
* 3 rashers of Bacon trimmed and diced.
* 1 Massel Vegetable Stock cube.
* 1 kg Pumpkin (preferably Jap) peeled and cut into fairly large chunks.
* 6 stalks of Parsley.
* 1/2 a cup of Milk or Coconut Milk Powder.
* Salt and Pepper to taste.
* Sour Cream and chopped Chives for a garnish when serving.

Cooking time on the stove: – 5 minutes.

Thermal cooking: – 1 hour minimum.

1. Gently fry the onions, garlic and bacon in the butter and olive oil in the pot over a medium heat.
2. Turn the heat down and add the pumpkin and enough boiling water to fill the pot to approximately 80% then add the stock
cube, parsley, salt and pepper.
3. Bring the pot back to the boil and then simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes with the lid on.
4. Turn off the heat and transfer the pot to the outer Thermal Cooker and close the lid.
5. After atleast 1 hour remove the inner pot and puree the soup with milk or coconut milk powder.
6. Serve and garnish with the sour cream and chopped chives.

Garden Vegetable Soup –

A delightful chunky vegetable soup ideal for cold winters afternoons.

Serves 6.

* 6 cups of water.
* 1 table spoon of Olive Oil.
* 2 large Onions, peeled and chopped into chunks.
* 1 stalk of Celery chopped into large pieces.
* 2 medium Carrots, peeled and diced.
* 2 cloves of Garlic, peeled and finely chopped.
* 2 medium Potatoes, peeled and diced.
* 1 cup of fresh or frozen green Beans.
* 1 can of Kidney Beans, well rinsed.
* 4 Roma Tomatoes diced.
* 1 tablespoon of Basil chopped finely.
* Pepper and Salt to taste.
* 125 gm of uncooked Pasta Noodles.

Cooking time on the stove: – 10 minutes.

Thermal cooking time: – A minimum of 2 hours.

1. Bring the water to the boil in the pot on medium heat.
2. Heat the Olive Oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
3. Stir fry the Onions and Celery for a minute then add the other vegetables one at a time.
4. Sprinkle with Basil, Pepper and Salt and stir fry well for about 3 minutes.
5. Stir the cooked vegetables into the pot and bring the water back to the boil.
6. Turn off the heat and transfer the pot into the Thermal Cooker for a minimum of 2 hours.
7. When the meal is ready to eat cook the Pasta separately and stir it into the soup on serving.

Chicken Soup –

An indispensable base for many dishes, but this broth is perhaps best appreciated just as it is, for both taste and healing qualities.

Chicken Broth
1 free range chicken (about 1.6 kg)
1 large onion halved
2 small carrots
2 sticks of celery, halved widthways
1 head of garlic , halved widthways
1 teaspoon of black peppercorns
1 tablespoon of sea salt
2 fresh bay leaves

Simmering time on the stove top: 20 minutes

Thermal cooking time: 3 hours minimum

1. Place the ingredients into the saucepan and pour over enough water to cover the chicken.
2. Slowly bring this to the boil.
3. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Transfer the inner saucepan into the vacuum insulated outer container and cloase the lid.
5. Leave for a minimum of 3 hours.
6. Remove the chicken from the inner saucepan and strain the broth and discard the remaining solids.
7. Remove the meat from the chicken, discard the skin and bones.
8. Coarsely shred the chicken meat.

For Chicken Soup
Broth from above
Coarsely shredded chicken meat from above
25 grams of butter
2 large onions cut into 1 cm pieces
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 small leeks, white part only, cut into 1cm pieces
3 stalks of celery, cut into 1cm pieces
1/2 a cup of coarsely chopped flat leaf parsely
Wholemeal multigrained bread or rolls, warmed to serve.

Simmering time on the stove top: 10 minutes

Thermal cooking time: 30 minutes minimum

1. Heat the butter in the inner saucepan over a low heat and add the onions, garlic, leek and celery.
2. Cook until the onion is soft.
3. Add the chicken meat and broth, slowly bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Transfer the inner saucepan into the vacuum insulated outer container and close the lid.
5. Leave for a minimum of 30 minutes.
6. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then stir in the parsely and serve with warmed wholemeal bread or rolls.


Heat-retention cooking

From Solar Cooking

Heat-retention cooking (or retained-heat cooking) saves cooking fuel because after food has been heated to cooking temperature, it is placed into an insulated box where it will continue to cook until it is done. Retained-heat cooking is often introduced along with solar cooking since it further reduces the use of traditional fuels such as firewood, and the use of this method allows much more food to be cooked each day in a solar cooker. This method of cooking is also known as fireless cooking, haybox cooking, or wonder box cooking.

Using an solar box cooker as a retained-heat cooker

Rice being cooked in a heat-retention cooker

Rice being cooked in a heat-retention cooker

When combining retained heat and solar cooking, if food has gotten thoroughly hot in an solar box cooker (SBC), but clouds arrive before the food is finished cooking, a switch from solar to retained heat cooking should be made before the oven temperature drops below the boiling point. For large recipes this may be accomplished by simply closing the reflective lid on the pots of cooking foods. For smaller recipes, the solar oven is opened, taking care not to allow steam to escape from under the lids, pots are pushed close together along with any heated additional mass. Insulating pads or soft cushions are tucked closely around the pots and well heated mass. The SBC lid is then closed. This effectively makes the transition from solar to retained heat cooking. The cooker lid remains closed until shortly before serving time, when the food is tested. If not completely done, a very little conventional fuel will usually finish the job.Usually solar/retained heat cooking is done right where the SBC is located. However, a lightweight portable SBC can be moved temporarily indoors for its retained heat cooking time if the sun clouds over or if it rains. It may also be brought inside more or less permanently during the off season or at night and function as an insulated box for retained heat cooking. Used in this way the SBC continues to save fuel rather than simply being stored until conditions are right for solar cooking.


See Also

Related links

Demonstrations of a thermal cooker working

The good folks down under at have added some great online cooking demonstrations to view on cooking Lamb Shanks, Thai Green Curried Chicken and Rice and even making Carrot Cake in the THERMOS brand thermal cooker. These demonstrations use the RPC-4500 and RPC-6000 models.

Give them a look see at:

The individual links are as follows:

Lamb Shank:

Thai Green Curried Chicken and Rice

Carrot Cake

Note: to view the demos in the four above links, you may need Internet Explorer and Windows Media player.

Another commercial brand thermal cooker is the Dream-Pot sold in Australia.

Dream-Pot Thermal Cooking (Part 1) – Silverside Corned Beef

Dream-Pot Thermal Cooking (Part 2)


The following demonstrations are for the Thermal Magic Cooker or Thermo Magic Pot thermal cooker

Thermal Cooking Meat Loaf

Thermal Cooking Vegi Bake

Thermal Cooking Butter Cake

Thermal Cooking Silver Side




In regions where much of the daily cooking involves a long simmering period (required for many beans, grains, stews and soups) the amount of fuel needed to complete the cooking process can be greatly reduced by cooking with retained heat. This is a practice of ancient origin which is still used in some parts of the world today.
In some areas a pit is dug and lined with rocks previously heated in a fire. The food to be cooked is placed in the lined pit, often covered with leaves, and the whole is covered by a mound of earth. The heat from the rocks is retained by the earth insulation, and the food cooks slowly over time.
Another version of this method consists of digging a pit and lining it with hay or another good insulating material. A pot of food which has previously been heated up to a boil is placed in the pit, covered with more hay and then earth, and allowed to cook slowly with the retained heat.

This latter method is the direct ancestor of the Haybox Cooker, which is simply a well insulated box lined with a reflective material into which a pot of food previously brought to a boil is placed. The food is cooked in 3 to 6 hours by the heat retained in the insulated box. The insulation greatly slows the loss of conductive heat, convective heat in the surrounding air is trapped inside the box, and the shiny lining reflects the radiant heat back into the pot.
Simple haybox style cookers could be introduced along with fuel-saving cook stoves in areas where slow cooking is practised. How these boxes should be made, and from what materials, is perhaps best left to people working in each region. Ideally, of course, they should be made of inexpensive, locally available materials and should fit standard pot sizes used in the area.

There are several principles which should be kept in mind in regard to the construction of a haybox cooker:
Insulation should cover an six sides of the box (especially the bottom and lid). If one or more sides are not insulated, heat will be lost by conduction through the uninsulated sides and much efficiency will be lost.
The box should be airtight. If it is not airtight, heat will be lost through warm air escaping by convection out of the box.
The inner surfaces of the box should be of a heat reflective material (such as aluminium foil) to reflect radiant heat from the pot back to it.

A simple, lightweight haybox can be made from a 60 by 120 cm sheet of rigid foil-faced insulation and aluminium tape. Haybox cookers can also be constructed as a box-in-a-box with the intervening space filled with any good insulating material. The required thickness of the insulation will vary with how efficient it is (see below).

Good Insulating Materials Suggested Wall Thickness
Cork 5 cm
Polystyrene sheets/pellets/drinking cups  5 cm
Hay/straw/rushes  10 cm
Sawdust/wood shavings 10 cm
Wool/fur  10 cm
Fiberglas/glass wool 10 cm
Shredded newspaper/cardboard 10 cm
Rice hulls/nut shells 15 cm

The inner box should have a reflective interior: aluminium foil, shiny aluminium sheeting, old printing plates, other polished sheet metal’ or silver paint will all work. The box can be wooden, or a can-in-a-can, or cardboard, or any combination; a pair of cloth bags might also work. Be inventive. Always be sure the lid is air tight.

There are some adjustments involved in cooking with haybox cookers:
Less water should be used since it is not boiled away.
Less spicing is needed since the aroma is not boiled away.
Cooking must be started earlier to give the food enough time to cook at a lower temperature than over a stove.
Haybox cookers work best for large quantities (over 4 lifers) as small amounts of food have less thermal mass and cool faster than a larger quantity. Two or more smaller amounts of food may be placed in the box to cook simultaneously.
The food should boil for several minutes before being placed in the box. This ensures that all the food is at boiling temperature, not just the water.

The boxes perform best at low altitudes where boiling temperature is highest. They should not be expected to perform as well at high altitudes. One great advantage of haybox cookers is that the cook no longer has to keep up a fire or watch or stir the pot once it’s in the box. In fact, the box should not be opened during cooking as valuable heat is lost. And finally, food will never burn in a haybox.

Thermal Cooking

Welcome to my thermal cooker thermo cooking web blog where I hope to collect and share information on the methods and functions of using slow cooking for what ever need you might have.

I plan on pulling information in on haybox cookers, vacuum flask cooking, thermos and wonderboxes that use the process of an insulated container to store the heat and cook the food we eat daily or in emergency situations. Along with the how to’s and what for’s and recipes for these non-electric slow cookers.

Lamb Shanks in Rich Tomato Sauce

Boiling time on stove: 15 minutes

Cooking time in Dream-Pot: 5 hours

4 Lamb shanks (each cut into 3 or 4 pieces)
4 tbsp plain flower (season with salt and pepper)
4 tblsp oil
2 cloves garlic
2 onions
2 tsp curry powder
2 tblsp sugar
4 tblsp cornflour
salt and pepper
2@400g tins peeled tomatoes
2 tblsp tomato paste
1 tsp salt
1 pinch dried mixed herbs
2 cups hot water

1. Dust the shanks with seasoned flour
2. Brown the shanks in hot oil in a heavy based frying pan. set aside
3. Saute the garlic and onions in a little hot oil in the large inner pot. Ensure the heat is not too high so that the garlic does not burn. Stir continually
4. Mix the curry powder into the garlic and onion
5. qadd the tomatoes with liquid, tomato paste, salt , mixed herbs and hot water
6. Bring to boil, stirring continually
7. Add the lamb shanks.Stir,Cover with lid an dbring back to boil again , stirring intermittently
8. Adjust heat to maintain a continual gentle boil for 15 minutes, checking and still stirring occasionally
9.Transfer into Dream Pot
10. Prior to serving, thicken the liquid and adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. To do this, remove the lamb shanks. Place the inner pot back onto the heat and bring back to boil, stirring. Add the cornflour (mixed with a little water to make pourable paste). Continue to stir until thickened. Then add the sugar and extra salt and pepper to taste
11 Return the lamb shanks to the sauce , bring back to boil and serve

I am sure that some of the ingredients in the Cobb thread would add to what looks like a tasty recipe.

The beauty of the Dream Pot is that meals can be prepared well ahead and can be eaten several hours after the completed cooking time (5 hours for shanks).

Pot Roast

innerpot boiling time on stove 30 mincooking time in dream pot 2/hrs

1 1/2 kg piece rolled chuck roast


put meat piece into inner stainless steel pot

cover with hot water until the pot is 2/3 full

add seasoning and bring to the boil

when boiling.reduce heat and boil gently low heat for 30 min

transfer stainless steel pot to outer pot for 2 hours

thermo cooking time approx 30 min per 500 g plus another 30 min extra

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