Thermos RPC-4500/CC4500 4.5L Thermal Cooker

Product Name: THERMOS® 4.5L Thermal Cooker

Model #: RPC-4500/CC4500

The THERMOS® Thermal Cooker also known as the Shuttle Chef or cook and carry system, is a unique two piece cookware set that is enhanced by vacuum technology. THERMOS makes the Shuttle Chef line of thermal cookers and also has sold one of the models under the THERMOS Nissan brand in the USA. The Thermos Nissan CC4500 is identical to the Thermos RPC-4500 except that the color of the Nissan model had a black lid and bottom with stainless steel center.


  • TherMax® double wall vacuum insulation for maximum temperature retention and lightweight transport
  • Practically unbreakable stainless steel interior and exterior
  • Energy efficient clad stainless steel inner pot for cooking
  • Cool to the touch with hot foods
  • Non-slip, scratch-resistant base
  • Bail handle for easy portability
  • Excellent for catered events, potluck dinners and tailgate parties
  • Can be used anywhere and any time. Cook even while you are traveling, boating, camping, etc.
  • Capacity: 4.5L / 4.7 Quart (4-6 servings)

Model: RPC-4500/CC4500


Assemble all the ingredients in the inner pot, put it on the stove and bring to a boil. Then remove the inner pot from the stove and place it inside the outer pot which serves as a vacuum insulated container to keep the contents hot.  There is no need to plug in any power cord.  The food will continue its “thermal cooking process” using the retained heat.  After the required time (e.g. rice 30 min; chicken stock 2 hrs; beef brisket 3.5 hrs), just open the outer pot, and a nutritional and flavorful meal is hot and ready. The Thermal Cooker has excellent heat retention capacity; the food inside the pot can retain a temperature of about 160 degree Fahrenheit even after 6 hours.


Safe: It is not a pressure cooker, there are no power cords, no switches or electrical hazards to worry about.

Energy Saving: After the food has been boiled for a short time, the cooker needs no external energy while thermal cooking. Food stays warm automatically after it’s ready.

Convenience: The thermal cooking process requires no further supervision or monitoring. Food can be cooked while you are traveling. You can cook with the pot anywhere, anytime and it’s safe to use indoors or out.

Economical: Decreases fuel costs, economizes time and energy.

Healthy: Entraps flavor, minerals and vitamins; generate less odor, grease and smoke in the kitchen.

User friendly: Never over cooks and cleans up easily.

Durable: Unlike foam insulation used in other brands, Thermos’s vacuum insulated outer pot is a technology that foam insulation can’t begin to touch. Thermos produces the most effective insulated container and is engineered to last.

How does a Thermal Cooker work?

Thermal cooker is a patented product of Thermos®. It is an epoch-making cooking concept, consisting of an inner pot and outer vacuum insulated container. The inner pot is a three layers structure: two layers of stainless steel with a layer of carbon steel of high heat conductivity. It is able to conduct and absorb heat quickly. The outer container is vacuum insulated. It prevents heat loss and is able to keep warm and keep cool efficiently. The cooking process is easy and safe.

If you compare a thermal cooker vs a slow cooker you get the same functionality but without the power requirements. A thermal cooker is like a non-electric crock pot, you apply all the heat up front to the food while simmering on the stove and afterwards the recipe finishes cooking in it’s own heat.

Does a thermal cooker work? Absolutely! With two vacuum thermal cookers you could prepare your whole days meals in the morning. One would be ready to eat at lunch and the other still hot and ready to eat for dinner.


  • Unique two piece cookware enhanced by our vacuum technology.  It provides the ability to cook, excellent temperature and flavor retention, and allows for easy transport in one self contained unit.
  • Inner cook pot is made of high quality practically unbreakable NISSAN stainless steel.
  • Vacuum insulated steel outer pot effectively preserve food temperature
  • Each Thermal cooker comes with an exquisite cookbook.
  • Portable models like the RPC-4500/CC4500: feature a locking bail handle for secure and easy transport
  • Available in 4.5L (4.7 Quart) capacity
  • Thermos Thermal Cooker can be used as a:
    • Slow cooker
    • Portable oven
    • Rice Cooker
    • Bain-Marie (double broiler)
    • Cooler or Ice Bucket
  • 5 years limited warranty.


17 Responses to “Thermos RPC-4500/CC4500 4.5L Thermal Cooker”

  1. Jan Brown Says:

    can the inner pot be used over a campfire for the initial cooking phase, or must it be a conventional cooking source?

    Item sounds wonderful!!

  2. thermalcooker Says:

    The inner pot is made of a heavy gauge stainless steel with a clad bottom so it should likely handle a fire but it makes me cringe to think of doing such a thing. An open fire can be so caustic to most things and a cast iron pot or kettle would be much more appropriate and then you could pour it into the thermal cookers pot to finish cooking. If possible I’d use charcoal or at least separated coals from the fire to heat up the thermal cooker pot. Another option I’ve used that could qualify as being outside a conventional cooking source is a woodgas stove. The stove requires a couple AA batteries or small solar panel but it can burn wood chips and scraps, pine cones, charcoal and other small combustibles and creates a very good flame with very little smoke and soot. Propane, LP, natural gas, white gas, kerosene and alcohol would all be ideal and better than a campfire in terms of keeping the inner pot in tip top shape and I’ve even seen pictures of these inner pots being used on a parabolic solar oven with great success. But in a pinch or emergency it should hold up well, even used in a campfire if care is taken.

  3. Thermos-expert Says:

    This item is best used for carrying a pre-cooked item to a party or for tailigating before sporting event. Thermos has a bunch of food-tote items and their whole line can be seen here:

  4. Hilarie Burhans Says:

    I imagine this would be great for making yogurt, yes? Any guidelines?

  5. thermalcooker Says:

    Yogurt is very easy to make in a thermal cooker and in fact that was the initial reason I bought my first Thermos thermal cooker for.

    Yogourmet made what you might call a thermal cooker for making yogurt. It worked quite well, but because it was plastic and foam it didn’t last very long. As I was looking for a replacement for the yogourmet I came across the Thermos thermal cooker and could see right away that it would do the same thing that the plastic version did but had two big advantages. First, it would last a lifetime and second, I could use the innerpot for heating the milk and making the yogurt without having to pour the milk from a pot into the yogurt maker.

    To make a batch of yogurt (I usually started it in the evening just before bed) we take 4 quarts or a gallon of milk and add it to the thermal cooker’s innerpot and then add heat to it over a stove monitoring the temperature of the milk until it gets above 90 degrees. At that point I added a commercial dry yogurt culture to the milk and stirred it in until the milk temperature reached 110. At that point I turned off the heat. Put the lid on the innerpot and placed it into the thermal cooker and let it sit until morning.

    The next morning I would pull the innerpot out and place the new batch of perfectly done yogurt in the fridge to chill.

    For future batches, when the pot of yogurt was down to it last couple cups of yogurt, I would add another gallon of milk to yogurt remaining and bring it slowly up to 110 degrees and then just stick it back in the cooker until morning. etc. etc. After doing this a few times I would add another package of start to make sure the cultures stayed good.

  6. pogo Says:

    Thanks for the tip on using a thermal cooker of this design with fire. I.e., starting the food in cast iron on the fire or stove, transferring it to the cooker. That is just basic common sense…but I’ve been agonizing over a solution to the same problem, and of course completely overlooked the simple answer. (I’ve been engineering bimetallic pads, and so forth.)

    I have used the inner cookpot of my Zojirushi on the wood stove top, though I have set it on an old cast iron plate my grandfather used to mediate heat in various applications.


    • thermalcooker Says:

      Pogo, one thought comes to mind when contemplating further the idea of transferring food from one pot to another. Though the idea maybe simple it does have a caveat I didn’t fully consider. A thermal cooker relies on the retained heat stored in the food in order to cook the food once the pot is placed in the insulated container. I would guess that during a transfer of food from one pot to another some of that heat would be lost which depending on the food could lengthen the time needed to cook or possibly cause a failure to cook completely. A remedy may be to leave it on the fire longer than normal before the transfer or another solution would be to use a haybox or wonderbox which could hold the cast iron pot directly and avoid the mess and hassle of transferring food at all. The performance may not be as good as the vacuum insulated outer pot of the Zojirushi cooker but those alternate methods work none the less. You may also have a solution in using your grandfathers cast iron plate over the fire and setting the Zojirushi inner pot on top of it to cook.

      • pogo Says:

        Hello again!

        You are exactly correct I’d say. The heat absorbed by the inner pot would have to be an important component of the overall heat gain that then goes into the vacuum/outer pot. To transfer food from a woodstove-heated pot to a cold inner pot would indeed transfer heat out of the food, to heat that inner pot, and reduce cooking efficiency and safety.

        The cast iron trivet has been dandy. Doesn’t seem to be affecting the Zoji pot badly, but I hasten to note that we carefully build and monitor our wood fires. They are small, hot, and held between 350 and 450 at the stack, for maximum efficient use of the fuel.

        I and my business parter built a “haybox” (insulated with thick batts of fiberglas) some years ago. The problem? The batts squished down, and the moisture collected in the wood box. Definitely a problem in our humid climate. It is pretty…but very bulky. As for hay boxes per se that’s great if you have a lot of hay…but I’m not partial to the idea of spores/molds etc. coming into contact with my cookware/food. Our state plant is black mold, as it is.

        I included my real e-mail address this time; drop me a line if you’d like photos. The other thing I didn’t like about the haybox: the pot was cast iron, which imparted a metallic flavor to everything. I know that iron is supposedly good for us and all that, but at the point where you start pointing north in your sleep, you know you’re getting too much.

        I am delighted with the Zoji and sad that they are not more widely available. In advising a friend on the purchase of a thermal cooker I’m seriously considering buying another to put in the attic. This is the kind of technology that we should be pouring money and incentives into producing, and educating people about. Thank you for your thoughtful ongoing discussion on this topic.

  7. Michelle Says:

    Just thought I would post my comments that others might find useful.

    I know several owners of thermal cookers that are not happy wth the product. After talking with them, I feel it is because they purchased the incorrect size for their needs.

    I think this model is the ideal model for one or two people if the inserts available at are purchased with the cooker. The inserts make it very easy to meet the 80% full criteria.

    The bain marie insert enables the cooker to be used as:

    1.) 1.5 l cooker by cooking in the bain marie and filling the 4.5 l pot with boiling water.

    2) 2l to 3l cooker by cooking in the 4.5 l pot and filling the bain marie insert with boiling water.

    3.) 4.5 l cooker by usin the larger inner pot only.

    This makes the cooker much more versatile since the insert allows for the cooker to be adjusted to several different amounts while requiring the purchase of only one cooker. Of course, a main meal could be cooked in the 4.5 l pot and rice or another food cooked in the insert.

    Also, bread could be steamed in the 4.5 l pot while the insert cooks the meal at the same time.

    The steam insert would allow vegetables to be steamed above the main meal that is placed in the 4.5l inner pot.

    I think this set up is a better fit for one or two people than the 3&3 Shuttle Chef which I own. I often have leftovers even when cooking in only one of th 3l pots. This is acceptable as usually it is enough for my husband and myself for lunch the next day. I would not want any more leftovers than this, as we do not care to eat the same thing several days in a row.

    The 4.5 l with the inserts would eliminate most leftovers.

    I did order the pudding/cake tin from and am very pleased with this item. It has latches on the sides of the pan enableing the user to clasp the lid on. The D ring in the middle of the lid makes it easy to place the pan into the cooking pot and to remove the hot pan from the cooker without getting burned.

    I also, order the farmhouse bread tin for the times I want my breads to have a loaf shape. It is perfect for meatloaf for one or two people. It works well in my conventinal RV oven as well.

    I also own the 1.5l cooker. It is great for soups or stews. The quart Mason jar shape makes it impractical for many dishes, though.

    It is very portable and accomodates our day hikes and biking very well.

    I hope readers of this post will find this helpful in deciding which cooker is best suited for their needs.


    • Michelle Says:

      I have now owned the 4.5l Thermos for sometime. I find it to be best set up for our household of 1-2 people.

      The 3&3 system is terrific for four or more, but was too difficult to meet the 80% criteria for our small household.

      What makes it perform so well is the accessories from

      The inserts and latched and lidded loaf and cake tins really add to the versatility of the cooker.

      The inner pot and inserts also make great everyday pots for the stovetop, which is a big plus since the space constraints in our RV limits how much we carry.

      Being from the states, the cooker is too heavy to be shipped cost effectively from this site, but the accesssories are not. I have not been able to locate these accessories anywhere else.

      Another site that I have found offering some terrific recipes and instruction on thermal cooking is .
      The Flying Chef is using the Thernmos Shuttle Chef 4.5 L as his cooker of choice.


  8. Callie Says:

    I am looking for a used Thermos Thermal Cooker with all three inserts. As I am a retired teacher, every penny counts! Please email if you have one for sale. I only want a Thermos brand. Thanks…Adios from TEXAS! Pray, sleep and enjoy life!!!

  9. Frieda Jacobs Says:

    Where can I buy this product in Belgium?

    • thermalcooker Says: was one of the few sources of THERMOS thermal cookers in the UK but as I understand it they had to find a different cooker as THERMOS stopped importing them into Europe. I’m not sure where else to refer you to.

  10. Susan Says:

    May I know how to remove burnt stain at the bottom of the inner pot .

  11. Susan Says:

    Can I just buy the inner pot as a replacement

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