Fireless Cook Books! Use for Thermal Cooker Recipes

Thermal cookers are not new and were known as Fireless Cookers a 100 years ago here in the USA.  Many old recipe books from that era are available online for free or have been republished and can be bought in book form.

One interesting cook book was from Gone With the Wind author Margaret Michell who before becoming famous wrote a great book on fireless cooking.

Below are links to the online versions and reprinted versions of a number of cook book/recipe books on fireless cooking which can be used directly in a modern thermal cooker.  Some of the old recipe books reference a “radiator” which was often a soap stone or cement disk that was heated up on a stove and then placed in the insulated box under the pot that held the food.  The stone radiated heat and helped keep the temperatures up inside the cookers and even allowed for some baking to be done inside the fireless cook box.

The Fireless Cook Book by Gone With the Wind Author Margaret Mitchell
http://openlibrary.org/books/OL24359…less_cook_book
Reprint of this book for sale at Amazon

The Duplex cook book, containing full instructions for cooking with the Duplex fireless stove
http://openlibrary.org/works/OL78905…plex_cook_book

Reprint of this book for sale at Amazon

Meals That Cook Themselves And Cut The Costs
http://openlibrary.org/works/OL75412…_cut_the_costs
Reprint of this book for sale at Amazon

Book of Caloric Recipes
http://openlibrary.org/works/OL23760…_stove_recipes
Reprint of this book for sale at Amazon

The Fireless Cooker, How to make it, How to use it, What to cook
http://openlibrary.org/books/OL6953828M/High_living
Reprint of this book for sale at Amazon

Fireless Cooker Recipes
http://openlibrary.org/works/OL13849…cooker_recipes
Reprint of this book for sale at Amazon

The Fireless Cooker
http://openlibrary.org/works/OL78867…ireless_cooker
Reprint of this book for sale at Amazon

Superior fireless cookery
http://openlibrary.org/works/OL13842…reless_cookery
Reprint of this book for sale at Amazon

Thermatic Fireless Cooker Recipes – A treatise on the management of the Thermatic fireless cooker, together with over 250 carefully selected recipes.
http://openlibrary.org/works/OL13840…lected_recipes
Reprint of this book for sale at Amazon

The Winston cook book, planned for a family of four
http://openlibrary.org/books/OL24160…family_of_four
Reprint of this book for sale at Amazon

Simple Cooking of Wholesome Food for the Farm Home
http://openlibrary.org/works/OL78973…_the_farm_home
Reprint of this book for sale at Amazon

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.

Features:

  • 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

Usage:

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.

Merits:

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.

Advantages:

  • 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.

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No Knead & No Oven Bread – cooked in a thermal cooker.

Dave Knowles  has posted a great No Knead bread recipe for the thermal cooker on his thethermalcook blog. You should take a look!

No Knead & No Oven Bread – cooked in a thermal cooker.


This recipe is adapted from the now famous no knead bread recipe developed by Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery, Manhattan.

It was first published in the New York Times in November 2006 and has become one of the most talked about recipe on the Internet.

THE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1½ cups of bread flour.
  • 1 to 1½ tsp of salt (depending on your taste).
  • ⅛ tsp of instant dried yeast.
  • 1 cup of tepid water.

You also will need a tin to bake the bread in that will fit into the inner pot of the thermal cooker. A round cake tin will do fine. This tin needs to be greased.

THE METHOD:

  1. Mix all the dried ingredients together in a bowl before mixing in the water. You don’t need to beat.
  2. Cover the bowl with cling film. Leave it in a warm place for around 12 hours.
  3. Sprinkle a good layer of flour onto a piece of parchment paper and flour your hands well before scooping the dough out of the bowl and putting it onto the parchment paper.
  4. Spread the dough out a bit and simply fold the dough sides over each other. Then fold the bottom to the top.
  5. Turn the dough over and shape it gently so it fits in the tin before placing it on a trivet in the inner pot and putting the lid on.
  6. Put the inner pot into the outer pot. Shut the lid and leave for 2 hours to rise again.
  7. After two hours remove the inner pot.
  8. Remove the tin from the inner pot and make sure it has risen before covering it with either recycled aluminium foil (Eco care or similar) or baking parchment paper. Remember to make a handle to lift it out once cooked.
  9. Put it back into the inner pot and fill with hot water to come ¾ up the side of the pan before putting on a heat source and bringing it to the boil.
  10. Once boiling turn down to a simmer for 20 minutes.
    Put the lid on the inner pot and put the pot into the outer pot for 2 hours.
  11. When cooked remove and turn out onto a rack to cool.

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GREEN CHILI IN A THERMAL POT

Thermosrecipe: A super bowl recipe for your thermal cooker-
http://ping.fm/YZVa5

GREEN CHILI IN A THERMAL POT

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Written by kmcgra
Monday, 22 September 2008

Step into any Mexican Restaurant in the the Southwestern United States and you will find Green Chili on the menu.  My favorite are green chili burritos, and I decided to make these to chow down during the superbowl.  It was a great game, and my wife and I had great food.

We got ourselves a “thermal pot” shortly before Christmas, and I wanted to give a go at making green chili in the thermal pot. The cooking process for green chile calls for a long simmer to allow the meat to break down and become tender. Once it is tender then you can shred it with a pair of forks.

What better way to do tenderize the meat than in the thermal pot. Temperatures are kept just below boiling point for long periods of time during the cooking process.

The one thing I was concerned about was that the chili would come out with too much liquid. The pot seals tightly, and does not allow steam to escape. Thus, there is no chance for the liquid to boil down.  I like my chili to be a little on thick side. This concern turned out to be a valid one, but there is a simple work around. The overall cooking time in a thermal pot was a little longer, but I did use less energy than using the stove.

First, cut about about 3 pounds of pork into 1 or two inch cubes. I used a pork loin roast, with some of the fat trimmed off.  Place the meat in the inner pot, Pour in equal parts of chicken broth, water, and your favorite beer.  Yes, beer.  Put in just enough liquid to cover the meat.

Cubed pork in beer and spices

Cubed pork in beer and spices

A variet of spices were used in this batch of green chili

A variety of spices were used in this batch of green chili


I am serious about spices, and I use a wide variety in my chili.  I drop a little bit of each of the following:

A Bay leaf
Celery salt
A dash of powdered chicken bullion
Black pepper
Red pepper
Coriander
Garlic
Basil
Chili powder
Paprika
Cumin
Basil

Other ingredients you will need:
A can or bottle of your favorite beer
6 or 7 or 8 – 4oz. cans of green Chile peppers. 
Chopped cilantro
Chicken broth
water

Also, if you can get your hands on Mexican oregano, use that as well. Mix all the spices with the meat, water, broth, and beer, yes beer, together well. Put in whatever else you may like. Place the inner pot on the stove and and bring to a boil. I let it boil for a few minutes. Then I placed the inner pot into the thermal pot and sealed it.  I let it sit for 3 hours in the thermal pot. Do not open it to check! Just let it go. The thermal pot is extremely well insulated and will retain a nearly stationary temperature for that time period with no use of electricity.

Still steaming after three hours in the thermal pot

Still steaming after three hours in the thermal pot


After three hours I opened the pot, and I was greeted with a steaming hot pot. It was as if I had never taken it off the stove.  Now, remove the meat from the liquid and place it into a large bowl.  Place the inner pot on the stove and start to boil some of the liquid off.  This is how I dealt with the excess liquid.  Grab two big forks and shred the meat in the bowl.  With a three hour cook time at around 200 degrees, the meat will be very tender and pulling it apart should be easy.

Add the shredded meat back to the liquid, along with 6 or 7 cans of green Chile peppers.  If you like more, than add more. Let everything cook down for about another hour. Add a little cilantro near the end.

If you think the sauce still has too much liquid then add a little cornstarch to a cool cup of water, and mix it into the chili while it is boiling. That will help it thicken. 

Serve the green chili on a warm tortilla with a little lettuce, tomato, cheese, and whatever else you like.

Cooking Rice in your thermal cooker « Thethermalcook’s Blog

Cooking Rice in your thermal cooker « Thethermalcook’s Blog.

Cooking Rice in your thermal cooker

Rice fields in Indonesia

Probably like you, many of the meals I cook, involve serving them with rice. If you own a thermal cooker there are two way to deal with this.
If your thermal cooker has only one inner pot (some thermal cooker have two) I can either put a trivet in the bottom (its legs in the food) and put something like my cake tin containing part boiled rice on the trivet or cook your rice about 30 minutes before I want to eat in a separate saucepan. If you on the other hand have a Mr D’s top pot you can follow the recipe and then put the top pot in the inner pot before placing the inner pot into the outer container.
In the past I have tried many methods of cooking rice. These include Jamie Oliver’s rice cooking method from his book “Ministry of Food” and Madhur Jaffrey’s methods from her book “Illustrated Indian Cookery”. All of these work but take far more time than my method and do not seem to be any better.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of rice per person. I always use Basmati rice except for when I am cooking Thai food. With Thai I prefer Jasmine rice.
  • 1 cup of water for each 1/2 cup of rice.
  • Salt to taste.

Method:

  1. Add the water to a saucepan.
  2. Add salt tasting the water until you can taste the salt. Vary the amount to your taste but remember if you can’t taste the salt in the water your rice will tend to be bland.
  3. Bring the water to the boil.
  4. Pour the rice into the boiling water and bring it back to the boil.
  5. Boil it gently (a rolling boil) for 5 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat and put a lid on the pan.
  7. Leave for about 30 minutes and you then will have perfectly cooked rice.
  8. Before serving fluff up with a fork.

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Soaking beans with baking soda water – Nutrition

Soaking beans with baking soda water – Nutrition.

I’ve read that lye water made via wood ash is used very beneficially with corn in Mexico and South America and it increases the nutritional value of the corn quite effectively. I’ve also read that some healthier villages will use lye water to soak their beans in to do much of the same thing.

However, I’ve read in places too that using alkali water (baking soda) for soaking beans and such can also cause problems with destroying some vitamins which would be bad, but… it also destroys the phytates and tannins in beans and seeds that prevent the assimilation of vitamins, minerals and proteins which is very good.

One study (http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/abstract/26/3/227) mentions the use of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in cooking peas and found there was no difference in the vitamin content when using it, though the peas cooked faster.

The study is a little old but it goes to some of the conflicting information I’ve found on the pros or cons of using alkali water for soaking.

From what I can gather, even though the levels of thiamine are reduced from the use of alkali water, the benefits from soaking of reduced toxins such as phytates, tannins and other anti nutrients which reside in the shell or hull of the bean significantly out weigh the loss of a B vitamin and may actually help the body absorb and use the vitamins and minerals in the beans, lentils and peas that would normally be blocked if soaking in an alkali water wasn’t performed.

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Shuttle Chef follows Aunt’s advice and keeps cooking on the move moist – Information Articles Go See Australia Directory

Shuttle Chef follows Aunt’s advice and keeps cooking on the move moist – Information Articles Go See Australia Directory.

Shuttle Chef follows Aunt’s advice and keeps cooking on the move moist

Corned beef with vegetables
Corned beef with vegetables

By Garth Morrison Editor GoSeeAustralia and New Zealand

The Shuttle Chef Thermal Cooker we have been living with for the last month brings back savory, succulent, wholesome memories of my Aunt Jean Anderson’s cooking. I loved my aunt but as boys are always hungry I admit her cooking played a strong part in that.

She was a country woman who had been an Army nurse. I discovered that when I found her pictured with her fellow sisters in the Second World War publication Soldiering On. It’s a famous picture, it can be seen at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. To me it’s something like the wonderful insightful study, Lancaster Crew, done in April-May 1944 by Australian artist Stella Brown.

It is all in the crews’ eye, sadness, courage, their youth and fragility shows. Six Australians and one Englishman flying with 460 Squadron into Friedrichshafen at night on April 27 1944, of the crew only one Flying Officer T.J.Lynch survived when they were shot down near Lahr.

Simple stew Shuttle Chef style
Simple stew Shuttle Chef style

The war shaped everything then. My Uncle Gil survived too in the difficult circumstances of the Western Desert and married his Jean Morrison when battered but unbowed he got back home.

He had been a mountain cattleman and loved the land so he put up for soldier settlement near Derrinallum in Victoria’s Western District (a far cry from the desert) and got 2000 acres – with water.

He shone like the sun when he came home to tell Aunt Jean of his good fortune.

They lived in the woolshed on Morriander at first until the house was built and Aunt Jean, with no apparent effort, fed family (four girls) and any who came hungry, which included me, on school holiday visits to the farm.

One day while cooking a mighty roast with all the trimmings my aunt did something rare in a time when men were fed and women cooked. She talked to me about cooking well. To the huge farmhouse wood-fired slow combustion stove we went.

Boiled fruit cake
Boiled fruit cake

She opened the big oven door and rich, rounded, roast aromas from uncle’s quality cut (he killed his own meat) grabbed my senses and flooded my taste buds. Then Aunt Jean gave me the key to good cooking.

I can hear her now – “add water”, she said. “You must cook slowly and keep the cooking moist to get the best flavour and keep the goodness”.

Which is just what the twin containers of the Thermos Shuttle Chef slow cooker achieves. Thermos was a name we knew when aunt was alive but hot and cold tea, drinks and soup went into the Thermos then.

It is called Evacuated insultation technology and it became a household name around the world after it was invented by Thermos more than 100 years ago.

Now we have worked through part of the Shuttle Chef recipe book. Rice, brown or white takes on a rich fluffy finish which would do credit to any Chinese chef. It stays hot too. It can be varied in flavour with vegetables, chopped onion and grated carrot.

Tasty Spicy Baked beans
Tasty Spicy Baked beans

Stews start simple and quickly become a statisfying variation of the basic theme. Pasta in all its varieties is prepared so quickly it is better to have your sauces ready first.

The roasts will never match Aunt Jean’s. Nothing could.  But they certainly compete with honour.

And I have to say with a great deal less attention to detail. Fish, curries, chicken, pork, cakes and desserts are all within the Shuttle Chef’s cooking range.

The Shuttle Chef has two containers. One is an inner clad stainless steel pot. It is for direct heating.

The outer insulated container shuts in the heat for hours and continues the cooking process. The inner pots design allows it to heat throughout its surfaces.

Cooking a meal is a matter of heating it on a stove in the inner pot for the period laid down in the recipe book. Put the 4.5 litre (CC4500S version tested) inner  pot  inside the vacuum insulated outer container. Close the lid. Take it with you and serve a hot meal up to eight hours later.

The inner and outer pots clean  easily
The inner and outer pots clean easily

The actual length of cooking depends on the recipe and the quantity and moisture of the ingredients in the inner pot.

Meat cooks beautifully. Less expensive cuts definitely benefit from the cooker. Vegetables keep their shape.

As aunt said “keep it moist”. Meals retain their goodness. Food can’t be overcooked. There is a real energy saving as the meal is prepared in minutes and cooks (free) for hours.

The quality of the inner pot allows easy cleaning and it can be put through a dishwasher when you have a full load to save on water. Or cleaned on campsite with a soft sponge and hot water.

The outside of the Shuttle Chef remains cool to the touch.

We used it at home and in the company Retro Sahara 4WD held firmly upright by an elastic safety net. It makes an excellent companion for our reliable WAECO fridge.

Shuttle Chef cooks up a stew
Shuttle Chef cooks up a stew

In the Shuttle Chef Thermos has come up with an airless vacuum space between to stainless steel walls.

The result is a heat loss of only 3-4deg C an hour.

It is the hottest or the coldest for hours.

There are four versions of the product ranging from 4.5 litres to 6 litres  with a choice of inner pot combinations.

The Shuttle Chef comes with a five year warranty. The (CC4500S version tested)  retails for $249, (AUS) the bigger version with 2 inner pots  is $359.  The Shuttle Chef can be delivered anywhere in Australia freight free via this website. http://www.thermalcookware.com

Shipment of Shuttle Chef to New Zealand can be arranged through the same website.

Allan Rush  of Thermal Cookware can offer a $NZ28 freight cost for New Zealanders wanting delivery.
He says Thermal Cookware will be exhibiting at the Snow and Outdoor Traders Association Show in Canberra this month this is for both Australian and New Zealand retail outlets.
All Shuttle Chef prices are quoted in Australian dollars and when people purchase over the web it should charge their credit card in Aussie Dollars.
The currency conversion has the CC 4500 S as $281.00 New Zealand Dollars (it is normally $249.00 Australian Dollars)

Here are some recipes from Thermos:

Thermos Corned Silverside.

1 ½ to 2 kilogram piece of Corned Beef (choose a square cut piece to fit easily)

2 Bay leaves

1 large Onion

3 strips of Orange peel

4 Cloves

2 tablespoons of Brown Sugar

1 cup of Balsamic Vinegar

1 tablespoon of Mustard

½ a tablespoon of Peppercorns

Water to cover.

Simmering time on the stove top: 30 minutes

Thermal Cooking time: 3 to 4 hours minimum.

Place all the ingredients into the inner pot.

Bring the contents to the boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer.

Simmer gently for 30 minutes with the lid on.

Turn off the heat and transfer the inner pot to the outer Thermal Container.

Leave to complete the cooking for 3 to 4 hours minimum.

You can add the required vegetables whole with the corned beef while

it is being simmered or else you may wish to freshly cook vegetables to serve with the corned beef when you are ready to eat.

Thermos Spicy Baked Beans

Serves up to 10 people

1 teaspoon of Olive Oil

2 ½ cups of chopped Onions

2 Garlic cloves, crushed

2 tablespoons of freshly grated Ginger

2 cups of Carrots, finely chopped

2 cups of finely chopped Apples

1 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper

¾ of a cup of Tomato paste

½ a cup of Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce

½ a cup of Molasses (optional as this does sweeten the meal

considerably)

2 Tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar

1 cup of Tomato sauce

1 cup of Raisins

1 teaspoon of minced Chilli

1 Bay leaf

375g packet of Red Kidney Beans.

Simmering time on the stove top: 10 minutes plus 5 minutes

Thermal Cooking time: 2 hours plus 4 hours minimum.

Prepare the Kidney Beans.

Soak the Kidney Beans overnight.

Cover them with fresh water and bring them to the boil in the inner pot.

Simmer them for 10 minutes.

Then place them in the outer Thermal Container for 2 hours.

Prepare the whole meal.

Remove the Kidney Beans and rinse out the pot.

Add the oil to the inner pot over medium-high heat and fry the onions for 3 minutes.

Add the chopped garlic, ginger and cayenne, and then cool for just 30 seconds, stirring to release the volatile oils.

Stir in the carrots and apples until they are well coated with the spices.

Add the rest of the ingredients, stirring thoroughly and then bring the mixture to a full boil.

Simmer for 5 minutes.

Place the inner pot into the outer Thermal container and allow to cook for a minimum of 4 hours.

Variations.

You can add 1 kilogram of tasty chunky sausages cut into slices, such as Bratwurst, African Boerwurst or even Chorizo’s when you are adding the kidney beans.

Boiled Fruit Cake.

375 grams of mixed Dried Fruit

¾ of a cup of Brown Sugar

1 teaspoon of Mixed Spice

Grated rind of an Orange

½ a cup of Water or Orange Juice

¼ of a cup of Whiskey

125 grams of Butter

2 lightly beaten Eggs

1 cup of self raising Flour

1 cup of plain Flour

½ a teaspoon of Bicarb Soda

Optional…..Replace the water, liquor and sugar with a 450 gram tin of unsweetened crushed pineapple.

Simmering time on the stove top: 30 minutes

Thermal cooking time: 3 to 4 hours minimum.

Place the dried fruit into a saucepan with the brown sugar, mixed spice, orange rind, water liquor and butter.

Bring the mixture to the boil and then simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.

Allow the mixture to cool.

Mix in the eggs.

Stir in the sifted flour and soda bicarb.

Line a 16cm round cake tin or Pyrex dish with baking paper (or grease the container with butter and put baking paper on the bottom)

Spoon the mixture into the container.

Lay another circle of baking paper on the top of the mixture and then cover this with a layer of Alfoil to prevent condensation.

Place a trivet or metal pastry ring in the inner pot and rest the cake tin on this (with the 3 litre pot you can rest the tin on a fold of

Alfoil)

Pour enough hot water into the inner pot to come halfway up the sides of the cake tin.

Bring the water to the boil, with the lid on and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Place the inner pot into the outer Thermal container for 3 to 4 hours minimum.

Cakes

Many cakes, particularly moist cake mixtures that cook slowly at lower temperatures, such as fruit cake or carrot cake can be made in the Shuttle Chef.

Choose a tin or Pyrex dish that fits your Shuttle Chef.

The following recipes suit a 16cm diameter round tin. Usually less liquid is required than in a normal recipe as the cake doesn’t dry out as it does in an oven.

Remember that there is no problem with leaving your cake in the Shuttle Chef for quite a few hours as it will not dry out….you can even make the cake last thing at night before going to bed and take it out first thing in the morning.

Other handy hints for making cakes and puddings

To cover cakes and steamed puddings, place a round of baking paper on top of mixture. Make a pleat about 2 cm wide in the middle of a sheet of alfoil to allow the cake to rise. Cover the tin with the foil, allowing it to overlap the rim by 2.5 cm crimping it down around the edges to hold it in place.

When cooking cakes in the 3 litre inner pot, unless you have a shallow cake tin, there is not usually enough height to sit the tin on a

trivet or pastry ring. A square of alfoil (approx 30cm x 30cm) folded in half then half again and sat in the bottom of the inner pot works

equally as well. As there is less water surrounding the cake tin in the 3 litre pot, it is necessary to have the other 3 litre pot filled

with boiling water or a liquid based meal to achieve maximum heat retention.

Measure the amount of water needed to come halfway up the sides of the cake tin before placing the mixture into the tin. It is too difficult to pour water down the narrow gap after.

Make a strap to lift the tin in and out of the boiling water, by folding a sheet of alfoil approx 45cm long in half, 3 times lengthwise. (45x3cm)

To test if cake is cooled, insert a skewer into the centre of the cake. Leave for a few seconds, then remove, it should come away clean.

If any mixture sticks to the skewer, recover and place back into inner pot. Bring pot back to the boil, then return to outer pot for 30 minutes more. Times given are minimum and cakes can be left for longer without drying out or overcooking.
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Thermos Cooker Yogurt « Life In Mexico

Thermos Cooker Yogurt « Life In Mexico.

When we visited Toronto this past April, my boys gobbled up yogurt that my mother-in-law made. I saw what she did and it looked easy enough. The only problem was that she used her gas oven as the incubator and my oven in Mexico doesn’t have a pilot light. I also didn’t want to buy a yogurt machine, okay I kind of wanted to but I had already bought this and I was on a kitchen toy diet. So upon returning home, I googled homemade yogurt and found that you can make yogurt in a wide mouth thermos.

I had a wide mouth thermos that came with the cooler that I bought about eight years ago. I was so excited until I couldn’t for the life of me find where we had stashed the darn thing. This reminded me of my barbeque adventure. Anyways, I was looking around my kitchen when my eyes settled on my Tiger Magic Thermal Cooker. My eyes lit up and I knew I was going to make yogurt, yeah!

The thermal cooker is made up of two parts, an outer insulated pot and a removable covered inner pot.

I then went in search of an easy recipe that would yield a thick yogurt. Well, of course I would find it courtesy of Alton Brown. Its simple and the yogurt came out perfect.

Alton Brown’s Yogurt Recipe

1 quart milk (this is approximately 1 litre)
1/2 cup powdered milk
1-2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup plain yogurt

Pour milk into a saucepan, add powdered milk and honey, stir to dissolve. Place pot over medium heat and heat to 120 F*. Remove from heat. Pour into a plastic container reserving 1/2 cup of milk in the pot. Mix 1/2 cup of the plain yogurt into the reserved milk then pour into the plastic container with the other milk and stir to blend. Put the container inside the removable pot of the thermal cooker and put a couple of clean kitchen towels in the gap between the plastic container and the pot.

Meanwhile, bring about 2 cups of water to just before the boiling point, the water will start to steam but has not yet begin to boil. Turn off heat and let cool slightly. Pour 1 cup into the insulated pot. Put the removable pot into the thermal cooker and carefully pour in the remaining hot water onto the towels in the gap. Cover and close the thermal cooker. Let you yogurt sit undisturbed anywhere from 4 – 11 hours – depending on how tart you like your yogurt. Refrigerate overnight before eating.

I make this yogurt weekly and the whole process (not counting fermentation) takes me less than 10 minutes. Also, you can save 1/2 cup of your homemade yogurt to start the next batch.

* If you don’t have an instant read thermometer or like me and just can’t be bothered to use one, here is how I gauge the milk’s temperature. When the milk at the side of the pot starts to form little bubbles, I know my milk is at the right temperature. I use a gas stove so this may not work on an electric range. I’ve found this suggestion on the web, carefully place your baby finger into the milk and if you can hold it there for a count of 10, its ready. I don’t know about you, but I would be afraid to stick my baby finger into the pot. I’ll just stick to gauging by bubbles, thank you very much.

Food Storage, Not Just For Storing: WONDER BOX COOKER . . . Just In Time For Summer!

Food Storage, Not Just For Storing: WONDER BOX COOKER . . . Just In Time For Summer!.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

WONDER BOX COOKER . . . Just In Time For Summer!

For the step by step pictures click HERE .

I was just talking to my sister-in-law and she told me about this little wonder. Have you heard about them? They would be great in an emergency, but how about now with the summer weather hitting with a vengeance?!? It would be a great propane saver too if you do a lot of cooking out side or while camping. Check it out!



Wonder Boxes work like vacuum flasks. In these days when we are being warned of worldwide shortages of food and fuel, this wonder box and it’s simplicity is designed to keep food at the temperature needed for cooking. Using very little fuel you only use about 15 minutes of energy to bring the food to the required temperature and then put it into the Wonder box. It makes it as though it were a thermos. On the flip side it will also keep ice-cream cold for about 4 hours.

Brief Cooking Instructions:

Boil your food on the stove for 10 – 15 minutes until the food is heated right through. (In practice this is too long.)

Use any cooking pot, provided it does not have a long handle, but do not use a large pot for a small amount of food. The W’box does not work well if there is a large air space. Remember that the more food or liquid that you have in the pot, the longer and better it will cook.

Put the lid on the pot before you remove the pot from the stove so the lid can also get hot. Make sure the nest in the bottom cushion is ready to take the pot and that it is nearby so you do not lose heat carrying the pot around. Place pot into the nest of the W’box, making sure that the sides are snug against the pot, so there are no air pockets. Quickly cover the pot with the top cushion, making sure there are no gaps or air pockets. Make sure that no one peeks inside. If this happens, heat will escape, and the food will not cook properly.

Do not leave the W’box on a metal surface while it is being used. Metal is a good conductor of heat and may draw off some heat through the bottom.

When cooking anything like a roast or a whole chicken, the liquid around it can boil before the meat has reached the same temperature. Make sure the liquid covers the meat and it has come to a boil. Meat must be covered with liquid! The cooking time seems to be 3-4 hours, or all day. It is sure to never burn.

Note: We had a chicken that was put in at 9:30 in the morning before church. This single dad prepared the chicken by placing it into an oven-cooking bag. He added spices to the chicken closed the bag completely (no added moisture was added to the bag) then brought the pot of water with the chicken in, to a boil and put it all in to the W’box. We ate with him at 4:00pm and as he tried to carve the chicken that was well cooked; the steam was ‘rolling’ off the chicken. It was still so hot he worked with forks to carve it. Nb: the opening to the bag was left protruding from under the lid.

The W’box was designed for cooking meals, but it can also be used for keeping food hot, cold or frozen for 3-6 hours depending on what it is For example, frozen meat will stay frozen longer than a tub of ice cream.

The cushions filled with polystyrene can be washed with hot water and soap and hung on the line to dry.

WONDER BOX Sewing Instructions

Click here for a Pattern

Material: 3 Meters (yards are 3″ shorter than a meter) soft cotton or broadcloth so it will conform to the shape of the pot.

(½ can be coordinated …. two colors)

19 scantly filled 1-gallon ice cream pails of Polystyrene beads (it is an insulation that looks like the tiny separate Styrofoam bits that make up the protective packing in electronics, etc.)

“Polystyrene is about the best insulating material and it is also easily washed. If you are only able to get the solid pieces which are used for packing radios etc., you can break it up by grating it.”
the booklet also says “make cushions out of large plastic bags, mutton cloth or other washable material and fill loosely with any of the following:
Polystyrene, Dried corn husks, Woolen materials, Feathers, Waste nylon materials, Flakes of newspaper, sawdust and wood shavings, Hay or other dry grasses “In Canada we have a gray ‘blow in insulation’ in our attic, it would be impossible to wash without opening the wonder box but it may be added to this list as well.

Sewing instructions:

When you sew the wonder box together you sew 2 of the 4 pieces together along the longest sides. You open each of the pairs now and place them right sides together and sew those 2 together all the way around the outside, making an awkward shaped cushion affair. Don’t forget the opening to fill through. You then repeat with the 4 bottom pieces. One pair together, sew along the longest side, then the other pair. Open them up and place them right sides together, remembering to leave openings to fill through. I am adding a loop at this point to hang this by when not in use, or dry after washing.

The narrow part of the bottom pattern is the piece you will tuck into the bigger part of the bottom to make the pouch/nest for the pot to sit into.

Hoping not to confuse the issue. If you start where the bottom pattern says 90 (degrees for the angle) and sew down the right side of the pattern and stop just after the second 11 ½ ” mark, before the pattern starts back up. That will be one of the two pairs. Do the same with the other two, put right sides together again and sew it all the way around the outside edge now, into the box or ball shape. The same goes for the top cushion, start at the 100, sew down the right and stop just after the 11″ mark. The rights sides together and sew again making the shape of the top cushion.

It will not lie flat. It will take the shape of a square cushion when it is filled with the polystyrene beads, and the bottom cushion has a cavity like a nest or pouch.

Top: Fill a little less than ½ full while the bag is hanging. Approximately 7 scantly filled 1-gallon ice cream pails.

A paper funnel works best, as the beads are very static prone. You may want to use an ice cream pail to pour from. Work with two people to fill-one to hold the funnel in and the other to pour. Spread a sheet on floor to catch beads.

Bottom: Cut 4 Fill approximately ½ full with polystyrene beads. Approximately 12 scantly filled 1-gallon ice cream pails

Once this bag is filled, tuck the small end into the center to form the pouch/nest for the pot. Find a good pot that works well in this pouch. No long handles please.

When the pan sits inside the pouch/nest of the bottom, the pan is surrounded on all sides except the top. So… that is where the top/lid comes in. It is very important to keep all of the heat inside this wonder box cooker. One of the pages and the recipes explain that the lid/top of the wonder box must go on immediately with no places for the heat to escape or it will all be for nothing.

Wonder Box Recipes

Yogurt by the Gallon

4 cups dry skim milk powder

4 quarts warm water

Mix well, heat to scald, cool to luke warm

Add

1 cup of starter (plain commercial yogurt) or product saved from this finished recipe may be used to start a new batch. Refresh monthly with commercial starter.

Mix well, put into a gallon glass jar with a lid and place into the Wonder box.

Leave undisturbed for 12-14 hours. It will thicken more after refrigeration.

May be used plain or add your favorite fruits to flavour.

For those that can afford the calories, if the yogurt doesn’t set to your liking, add instant

Vanilla pudding. (substituting yogurt for milk)

Can be reduced for smaller batches.

Porridge

2 cups quick oats

4 cups boiling water

salt to taste

Stir oats into boiling water, put lid on and place quickly between cushions of the W’box for 15 minutes or more. Stir before serving

Rice

2 cups rice

Put into

3 ½ – 4 cups of salted boiling water. NB. Because the water does not evaporate you may need less water than usual.

Place quickly into W’box, and leave for 40 minutes or longer until ready to eat.

Vegetables

Potatoes or root vegetables may be cooked in their skins. Bring them to a boil in a pot full of water and place quickly between cushions of the W’box for about twice as long as you would normally cook them. They may be left all day without overcooking and can be more easily peeled after cooking

Try waterless cooking by using the crisp kind of bags used for cooking roasts, etc. Submerge the bag into the water and bring to a boil. The bag should be left with opening protruding out from under the lid. Place quickly into W’box.

Chicken and other joints of Meat

Place chicken into an Oven cooking bag with desired spices, and close bag

Bring pot of water with chicken in it, to a good boil.

Quickly place into the W’box and place top cushion on.

Leave alone for at least 3-4 hours.

The chicken was put in at 9:30 in the morning before church. This single dad prepared the chicken by placing it into an oven-cooking bag. He added spices to the chicken closed the bag completely (no added moisture was added to the bag) then brought the pot of water with the chicken in, to a boil and put it all in to the W’box. We ate with him at 4:00pm. It was impressive.

Try soups, stews, what ever you can bring to a boil and then give it a try. The worst that would happen is the first time, you may have to bring things back to a boil and replace into the W’box for a second cooking time.

I was given other recipes from a group who called this “The Clever Cooker” but they looked just like any other kind of simmered recipe and the consistent instruction was leave for 3-4 hours,

Never replace a pot of half eaten or luke warm food in the W’box It should be boiled up again to prevent it going bad.

Food Storage, Not Just For Storing: THE WONDER BOX, STEP-BY-STEP PICTURES

Food Storage, Not Just For Storing: THE WONDER BOX, STEP-BY-STEP PICTURES.

THE WONDER BOX, STEP-BY-STEP PICTURES

Well, I finally got around to making the wonder box. When I sat down and really read the directions, they weren’t vague, I was just tired and dense. They are great and I have just added some pictures. I also had to think dimensional and not flat to get it. I suddenly remembered making stuffed toys, many years ago, and realized why I wasn’t getting it.
June 7– I have put a pork roast with mushrooms, potatoes and carrots in the wonder box. Tonight’s post will have the pictures of the process and the results . . . sure hope I don’t embarrass myself putting this one on!
1. This takes about 3 yards of fabric or one old sheet that was on the top, so it has lots of wear left in it. Thanks Bri! 2. Lay it out so that you can cut 4 of each piece. 3. Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses . . . OK, maybe just to share the table for the most important things in life. “Fun” with the little ones who are growing up way too fast.

1. I blew up the pictures to try to show the broken lines I put in on the stitching line . . . to make sure that I did it in the right places. I had a four year old “helping” me. I can get sidetracked pretty easily without help . . . and this morning was a k’nex morning besides! Remember that you just need to leave an opening for filling. I almost started filling without closing the second one. That would have been lot of fun!


1. Sew the two long sides starting at the 90 degree mark to the opposite end. I used dark thread so that you can see the stitching. I also used a stretch stitch in case it is pulled. It makes three rows of stitching that have some give and may avoid escaping beans later. They make a horrible mess. At least the bean bag I had in the 70’s and 80’s did! 2. Find the right sides, put them together and stitch all around. 3. Here is the whole thing sewn together. Turn it right side out and it is ready to fill!

1. I lucked out and had a big funnel from a strainer that I use to make apple sauce, tomato sauce and stuff like that. I taped it on to make it easier to fill the bag myself. 2. It worked really well. 3. Sew the opening up with just regular large stitches, in case the amount of styrofoam beans needs to be adjusted.

1. This a six quart pressure cooker that is 10″ in diameter & 6 ” deep. 2. 8 inches wide and 4 deep inches . I was pleased to find that the bottom was versatile. 3. I’m not sure how they got the whole thing to look so symmetrical in the internet article, but I suppose that it would cook just the same looking like it was from a Dr. Seuss book 🙂

Most Efficient Cooker Ever | Green Edmonton

Most Efficient Cooker Ever | Green Edmonton.

Most Efficient Cooker Ever

This is a thermally insulated pressure cooker. We’re not going to buy our way out of the environmental crisis, but certain purchases can make a big difference if they reduce our consumption of fossil fuels.

Pressure and Insulation for Efficiency

Pressure cooking is a super-efficient way to cook. A pressure cooker “can drop the consumption [of energy] by … 68 percent … compared to a flat-bottomed pot” (Stoyke, 2007, p. 80). It’s so efficient because when it’s under pressure, water can boil at a much higher temperature (about 120 degree Celcius), which makes the food cook faster.

Kuhn Rikon, a cookware company out of Switzerland, has introduced another concept to make cooking more efficient: insulated pots. As the picture above shows, the pot has double walls like a Thermos. The air between the walls insulates the pot, and heat stays in much longer. In fact, you can cook soups with this thermal cookware by bringing the ingredients to a boil, turning off the burner, and placing the pot on its insulated serving base. In two hours, the soup is fully cooked! It’s similar in concept to a hay box cooker.

The Best of Both Worlds

Kuhn Rikon sells a product that is easily the most efficient way to cook: the Duromatic Thermal-cooker. It is a combination pressure cooker and thermal cooker. I bought mine right here in Edmonton at the Bosch Kitchen Centre at 9766-51 Avenue (they’re the only Kuhn Rikon dealers in Edmonton). It was pretty expensive – around $350 – but you’re buying two cookers in one, and they are built to last a lifetime.

I bought (and recommend) the 5-litre model. This thing is amazing. I can cook dried chickpeas in about 20 minutes, with the burner only turned on for 13 or 14 of those minutes. Chickpeas can easily take two hours of regular boiling to cook in a regular pot.

Once this baby comes up to pressure, it will stay at pressure for about 10 minutes without any more added heat because it’s so well insulated. And if whatever you’re cooking isn’t cooked enough? Just place the pot on its insulated base, and wait 20-60 minutes. It will keep on cooking on its own due to the thermal properties of the pot.

Pressure cooking is a wonderful way to cook anything – it really infuses flavours together. I really recommend it for cooking beans from scratch (if you want to avoid the BPA in cans, for example). I bought Lorna Sass’ book Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure at the same time as my pressure/thermal cooker. Everything you need to know is in there, and the recipes are fantastic.

I recommend an investment in the Duromatic Thermal-cooker. It’s a fun, green way to cook.

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Thermo Cooker

–>

 

When I cook beans I probably spread out the cooking over a longer time period than most people would care to do. First of I soak the beans over night with some Kombu seaweed (I find it greatly reduces the gas effect). Then I will bring the beans to the boil, reduce the temperature and cook for about half the time that is recommended and then turn off the heat. I will then wrap some towels around the cooker to insulate it. This allows me to reduce the total heat input.

Another one of my favourite ways to cook beans is to bring the beans to the boil for a short period and then put the beans into a wide mouth thermos. But you have to be very careful since beans expand quie a bit so this only works for a small amount of beans. The beans will slowly cook in the thermos since the heat really doesn’t have any where to go but into the beans.

But my favourite is to use my solar cooker. Beans just taste glorious ccooked in this unit.

Any pressure cooker is an excellent investment. The one described here sounds great.

Wonton Soup

Wonton Soup.

Wonton Soup

Wonton soup is a chinese food. This is not a dish for a quick meal because wrapping wontons will take up some time.

I have tried to be as detail as possible in this recipe especially on the part where you wrap your wonton.

You can choose to use a thermal cooker or just your usual pot for this recipe. However, you must remember not to keep the wonton and the vegetable inside the thermal cooker because they will get soggy.

I will be using my thermal cooker for this recipe because my husband was going to be a few hours late for dinner. I need to keep his rice and soup base warm so that he will not have to spend too much time on reheating.

Serving: 4 persons

 

 

Ingredients

 

300g minced meat, chicken or pork (I used 150g minced pork & 150g fish paste)
1 packet wonton wrappers (around 28 wantons for this recipes)
1 chicken stock cube
Green vegetables
A few ikan billis
1 dry squid
A few dry mussel
2 cloves garlic
1/2 onion

Optional ingredients inside wonton:
Diced water chestnuts for a crunchy texture.
chopped spring onion

 

 

Method

 

  • 1. Make the soup base first. Get a pot (I used my large thermal cooker inner pot), add 1 liters of water. Add in the dry squid, chicken stock cube, dry mussel and the ikan billis. Cover the pot and wait for it to boil. If you are using a thermal pot, remove the pot from heat and keep it inside the thermal cooker. If you are using a normal pot, reduce the heat, keep it boiling.

  • Did you see a weird tea bag floating in the pot above? Well, my husband do not like ikan billis soup but they make really good soup. I hide the ikan billis inside a teabag so that he will not know that I have use them to make soup.

  • 2. While your soup base is still boiling, mince your garlic and onions. Mix them with your minced meat.

  • 3. Take one piece of wonton wrapper. Put a small portion of the minced meat in the center.

  • 4. Using one finger, wet all 4 sides of the wonton wrapper.

  • 5. Fold the wonton wrapper into half as shown in the picture.

  • 6. Fold the other 2 corner of the wonton wrapper as shown in the picture.

  • 7. Give your wonton a bit of squeeze and they will turn out like this. If you cannot get your wonton to stick, try using a bit of fish paste on the corners and side. Fish paste are very sticky.

  • 8. If you are not going to cook these wontons immediately, keep them in the fridge and use them when you want to. Use them within 24 hours so that they will still be fresh. You can even deep fried these wontons if you want to.

  • 9. For the leftover minced meat, you can roll them into balls using 2 teaspoons and add them with the wonton into the soup base when you are ready to serve.

  • 10. Continue this portion when you are ready to serve. Made sure that the soup base is boiling when you add in the wontons.

  • 11. The wontons will float on the soup base when they were cooked. Add in the green vegetables, let it boil for a while before serving. Do not to keep the wonton and the vegetable inside the thermal cooker because they will get soggy.

 

My husband came back 4 hours late for dinner

After I have boiled my soup base and keep the pot inside my thermal cooker, I have use the smaller inner pot to cook my rice. You will need the same amount of rice and water as if you are using your rice cooker to cook your rice. Just cover your inner pot, wait for it to boil, remove from heat and placed your pot together with your soup base.

After all that cooking, you will get a pot of cook rice without using electricity. This is very useful when you have to keep the rice warm for several hours. I do not know when my husband is coming back for dinner when I was making my wonton soup. I was glad that I have use my thermal pot because he came back 4 hours later after I have finish all my cooking. All he need to do is to bring the soup base to boil and add the wonton and vegetables. He do not need to reheat the rice at all.

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Thermal Cookware Thermos Shuttle Chef vacuum insulated double walls stainless steel cooking pots inner saucepans outer pot

Thermal Cookware Thermos Shuttle Chef vacuum insulated double walls stainless steel cooking pots inner saucepans outer pot.

THIS MONTH’S ON THE ROAD RECIPES

Thermos Shuttle Chef

egg & ham pizza

 

Viv Moon’s OUTDOOR COOKBOOK & TRAVELER’S COOKBOOK
Go to the Cookbook page for more details.


VIEW PREVIOUS RECIPES – CLICK HERE

VIEW CAMPFIRE COOKING PRODUCTS LINKS – CLICK HERE


Thermos Shuttle Chef

shuttle chefReaders will know that I have used Thermal Cookers before and have found them very handy. There is another make now available for you to appraise when you are next wandering around the 4WD Shows, the Thermos Shuttle Chef (you’ll also see it in numerous retail outlets), so I suggest that you have a good look. Below is some info on this product and I know you’ll been impressed when you see it in action.

The name ‘Thermos’ has been around for many, many years, in fact over 100 years and is the only portable Thermal Cooker on the market that is vacuum insulated, and there wouldn’t be many people who haven’t at some stage used a ‘Thermos’ flask to keep their water piping hot for a cuppa. We’ve had a Thermos flask for nearly 30 years now, and it is a very battered and much well traveled piece of equipment that has served us well, and continues to do so.

So I was interested to see the Thermos Shuttle Chef in action during a recent trip to Tasmania, being used by our friends, Phil & Sandy Candy, of Candy Canvas, who love it and don’t leave home without it packed into the back of their Carry Me Camper unit. (They also produce a range of swags, seat covers, bags and slide-on campers, one of which, the Carry Me Camper sits on the back of our expedition patrol, (see link ‘our candy camper‘)

Viv & Sandy with Sandy’s Shuttle Chef in action.

Thermal Cookware is basically a slow cooker or crock-pot that doesn’t need any electricity or the like and it has many advantages, especially for people who are camping, caravanning or four wheel driving. One big advantage is that you use a lot less gas, and with wood fires becoming harder and harder to use because of fire restrictions imposed by national parks, reserves or councils, campers find themselves cooking more and more on the gas stovetop. And it’s not always easy to just drop into the nearest gas refill store or garage and get the gas bottle topped up or exchanged. You won’t be doing that when you cross the Simpson Desert or travel along the Canning Stock Route, or even the Kimberley or Cape York is difficult. The same applies for those traveling in caravans who might frequent caravan parks more often, they will still save on gas, as well as making life easier in preparing meals ahead of time.

Another big advantage for campers and caravaneers, who may only may carry a 2-burner stove, this cookware enables you to prepare say your meat dish ahead of time, and then do some vegetables separately, without the main course going cold. If you use the Shuttle Chef two saucepan system you can prepare your main meal and vegetables at the same time, or soup and a main meal or even a desert and a main meal.

shuttle chefscThe Thermos Shuttle Chef Cookware range consists of one or two stainless steel cooking pots that fit inside an insulated outer pot. You prepare the food as per normal in the inner saucepans and bring it up to the boil on a stove top, BBQ or camp fire, then simmer for a few minutes to ensure that all the ingredients are at the same boiling temperature. Then you place the inner saucepans into the outer pot and put the lid on. The outer pot has vacuum-insulated double walls so the food keeps cooking slowly in its own retained heat.

The stainless steel inner pot saucepans are a multilayered construction with a special layer of carbon steel sandwiched into the base, which provides a very even heat distribution and maintains temperatures for a long time (this is the secret to successful Thermal Cooking). They are well made, heavy based pan and you won’t need to carry any other saucepans.

You can prepare your lunch or evening meal in the morning before you head off if need be, place it in the outer container and then store it in an upright position while traveling with complete safety.

It also works equally well to keep food cold and will keep chilled foods under the 5 degrees C necessary to prevent food poisoning bacteria from growing.

So, anything you would cook at home in your slow cooker, or crock-pot will work with the Thermal Shuttle Chef – you can cook all your favorite casseroles, pot roasts, cakes, puddings, damper, bread, and the list goes on. Okay, you aren’t going to get the brown, crunchy top, but they still work and taste great.

shuttle chefFor more information and a closer look at the range Thermal Cookers and Shuttle Chef Accessories available you can contact them at:

Thermal Cookware, P.O. Box 104, Lismore, 2480, NSW
Phone: 1 300 667 151
Fax: 02 66 221859

Email: info@thermalcookware.com

Or check out their web site at:

http://www.thermalcookware.com.au/index.php

choice logoYou can also read about what CHOICE magazine thought about this product in their review which appeared in the Feb 09 issue of Choice, by going to the following link:

http://www.choice.com.au/viewArticle.aspx?id=106729&catId=100168&tid=100008

or check out the copy of the review on the Thermal Cookware site at:

http://www.thermalcookware.com.au/main.php?mod=Dynamic&id=46

Below is a selection of recipes from the Thermal Cookware web site and one of my own just to give you some idea of the wide range of food you can cook in the Shuttle Chef.

Handy Hints:
• Buy your meat vacuum-packed (cryovac sealed) and already marinated, such as a whole piece of roast marinated in your’s or your butcher’s special marinade, and then drop that into boiling water in your inner pot, bring it to the boil, the put on the lid and simmer for about 25 mins to make sure the heat is all the way through the meat, and then put it into your outer pot and leave for about 4 to 5 hours (depending on the size of the meat). No mess and so moist!!

• Cook up your favourite casserole dish and freeze it in a square dish that can be put into a vacuum seal bag. When frozen, seal in the bag and put back int he freezer ready for a quick meal on the road.
To prepare, simple place the bag into an inner pot of boiling water and bring to the boil, them put on the lid and bring back to a simmer for about 10 mins then remove and place in the out pot and leave for about an hour or so.
You aren’t actually cooking the dish, just heating it up. Again, no mess, no fuss!!

Curries and Casseroles area ideal, and this is one of Viv’s favourites

Lamb Shanks in BBQ Sauce

4 to 6 lamb shanks (or quantity to suit your needs)
small quantity of seasoned plain flour – about 1/2 a cup
2 tblspns or more of Oil/margarine
1 onion – finely chopped
1 cup water
2 tblspns Worcestershire sauce
2 tblspns brown sugar
1 cup tomato sauce (or use a mix of tomato sauce/spicy tomato sauce and a little sweet chilli sauce)
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 tspns dry mustard salt & pepper

While you would cook this in you camp oven, you can easily adjust it to cook in the Shuttle Chef.

Place the flour in a plastic bag, add the shanks and shake well, giving each shank a good coating of flour.
Heat the oil/margarine in the pot and add the shanks, browning on all sides.
Remove and add the onions and saute until soft.
Replace the shanks in the pot.
Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the shanks.
Mix through and bring to the boil, then put on the lid, lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes to get the heat right through the shanks.
Turn off the heat and transfer the pot into the outer insulated container and close the lid.
Leave for a minimum of 4 to 5 hours. To get the meat to fall off the bone a good 6 hours plus is required. It will be well cooked in a shorter time, but is really impressive the longer you can leave it.
You may need to thicken the sauce before serving, depending on the amount of flour used to coat the shanks. If so, make up a smooth paste of plain flour and water, or use cornflour, and add until you get the thickness you want.
You can always thicken any soup, stew or casserole by adding a handful of Barley to the mix initially and this will soak up those lovely flavoursome juices.
Serve with mashed potato or rice.

NOTE: If you are using the double pot Thermal Cooker you can be cooking the potatoes at the same time in the second pot.

Camp Oven method:
Brown the shanks / onions in your camp oven and continue as above. Cover and cook gently over coals or on your stove top for approx 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until tender.

Curries – Any curry will work well, like this:

curryThai Green Chicken Curry
A delightful mild curry chicken that has so much flavour.
Recipe from Thermal Cookware

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of Oil
500 grams of sliced Chicken Fillets
3 tablespoons of Green Curry Paste
NOTE: You can increase or decrease the amount of curry paste to suit your own requirements.
400 ml tin of Coconut Cream
2 tablespoons of Fish Sauce
2 teaspoons of Sugar
1 cup of chopped Pumpkin
1 cup of Green Beans (you can use dried or frozen also)
1 cup of fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
2 Kaffir Lime Leaves or 1 cup of freshly chopped Coriander
Fragrant Rice to serve.

NOTE: The supermarkets have excellent Basil and Coriander pastes that can be substituted if required.

Simmering time on the stove top: 5 minumtes
Thermal cooking time: 30 minutes minimum

Method:
1. Stir fry the curry paste in the oil over a low heat, until fragrant.
2. Add the chicken and pumpkin then stir fry over a medium heat for a few minutes.
3. Add the remaining ingredients, lower the heat and slowly bring it to the boil.
4. Put the lid on and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
5. Turn off the heat and transfer the pot into the outer insulated container and close the lid.
6. Leave for a minimum of 30 minutes.
7. Serve on a bed of fragrant steamed rice.

NOTE: If you are using the double pot Thermal Cooker you can be cooking the rice at the same time in the second pot.

Hint: If using a harder vegetable such as pumpkin, it needs to cook a few minutes longer before adding vegetables such as beans.

Works really well for cooking rice!!

risottoPumpkin Risotto
Pumpkin, Spinach and Pine Nut Risotto is a tasty and visually appealing Risotto
Viv – What an easy way to make Risotto!!
Recipe from Thermal Cookware

Ingredients:
3 cups of hot chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 cup of risotto (arborio) rice
1/4 of a cup of dry white wine (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of butter
1/4 to a 1/2 a cup of grated parmesam cheese
2 cups of Jap pumpkin, finely chopped
1 cup of baby spinach leaves
1/2 a cup of toasted pine nuts.

Simmering time on the stove top: 1 minute
Thermal cooking time: 1 hour minimum

Method:
1. Heat the oil over a low heat and add the onions, garlic and celery, frying slowly for a few minutes.
2. When softened add the rice and toss through for a minute.
3. Add the wine and stir through for a minute allowing some evaporation.
4. Add the stock and pumpkin and bring the mixture to the boil.
5. Simmer for 1 minute with the lid on.
6. Turn off the heat and transfer the inner saucepan into the vacuum insulated outer container and close the lid.
7. Leave for a minimum of 1 hour.
8. Stir in the butter, baby spinach leaves and parmesan cheese.
9. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving. 10. Sprinkle each helping with the toasted pine nuts.

You can’t go past a good, hearty, hot soup for a warming, winter meal. And the long, slow cooking in the Shuttle Chef is ideal.

soupGarden Vegetable Soup
Try this great, zesty Garden Vegetable soup – great for any time of year!
Serves 6.
Recipe from Thermal Cookware

Ingredients:
6 cups of water
1 tablespoon 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.

Method:
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.


Bread and Butter Pudding
Everyone has half a loaf of bread left over and what better to with it than concoct a traditional Bread and Butter Pudding.
Recipe from Thermal Cookware

Ingredients:
1 tin of Evaporated Milk
3/4 of a cup of Milk
3 eggs 3 tablespoons of Castor Sugar
5 slices of Buttered Bread cubed (with the crusts removed)
2 tablespoons of Sultanas 2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier
Nutmeg
NOTE: You can thinly cover the buttered bread with a jam of your choice before cutting them into small cubes .

Simmering time on the stove top: 20 minutes.
Thermal Cooking time: 3 to 4 hours minimum.

Method:
1. Arrange the bread and sultanas in a suitable buttered pyrex or stainless steel baking dish that fits into your Shuttle Chef inner saucepans.
2. In a separate container sprinkle the Grand Marnier over the sultanas and leave for at least an hour.
3. Make the custard by heating the milk in a saucepan until it is hot without boiling.
4. Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a bowl, then slowly pour over the hot milk, whisking all the time.
5. Pour the custard over the bread and sultanas and sprinkle with nutmeg.
6. Cover with a suitable lid or Alfoil.
7. Place a suitable trivet in the 4.5 litre inner saucepan or a fold of Alfoil in one of the 3 litre inner saucepans.
8. Add enough boiling water to the inner saucepan, so that the water will come 2/3rds the way up the sides of the baking dish.
9. Carefully place the baking dish into the boiling water, using a folded strip of Alfoil to assist with lifting in and out of the inner saucepan (to prevent burning your fingers)
10. Bring to the boil, cover with the lid and turn the heat down to a simmer.
11. Simmer for 20 minutes.
12. Turn off the heat and place the inner saucepan into the vacuum insulated outer container.
13. Leave for 3 to 4 hours.

boiled fruit cakeBoiled Fruit Cake
The Shuttle Chef is excellent for cooking moist cake mixtures, especially boiled fruit cake. Put on night before you go to bed and take out in the morning.
Recipe from Thermal Cookware

Ingredients:
375gm of mixed dried fruit
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tspn mixed spice
grated rind of an orange
1/2 cup water or orange juice
1/4 cup port or brandy (or other liquor)
125gm butter 3 eggs – lightly beaten
1 cup sr flour
1 cup pl flour
1/2 tspn bi-carb soda
Optional: replace the water, liquor and sugar with 1 x 450gm tin of unsweetened crushed pineapple.

Place the mixed dried fruit into a bowl with the brown sugar, mixed spice, orange rind, water, liquor and butter.
Mix these ingredients together and place them all into a saucepan.
Bring this mixture to the boil and then simmer uncovered for 5 mins.
Allow this mixture to cool.
When cool add in the lightly beaten eggs.
Stir in the flour and bi-carb soda.
Using the Shuttle Chef 16cm steamed pudding tin (or a suitable pyrex bowl or cake tin), line the container with butter and place a prepared circle of baking paper in the base to help release the cake on completion.
Spoon the cake mix into the prepared pan and top with some almonds and glazed cherries.
Place a prepared circle of baking paper on top of the cake mixture.
cake tinClip the lid into place securely.
If you are using another container without a lid cover the top with alfoil and hold into place with a rubber band to stop moisture from entering.
If you are using the 4.5 litre or the large 6 litre inner saucepan you will need to place a suitable sized trivet in the base to bring the cake tin higher up in the saucepan.
If you are using the 3 litre inner saucepan the cake tin will fit without requiring a trivet.
Pour in enough water so that the level comes approx 2/3rds the way up the side of the cake tin.
Lower the cake/pudding tin into the shuttle chef, making sure that the water level is approx 2/3rd of the way up the side of the cake tin.
Bring the water to the boil, turn down the heat to a gentle simmer.
Place the lid on the inner pot/saucepan and simmer for 35 to 40 mins.
Remove from the heat and place the inner saucepan into the vacuum insulated outer container and close the lid and lock down.
Leave for a minimum of 3 to 4 hours. You can also leave it overnight.

Note: As most cakes and breads do not like to be disturbed during the ‘rising process’, it is advisable to cook these while you are stationary. You can pop on a cake in the evening after dinner and leave it to cook all night. When you take it out of the pot in the morning, place it on a rack to cool. The cake will not ‘overcook’ or ‘dry out’ even if it is left all night.


Thermos Cooking Recipes, Tips & Reviews

Thermos Cooking Recipes, Tips & Reviews.

Thermos Cooking Tips, Reviews, Recipes and More

If you want to learn how to cook healthy food while saving yourself time and energy, you’ve come to the right place.

It’s Easy

You don’t have to stand over the stove stirring food all day.

It’s Efficient

Using a thermos is the most fuel efficient way to cook. Period.

It’s Healthy

Cook with healthy whole grains without the time and trouble.

Thermos Cooking Basics

Additional Recipes

Equipment

Nutrition Info

Rescue Me Right: Rescue Me Right Survival Newsletter January

Rescue Me Right: Rescue Me Right Survival Newsletter January.

The Humble Thermos Bottle.

It’s not just for your hot beverages.

(cook meals and save energy/time with your thermos bottle)

Written & illustrated by TripleB

With the cost of energy & fuels within the past couple years at their highest we’ve seen. More and more people are feeling the punch and trying to find alternatives to save energy whether it is from heating or cooling their homes or foods. Whether your home or range top stove is powered by electric, fuel oils, propane or the like the costs are all the same = rising. With people on limited incomes and many elderly people finding it harder and harder choosing between heating their residence or use higher costing energy to cook their meals there is one sure fire way to cook various meals simply, cheaply, nutritiously, yummy. It’s with the simple humble narrow necked Thermos bottle.

The ideal & action of cooking with a thermos bottle is not a new one actually. All one has to do is type in a internet search under “Thermos Cooking” or “Cooking With A Thermos” and one will find some useful information on such. I myself discovered this method of cooking from the internet years back also. The internet is a blessing and curse for many. Much useful information can be gained by such tool. But one must weigh both sides of a story or article you might come across. Trial and error is the norm. Some things I’ve seen on the internet intended to help or instruct a person can be down right dangerous too. But this system is one of those rock solid systems I’ve tested and use as I have learned. Something you too can try with relative safety. But still yet, there is a safety factor in this since you are dealing with hot boiling water, food items, narrow spouts and a screw lid container

Many have used their thermos bottles to keep their liquid beverages warm to piping hot for years. But many still may not realize that a meal can be literally cooked in a quality thermos. Notice I said “quality” thermos. There are lots of thermos bottles on the market today from styrofoam insulated/lined bottles to the fragile silver glass lined models. The glass lined variety can & will eventually break on you while using them for cooking in any great capacity of time. And don’t go sticking your thermos bottle in the microwave please.

My experience has shown and been pretty conclusive that although these cheaper bottles are good at keeping some items warm enough to ingest within several hours down the road. And some will cook up items like rice and small beans & peas. They will not hold up to the repeated use of actual cooking as that of an all steel constructed double walled vacuum thermos bottles will. Many of the cheaper varieties sold today just will just not cut the mustard nor will they work like a real deal quality made brand name models.

I own several different thermos bottles (about 8) from cheaper models to nice all stainless double walled insulated ones. For the purpose of cooking one would be wise to consider the two I mention here. The Stanley model thermos bottle or the nice models from the company simply called “Thermos”. Both are really good thermos bottle companies. The “Thermos” company has been around for over 100 years & the Stanley company has been around for 95 years (at the time of this writing 12-2008). That’s a pretty good testament of their quality by any measure.

These quality bottles can be had for around $25 for the 1 quart version at many local “mart” stores still today. And you can find them sometimes on sale for another $5 off. These are still quality manufactured thermos bottles that the work-a-day person can afford. And if you’ve never owned a high quality thermos bottle, my advice is you get your self one. You won’t be disappointed.

Why the talk about a high quality thermos? Simply because they work and work very well for the intention of actually cooking in them constantly and being able to take the abuse. The two companies listed above are battle tank tough. They take repeated use and punishment quite well & seal up very well. And I know they work better than any other brand I’ve ever owned.

Now that we’ve established some info for you in regards to using at least a well made thermos for the purposes of cooking. Let’s cover real quickly the model thermos you should use for cooking & what you might try and test for yourself. From there you have an endless array of what your imagination can come up with to put in your thermos and cook.

If you are going to use a thermos bottle to cook in you’ll do well in getting a “narrow neck” model. I can not stress that enough or the importance there of. The good old classic narrow neck model is what you want to actually cook meals in & will retain its heat for a pleasant hot/warm meal even well into the next day when you’re ready to eat it.

Sure, you can buy the wide mouth model also if you want (and I have one too). But the wide mouth models loose their heat quite fast as compared to the narrow neck models. The wide mouth just dissipates the heat to fast & is less efficient for certain types of cooking. It will no doubt cook up rice, lintels & split peas that are small surface area items but when it comes time to cook meats and legumes like pinto beans you will see a wide mouth doesn’t come close to the abilities of a classic narrow neck model for thoroughness and speed of cooking & keeping items hotter over a longer period of time, not even close. So I suggest getting the narrow neck 1 qt. or larger capacity ones. They also make 2 qt. (1/2 gallon) model.

The wide mouth (to the right in the picture) are tempting because of the easy access and pouring abilities of potatoes and meats. And they do surpass well in that department but you will do well with avoiding the wide mouth model as your “primary” cooking thermos. I’m “not” saying the wide mouth won’t work, they will, but not as well as the narrow neck model & the wide mouth won’t come close to keeping stuff piping hot for a period of time like the narrow neck one will. You might have to cut your potatoes and meats in smaller pieces to get them in the narrow neck model but even then it will cook faster since you cut down the thickness and surface area of such items making your cooking time even faster. Less bulky items = less time it takes the heat to penetrate said item and cook it = you’re eating well in less time (which I call being fat, dumb & happy a lot faster).

Most food items that I know of with my limited knowledge will cook at 180 degrees and since much of this type of cooking is bringing water to a boiling point, which is 212 degrees at sea level, some items you try/or cook might not need to be brought to a literal boil actually. Some foods might get over cooked at 212 degree water temps and degrade some nutrients according to some educated cookers, or so they say. I’ve never found that to be any provable case myself nor affect the taste. But then again I’m no food, fat or calorie scientist. I will say this, from my experience; don’t leave rice in more than a couple hours or it will get more paste like and super soggy like mush. Myself & what I usually cook, I bring my water and all contents going in the thermos to a rolling boil on the stove together and then pour it into the thermos then seal it up. If you live in a place and have no stove top but have access to a microwave and have cooking ware that is rated as microwave safe (not your thermos for heavens sake, a bowl). You can still boil items and place them in your thermos bottle. Although I’m no fan of microwaves or the health factors about them coming to more light. If that’s all you’ve got, well then, there you are. You might just have to use what you have too.

If you add your food items to your thermos first and then pour the boiling water on top of it all then cap it off you stand a chance at your water becoming cooler faster because the food items will draw the water temperature down cooling the water a lot faster. I know that might be nit-picky but I have noticed in my testing that cold items in a thermos don’t cook up as good or fast. But if you toss all your goodies in with the water as you bring it all to a boil it all gets heated together nicely and will go into the thermos already really hot and start cooking immediately thus cooking faster. It’s quite useful to “prime” your thermos with hot/warm water before using it also. We’ll speak on that in a bit.

Now for a quick safety note: So far I’ve only had a thermos lid pop off once and that happened recently as I was writing this article. I don’t know why or how but when I was testing some dumplings with smoked turkey in it. I placed the thermos on its side and about 10 minutes later I heard a pop sound and seen my thermos lightly spewing hot liquid on top of the counter. The lid was screwed down tight like always and bottomed out with the serving cup screwed down on it too. Strange occurrence but apparently it can happen. Maybe too much pressure built up in it with the dough swelling. Don’t know but it was weird. Only time I’ve ever seen that happen with a quality thermos. You sure wouldn’t want that happening in your vehicle on the way to work that’s for sure.

Please be careful when using your thermos and boiling water. You’re trying to pour something extremely hot and scalding into a narrow area with chunks of food product at the same time. DO NOT….repeat…..DO NOT hold your thermos in your hand as you try pour hot boiling water into it without a funnel. Please use a funnel…..or you will regret it eventually. You might think you are nimble and can balance a pot of hot water in one hand just fine while pouring it into your thermos but all it takes, heaven knows that I know, is one slip, one sneeze, one bump from your toddler in the leg and you WILL let go of that thermos when that boiling water rolls down the side on your fingers. You will let go in a post haste manner too. Not pleasant. I did that long ago when I first started using my thermos for cooking various items thinking I had everything under control just fine. Thank heavens I had it over the sink when it happened. Make sure you place your thermos firmly on the counter top or even better down in the kitchen sink. Just in case a spill or slip does happen the sink catches the boiling hot liquids and not the front of your body like your waist area or toes as it flows off the counter to the floor or on a child as the case could be if it fell over on the counter top and spilled out everywhere all of a sudden on you. The bottom of a standard Thermos is a polished metal and slippery (on many models, especially Stanley).

For a funnel you can use a canning funnel (a funnel used in pressure canning of food found at your local store) if you’re careful. If you use a metal canning funnel you can slightly bend the bottom inward and it will balance inside the mouth of a narrow neck thermos. Or you can just cut a milk jug in half leaving the handle. Balances right on top of the thermos then. And just use a spoon or rap-n-tap the food into the thermos by jiggling your new home made funnel and the food will fall right in as you pour your contents into your thermos. You can also make a funnel with the pouring end of an empty 2 liter soda pop bottle. The milk jug is nice because you got a built in handle already and you get plenty volume sticking up as not to get any splash back on your arm or hand using the cut milk jug method


Now when you use a thermos like a 1 qt. model it will hold 1 quart of water. Remember to take into count that you will have food taking up space too so you will not be able to get a whole quart of water into the thermos because of the food products displacement. So you should toss your food item into the thermos bottle and then your water. Fill it up to the bottom part of the thermos bottles neck and now you’ll have the amount that will pour right back into your thermos without over filling and wasting anything or making a mess.

Pour the contents of food and water into your sauce pan (cooking pan) and season how you want, if you want, bring to a boil and then pour it back into your thermos. That’s really pretty much all there is to it. Do it fast so you don’t loose heat. But do it carefully as not to injure your self. It’s not a marathon race. Just do it efficiently quick.

You can also use a dedicated pot just for your thermos cooking if you want. You can make (by scratching in) certain level marks for various known items of food per volume of water it takes to fill your thermos bottle. All depends on the amount you normally cook and what item you are cooking. Like a marked area in the pot for rice might be different for pinto beans since beans are larger and might displace more water volume dependant upon the amount you use. You just got to test it out for yourself and you will soon see for yourself.

If you want to do some simple testing then just take a hand full of whatever grain item you want to test and use that amount. You’ll be able to see how well or not it does and adjust from there. It’s not hard. Most of this type of cooking is usually reserved for singles or married couples but if you have a larger family you can still cook in this manner with less power & time. Just buy more thermos’. They don’t take up that much room under the sink.

So what exactly can you cook in your thermos? About whatever your mind can come up with that deals with hot water. Corn, Beans, Peas, Rice, Soups, Stews, Noodles, Lintels, it’s your choice and your imagination. If you can cook it normally in a stew or cooking pot on the stove with water, or if you can cook it in a crock pot, you can cook it in a thermos. With less time at the stove, less time on your feet, tons less energy used, with a lot more time you can be doing something else constructive or with your family. This is not rocket science.

NOTE: Remember to lay your thermos on its side after you fill it. This will allow its contents to cook evenly throughout. Your food items will be evenly displaced throughout the hot water that way. This is also safer in case you do ever experience a blow out. Face it toward the sink. Then if an accident does happen while you are away. The contents will just spew toward the sink and not all over your cabinets or ceiling if the bottle was standing upright making a horrible mess.

Also make sure you fill your thermos all the way up to the proper level at the bottom of the neck. Don’t leave a lot of air space or your water will cool faster. Not only does this help retain heat. If it’s a small meal you’ll still have plenty of liquid to drink as a warm seasoned drink and will help keep you hydrated and help in digestion of any food you ingest. To digest food you body has to use its hydration to do so. So you’ll be putting water into your body this way to help digestion.

Here are some pictures of the process & examples you can try and go from there with your own ideals.


* Rice – ½ cup of white rice will make a serving for 2 people and literally fill a 1 qt. Thermos when all puffed up. Only takes about 1 ½ hours and it’s ready to eat (sometimes up to 2 hrs, depending on how fast you are with your system or if you primed your bottle beforehand). You don’t even need to pre-soak rice. Simply rinse your rice (if you want), toss it into the required pre-measured amount of water to boil and after it comes to boil pour it all into your thermos. Cap it tight, sit it on its side preferably facing the sink in case you do have a accident or blow out (at least point it in a direction away from other electrical appliances or people). As you can see in a picture below this simple half cup of rice made a plate full of food.


Granted also you can just bring your water to a boil with the rice in it and then turn it off, put your sauce pan lid on and walk away and it will cook too. But this way you can take it with you right then and not wait while it’s on the stove soaking up the heat. Not worry about nosey kids or spouses coming by and picking up a lid to see what’s for chow allowing heat to escape or wandering hands of wee ones coming by and grabbing a pot off the stove and possibly pouring the contents down upon them. And this manner will allow the rice to be really hot when you’re ready to eat. Along with some extra liquid you might want to drink on a cold winter day, even if it doesn’t taste real good just plain. It can still benefit you. I like rice sweet myself so I put raw honey in mine to cook so even the hot liquid that remains I get out of the thermos is sweetened some what and quite palatable.


When I cooked this ½ cup of rice in a 1 quart Thermos tonight, while at the same time maintaining my camera to take all these pictures of the process, the pot on the stove went just below boiling by the time I poured it. So the water was just either right at 212 degrees or right under. Either way it really don’t matter that much since rice cooks up pretty quick while you go mow the lawn or go sharpen your axe & chop some firewood or go to the store for a item or simply kick back with a good book. The water was still moving but I didn’t get it off the stove at rolling boil. But 2 hours later when I opened it up to pour the rice out. I stuck the thermometer in the water and the water temperature was hovering around 185 – 190 degrees. I’ve cooked rice in 1 ½ hrs. more than once. And depending on how fast you want to cook then here’s a bit of information that needs to be mentioned. It’s called “priming” your thermos. I didn’t prime it this go around in the cool of winter in an old house I live in. So that alone will cause your cooking time to be a tad more. To “prime” your thermos simply run hot tap water or pre-warmed water into your thermos (if you have the water to spare to do this, if not, no

worries), cap it and let it sit while your food items and water that will be going into the thermos for cooking is in the process of starting to boil on the stove.

This will warm up the thermos and stainless steel side walls prepping your bottle. When your food on the stove starts to boil pour the priming water out of the thermos bottle or save it in a container & when it cools down you can either drink it or use it for you next go around with your thermos cooking. But this pre-heating action will prime the thermos and your water from the stove will stay hotter even longer if you need it too & your cooking times will be noticeably faster especially in the winter.

* – Pintos – It’s best to pre-soak your Pinto beans (or other large or hard legumes) either over night or while you’re gone to work for the day (1 cup is a plenty good meal for one person). Cover your amount of beans with about an inch (or tad more) of water in a cereal bowl and you’ll be fine. You can just boil up the hard legumes after a good pre-soak and toss them into the thermos for the next days munching or several hours later in the day or evening to eat. They will cook also without pre-soaking but will have a firm texture usually (if you don’t pre-soak them). It really depends on how long you leave them in the thermos. If you like that texture then by all means go for it. But if you like the softer texture of beans like I was raised up with in a slow cooker crock pot or mom tending a boiling pot for hours on the stove top having to monitor the water level, using energy you might not be able to spare, then you need to pre-soak your Pintos. They will cook up quite nicely then. After pre-soaking over night or throughout the day while you’re gone to work. Toss the beans in water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling pour all contents into the thermos and seal immediately. Cap tightly and place the drinking cup on loosely at least. Let them cook over night for your next day’s lunch or boil them up in the morning after a nights soaking to have for an early dinner that same afternoon. Pre season them with your salt, garlic, pepper, onions, spices, deer meat chunks, smoked turkey pieces, whatever your hearts desire. When you pre-season any food you put it in the thermos it will be all soaked in and already & tasty when you’re ready to eat. And what liquid you don’t use immediately will be a tasty treat when you want to drink a warm/hot drink in the winter time.

How much salt? How much garlic or other spices? Whatever you would normally used to season a nice large bowl of chow is what you should use. Everyone is different in the amount of seasoning they prefer. Just use what you normally would for a large bowls worth of eating and you’ll have a starting point to use. If you need more, then after it’s cooked, add more to your liking. This isn’t a article on recipes nor a cook book. It’s a basic starting point for you to use to get you on your way to using less energy both utilities and human & to free up time for your self without having to maintain a constant awareness that a burner is on while around the house or when you leave the house.

With the heating energy you used to boil beans for a long time in a regular pot on the stove, and the energy you might use in conjunction with baking up some sweet corn bread, you could be just putting your attention & effort into the corn bread more so since this method allows the thermos to be cooking the large legumes that only took you like 5 minutes to bring to boil, 15 seconds to pour them into the Thermos, 5 seconds to cap it & about 2 seconds to lay it on its side and walk away. Maintenance free cooking basically is what it boils down to (no pun intended).

Some might be thinking why not just put them in the crock pot and when you get home they’re ready to eat. Remember, we’re talking about energy savings and efficiency here. Limited power usage & water usage. Not having an electrical appliance on while you’re away from home worry if your house is going to burn down while you’re gone. It only takes a few minutes to boil the water for this type of cooking in your thermos and you’re done with energy consumption. What if you had no power? If you can build a fire just even long enough to boil the required amount of water then you’re still good to go and can cook in your thermos.

Say you’re going on a hunt or a hike, although a thermos is a bulky item and might be heavy in a back pack for some when it’s full of contents (this is where the pint size thermos shines), you could be presoaking your grain in warm tap water for hours in your thermos while you are on the trail or headed

to your favorite hunting site and when you’re ready to boil your water and start the cooking regiment. You simply pour the contents you’ve already got in your thermos into a sauce pan you might pack with you to cook in (heaven forbid you go into the wilderness without at least a cooking pot to boil water and make the simplest meal, go prepared). Bring it to a boil, pour it back into your thermos, seal it and let it cook a few hours. At the end of the day or next day (either way) you’ll have a full hearty, nutritious meal waiting for your stomach. Or you could pre-soak them the night before you go out and then just boil them up real quick in the morning before you head out and put them in your thermos and by the time lunch rolls around you’re ready to eat. It’s nice to have a hot meal with hot liquid in the dead of winter in the wilderness. So like I said this is all about less effort, less time stressing and more time saving energy and more time doing things you either need to get done or want to do.

Is this a cooking method I use exclusively every day? No, but it’s sure a nice cooking skill to have knowledge on and know how to do when the time comes and you need to do so to conserve energy and time.

There’s another food item that don’t weigh anything that you could carry with you that would make you a happy camper if needed in the cold or if you were stranded in the wilderness and just needed something good to fill you up and keep you going. And you can pack enough of this food item into one pocket on your back pack that would last you a week…..literally….and will fill you up. Our forefathers used it when crossing the mountain ranges. I’ll write about that simple food item soon. 90% + of you have it in your home right now.

Even so, as mentioned before, a thermos might be a tad bulky or heavy for some people in their pack. It could come in quite handy if things went bump in the night on your simple outing and you got lost in the wilderness or got turned around in the woods while out tracking game or trapping or just out hiking in a place you thought you were familiar with. If you had something to boil water in over a fire you’d have a item with you that can still cook with little effort on your part in which leaves you more time to construct a shelter, plan your way out and/or be able to cook some food for you while you are on your way out of the wilderness. Never know. They’re just another ‘lil handy item to have around.

Large legumes take the longest to cook this way from my experience, but not so long that it’s not worth it, that’s for sure. But then again I am a legume fan. About any bean is my friend. Look at it this way. What would you rather do? Spend a couple hours watching and having to maintain beans boiling on top of the stove for hours or in a crock pot for hours burning electricity or gas that’s costing you more and more? Or, simply do a tiny bit a preparation by pre-soaking your beans (pick out any floaters or items that float) during the day or over night while you sleep and simply toss them in a pot of water and bring to a boil in all of 5 minutes of your life then pour them into a thermos and be on your way? It doesn’t take long once you do this a few times to realize the efficiency of this system and costs saving benefits & amount of time you just freed up for your self while your meal is cooking in a thermos with no additional energy costs.

I’ve never put the “literal” clock to the amount of time it takes to cook large beans (legumes). I’ve always just done it either over night or early in the morning and let them cook for me while I’m gone to work. Either way, try a half cup of large beans first and see how your results turn out. You will know pretty quickly how you need to adjust anything if you actually do have too from there. You can toss in any veggie you think you’d like that requires really hot water for a while to cook them up and add some meat if you prefer. Real smoked turkey is great in beans & so is deer meat chunked up small. Salt, black pepper, fresh garlic clove. You pour that over some Indian fry bread or sweet corn bread, mmmmmm, if you don’t like that. Then I would have to think there’s just something not right with you

Other foods to consider are Wheat berries (wheat grain, seed). Let them cook overnight in your thermos and the next morning you will have a ready made hot cereal. If you like add cream or milk, brown sugar or honey, whatever you like. If you blend them like I learned from a person on line you wind up with a oatmeal texture hot cereal full of nutrients & will give you plenty of go power for the morning.

You can try out spaghetti noodles also. Don’t take long in a sealed container that 212 degree water just went in and sealed to maintain that heat for as long as possible. Break them in half and fit them in your thermos. Add your boiling water, cap it, set it on its side and walk away to do something else constructive while you wait a bit for them to cook up. Make up whatever sauce you want to go on them real quick while you wait.

Egg noodles also. You can make your own stew with egg noodles pretty simple. I take a hand full of noodles, deer meat (or turkey), new potatoes, carrots, peas (whatever you like). Season them in the pot of boiling water. Bring all contents up to boil & then pour them all into the thermos bottle. Cap it, lay it on its side & the next day at work have a steaming hot 1 quart meal of stew. Throw in a bullion cube too if you like. Won’t hurt.

Explore the ideal. You might find something you like and what all you can make. The sky’s the limit. So you don’t have to just use your thermos to keep your coffee hot or cold drinks cold. You can actually cook a meal quite easy in one. Hope it works out as well for you as it has for me. Just use some common sense & a tad of pre-planning & you’ll discover quite a few things you can cook in your thermos that will save you some time and energy. Have fun. BBB.

Thermos Cookery

Thermos Cookery

So I made breakfast using my thermos to cook it overnight. It is very simple and energy efficient for a piping hot and delicious breakfast. You can use any grain that you want. The typical breakfast grains are corn, wheat, and rice. I would stay away from oatmeal unless you get the water proportion right and feel like cleaning the inside of your thermos out. Even grains like millet work for a unique breakfast. Use a metal or glass lined thermos. The plastic ones typically can’t stand up to the heat. Now for the ingredients . . . Starting the night before, boil some water. To the thermos, add a quarter cup of grain (I used white wheat), a dash of salt, and a pinch of sugar. Now screw the top on overnight. In the morning, just drain the water through the lid or drink it because it contains tons of vitamins. Shake it out into a bowl. Enjoy it with milk and a bit of sugar to taste.

A Singaporean Uncle in Australia: How to cook with a Thermos Flask

La Gourmet Thermal Wonder Cooker

via A Singaporean Uncle in Australia: How to cook with a Thermos Flask.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

How to cook with a Thermos Flask

We wish we had learnt this method of cooking earlier, but we didn’t until we saw our host in Macau used the thermal cooker to prepare “Bak Kut Teh” (Pork ribs herbal soup) for us during our stay with his family. He explained all he needed was 15 minutes on the stove, leaves for work and he can return home to a ready cooked meal. Basically the thermal cooker consists of two pots. Just cook the food on the stove in the inner pot and bring it to boil for 10 minutes. Place the pot into the outer pot. A convection effect is created whereby the cooking process continues for up to 30 minutes and warms up to 8 hours. The most important part is it’s an energy saving and time saving way to cook your food.
We were so impressed that we couldn’t wait to buy one from 1Utama Shopping Mall in Kuala Lumpur. We bought a 7-Litre La Gourmet Thermal Wonder Cooker on sales at RM 399. (Malaysian dollar) and hand carried all the way to Sydney.
We thought that was a good investment until I googled to learn more about thermal cooking. I found out that you can use a simple thermos flask to the same effect. The only difference is the quantity. The thermos flask is only good for 1-2 servings whereas my new acquired 7-Litre is great for a gathering 8-10 people. We haven’t organised a big party since our return and our thermal cooker is still in its original packaging. Have I bought a white elephant?


I wish I had thought of this idea myself, but it so simple that I thought it is funny even to post it here. Neverthelees I want to show to Ange of France that it is possible to cook with a thermos flask!
In fact this cooking method is such a practical method that I use it often to cook my morning cereal or bento (packed lunch) for my workplace. My wife has her own thermos flask to cook her own special multi grain recipe. She mixes 8 kinds of grains which are brown rice, sorghum, buckwheat, barley, wheat, oat, millet, and black glutinous rice. She believes her homemade multi grains mixed are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fibre and much more nutritional than the store bought type. You probably can’t go wrong incorporating such a variety of grains in your diet. You can cook any whole grain in a thermos flask. I used a 1-litre Jackeroo Thermos Flask. It has an unbreakable stainless steel inner liner.


Here’s how I used my thermos flask to cook in three simple steps.
Step 1: Put ½ cup of rolled oat in the thermos flask.
Step2: Fill thermos flask with 3 cups of boiling water.
Step 3: Screw the lid of the flask tight and turn it upside down for a couple of times. Set the flask aside
You have just made your own cereal for tomorrow’s breakfast with minimum of time and fuss.

Fuel Efficient Cooking with an Insulated Box

Fuel Efficient Cooking with an Insulated Box

What a great example of using a retained heat cooker! Cooking beans is the perfect example of the strength of using a thermal type cooker. All the goodness with 80%-90% of the fuel being saved.

Wonder Box Instructions (iwillprepare.com)

The people over at www.iwillprepare.com have posted some great instructions on making a wonder box.  Here’s what they have to say:

Wonder Box Instructions  (Printable PDF Format)

A wonder box is a heat retention cooker. After you bring your food to a boil, (so it is heated throughout) using any number of cooking methods, you remove it from the heat source and quickly place the pot inside the wonder box.

The insulation of the wonder box will slow your food’s loss of heat keeping at cooking temperatures for hours. Using a wonder box reduces the amount of fuel needed to cook your meal because the fuel that would normally be used to keep your food at cooking temperatures after it has started boiling is eliminated.

Materials:

  • Soft Cotton or Broadcloth Material
    • (Soft material will conform to the pot reducing air pockets or channels for the air to escape. Cotton works best as it will not melt when touching the hot surface of the pot.) I used a thin denim but will probably use a softer material next time. The fabric was 52” wide.  I used 2¼ yards. Narrower fabric may require up to 3 ¼ yards.
  • 19 Gallons (About 3 Cubic Feet) of Polystyrene Beads
    • (Bean Bag Filler, EPS Beads (Regrind), Shredded foam shipping popcorn)… Wonder Boxes have been also made with the following filler material (Wool, Feathers, Leaves, Shredded Newspaper, Saw Dust, Ground Corn Husks, Etc…)

Instructions:

  1. There are 2 shapes that will need to be made out of the material. The patterns are included below. One shape is needed to make the top of the Wonder Box, the second for constructing the bottom. You will need to cut 4 of each of these shapes.
  2. Once you have cut out the 8 shapes (4 for the top and 4 for the bottom), you can start the sewing process.  Take 2 top pieces and lay them front-to-front, so the exterior of the fabric of each piece is touching each other. Sew the 2 pieces together along the dotted sew-line as displayed on the patterns below. Go ahead and double-stitch it if you wish it to be more durable. Leave a small opening along one of the seams so you can add the filler.
  3. Repeat “Step 2” (Except for the opening) on the other 2 pieces of the top material.
  4. Now you will have 2 pieces (each with 2 pieces of the top sewn on one side). Place these two pairs with the exterior of the fabric facing each other. Sew these 2 pairs together so all seams are sewn together. Pull the material through the opening you left open to insert the filler material so the exterior side of the material is on the outside.  You will end up with an awkward shaped floppy pillow.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 but for the bottom pieces.
  6. Fill the top “pillow” with 7 gallons of filling. Polystyrene beads are prone to static. Use a paper funnel and a gallon pitcher to make this job easier. Sew closed the opening left to insert the filling.
  7. Fill the bottom “pillow” with 12 gallons of filling. Sew closed the opening left to insert the filling.
  8. The narrow tongue of the bottom “pillow” tucks into the larger end to form a depression like a bowl or nest. The pot sits snuggly in this depression. The lid should fit comfortably on top sealing all gaps.
  9. The pot you select, should have a lid that seals well. The pot should also have short handles on both sides as opposed to 1 long handle. The pot could be a 4, 5 or 6 quart pot.  If the pot is too small, add a blanket around it before you set it inside the Wonder Box.

Notes: The major benefit of the Wonder Box is to reduce the fuel you need to cook your meals. By simply bringing your food to boiling temperature for 3 minutes (15 minutes for beans) and then turning off the heat and quickly placing the pot in the Wonder Box. [The important point is to make sure that the food is at boiling temperature throughout, so large pieces of meat may need to be cubed or make sure you give it time to heat thoroughly]. The heat already in your food, combined with the insulation of the Wonder Box, will allow your meal to keep cooking “at safe cooking temperatures” for hours. Remember, the less space there is around the pot, the less heat will be lost

One source stated that you can save up to 80% of your needed fuel by using a Wonder Box because the heat used for simmering is eliminated. What kind of meals can you cook in a Wonder Box? Most meals that you would cook in a Crock Pot. Meals that simmer in liquid. Rice, Chili, Stews, Soups, etc…  Your food should be entirely covered with liquid, so if you are cooking a whole chicken or a roast, make sure the food is completely covered. With a little creativity, even other foods can be cooked in the Wonder Box. For example, a few whole potatoes in an oven cooking bag placed in a pot of water brought to a boil, will cook without being water logged. The Wonder Box is a slow cooker, Rice will take about an hour, a whole chicken in 3-4 hours. Tip: cook your breakfast and lunch at the same time using the same coals. By Lunch time, your meal will be ready. You can’t burn food in a Wonder Box. As long as your food stays over 160º F, Your food can cook all day. One source recommended not using your Wonder Box while it is sitting on metal as it may some of the heat through the bottom.

The Wonder Box can be washed using hot water and soap and dried on a clothes line.

Building a Wonderbox Style Insulated Cooking Box

Adventures in Self Reliance has posted a great pattern and pictures of making a wonderbox:
http://foodstorageandsurvival.com/building-a-wonderbox-style-insulated-cooking-box

Building a Wonderbox Style Insulated Cooking Box
Having enough fuel to keep warm and cook food in an emergency is an often overlooked area of preparedness. One way to preserve fuel is to use an insulated cooker like the Wonderbox. The Wonderbox was developed in the 1960’s by Anna Pearse, a South African philanthropist, for use in third world countries. It has been used for several years through her charity Compassion. In 1977, Women for Peace became the umbrella for the establishment of the Wonderbox project. So there’s your history lesson for today.

The insulated cooking box works kind of like a thermos. You put hot food in it and it continues to cook because of the insulating factor of the box. I’ll do another post on cooking in the box. For today, we’re just building it.

The pattern I have is an adaptation of the original Wonderbox pattern by our local Extension Agent Christine Jensen. Here’s the pattern:

To make an insulated cooker, you’ll need about 3 yards of standard 45″ wide 100% cotton fabric and polystyrene beads like found in a beanbag. For the beads you can check with your craft store to see if they can order them bulk or just buy a beanbag and open it up and use the beads in it. One standard adult bean bag fills two insulated cooking boxes plus a little extra. I found a beanbag at a yardsale that was nice and clean, so picked that up cheap. You would want to be careful buying used as you don’t want smoking or pet odors coming out when you cook your food–ick! You can use any fabric as long as it is 100% cotton. An old sheet, denim, etc. would all work. I got some cute fabric because I’m making mine as a gift for a friend who has a music preschool. I also thought that in a stressful situation, cute fabric might be a little pick-me-up.

I ironed my fabric to make it easier to work with, then laid out my pattern on it. I originally laid it out like this, thinking I would just cut two of each piece on each side and have a strip of fabric left over in the middle, but when I got these two pieces on it and doubled the fabric back over the top to see if I’d have enough, it came out a little short, so my 3 yards wouldn’t quite make the box if I cut it out like this.

So I laid it out differently. I folded the right edge over and placed the large bottom pattern piece on the fold, then flipped it over and repeated it on the left side.

Then I left a space large enough to cut one top piece out of the middle of the fabric and cut two more bottom pieces below that space.

I then left room again to take a top piece out of the center below the second set of bottom pieces. Below that space I cut one top piece from each side of the fabric.

After I got those two top pieces cut out, I went back up and folded the fabric right down the middle and cut the two other top pieces out of the spaces I had left.

Cutting this way, I actually had fabric left over from my 3 yards after all 8 pieces were cut out.

Now we’re ready to assemble the pieces. Get your large bottom pieces and lay two of them out right sides together. You’re going to sew starting at the top point, down the side, ending at the bottom point. It doesn’t matter which side you sew down because the pieces are mirror images of each other. Pin them together before you start sewing. Sew with a 1/2 or 5/8 seam allowance. Just pick one and stick with it for the duration of the project. It’s not like this is a fitted prom dress, it’s a pretty forgiving pattern. Repeat with the second pair of bottom pieces.

Now we’re going to attach the two pieces we just made to each other. Open them up and match the two pieces, right sides together. Match up the raw edges, pin together and sew, leaving an opening near the top to turn and fill it.

Now, as is standard with sewing anything with corners, I trimmed and clipped my corners before turning the whole thing right side out via the opening.

Now set the bottom aside and assemble the top. Lay out two top pieces, right sides together and sew from the top point, down one side to the bottom point. Repeat with the second pair of top pieces.

Then open the two top pieces up and pin them together, matching raw edges, and sew around, leaving an opening at the top to turn and fill through. This is just like the bottom pieces we sewed together, just a little different shape. Trim/clip the corners and turn it right side out. To find the shape the top and bottom are supposed to be, find where the corners all came together to make an X and flatten it out. That is the top or bottom. On the top pieces, it won’t matter which side is up. The bottom piece, you want the big X down. The smaller X will be the part that squishes inside the box to make a pocket for the pot. See the X?

Now we’re going to fill the bags with the polystyrene beads. Get in a place that is easy to clean up. The beads WILL go everywhere. You can use a spray bottle with water in it to cut down on static–it won’t hurt anything. This is easier with a friend. Make a funnel out of an old milk jug or something to help get the beads in. I used a file folder and taped it into a funnel shape. It worked pretty well. Fill the top about half full of beads. That’s plenty. Really.

Fill the bottom about half full also. I put mine in the box I was going to use for it and made sure the largest pot I’d be using fit in it. Then I stopped putting beads in it.

Once your pieces have the beads in them, sew the openings shut. You can hand sew them, but I don’t believe in hand sewing unless it’s entirely necessary, so I turned the edges in toward each other, pinned them together and top stitched them together.

There should be plenty of slack to get these openings sewed shut with your machine. Now stick it in a box–a banana box or one of equivalent size works great–put the top on, and you’re ready to cook! (Yes, it’s supposed to be a little loose and sloppy looking–that’s so it can conform to your pot shape/size easier.)

Cooking instructions here. 🙂

Thermal Cooking on Youtube

Click to view play list of demonstrations

Click to view play list of demonstrations

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=4DB65B0A21BBC752

Guide to Designing Retained Heat Cookers

The guides information is best viewed from this PDF file:

http://images.wikia.com/solarcooking/images/c/c3/Retained-Heat-Cookers_FINAL_7.11.2007.pdf

The Hot Box

http://www.thehotboxco.co.za/

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the HOTBOX work?

The HOTBOX uses the principle of insulated cooking. If you can keep the heat that is used to cook food, no replacement heat is necessary to complete the cooking process.

What type of dishes can you make in the HOTBOX?

Absolutely any food or dish that you would simmer in its liquid once you have brought it to the boil. All beans, legumes, grains and pulses; all soups, stews and casseroles; custard and yoghurt; steamed veggies; basmati, white, brown and sushi rice; mieliepap, samp and even pasta.

What are all the different uses for the HOTBOX?

The HOTBOX has a wide variety of uses. It is used to cook foods, to transport and continue cooking your food, as a warming oven and also used next to the braai keeping meat and all braai foods piping hot, as a plate-warmer keeping plates perfectly hot in the dining room, the garden or on the beach, it is a cooler box which is ideal for keeping drinks ice cold and storing ice, an incubation chamber for the making of foods like yoghurt and breads, a foot cushion or ideal camera rest when doing wildlife photography from your vehicle. (Really!)

Do I need to heat the HOTBOX?

Keep the HOTBOX away from open flame or fire. The heat required to cook the food is generated conventionally with electricity, gas, fire or paraffin. The HOTBOX is never heated in any way.

How long do foods cook for in the HOTBOX?

The cooking time for different foods varies from 20min (whole rolled oats) to 12 hours (oxtail). Foods mostly cook for more or less the same length of time or just slightly longer.

What environmental impact would the regular use of the HOTBOX make?

If you used the HOTBOX only 5 times per week your household would save 119kg of CO2 per year. If 500 000 households did that it amounts to more than 60 000 tons of CO2 per year. At least 70-80% of cooking time is saved and therefore the use of valuable resources such as electricity, gas, wood, paraffin, money and time is drastically reduced.

Does it really cook my food?

Yes! It really cooks your food. To truly benefit from the HOTBOX a subtle shift in thinking is required but once you see the incredible benefits you could never look back. It cooks your food and keeps it piping hot. The more you incorporate it into your daily life, the more you will find you use it.

What if my food isn’t cooked?

A degree of experimentation is necessary to get exact cooking times for different meals. It is important to use pots with tight-fitting lids and check that you’re not opening the lid unnecessarily. Hard and dense foods that have to be soaked such as chickpeas may need to be re-boiled and placed back into the HOTBOX for the last few hours. Alternatively just boil food on the stove for a little longer before transferring to ensure that all the food is at boiling temperature and not just the water.

How long does food stay hot for?

Food stays hot for up to 8 hours and remains warm for a few more hours. After 8 hours, unopened, the temperature of the food in the HOTBOX is approximately 56 degrees Celsius.

What do I use it for when I’m braaing or on holiday?

Keep braai meat and veggies hot as it comes off the fire. Cook and keep meals hot whilst traveling or hiking. Ideal when traveling in confined spaces such as caravans or yachts because you can reduce the amount of cooking gas needed by up to 50% which frees up your space.

Is there any safety measures involved in the use of a HOTBOX?

The HOTBOX must never be heated or held close to open flame or fire due to the flammable nature of the polystyrene balls. For health reasons don’t put a partially-eaten pot of lukewarm food back into the HOTBOX without first heating it, since HOTBOXES are not only excellent cookers but also ideal incubation chambers for yoghurt and other bacteria-rich food.

Why is it a healthier way of cooking?

Once the food has been transferred to the HOTBOX, the heat drops quite rapidly from boiling point to approximately 88 deg Celsius. This heat is then maintained and very gradually drops by an average of 4-5 deg per hour. It is a known fact that high heat destroys the live enzymes in your food and therefore cooking at a lower temperature preserves nutrients. HOTBOX cooking can never over boil or burn your food and food definitely retains more juiciness and flavor.

What type of pot do I use in the HOTBOX?

The pots that you usually use at home. A nice tip is to line the bottom HOTBOX cushion with an old dish cloth to protect the base of the HOTBOX from dirty or stained pots.

How do I wash the HOTBOX?

Hand wash or machine wash on a gentle/delicate spin cycle with cold water. Wash at max 30deg Celsius. Dry thoroughly in the sun – shake during drying to move polystyrene balls and to dry equally.

Do not dry clean or iron. Machine washing is the sole responsibility of the consumer. Fabric has not been pre-washed.

Recipes

Brown and White Rice:

  1. Put 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of cold water in a pot.
  2. Add salt to taste.
  3. Place lid on pot and bring to the boil.
  4. Simmer for 1 minute.
  5. Remove from the heat and place in the HOTBOX for 30 minutes (white rice) or 45-60 minutes (brown rice), or until all the liquid is absorbed.
  6. Rice remains perfect in the HOTBOX for hours as it does not dry out or overcook

Lamb or Beef Stew:

  1. Fry onions, garlic and spices in oil.
  2. Fry your cubes or knuckles of meat until brown.
  3. Add selection of chopped vegetables, tinned tomato and stock.
  4. Ensure that the food is covered by the liquid.
  5. Bring food to the boil and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Transfer to the HOTBOX – bigger and tougher pieces of meat require up to 12 hours of cooking in the HOTBOX.
  7. Return to stove and thicken your stew with Bisto or cornflour just before serving (optional)
  8. Serve directly from the HOTBOX with rice or pasta and a green salad.

Creamy Chicken & Corn Soup (a little time consuming but delicious)

  1. Place a whole chicken in a pot and fill with water, barely covering the chicken.
  2. Add celery sticks, whole garlic cloves, stock powder, bay leaves, salt and pepper to the water.
  3. Bring to the boil for a few minutes and transfer to the HOTBOX for approximately 2 hrs.
  4. In a separate pot melt approx 100-150 grams of butter until it sizzles.(the more butter you use the richer your soup will be)
  5. Add a variety of chopped veggies (such as cabbage, carrots, broccoli, leeks, onion, beans and courgettes) to the butter.
  6. Stir it with a wooden spoon to coat the veggies in the butter.
  7. Turn the heat down as low as possible and place the lid on tightly.  “Sweat” the veggies in the pot until soft, stirring every once in a while.  The sweating process takes about 30-40 minutes.
  8. Once the chicken is cooked drain off the water/stock into a jug or suitable container (You will use this lovely chicken stock to make your white sauce)
  9. Make a regular béchamel/white sauce with a small amount of milk and use the chicken stock for the rest of the sauce.
  10. Debone your chicken – the meat will be very soft and tender – and cut chicken into small bits.
  11. Add the chicken, “sweated” veggies and fresh or frozen corn to the white sauce.
  12. Add a dollop of cream or Greek yoghurt to the soup and season according to your taste.
  13. Garnish with ground black pepper and a small bunch of fresh coriander.

Traditional South African Mielie pap:

  1. Bring 2 ½ cups of water to the boil
  2. Stir 1 ½ cups of mielie meel and a pinch of salt into the boiling water.
  3. Stir thoroughly whilst boiling until all the water has been absorbed.
  4. Transfer to the HOTBOX and leave for approximately 30 minutes.
  5. Serve directly from the hotbox.

Samp and Beans

  1. Place I cup of samp & beans in a bowl, cover with water and soak overnight.  Rinse and drain.
  2. Bring samp & beans to the boil in 3 cups of salted water and simmer for approximately 20 minutes on the stove.
  3. Bring it back to a rapid boil and then transfer to the HOTBOX for approximately 4-5 hours or until soft and all the water is absorbed.
  4. Add butter, freshly ground black pepper, seasoned salt and crumbled feta cheese and enjoy as a light meal or accompaniment to a meal.

Thermos RPC-6000 6L Thermal Cooker

Thermos Thermal Cooker RPC-6000W 2x3L Thermo Pot

RPC-6000 thermal cooker with two 3L inner pots

Thermos also offers the RPC-6000 in a two 3L inner pot configuration which adds to the versitility of this thermal cooker. You are able to cook two recipes at the same time for example, rice and beans, rice and curry etc. or fill them both up with the same recipe for double the amount.  I’ve also used it with just a single 3L pot to cook smaller portions and filled up the empty space inside the outer pot with a small blanket, towell or rag to help retain the heat better.

Chicken Carbonara – thermalcookware.com

Chicken Carbonara

There is no need to precook the pasta in this dish.

Ingredients:
Meat Balls
400 grams of chicken mince
2 cloves of garlic 1 egg
1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsely
1 tablespoon of flour
A pinch of salt and pepper
Sauce
2 tablespoons of oil
2 onions coarsely chopped
1 stick of celery sliced
2 zucchini’s sliced
1 x 500 ml jar of carbonara sauce
500 ml of chicken stock
1/2 a cup of fresh parsely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups of spiral pasta
Grated cheese to serve.

Simmering time on the stove top: 4 minutes

Thermal Cooking time: 1 hour minimum

Method:
1. Mix together the chicken mince, garlic, egg, finely chopped parsely, flour, salt and pepper.
2. Seperate into small portions.
3. Roll these portions into balls approximately 2 cm in diameter.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the inner saucepan over a low-medium heat.
5. Brown half the meat balls and place them to one side.
6. Brown the other half of the meat balls and place them with the rest.
7. Add the other tablespoon of oil to the saucepan and brown the onions over a low heat for 2-3 minutes.
8. Add the garlic and celery and continue to cook for a few minutes until the onions start to clear and soften.
9. Add the zucchini and stir fry for a further minute.
10. Add the meat balls back into the saucepan and stir in the Parsely.
11. Add the carbonara sauce and the stock.
12. Bring the mixture to the boil.
13. Turn down the heat and simmer gently for 3 minutes.
14. Add the pasta to the simmering sauce and continue to simmer a further minute with the lid on.
15. Turn off the heat and transfer the saucepan into the vacuum insulated outer container.
16. Close the lid and leave for a minimum of 1 hour.
17. Serve with grated cheese and a tossed green salad of your choice.

http://shuttlechef.com/main.php?mod=Recipe&file=View&id=215

Thai Green Curry Chicken – thermalcookware.com

Thai Green Curry Chicken

A delightful mild curry chicken that has so much flavour.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of Oil
500 grams of sliced Chicken Fillets
3 tablespoons of Green Curry Paste (Valcom Brand is wonderful) NOTE: You can increase or decrease the amount of curry paste to suit your own requirements.
400 ml tin of Coconut Cream
2 tablespoons of Fish Sauce
2 teaspoons of Sugar
1 cup of chopped Pumpkin
1 cup of Green Beans (you can use dried or frozen also)
1 cup of fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
2 Kaffir Lime Leaves or 1 cup of freshly chopped Coriander
Fragrant Rice to serve.
NOTE: The supermarkets have excellent Basil and Coriander pastes that can be substituted if required.

Simmering time on the stove top: 5 minumtes

Thermal cooking time: 30 minutes minimum

Method:
1. Stir fry the curry paste in the oil over a low heat, until fragrant.
2. Add the chicken and pumpkin then stir fry over a medium heat for a few minutes.
3. Add the remaining ingredients, lower the heat and slowly bring it to the boil.
4. Put the lid on and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
5. Turn off the heat and transfer the pot into the outer insulated container and close the lid.
6. Leave for a minimum of 30 minutes.
7. Serve on a bed of fragrant steamed rice.
NOTE: If you are using the double pot Thermal Cooker you can be cooking the rice at the same time in the second pot.

http://shuttlechef.com/main.php?mod=Recipe&file=View&id=14

Corn and Pork Ribs Soup – youcookieat.com

Corn and Pork Ribs Soup (from the “The Adventure of Ms J & Mr P” youcookieat.com)

We grew up drinking lots of soup made by mummy. Asian mum loves to make soups. Soups are nutritious and they really warms your heart. Hope this Corn and Pork Rib Soup will warm yours too!

Preparation Time: 8 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Waiting Time: 2-3 hours

Ingredients:
1 Carrot
1 Tomato
2 Sweet Corns
1 small bit of young ginger
1/2 kg Pork Ribs

Preparation:
1. Cut the tomato into wedges. (4 or 6 wedges, up to you)
2. Break the corns into 3 pieces.
3. Cut the carrots into little chunks.
4. Clean the ginger by getting rid of the skin and cut them in big pieces.

5. Prepare the pork by boiling a pot of water and boil the pork for 5 mins then drain.

6. Pour all the ingredients into the pot with 1.5 litres of water.

7. If you are like us, we like using Thermal Pots. This is an OEM brand which is cheaper. You can get Tiger or Le Gourmet brands which cost 3 or 4 times more, and yet work the same.

We boil the above for 5 mins and then turn it off and transfer the pot into the Thermal Pot. Wait for 2 or 3 hours.

8. When we are ready to serve, we take out the pot, boil it again for a few minutes and then serve. Add salt to your taste.

We usually prepare the soups on Saturday mornings around 9 AM. We will drink the soup at noon. We like using Thermal pots because we do not need to care about the fire.

If you realise, we use an induction cooker too! Induction cooker converts 80-90% of energy to heat, compare to other types of cooking methods (eg gas flame, hot plates) that usually only use 45% of the energy and the rest wasted.

For those interested:
Carrot: Daucus carota subsp. sativus
Domestic Pig: Sus scrofa domestica
Ginger: Zingiber officinale
Sweet Corn: Zea mays var. rugosa
Tomato: Solanum lycopersicum

http://archives.starbulletin.com/2008/06/04/features/electric.html

These recipes are written for standard cooking on a stovetop or in an oven. To adapt them for a thermal cooker, use the same ingredients and follow the same steps, using the inner thermal pot.

Bring ingredients to a boil, making sure the internal temperature of the meat reaches 203 degrees (this may require 10 minutes of boiling). Place the inner pot into the insulated outer thermal pot; seal and let sit for the same amount of time as called for in the original recipe.

Sweet-Sour Spareribs
5 pounds spareribs
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 small pieces ginger, crushed
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt

Cut spareribs into 1-1/2-inch pieces. Sprinkle with soy sauce and flour; mix gently.

In large saucepan, heat oil. Brown spareribs with garlic and ginger; drain fat.

Add remaining ingredients and simmer 55 minutes to 1 hour. Serves 6.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 900 calories, 62 g total fat, 21 g saturated fat, 185 mg cholesterol, 1,300 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrate, no fiber, 35 g sugar, 41 g protein

Chinese-StyleOxtail Soup
2 pounds oxtail pieces
2 quarts water
2 large carrots, in 2-inch pieces
1 cup shelled raw peanuts
5 dried red dates
2 teaspoons salt

Put oxtail pieces into large sauce pot; add water to cover. Boil 5 minutes; drain and rinse oxtail pieces.

Add 2 quarts water and remaining ingredients. Cover and bring to boil; simmer 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Serves 6.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 250 calories, 17 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 800 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 18 g protein.

Baked Beans with Portuguese Sausage
1 pound Portuguese sausage
1 can (1 pound, 15 ounces) pork and beans
1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons dark molasses
1 tablespoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook sausage in water 10 minutes; drain and slice.

Put sausage, beans and onion into 3-quart baking dish. Combine remaining ingredients and stir into bean mixture. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour. Serves 10.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 350 calories, 14 g total fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 1,250 mg sodium, 45 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 23 g sugar, 16 g protein

Hawaiian Electric Co. presents this weekly collection of recipes as a public service. Many are drawn from HECO’s database of recipes, accessible online at http://www.heco.com.

Fireless Cookers – recipe books

Here is a list and links to a number of books written in the late 1800’s, early 1900’s on Fireless cooking.  They contain some great info on the method from recipes to how to make them and how to use some that were being sold at that time. These Fireless Recipe books are directly applicable for use as recipes in a thermal cooker, wonder box, wonder oven, hot box, hay box, or other retained heat cooking methods. The following are available to read and download online but are also available in reprinted books for purchase or to download on your Kindle.

The Fireless Cooker ( 1908 )

http://www.archive.org/stream/firelesscooker00huntrich

http://openlibrary.org/works/OL7886785W/–_The_fireless_cooker

Book of Caloric fireless cook stove recipes; a compilation of more than three hundred superior recipes of all kinds, meats, game, poultry, fish, cereals, vegetables … etc., especially adapted to the new Caloric fireless cookstove ([c1908])

http://www.archive.org/stream/bookofcaloricfir00calorich

The Fireless Cook Book : A Manual of the Construction and Use of Appliances for Cooking by Retained Heat : with 250 recipes (1913, c1909) by Margaret J. Mitchell

http://www.archive.org/stream/firelesscookbook00mitcrich

The Duplex cook book, containing full instructions for cooking with the Duplex fireless stove ([191-?])

http://www.archive.org/stream/duplexcookbookco00durhiala

Dream-Pot has added a number of recipes to their site

Haybox how to and description

Haybox how to and description

Hayboxes

Haybox cooking (also called retained-heat cooking) is an age-old method that can be used to conserve energy not only during times of crisis, but anytime. Depending on the food item and amount cooked, the use of a haybox or insulated cooker saves between 20% and 80% of the energy normally needed to cook a food. The longer an item usually takes on a stovetop, the more fuel is saved. For example, with a haybox, five pots of long-cooking dry beans will use the same amount of fuel to cook to completion as just one pot cooked without a haybox.

The principle of retained-heat cooking is simple. In conventional cooking, any heat applied to the pot after it reaches boiling temperature is merely replacing heat lost to the air by the pot. In haybox cooking, food is brought to a boil, simmered for a few minutes depending on the particle size (5 minutes for rice or other grains, 15 minutes for large dry beans or whole potatoes), then put into the haybox to continue cooking. Since the insulated cooker prevents most of the heat in the food from escaping into the environment, no additional energy is needed to complete the cooking process. The hayboxed food normally cooks within one to two times the normal stovetop cooking time. It can be left in the haybox until ready to serve, and stays hot for hours. “Timing” is much less important than in stovetop cooking: stick a pot of rice, beans, or stew in at lunch time, and it will be ready when you are, and steaming hot, at dinner time.

The haybox itself is any kind of insulated container that can withstand cooking temperatures and fits relatively snugly around the pot. Hayboxes have been made using hay, straw, wool, feathers, cotton, rice hulls, cardboard, aluminum foil, newspaper, fiberglass, fur, rigid foam, and/or other suitable materials as insulation. The insulation is placed between the rigid walls of a box, within a double bag of material, or lining a hole in the ground. “Instant hayboxes” have been created by wrapping a sleeping bag, blankets, and/or pillows around a pot. The most effective insulating materials create many separate pockets of air, which slow down the movement of heat. 2 to 4 inches of thickness (depending on the material) are necessary for good insulation. Some materials, such as aluminum foil or mylar, actually reflect heat back toward the pot. Important characteristics of any insulating material incorporated into a haybox include:

  • It must withstand cooking temperatures (up to 212 degrees F or 100 degrees C) without melting.
  • It does not release toxic fumes (any kind of foam insulation needs to be covered with aluminum foil or mylar) or dangerous fibers (fiberglass also needs to be covered).
  • It can be fashioned to be as snug-fitting as possible around the pot. A little pot in a big box will not cook as effectively; it’s better to wrap pillows, towels, or blankets around it to fill up the space.
  • It can be made to form a relatively tight seal, so that heat does not escape from the cooking cavity. Since hot air rises, a container designed to open at the base rather than the top will retain more heat.
  • It is dry, and can be kept dry, since wet materials don’t insulate as well. An inner layer of aluminum foil or mylar helps keep cooking moisture from entering the walls of the box. Mylar, which can be salvaged from used food storage containers, balloons, etc., tends to be a more durable inner layer than aluminum foil.

Cooking containers, too, should have tight-fitting lids, to prevent the escape of heat and moisture.

Since water is not lost in haybox cooking the way it is during extended stovetop simmering, the amount of water used to cook grains and beans is normally reduced by one-quarter. Instead of adding 2 cups of water per cup of dry rice, try adding 1 1/2. Also, the larger the amount cooked, the more effective haybox cooking is, since a full pot has more mass and therefore more heat storage capacity than a half-full pot. Haybox cooking is ideally suited for a family or large group, or anytime there’s a reason to cook in quantity. If you’re cooking alone, try cooking full pots of food using a haybox, then reheating small portions for individual meals–this too can conserve fuel.

Retained-heat cooking has many other advantages in addition to energy and water conservation. As mentioned, it makes “timing” less critical, since it keeps meals hot until serving time. Once the initial boil-and-short-simmer stage is past, it also eliminates the danger of burning the food on the bottom of the pot (the sad fate of too many pots of grains, beans, or other foods left simmering too long without stirring on the stove). Hayboxed food can actually be better for you, and tastier, than food prepared exclusively on a stovetop, because most of the cooking takes place in the 180 degrees F to 212 degrees F range, rather than at a constant 212 degrees F (lower temperatures preserve more flavor and nutrients, as they also do in crockpot cooking and solar cooking).

If you want to prepare multiple items for a meal but have only a limited number of flame sources, hayboxes can also greatly facilitate the logistics of food preparation. For example, you can bring your beans to a boil, simmer them 15 minutes, put them in a haybox; then bring your rice to a boil, simmer it 5 minutes, put it in another haybox; then prepare your vegetable stir-fry or soup, etc. At the end, you’ll have a uniformly hot, unburnt, multi-dish meal, all off a single flame, probably consuming less total fuel than you would have used simply to cook the longest-cooking item alone without a haybox. You’ll also have used one-quarter less of your drinkable water supply in preparing the food.

Presoaking and draining beans always makes them easier to cook, as well as to digest. A few particularly long-cooking foods, such as garbanzo beans, may need reboiling part-way through the cooking process. For health reasons, meat dishes should always be reboiled before serving.

Hayboxes are second only to solar cookers (which, however, are dependent on sunshine) in their potential to conserve resources. They’re easy to build, easy to use, and have many other advantages. Y2K or no Y2K, they deserve a place in every home.

http://www.lostvalley.org/haybox1.html

instructables – haybox cooker

Haybox or retained heat cooking is simply cooking a liquid based food like a soup or stew in it’s own heat. During WWII cooking oil was rationed for the war effort this method became popular as a way to conserve cooking fuel. They used hay in a box because the air spaces in the hay trapped in heat and allowed the soup or stew to cook in it’s own heat. Anything like hay, shredded news paper, rice hulls, cotton balls, corn husks etc will work as long as it packs loose and creates air spaces.

http://www.instructables.com/id/hay-box-cooker/

WONDER BOX RECIPE BOOKLET

WONDER BOX

RECIPE BOOKLET

INDEX

Babies – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 2, 11, 14, 15

Bobotie – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –    1, 6

Boiled egg – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –       4

Bread – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –   8, 12

Carrot jam – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 8

Christmas – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -9

Christmas pudding  – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 9

Cooking whole soya beans – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -10

Cultivation – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -2, 11, 15

Curry – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -5, 7, 12

Doughnuts – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -7 – 8

Dried Fruit – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 9

Facts about soya beans – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 11

Fasoulia – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  13

Fish – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 12,14

Fresh soya beans – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -14

Ham – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 6

Jam  – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  – – -8

Joints – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -6

Macaroni – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 4

Mieliemeel – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 1,4,12,15

Noodles – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 4

Nutty soya snacks – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 13

Oxtail – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  6

Porridge – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -1, 3, 4

Poultry – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -6

Pulp – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 15

Rice – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 4

Soup – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 1, 5, 6

Soya beans – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  1, 2, 6, 8, 16, 20

Soya milk – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -2, 10, 11, 14, 15

Soya vetkoekies – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 12

Spaghetti – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 4

Stew – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -5

Tea – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -7

Tongue – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -6

Turkey – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 12

Vegetables – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  4, 5, 9, 15

Warm drink – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  7, 13

TABLE OF CONTENTS (PAGE)

1.  Introduction                                    10.  Soya Beans

2.  Instructions                                     10.  Soya Milk

3.  Recipes                                          13.  Popular Soya recipes

4.  Basic Foods                                   13.  Soya nuts

5.  Meat Dishes                                   13.  A warm drink

6.  Soups & Curry                               14.  Soya for Babies

7.  Tea Time                                        15.  Soya Bean Cultivation

8.  Festive fare                                    17.  Compassion Wonder Boxes

The recipes in this booklet have been chosen for their simplicity high food value, low cost and popularity.  They are basic and should be adapted to individual requirements.

It can be used with a container or without to keep things hot or cold.

This booklet was published by Compassion of South Africa in 1978, 1979 & 1980.

This information may be freely quoted, acknowledgements being made to Compassion.

INTRODUCTION

Wonder Boxes work like vacuum flasks and are similar to the old-fashioned Hay Box.  Such things are often used only to keep cooked food or liquid hot and this does not improve their flavor.  If food is actually cooked in a Wonder Box it is a different matter.  The slow cooking can produce even better results than normal methods of cooking.

Most people find it hard to believe that food can cook so well without fuel and at temperatures below boiling.  It helps to understand how this can happen if we remember that boiling point is several degrees lower at higher altitudes due to the thinner air.  Wonder cooking is therefore similar to stewing or boiling food at the top of a mountain.

Hay Box cooking was encouraged by governments of several European countries during the last two World Wars in order to save fuel.  Many people remember how their porridge oats, the kind that needed long, slow cooking, used to be left all night in a wooden box lined with hay.  The Wonder Box uses polystyrene, a more efficient insulator than hay, to retain the heat.  This enables it to be more compact and its cushions can be washed when necessary.

We find that many foods take only a little longer than usual to cook in a Wonder Box but it can be a great advantage to be able to leave the food keeping hot until you want it, without its spoiling.

The information about the Wonder Bean, as Soya beans are sometimes called, has been included partly because these beans in their natural or dried state do not seem to be appreciated by people in the Western world.  This is probably because of the long slow cooking they need which the Wonder Box can now provide.

Soya beans, combined with a Wonder Box, provide perhaps the very best way for destitute people not only to survive but also to keep healthy.  And they can be a boon to people with stomach or heart disorders, diabetes or allergies caused by cows’ milk.

In these days when we are being warned of world wide shortages of food and fuel, we wonder how the sheer simplicity of this very old method of cooking and the simple methods of processing the centuries-old Wonder bean’ could be so overlooked.

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Other benefits from Soya beans are being discovered every year as more and more land is given over to them.  But for the poor the knowledge and means to grow the beans themselves and use them in the simple ways described here, may well be the greatest benefit of all.

INSTRUCTIONS

Boil your food on the stove first for a few minutes until the food is heated right through.  Use any cooking pot, provided it has no long handle, but do not use a large pot for a small amount of food as the Wonder Box does not work well if there is a large air space.

Put the lid on the pot before you remove the pot from the stove so the lid can also get hot.  Make sure the nest in the bottom cushion is ready to take the pot and that it is near by so you do not loose heat carrying the pot around.

Quickly cover the pot with the top cushion, making sure there are no gaps.  Leave the top cushion puffed up, (the cardboard box lid is not necessary).

Now make sure that nobody peeps inside to see what’s happening.  If they do, heat will escape.  Tapes across the corners of the top cushion help to prevent this.

Do not leave your Wonder Box on a metal surface while it is being used.  Metal is too good a conductor of heat and may draw off some heat through the bottom.

When cooking with a Wonder Box, remember that the more food or liquid that you have in a pot, the longer and better it will cook.

When cooking anything like a whole chicken, the liquid around it can boil before the chicken has reached the same temperature.  So make sure the liquid covers it and boil it for 15 minutes or more before putting it in the Wonder Box.

The nest in your Wonder Box can be lined with a dish towel, aluminum foil or paper to protect the cushions.

-2-

The cushions filled with polystyrene can be washed with hot water and soap and hung on the line to dry.  If the weather turns damp, do not leave the cushions to get moldy.  Rather continue using the Wonder Box.  The hot pot can help to dry them.

Our recipes have been worked out at sea level.  At higher altitudes, it may be necessary to leave foods boiling a little longer because of the lower boiling temperature, though it is more effective to boil up a second time.  Leaving food in a Wonder Box longer than four hours will not help to cook it more.

A Wonder Box can be used for keeping yeast or yogurt warm for setting, for keeping washing water hot or frozen foods cold.

Never replace a pot of half-eaten or luke-warm food in the Wonder Box.  It should be boiled up again first to prevent it going bad.

RECIPES

The recipes in this section can, if you wish, be cooked without a stove using only a kettle, a plastic or other container and a Wonder Box.

PORRIDGE

2 cups quick oats

4 cups boiling water

salt to taste

Stir the oats into the boiling, salted water.  Put the lid or a plate on the pot and tuck the pot quickly between the cushions of your Wonder Box for 15 minutes or more.  Stir before serving.  It will be just right to eat before rushing off to work or school.

For extra creamy porridge, boil up a full pot before going to bed.  Add extra water.  Leave in the Wonder Box all night.  For small amounts, use a double boiler or a bowl that fits inside a pot containing boiling water.

-3-

RICE

2 cups white or 2 cups of brown rice

3 ½ cups water for white rice or 4 cups water for brown rice

salt to taste (if desired)

Put the rice (brown rice is more nutritious) into cold water in pot.  Use a small pot for a small amount of rice.  Bring water & rice to a good boil.  Transfer pot to Wonder Box.  Leave the rice cooking in the Wonder Box for 40 minutes (more for brown rice) or until you want to eat it.

With rice and other foods, you may need less water than is shown in directions and recipes because the water does not evaporate away.

BOILED EGG

To boil one egg, pour boiling water over it to cover it.  Put it in the Wonder Box for 5 minutes or longer if you like it hard.

To boil two eggs you will need twice as much boiling water and for three eggs, three times as much to get the same results.

MACARONI, SPAGHETTI AND NOODLES

Put them in a pot with plenty of boiling water and a spoonful of salt.  Put the pot in the Wonder Box for 15 minutes, not longer, unless you want to make a milk pudding of them.

BASIC FOODS

MIELIEMEEL

Cook in the same way as porridge oats, (above) but use about 4 cups of water to each cup of Mieliemeel.  (miemiemeel is ground maize)

VEGETABLES

Potatoes, or root vegetables may be cooked in their skins.  Merely bring them to the boil in a pot full of water and transfer them to the Wonder Box for about twice as long as you would normally cook them.  They may be left all day without over cooking and can be more easily peeled after cooking.

-4-

…VEGETABLES CONTINUED…

For waterless cooking of vegetables or fruit, cut them up and put them into ordinary plastic bags (the crisp kind).  Submerge the bags in water in a pot and boil until the fruit or vegetables have also reached boiling point.  The length of time needed will vary with different vegetables, carrots being rather slow.  The bag should be left open protruding out under the lid.

MEAT DISHES

How to cook stew, curry or soup in a Wonder Box.

Fry

Meat (cut in pieces)

Onions

Fat for frying

A little flour

Seasoning (curry powder for curry)

Add

Soaked beans, lentils or peas

Vegetables – any kind, washed and cut up

Water to cover (add more for soup)

Boil

Make a “nest” in your Wonder Box and line it with plastic if you wish.

Place the boiling pot in the nest.

Cover immediately with cushion.

Make sure there are no gaps where heat can escape.

N.B. Food cooks best if the pot is full.

It continues to cook for 2-3 hours in only its own retained heat, so long as you do not remove the top cushion to look at it!

IT COOKS WITHOUT FUEL LIKE MAGIC!

-5-

OXTAIL, TONGUE, HAM, POULTRY, AND JOINTS

When cooking oxtail or meat that needs long slow cooking, the meat should be covered in liquid and boiled for 20-50 minutes, according to the size of the piece(s).  A large full pot that takes a long time to reach boiling point will need less time actually boiling.

Place it in the Wonder Box.  After 2-4 hours add any vegetables and herbs you may wish and bring it once more to a boil.  Check that a second period of cooking in the Wonder Box is necessary as ordinary joints will not need this.

Chicken and joints can be boiled in ordinary plastic bags immersed in water so they cook in their own juices.  The bag should have its open end protruding under the lid of the pot.  The meat can be browned under a grill or over a flame before serving.

Soya pulp (see page 11) or mashed whole Soya Beans (see page 10) make a good base for stuffing for birds or for dumplings for soups and stews.  Mix at least one tablespoon of flour with a cup of Soya and add herbs, onions, salt and pepper to taste.  By using Soya in this way, the protein content of a meal can be greatly increased at very little cost.  Soya takes on the flavor of whatever it is mixed with.

SOUPS AND CURRY

SOUPS

Follow the instructions for meat stews, leaving out the meat and the frying if you wish, and using smaller quantities with more water.  A bouillon cube or tomato puree may be added.

BOBOTIE

3 cups mashed cooked Soya beans

1 cup brown breadcrumbs

1 cup diced onion

1 cup milk with and an egg beaten together

1 spoonful oil

1 spoonful curry powder

1 teaspoon salt and sugar (each)

…Bobotie continued on next page

-6-

Fry the onion and curry powder in the oil.  Add all the other ingredients except half the cup of milk and egg and mix well.  Heat it all up while stirring.  Transfer it to a smaller bowl and pour the remainder of the milk on top.    Put a lid or plate on the bowl and stand it in a larger pot of boiling water until the egg and milk on top sets.

CURRY

4 cups ready-cooked mashed Soya beans and/or meat

3 cups water or stock

2 onions diced                      1 spoonful flour

1 spoonfull oil                                    1 spoonful curry powder

1 beef cube                          salt to taste

Add any of the following:

half an apple, diced

a sliced banana

a tablespoon of sultanas (raisins) or currants

a teaspoon of sugar

a spoonful of chutney or jam

a spoonful of lemon juice or vinegar

Fry the onions in a little oil.  Add flour and curry powder.  Then slowly add water to make a sauce.  Bring to a boil.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil again.  Place in Wonder Box for several hours or until needed.  Serve over rice.

DOUGHNUTS

1 cup Soya pulp (see page 11)

2 cups self raising flour (or brown flour & 1 teaspoon yeast)

1 cup cold water

1 teaspoon salt (and 1 teaspoon vanilla if you like)

1 teaspoon sugar (or a little more if you like)

…continued on next page.

-7-

Mix all ingredients, place in an oiled plastic bag and let rise in the Wonder Box until almost doubled.  Heat about 1 liter of oil and test the heat of the oil by dropping a small piece of the dough in to see if it rises quickly to the surface.  Spoon out rounded dessert spoonfuls of dough into the oil and fry until golden brown on both sides.  Roll in sugar while warm.

BREAD

4 cups whole wheat, brown or white flour, or mixed as you wish

1 teaspoon each yeast and sugar mixed, added to ¼ cup warm water

1 cup warm water with 1 teaspoon salt added

Mix and knead the dough (or add another ¼ cup warm water and merely stir it well).  Roll the dough in dry flour and place it in an ordinary (crisp cereal) plastic bag which has had a little oil rubbed around inside.  To reduce time needed for this it can be left submerged in warm water in the Wonder Box.  When it has doubled its size, it should be brought to boil in the water and boiled for about 10 minutes.  Transfer the bread in the pot of water to a Wonder Box for an hour to finish cooking when it should have a soft “crust”.

JAM

Using a little water as possible, cut up and bring the fruit to the boil in your pot and put the pot in the Wonder Box until it is cooked.  Pour the fruit into a larger pot and add an equal volume of sugar.  Boil them together until the jam is ready to set.  Test for this in the normal way.

CARROT JAM

Carrots can be used instead of fruit to make a mock apricot jam.  They should first be cut up and cooked soft with a little water.  Then mash them.  Add an equal volume of sugar and some lemon juice to taste and cook as above.

-8-

FESTIVE FARE – at very little cost.

CHRISTMAS PUDDING

This is inexpensive, nutritious, quick, easy to make and delicious.

2 cups brown sugar

2 cups mixed dried fruits – washed

2 cups mashed whole cooked Soya beans (se page 10)

Heat the above together in a pot adding them in the order given above.  The sugar should melt before the Soya and bread is added.  Press the mixture into a suitable bowl and leave in the Wonder Box to keep hot and to enable it to be turned out in a pudding shape.  Or it can be eaten immediately.

FRUIT “MINCE-MEAT”

Use the same mixture as for the Christmas pudding, but leave out the breadcrumbs.  Heat as above.  Use for mince pies and tarts.

CHRISTMAS AND WEDDING CAKES

Use the mincemeat mixture as above and add two cups brown flour.  This may be stirred into the hot mixture to reduce the cooking time needed.  The mixture should be spread into a baking tin which has been well greased and floured to prevent sticking.  Bake in a slow oven for an hour or more.

All the above recipes can be varied to taste by adding lemon juice, spices and dates to replace half the sugar or extra dried fruit.

DRIED FRUIT

Using home-made dried fruit in your Christmas cake could make it cost as little as a loaf of bread.

Cut into small cubes a mixture of any of the following:

lemon peel               watermelon rind                  orange peel

prickly pear               pumpkin                                marrow

carrot                         similar fruits or vegetables

Add water, rather less than needed to cover them.  Boil for 10 minutes.  Put into the Wonder Box for them to cook soft.  Add an equal volume of sugar and bring to boiling once more.  Leave in the Wonder Box overnight.  Next day, pour off the syrup and use this for jam or cool drinks.  The remaining peel etc. should be left to dry with fresh sugar sprinkled over it.

Continued… on next page

-9-

N.B. Fruit cakes, etc. can be steamed in tins in ordinary plastic bags standing in boiling water in a pot.  They should be boiled for at least 20 minutes before transferring in the pot to a Wonder Box for further cooking.

Carrot cake or pudding can be made using the same basic recipe as the Christmas cake but substituting grated carrots and 2 teaspoons cinnamon for the dried fruit.  It can be boiled in a plastic bag like the bread above a lighter cake can be made by adding baking powder and using Soya pulp instead of mashed whole Soya beans.

SOYA BEANS

Dried Soya beans are small, hard and normally need hours of cooking to get them soft.  So they are less popular than other beans even though they are cheaper.  In fact their hardness protects them from mice, weevils and even atomic radiation.  They provide us with all that our body needs and can easily be processed and used in making all our basic foods.  There is no vitamin C in the dried bean but even this can be obtained by sprouting them.

We have experimented with information from overseas on soaking and cooking Soya beans and have adapted the methods to the Wonder Box which saves 75 percent of the fuel needed for cooking.  We recommend the following:

COOKING WHOLE SOYA BEANS

Sort, wash the beans vigorously until the water is not sudsy and add them to at least twice their volume of boiling water to which you have added Baking Soda (1 level teaspoonful to a liter of water).  Bring it to boil.  Boil for a minute while you heat the lid for the pot.  Place in the Wonder Box and leave for 48 hours or more.

If you do not use Baking Soda, soak the beans in boiling water which inactivates enzymes which can produce an unpleasant taste if the beans become bruised.  Always throw away the soaking water.  Then boil the beans twice over followed by two or three hours in the Wonder Box after each boiling.

Both the above methods, which should leave the beans soft enough to mash, will inactivate a substance in the bean which works against the protein digesting enzyme trypsin, thus making all the protein in the bean available as food.

-10-

SOYA MILK

It is important for mothers with large families or with children that are allergic to cows’ milk to know how to make Soya milk.  To spread this knowledge ‘Compassion’ is undertaking demonstrations in hospitals, at churches and wherever people are gathered together who want to know more about it.

The method for making the milk, based on the Chinese method, is as follows;

1.         Sort, wash and soak 1 cup of Soya beans in plenty of water overnight.

2.         Mince, or grind the beans one cup at a time in a blender with 4 cups of

water.

3.         Boil 2 cups water in a deep pot and add the minced beans.

Bring back to boiling.  Stir and be careful it does not boil over and put

in the Wonder Box for 30 minutes.

4.         Strain through a clean cloth and squeeze to remove all milk.

Add a little salt and sugar if desired.

KEEP THE PULP FOR ADDING TO OTHER FOODS

To make amasi:  This makes a good medicine and food for babies with running stomachs.  Add a teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar to a cupful of Soya milk and leave to stand.  Yogurt can be made in the same way using a teaspoonful of yogurt instead of lemon, but leave this in a warm place to set – such as a Wonder Box.

FACTS ABOUT SOYA BEANS

From the ‘Wonder Food’ by C.E. Clinkard.  In China there is practically no animal milk.  Whereas only 7 lbs. of beef protein or 39 lbs. of egg protein, can be produced from one acre, 339 lbs of Soya bean protein can be produced from the same area.  Its cultivation has been going on for about 5,000 years.  Two and a half lbs of Soya bean flour is equivalent to 5 ¼ lbs of lean boneless meat or 67 eggs or 13 quarts of cow’s milk.

-11-

POPULAR SOYA RECIPES

SOYA VETKOEKIES

1 cup Soya pulp (or mashed soft-cooked Soya beans)

1 spoonful of flour (or flour and breadcrumbs)

For variations, add any of the following:

tomato           herbs              sugar              grated potatoes

spice              curry               cheese          chopped onion

Mix and drop into hot oil to fry

SOYA AND MIELIEMEEL BREAD

2 cups Soya pulp                 2 (or more) cups miemiemeel

2 teaspoons sugar               1 teaspoon salt

Stir all together to make a mixture like damp sand.  Spoon it into a plastic bag which has had oil rubbed around the inside.  Squeeze it in the plastic into a loaf shape.  Immerse it in a pot of water with the open end of the bag protruding out under the lid.  Boil for at least 10 minutes and leave in the Wonder Box for about an hour.

SOYA “TURKEY”

Mince whole soft-cooked Soya beans and flavor them delicately with chicken or beef cubes, salt and pepper.  Add a spoonful of flour and some oil to each cupful of beans.  Boil the mixture in a plastic bag immersed in water for at least 10 minutes followed by a short period in a “Wonder Box.  It should now carve and taste surprisingly like turkey.

Mix some of the above with a little minced fried liver for a delicious live pate for sandwiches.

FISH CAKES

1 cup Soya pulp                   1 heaped spoon of flour

1 onion                                   2 sprigs parsley

salt and pepper                   oil

Heat the oil in a frying pan.  Chop the onion and parsley and mix with other ingredients.  Shape into fish-cakes with spoons and fry until golden brown on both sides.  These have a delicious taste of fish-cakes although no fish is used.  The taste of onion should not be noticeable.

-12-

FASOULIA

This is a highly recommended Greek Dish (Haricot beans are usually used for this)

3 cups well cooked Soya beans                          1 bay leaf

half a cup of oil                                                        1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 small can tomato paste                                      juice of 1 lemon

a little water or tomato puree                              2 cloves garlic

Heat the oil in a deep pan and add the beans.  Simmer gently for 10 minutes while you add all the ingredients except the onion.  Cover the pan and place in Wonder Box for 4 hours.  Add the onion rings.  Serve hot or cold.

NUTTY SOYA SNACKS

Mix a spoonful of flour with a teaspoon of salt and sprinkle it over some whole-cooked Soya beans until they are well coated.  Remove the excess flour.  Drop the beans a spoonful at a time into hot deep oil.  Fry until they are light biscuit color, or fry half-cooked beans in hot oil until they are golden brown; allow the oil to drain off.  Sprinkle salt over them and store them in an air tight jar to keep crisp.

A WARM DRINK

Bake unsoaked Soya beans slowly in an oven or iron pot for about 6 hours or until they are dark brown but not burnt.

Grind while hot, if possible.  Store in an airtight container.

To make a warm drink, pour boiling water onto a good spoonful of ground baked beans.  Add a pinch of salt.  Allow to stand or simmer for a few minutes.  The grounds will sink to the bottom.  Keep the drink hot in a Wonder Box.

FRESH SOY BEANS

Young Soya beans only need to be cooked for 10 – 15 minutes.  Children must not be allowed to chew raw green Soya beans – or any raw beans or they will get indigestion.

SOYA FOR BABIES

By our Woman Doctor:  Soya beans are the richest source of vegetable protein, their protein being equal in value to that in meat, milk, fish and eggs.

-13-

The milk prepared from Soya beans can be used for feeding under-weight malnourished babies to bring them back to health.  Soya beans also provide a good weaning food which can be made from ground Soya beans or from the residue after making Soya milk.  In some cases Soya milk is even better than cows’ milk.  This is because many malnourished children have a persistent running stomach.  The lining of the bowl in these children has become thin and flat instead of being thick and thrown into folds.  This thin lining does not produce the substance needed to digest the milk sugar, lactose.  Because of this, drinking cows’ milk will make the diarrhea worse.  Soya milk is digested well as it contains no lactose.

Many adults also do not digest cows’ milk well as it causes stomach upsets because of a lack of the substance needed to digest lactose.  Certain races, including Africans, are more prone to this.

Soya beans are used extensively by world health teams in feeding programs for areas where there are many malnourished children.  The milk prepared by the recipe in this book contains a little more protein than cow’s milk and considerable more than breast milk.

Soya milk contains about ¾ of the calcium supplied in breast milk.   (Cows’ milk is very rich in calcium and supplies far more than a baby needs).  Soya milk contains no vitamin D but this vitamin is made in the body by the action of sunlight on the infants’ skin.  Vitamin D is necessary to prevent rickets.  It has a satisfactory content of iron, in fact more than in breast milk; also of the B vitamins (except 12 which is also absent in breast milk).  It is low in vitamin A and vitamin C is absent.

One cannot unreservedly recommend Soya milk for the sole food of infants under 4 months who, in any case, should be on the breast.  But it can be used for emergency or temporary feeding where the alternative is protein deprivation.

Soya can be highly recommended for feeding infants over 4 months especially with regard to its protein content.  These babies can also be given mashed local vegetables and fruit and the occasional egg yolk in addition which supplies the vitamins A and D and also extra calcium.  Mieliemeel mixed with either Soya milk or the pulp which is left after making the milk is an ideal combination as a source of calories and protein.

It is very rare to find a baby allergic to Soya milk but of babies allergic to cows’ milk some authorities have found that ¼ of these will also be allergic to Soya milk.  The other ¾ will thrive on Soya milk.

Commercial dried Soya milk powders are fortified with extra vitamins A and D and a little extra calcium and can be used for infants of all ages.

-14-

SOYA BEAN CULTIVATION

By our Agriculturalist:  Soya beans (Soybeans) can be grown anywhere in Southern Africa where ordinary green beans can be grown and they require roughly the same conditions.

The soil should be well cultivated to prevent weeds from becoming too big a problem to growing beans.  Make your planting rows about 14 centimeters apart.  This is about the distance from a man’s elbow to tip of thumb.  For a small garden you can make the rows a little close together.  For a large field where tractor or ox-drawn implements are used you can make the rows wider apart.

The seed should be planted a little later than the date on which you would normally plant mielies (corn) so as to be sure that the ground is warm enough to encourage the beans to make a quick start.  If you are not able to irrigate the ground, you must wait for good rains to give your soil plenty of moisture before planting.

Put the beans about 5 centimeters, or a thumb’s length deep and 4 – 5 centimeters apart.

Under good conditions the beans will germinate in 4 to 5 days.  If the soil has been hammered hard by heavy rains at this time, it must be loosened a little so that the beans can push through the soil without being damaged.  Keep the young beans free from weeds for the first month at least to give them the best chance in life.  The beans will be ready to harvest when the plant leaves begin to fall and the stems begin to dry out.

Soya beans have the good quality of attracting certain bacteria which extract the plant food nitrogen from the air.  These bacteria are very small organisms which cannot be seen by the naked eye.  While the beans are growing the bacteria will multiply greatly and will remain a long time in the soil after the beans are finished.  A little soil taken from an old Soya bean plot and dusted into the rows of fresh ground where Soya beans are to be planted will therefore provide a more plentiful supply of the helpful bacteria at the outset and get the bean off to a good start.  The nitrogen fixing partnership between beans and bacteria will mean that your ground will be enriched by a crop of Soya beans.

Wonder Boxes, designed by Compassion in 1978, continue to catch on, to excite people and to be a boon for many households.  They are being made in at least 50 centers in southern Africa:  Women for Peace in Johannesburg, Cripple Care in Pietermaritzburg and Pretoria, Centers of “Concern in port Elizabeth and elsewhere and self-help home industries and missions in rural areas.

-15-

Yet still there is a desperate NEED for WONDER BOXES TOGETHER WITH SOYA BEANS.  To meet this need we ask each person who reads this to PROVIDE ONE MORE PERSON WITH A WONDER BOX.

Start a “Wonder-chain”, each person who receives one could buy or make one for someone in need – a pensioner, an unemployed person or an over-burdened working mother.

MAKE YOUR OWN WONER-BOXES

Make cushions out of large plastic bags, mutton cloth or other washable material and fill them loosely with any of the following”

polystyrene beads                           waste nylon materials

dried corn husks                               flakes of newspaper

woolen materials                             sawdust and wood shavings

feathers                                             hay or other dry grasses

Put the cushions into a container such as a cardboard box and make a nest in it for your cooking pot.  Cover the pot with another cushion.

Polystyrene is about the best insulation material and it is also easily washed.  If you are only able to get the solid pieces which are used for packing radios etc…, you can break it up by grating it.

Compassion registered the name WONDER BOX and the logo of the kneeling figure in the hope that our new and simple ways of using the WONDER (SOYA) BEANS will go with it and be a powerful force for peace at this time.

LIVE SIMPLY THAT OTHERS MAY SIMPLY LIVE

Where to get insulation beads:

JoAnn’s Fabric Stores

DOUBLE STITCH ALL SEAMS

Cut bottom out of milk jug (gallon),         Put 5 scoops of beads for top.

Put 9 scoops of beads for bottom.

-16-

Wonder Box Cooker

The Wonder Box Cooker recipes and instructions originated from a booklet published by “Compassion” of South Africa in 1978,1979 and 1980. “Compassion” registered name Wonder Box and the logo of the kneeling figure. This information may be freely quoted, acknowledgments being made to “Compassion”

Wonder Boxes work like vacuum flasks. In these days when we are being warned of worldwide shortages of food and fuel, this wonder box and it’s simplicity is designed to keep food at the temperature needed for cooking.  Using very little fuel you only use about 15 minutes of energy to bring the food to the required temperature and then put it into the Wonder box. It makes it as though it were a thermos.  On the flip side it will also keep ice-cream cold for about 4 hours.

Brief Cooking Instructions:

Boil your food on the stove for 10 – 15 minutes until the food is heated right through. (In practice this is too long.)

Use any cooking pot, provided it does not have a long handle, but do not use a large pot for a small amount of food. The W’box does not work well if there is a large air space. Remember that the more food or liquid that you have in the pot, the longer and better it will cook.

Put the lid on the pot before you remove the pot from the stove so the lid can also get hot. Make sure the nest in the bottom cushion is ready to take the pot and that it is nearby so you do not lose heat carrying the pot around. Place pot into the nest of the W’box, making sure that the sides are snug against the pot, so there are no air pockets. Quickly cover the pot with the top cushion, making sure there are no gaps or air pockets. Make sure that no one peeks inside. If this happens, heat will escape, and the food will not cook properly.

Do not leave the W’box on a metal surface while it is being used. Metal is a good conductor of heat and may draw off some heat through the bottom.

When cooking anything like a roast or a whole chicken, the liquid around it can boil before the meat has reached the same temperature. Make sure the liquid covers the meat and it has come to a boil. Meat must be covered with liquid! The cooking time seems to be 3-4 hours, or all day. It is sure to never burn.

Note: We had a chicken that was put in at 9:30 in the morning before church. This single dad prepared the chicken by placing it into an oven-cooking bag. He added spices to the chicken closed the bag completely (no added moisture was added to the bag) then brought the pot of water with the chicken in, to a boil and put it all in to the W’box. We ate with him at 4:00pm and as he tried to carve the chicken that was well cooked; the steam was ‘rolling’ off the chicken. It was still so hot he worked with forks to carve it. Nb: the opening to the bag was left protruding from under the lid.

The W’box was designed for cooking meals, but it can also be used for keeping food hot, cold or frozen for 3-6 hours depending on what it is For example, frozen meat will stay frozen longer than a tub of ice cream.

The cushions filled with polystyrene can be washed with hot water and soap and hung on the line to dry.

WONDER BOX Sewing Instructions

Click here for a Pattern

Material:  3 Meters (yards are 3″ shorter than a meter) soft cotton or broadcloth so it will conform to the shape of the pot.

(½ can be coordinated  ….   two colors)

19 scantly filled 1-gallon ice cream pails of  Polystyrene beads (it is an insulation that looks like the tiny separate Styrofoam bits that make up the protective packing in electronics, etc.)

“Polystyrene is about the best insulating material and it is also easily washed. If you are only able to get the solid pieces which are used for packing radios etc., you can break it up by grating it.”
the booklet also says “make cushions out of large plastic bags, mutton cloth or other  washable material and fill loosely with any of the following:
Polystyrene, Dried corn husks, Woolen materials, Feathers, Waste nylon materials, Flakes of newspaper, sawdust and wood shavings, Hay or other dry grasses “In Canada we have a gray ‘blow in insulation’ in our attic, it would be impossible to wash without opening the wonder box but it may be added to this list as well.

Sewing instructions:

When you sew the wonder box together you sew 2 of the 4 pieces together along the longest sides. You open each of the pairs now and place them right sides together and sew those 2 together all the way around the outside, making an awkward shaped cushion affair. Don’t forget the opening to fill through. You then repeat with the 4 bottom pieces. One pair together, sew along the longest side, then the other pair. Open them up and place them right sides together, remembering to leave openings to fill through. I am adding a loop at this point to hang this by when not in use, or dry after washing.

The narrow part of the bottom pattern is the piece you will tuck into the bigger part of the bottom to make the pouch/nest for the pot to sit into.

Hoping not to confuse the issue. If you start where the bottom pattern says 90 (degrees for the angle) and sew down the right side of the pattern and stop just after the second 11 ½  ” mark, before the pattern starts back up. That will be one of the two pairs. Do the same with the other two, put right sides together again and sew it all the way around the outside edge now, into the box or ball shape. The same goes for the top cushion, start at the 100, sew down the right and stop just after the 11″ mark. The rights sides together and sew again making the shape of the top cushion.

It will not lie flat. It will take the shape of a square cushion when it is filled with the polystyrene beads, and the bottom cushion has a cavity like a nest or pouch.

Top: Fill a little less than ½ full while the bag is hanging. Approximately 7 scantly filled 1-gallon ice cream pails.

A paper funnel works best, as the beads are very static prone.  You may want to use an ice cream pail to pour from. Work with two people to fill-one to hold the funnel in and the other to pour.  Spread a sheet on floor to catch beads.

Bottom: Cut 4 Fill approximately ½ full with polystyrene beads. Approximately 12 scantly filled 1-gallon ice cream pails

Once this bag is filled, tuck the small end into the center to form the pouch/nest for the pot. Find a good pot that works well in this pouch. No long handles please.

When the pan sits inside the pouch/nest of the bottom, the pan is surrounded on all sides except the top. So… that is where the top/lid comes in. It is very important to keep all of the heat inside this wonder box cooker. One of the pages and the recipes explain that the lid/top of the wonder box must go on immediately with no places for the heat to escape or it will all be for nothing.

Wonder Box Recipes

Yogurt by the Gallon

4 cups dry skim milk powder

4 quarts warm water

Mix well, heat to scald, cool to luke warm

Add

1 cup of starter (plain commercial yogurt) or product saved from this finished recipe may be used to start a new batch. Refresh monthly with commercial starter.

Mix well, put into a gallon glass jar with a lid and place into the Wonder box.

Leave undisturbed for 12-14 hours. It will thicken more after refrigeration.

May be used plain or add your favorite fruits to flavour.

For those that can afford the calories, if the yogurt doesn’t set to your liking, add instant

Vanilla pudding. (substituting yogurt for milk)

Can be reduced for smaller batches.

Porridge

2 cups quick oats

4 cups boiling water

salt to taste

Stir oats into boiling water, put lid on and  place quickly between cushions of the W’box for 15 minutes or more. Stir before serving

Rice

2 cups rice

Put into

3 ½ – 4 cups of salted boiling water. NB. Because the water does not evaporate you may need less water than usual.

Place quickly into W’box, and leave for 40 minutes or longer until ready to eat.

Vegetables

Potatoes or root vegetables may be cooked in their skins. Bring them to a boil in a pot full of water and place quickly between cushions of the W’box for about twice as long as you would normally cook them. They may be left all day without overcooking and can be more easily peeled after cooking

Try waterless cooking by using the crisp kind of bags used for cooking roasts, etc. Submerge the bag into the water and bring to a boil. The bag should be left with opening protruding out from under the lid. Place quickly into W’box.

Chicken and other joints of Meat

Place chicken into an Oven cooking bag with desired spices, and close bag

Bring pot of water with chicken in it, to a good boil.

Quickly place into the W’box and place top cushion on.

Leave alone for at least 3-4 hours.

The chicken was put in at 9:30 in the morning before church. This single dad prepared the chicken by placing it into an oven-cooking bag. He added spices to the chicken closed the bag completely (no added moisture was added to the bag) then  brought the pot of water with the chicken in, to a boil and put it all in to the W’box. We ate with him at 4:00pm. It was impressive.

Try soups, stews, what ever you can bring to a boil and then give it a try. The worst that would happen is the first time, you may have to bring things back to a boil and replace into the W’box for a second cooking time.

I was given other recipes from a group who called this “The Clever Cooker” but they looked just like any other kind of simmered recipe and the consistent instruction was leave for 3-4 hours,

Never replace a pot of half eaten or luke warm food in the W’box It should be boiled up again to prevent it going bad.

Hayboxes

Hayboxes

A haybox is an insulated container which can make significant fuel savings – up to 70%! Just bring the food to a boil, place the pot inside the haybox, and cover. The haybox will contain the heat in the food so that it will continue cooking without using extra fuel. In terms of our three heat concepts, a haybox works by maximizing heat storage and minimizing heat loss. A haybox is ideal for foods with a high water content like soups, stews, rice, boiled eggs and more. Foods which lose a lot of steam on the stove can be cooked with less water using a haybox.

You can precook the beans and legumes in some recipes, such as chili, in the haybox before adding other ingredients, since some beans must be boiled for at least 10 to 15 minutes to make them safe to eat.

 

Hayboxes can also be used to raise bread or incubate yogurt or tempeh. Place a container of hot water in the haybox to keep the temperature up.

You can use a cooler as part of a haybox, but you will probably want to add more insulation. You can make a haybox from all sorts of local materials, such as a basket filled with dried grass and covered with a bag or pillowcase of dried grass on top.

Cooking times:

Food: Boil time: Haybox time:
Rice 5 min 1-1.5 hours
Potatoes 5 min 1-2 h
Soup and stock 10 min 2-3 h
Green Lentils 10 min 3-4 h
Pintos 10 min 3 h
Split Peas 10 min 2 h
Quinoa 5 min 1.5 h
Millet 5 min 1 h
Polenta 1 min 1 h
Winter Squash 5 min 1-2 h
Steamed bread 30 min 3 h
Chicken 6 min 2-3 h
Beef 13 min 3-4 h

Haybox Notes:
Aprovecho’s Guide to Hayboxes and Fireless Cooking, by Peter Scott, et al. Aprovecho Research Centre. (Brochure)
Fireless Cooking, by Heidi Kirschner, Madrona Publishers. 1981.

Comments on cooking bread and other things in a wonderbox cooker

Comments on cooking bread and other things in a wonderbox cooker:

Steamed bread in a wonderbox — turned out fabulous. We left it in the hot water to rise then boiled it for ten minutes and kept it in the wonderbox for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Here is some detail about the wonderbox bread…

I put the whole wheat bread dough in a oiled cereal bag (the waxed-
paper-like inner lining bag in boxes of cereal). Then I twisted up the
end and closed it with a twist tie. I then placed this bag inside a
Reynolds oven bag and twisted up the end of that bag. Rather than
putting the twist tie on at that point, I folded over the twisted end,
making a loop and then secured it with a twist tie, creating a double
reinforcement and less probability of water leaking in. I have heard
it being done in a Zip-loc bag as well, but I was pleased with the
cereal bag and oven bag. When picking a bag, you are concerned with
its ability to withstand the heat of boiling and ability to get a tight
seal when closing as water seeping into the bread will ruin it.

Then I put the dough in a pan of hot water to rise. After it had
risen, I boiled it for ten minutes and then placed the pan with the
dough in it and with the lid on in the Wonder Box. I left it there for
1 hour and 45 minutes. It was perfect. The bread comes out round and
is not browned, but very moist and light. You will not get overdone,
dry bread this way.

BREAD Recipe:

4 cups whole wheat, brown or white flour, or mixed as you wish

1tsp each yeast and sugar mixed, added to ¼ cup warm water

1 cup warm water with 1 tsp salt added

Mix and knead the dough (or add ¼ cup warm water and merely stir it well). Roll the dough in dry flour and place it in an ordinary (crisp, cereal) plastic bag which has had a little oil rubbed around inside.

To reduce time needed for this it can be left submerged in warm water in the wonder box.

When it has doubled its size, it should be brought to boil in the water and boiled for about 10 minutes. Transfer the bread in the pot of water to a wonder box for an hour to finish cooking when it should have a soft “crust”.

I have fielded numerous requests from readers who are making their own wonder boxes, and wanting to know what type of material would be best for the cushions.

Cushions have to be of a soft material that will squish firmly around the top, bottom and sides of your wonder box. Another idea is to use the inners of old, flat pillows.

Another example of making bread in a wonderbox

I have been baking bread in a wonderbox for awhile now. My recipe is for 2 loaves (whole wheat). I put one in the wonderbox and one in the oven. I raise the bread by putting it in a cereal bag that has been sprayed with cooking spray. I put a twistertie on that and then put that in an oven bag, twist it up and then double the twisted part over and put on the twister tie. That part looks like a loop. Anyway I put the bagged dough in a pot of warm water to rise. When it has doubled, I bring the whole thing to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Then put the whole thing in the wonderbox and go away. Once it was in there for over 8 hours and the bread was still warm. I think the least amount of time has been one hour.
The bread does not have a crust and is usually oval, but it is moist and delicious. In fact when I have people try a bit from the oven baked and the wonderbox, they prefer the wonderbox bread hands down.
So do I.
I have reused the cereal bag. I make my own cereal so I don’t have those kind regularly. I’ve tried ziploc bags for the outside and sometimes they pop open from the rising bread. If it gets under water, the bread is ruined.

Bean Soup
I made bean soup. I soaked the beans over night, then boiled them 20 minutes, and after a couple of hours in the wonderbox, I took them out to put some bean flour in to thicken it and reheated it for another 20 minutes before putting it back in. All together it was probably 6-7 hours in there, but no burning or sticking, and I left it that long because that was when I was using the soup…

BTW, I was using the ice box cooler for the thermal outer container which I placed the bean pot inside. I first wrapped the bean pot in a wool blanket and then put a pillow on top of the pot and blanket before closing the cooler lid. I have also been using a half of a mylar space blanket in the wonderbox and the ice box cooker both to retain heat, but also to keep the wonderbox clean and dry and to keep the wool blanket dry. I think that really helps.

Wonderbox Pattern with instructions on how to make

Here are a few images which contain a pattern to make your own wonderbox.

It’s much like a beanbag chair of sorts made from fabric and filled with styrofoam beads.

Fireless Cookers

Fireless Cookers

Fireless cookers were very popular in the early 1900s to save labor and fuel, rather like our crock pots. Many books of the time contained recipes for them. An early wood bucket with an inner metal pail surrounded by sawdust [a portable insulating pail] is in the Tuskegee Institute collection. A more elaborate example, a two pot fireless cooker with heating soapstones that would be placed above and below each pot, (pictured above) can be seen at the Woodrow Wilson House in D.C. In electric fireless cookers “the current is applied just long enough to bring the food to a proper temperature…then the current automatically shuts off, but the dinner continues to cook without expense…” An interesting link discusses a British tank built during the 1920s & 30s which could carry the fireless cooker with 3 days rations. Cooking time varied. In a 1925 letter: “We prepared our dinner in the morning before breakfast, stowed it away in the electric fireless cooker and at night we set the table and served it.” Recipes from Mitchell’s book generally involved bringing the contents to a boil, placing the pot immediately in the fireless cooker and cooking…stews for 9-12 hrs, applesauce 1-3 hrs, string beans (with salt and baking soda in the water) 6-12 hrs, limas 1 1/2 hrs, and plum pudding 5 hours. She also details how to make fireless cooker or “hay-box”, and a “refrigerating box”, with suggestions for decorating the box for use in the dining room. Types of insulation were soft “hay, straw, paper, wool, mineral wool, excelsior, ground cork, Southern moss, sawdust…”

Books

Frederick, Christine. Meals that cook themselves and cut the costs. New Haven: c1915
Greer, Carlotta. School and Home Cooking
Mitchell, Margaret J. The Fireless Cook Book [New York: 1909], 1913
Various references in books. Hearth Collection

Articles

The Fireless Cooker by Dr.Alice Ross
Hay bucket picture c1920
Fireless Cooker Company
Chambers Fireless Gas Range
Copeman Automatic Cooker, c1912
Copeman Electric Stove Company
Electric fireless cooker
The Nation, 1909 … The fireless cooker
The Rains County Leader Texas, 1913
Journal of Home Economics: 1915. Pressure Cooker Versus Fireless Cooker for Home Use
Picture series to make fireless cookers; and types of fireless cookers pics.
Fireless cooker in car. 1923
Letter: c1925. dinner …in the electric
Letter: 1925. electric fireless cooker among other failed machines
Frankfurt Kitchen, a mass-produced, low-priced kitchen, 1927
Britain’s Mk II Medium Tanks
Our First Overland Trip to Colorado
Scouting for Girls: Official Handbook of the Girl Scouts. 1920 – Fireless cooker
Fireless cooker and chifonnear, 1912
Glenwood-Robertshaw AutomatiCook
Cyclopedia of American Agriculture, Bailey. 1908
Haybox, Retained Heat or Fireless Cooker – current use in Malawi, Bolivia…
How to make a food warmer/fireless cooker (hot box) – current use

Museums

DC Woodrow Wilson House. Washington, DC
KS Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum. Wichita
MD Belair Mansion. Bowie
NE High Plains Museum. Mc Cook

The Green Pail Retained Heat Cooker

A Hay Box Cooker An Old Invention – Out of New Materials

I first heard about the concept of the hay box cooker, which uses stored heat to cook food, many years ago. I made one out of straw, a pine box and a large glass casserole dish but it was not really successful. The main problem was that the casserole dish was too large so that you had to make too much food in one go, and there was not enough insulation between the casserole and the side of the wooden box. So I until recently I had gone without one of these useful devices.

While wandering through a neighbours garage sale I spied a large plastic cooleresky*, it looked well used, but it was intact and BIG (590mm x 370mm x 420mm high), so for the princely sum of $5 it was mine! To turn it into a haybox cooker I then needed to work out what cooking pot/s to use what and insulation material to use.

* Australian for cooler

Cooking Pots

I needed to work out the type of cooking pots to use, I had decided that the size of the esky would allow me to use two pots – a one litre and a two litre pot – so that I would have some flexibility depending on the number of people to be fed. The haybox cooker works most efficiently when the cooking pot is almost full of food.

Another way to improve heat retention is to ensure that the cooking pots have the least possible surface area for the volume contained, this is a sphere – which is geometrically inconvenient for my purposes, so I settled on a couple of squat, enamelled steel billy cans. The lids of the cans also have a rim which ensures that condensation on the lid is returned to the pot.

The enamelling on both pots is a dark blue and the idea was that I could use my solar oven to heat up the food and then put it into the haybox cooker to complete the process. That was the theory and for the 1 litre pot it works fine, but I found that when I tried the 2 litre pot it is just a wee to big, and prevents the glass front from entirely closing, which in turn lets the heat out. Another fine theory blown to hell due to lack of attention to detail!

Insulation

The obvious answer here was “hay”, being a traditionalist of sorts, but hay has some disadvantages in that it is not so effective an insulator as some modern materials and it tends to absorb steam and odours during the cooking process which then cause it to grow bugs (yuch!). I wanted something that was light, low maintenance and an effective insulator. As luck would have it, a friend offered me an 1800mm x 900mm sheet of polystyrene foam that wasinsulation in the haybox cooker 25mm thick and had been used as packing in a container, so I accepted it gratefully.

I still needed to cut it to shape and the classic way using a saw creates a hell of a mess with fine particles of polystyrene all over the place. So rather than do that I looked around to see if I could get hold of hot wire cutter, which makes a nice smooth cut with little or no little fiddly bits. After some searching I found a reasonably priced ($25) battery powered unit available from Hobbyco in the city (Sydney). Its limitation was that it could only cut polystyrene sheet up to 35mm thick so this was not much of a problem with my stuff being only 25mm thick.

I cut two slabs to act as the bottom insulation and then a number of strips A pillowwith holes in them to accept the cooking containers up to the level of their lids. Here the analogy breaks down! To use the rigid polyester foam over the tops of the cooking containers by carving out the correct size and shape was beyond my technology, so I remembered our family motto – “when all else fails – cheat!”. I bought some polystyrene beads, used for stuffing bean bags and made up a cushion by loosely filling an old flannelette pillowcase, which sits neatly on top of the cooking containers and acts and an insulator. I sewed the pillowcase closed, because anything less than an airtight seal and the beans escape and get EVERYWHERE!

One problem with the esky was that, in common with a lot of esky’s cooler with insulaitonnowadays, there is actually no insulation in the formed plastic top, I assume that the air gap in the lid is supposed to act as an insulator. I was not happy with this, so using a cut of funnel I persuaded a whole stack of the polystyrene beans to go into a moulding hole in the top. That was one tedious job, because the beans clearly did not want to go into the lid! Anyway once completed I sealed the hole with an (unused) industrial ear plug.

The haybox cooker was now completed.

Operation

The idea is to load up the cooking pot with your food in the same way you would a crockpot, this style of cooking lends itself to soups, stews and casseroles ie wet cooking so if you are after dry or crisp, this is not the way to hay box cooker with pots in itgo. Having filled your pots with ingredients and water up to about 25mm from the top, put it on the stove and bring it up to the boil, and boil for five minutes to get the heat into the centre of any larger lumps of ingredient. Once it has been boiling for 5 minutes quickly transfer it to the haybox cooker, smooth down the insulating pillow and clamp on the lid.
Leave everything undisturbed for 8 to 12 hours (No peeking!) and then open for a hot deliciously cooked meal.

To test our haybox cooker, I filled both containers and boiled them, transferring them straight to the cooker and then sealed it up. Early the next day, about 10 hours later, the 2 litre pot was still over 90°C and the 1 litre one was still above 85°C. The haybox cooker has served us very well, particularly during winter and I even used it to make a batch of my beef and veggie soup, a family favourite. I still looks a bit basic and I want to make a nice wooden box to go around it so that it looks like a piece of furniture rather than a well used esky…………………..eventually!

250 Fireless Cooker recipes from 1913

Here is a great little book published in 1913 on how to build your own “fireless cooker” and how to use it.

It contains illistrations and recipes on using thermal cooking for just about any kind and type of food.

http://hearth.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=hearth;cc=hearth;sid=14b7dca8103a23f02b82218e70babe06;q1=cook;rgn=title;idno=4463127;view=image;seq=0011

Meals that cook themselves and cut the costs

Fireless Cooking in an Crock Pot Adapted Ice Chest

Fireless Cooking in an Crock Pot Adapted Ice Chest

When young and adventurous, we enjoyed family tent camping. We sneered at the “wimps” who used trailers—even including those who used camping trailers. We were purists. One year, a friend loaned us a few days of relaxation in his 16 foot travel trailer. A revelation! This was living!

We learned that deprivation was not nearly as much fun as it was to be camping with all the amenities. It was made even more clear as we watched the folks in the next campsite while they stood around in a drizzle waiting for their Coleman stove to heat up water for coffee.

Recalling this episode got me to thinking about how cool or room-temperature food will add to the misery in a down-grid situation. Hot meals are just about required for making everything else endurable. But in a continuing crisis one vital concern will be how to conserve fuel, yet provide hot meals.

Here’s a slick solution: “fireless” cooking.
Your crock-pot is the latest application of this old, old idea. But the old idea as you will see is better because your homemade fireless cooker won’t require electricity.

The idea is simple: food in a pot is heated to boiling on your stove, then allowed to simmer for a few minutes; then the pot lid is clapped on and the pot is quickly transferred to a well insulated box. More insulation is stuffed around and on top of the pot, filling the entire box; then the lid is closed tightly. Now you can turn off the stove! After four hours or so (timing is not critical), the food is ready to eat. If the pot is not disturbed (peeking is not allowed!), the food will still be hot even after six or more hours.
Here’s the payoff: (1) not much fuel is used and (2), the food can be prepared well before it is needed.

Your fireless cooker can be readily created using a fiberglass ice chest. Ours has wheels and a collapsible handle. This is handy for having the chest near the stove for moving pots to it quickly, then rolling it out of the way while it does its job.

To adapt your ice chest:
1.Put a piece of plywood on the bottom of the chest to keep the hot pot from damaging the chest’s plastic bottom.

2. Use a pot which will provide enough stew to feed your family and which has small handles. Don’t use a pot which has large handles because you want the insulation to snuggle up against the pot at all points.

3. How to provide insulation for the pot:
Get a supply of styrofoam “peanuts” used for shipping and sew them up into bags that will nestle the pot. Dish towels make a nice size for these bags—or cut lengths from the legs of old slacks and sew one end shut. Sew the bags, leaving one edge open; that way you can adjust the quantity of peanuts as you create the nest. Don’t overfill these bags; they should be flexible to conform to the pot. Pin the open end temporarily. Put your pot in the chest and arrange the bags around it so that there will be no air spaces between the pot and the walls of the chest. Now remove the bags and sew them shut.
Cut a couple of old bath towels into smaller pieces to stuff in odd corners if needed to gently fill any air pockets. Make a large peanut-filled bag to cover all this so that closing the lid will result in a chest completely filled with peanut bags and a pot. Later on, you can try using more than one pot, but let’s make this basic for now.

Carefully remove the pot so that the nest is undisturbed. That’s because when you do the actual cooking, you will want to get the hot pot into its nest quickly. Now you are ready.

1. If using meat in your meal, cut it intro bite-sized pieces and gently fry it till just done, then transfer it to the stewpot. Or cook it right in the pot. Add the vegetables, water, spices et cetera so that the pot is 2/3 full—no more: the hot air between the lid and the top of the stew is important. Oh, and soft veggies, peas for example, should go in the pot 10 minutes or so before serving.

2. Heat your stew to boiling and immediately move the container into your fireless cooker; leave it alone 4 or more hours, that’s it.

3. Most crockpot recipes can be adapted for this technique—except those that call for adding ingredients while the cooking is underway. Remember, in fireless cooking, peeking is not allowed, so neither is adding anything after you’ve nested your pot, except at the very end (see above about peas).
One wonderful advantage to this process is the opportunity to eat any time after a few hours—food will still be hot, but not overcooked because the cooker is allowing it to gradually (really gradually) lose heat. This means the cook doesn’t have to be working just before the meal is served. In fact, the cook can sit and enjoy the meal with everybody at the table. And the meal doesn’t need to be ready at any set time–the meal will be ready and stay ready for several hours. So a dinnertime emergency calling the troops away won’t be a kitchen disaster

Besides the advantage of using heat only to fry meat and bring the stew to a boil, you can prepare a meal long before it will be eaten and you don’t have to stand over a stove making sure nothing burns.
Stew recipes are not only easily adapted to this cooking technique, they are very nutritious because the liquid is not poured off, throwing away a lot of food value. Add a hearty slice of two of whole wheat bread and your meals will be delicious and filling.
Prepare a meal in the morning to eat during or after a TV football game and no one has to spend time in the kitchen preparing. Or use this technique to prepare for a tailgate party—no on-site cooking!
When you get the hang of this technique, you will want to try using more than one pot to make, for example, a dessert to accompany the meal.

Practice using this wonderful technique now; it’s simple, and it will give you one more valuable tool if disaster strikes.

Bon appetit! (You can find lots of additional information on the Internet with web search for “fireless cooking”.)

Haybox, Retained Heat or Fireless Cookers

http://www.bioenergylists.org/en/cookers

PCIAi Guide to Designing Retained Heat Cookers

Cooking in a Basket Website

  • Cooking in a Basket website
    Elizabeth Riddiford, Community Conservation Initiative (CCI-Kenyai), June 12, 2007

    Kakamega Forest Cooking Basket

Bolivia

  • Ecological Stoves David Whitfield V CEDESOL La Paz, Bolivia, presentation to Global Village Energy Partnership Latin America Santa Cruz, Bolivia, July 2003

Germany (1921)

  • Self Cookers in Kochlehrbuch fuer Schule und Haus, Martin Boll, Germany, April 4, 2006

Guatemala

Kenya

Malawi

Tanzania

Tanzanian Hayboxes, Stoves, and Wonderbaskets, Meg Arenberg, Sunseed Tanzaniai Trust, August 2005

Fireless Cooking

Frederick A. Draper

The expression “tireless cooking” is not strictly applicable to the process to be here described, but is sufficiently near it to make it applicable as a short title. For many years the ” hay box” has been in regular use, and has proved of great utility for certain kinds of cooking. While not of particular value in many lines claimed by its over enthusiastic advocates, it is, nevertheless, worthy of careful consideration in every household, and this is especially true on hot summer days when a morning fire can be used to produce a hot meal to be served up in the evening.

Fireless Cooking 184The principle involved in the operation is that of retained heat. The food to be cooked is put in a suitable utensil upon the stove where it is thoroughly heated. It should remain upon the stove long enough to bring the contents to the boiling point, and continue at that temperature for an interval varying with the kind of food being cooked. The heated utensil and food are then placed in an insulated box constructed to prevent the loss of heat, where they remain for a number of hours. The contained heat in the food serves to thoroughly cook it in such a way as to retain the best flavors of the food, and it will be found that tough meat can be made much more palatable by this-process than by any other method of cooking.

The experienced housekeeper will readily understand the limitations of this method of cooking. Stews, boiled meats, vegetables and cereals are the kinds of food particularly successful. Baked beans and roast meats must be browned in a hot oven before being placed in the cooker; otherwise they will lack the color desired in dishes of that kind. As there is no evaporation of the liquid contents from the vessel, it is necessary to have the portions of food exactly as desired when served upon the table. It is necessary, therefore, to have color and flavoring ingredients exactly proportioned at the beginning of operations.

The first attempt with an experimental apparatus made by the writer was that of a 10-pound ham which was boiled for 30 minutes in a ten quart enamelled ware kettle; placed in the cooker at 10.30 A. M. and removed at 6 P. M. The ham was found to be thoroughly cooked, tender and having a most delicious flavor. Corned beef, beef stews, and vegetables were afterwards tried with marked success. One peculiarity about cooking vegetables in this way is that they do not break up as when boiled upon the stove.

The essential feature of the cooker is perfect insulation of utensil and contents, and the better the heat is retained the more satisfactorily will the food be cooked. For a small family a cooker having two or three compartments for holding kettles of different sizes will be quite sufficient. The shape known as a stock kettle is preferable as, having straight sides it can more easily be thoroughly packed.

In making a cooker it is first necessary to select the kettles to be used therein, and for a two compartment cooker, one kettle holding ten or twelve quarts and one holding four quarts, will be found to serve most purposes.

A two compartment cooker holding kettles of this size will require an outside box 36 in. long, 20 in. wide and 20 in. deep, inside measurements. Such a case can be easily made up from two shoe packing boxes, selecting the boards with matched joints. This is divided into two compartments by a division board 16 in. high placed 20 in. from one end. An inside top is then fitted to cover the division board and extending the full length of the box, leaving a space about 3 in-between the top of the inside cover and the top of the box. This is shown in the accompanying illustration.

Holes are then cut in the center of each division of a size to admit the cooking utensils with about one-half inch space between the utensil and the edge of the hole. Discs of wood are cut out the same size as the holes cut in the inside cover. Sheet tin or the sides of some large cheese boxes are cut and bent to cylindrical form to fit inside of the holes, and the wooden discs are used for the bottoms of these cylinders.

After nailing the cylinder firmly in place the box is turned bottom side up, and the space between the cylinders and sides of the box is firmly packed with chopped cork, sawdust, or old newspapers. The bottom of the box is then nailed on. If chopped cork or sawdust is used it will be desirable to first paper the inside surface of the box and cylinder to prevent the fine particles of cork or dust from sifting through any fine cracks which may have been left.

Strips of wood two inches wide are then nailed around the top side of the inner cover. These strips should have the inner edges cut to a bevel of about 45 degrees. Two covers are then made to fit inside these strips with the edges to correspond with the bevel on the strips. The cover should be carefully fitted to make the joints as tight as possible. A top cover is then made for the box, the two covers being much on the same plan as that of an ice chest and serving the same purpose.

In using the cooker it is desirable to first heat the cylindrical chambers; it can best be done by filling the utensil to be placed therein with boiling hot water and allowing it to remain there as long as convenient. The heat absorbed from the water by the cooker reduces the amount of heat which will be taken up from the food which is later placed therein. The space between the top and inner cover may also be filled with a quilted cover, or any convenient piece of cloth or rug, which will further prevent the evaporation of heat at the top. The space between the kettle and the sides of the cylindrical chamber may also be filled to advantage with old papers, or what is better, a quilted wrapper may be made which will exactly fill the space.

In using the cooker it is necessary to keep in mind that the process of cooking is slower than when using a stove, but over-cooking is not detrimental, in fact, over-cooking is almost an impossibility. It may also be stated that the advantages of a cooker are much greater than at first thought may seem possible. Readers of the magazine who are desirous of helping the feminine portion of the family to save work are earnestly advised to make a cooker as here described, as by means of one kitchen work in the summer can be made much easier and more comfortable. Food can also be reheated in the morning to serve warm at night.

Save Energy Costs by Cooking with a Hot Box

hot box

Photo: Nora Dunn

When it comes to preparing dinner, most of us simply cook our meals on the stove (or in the oven) until they’re done. It’s a pretty straight forward process, with not a lot of room for negotiation. At least you may think so.

However there are alternatives to using (and paying for) energy to cook your meals for the full allotted time. One of these alternatives is the use of a hot box. And you can fashion your own hot box with things that you can find around the house (even better, things that may have otherwise ended up in the recycling or garbage bins).

The sort of hot boxes I am accustomed to are simply cardboard boxes. Cardboard is a great insulator – it keeps cold things cold and hot things hot. You can also use coolers, or any material that is a good insulator.

The trick to making your hot box work is to create an extra few inches of insulation on the inside, forming a protective layer all around your pot. For this, you can use old towels or blankets, or even phone books and scrap paper. Don’t be skimpy though – you need to pack it tight to get the most out of your creation.

Next, it’s time to throw in your food, still in the pot it started cooking in, with the lid firmly on. The beauty of a hot box is that if you partially cook your meal and stick it in the box, it will slowly finish cooking over the next 6-8 hours. The most effective hot box delicacies are those that would do well in a slow cooker: rice, various legumes, or even stews. You may want to stay away from cooking meat using this method until you’ve worked out the kinks in your system, since bacteria from undercooked meat or poor temperature control could make you sick.

After your food is securely nestled in your layers of insulation, you must cover it up with a few more inches of insulation. Towels and blankets are usually the handiest for this, since the transfer process needs to be speedy in order to retain as much of the heat from cooking as possible.

Then, close up your box, and leave it for the day if you pack it in the morning, or overnight if you start the process in the evening.

Here are a few links I found about this topic:

http://www.hedon.info/goto.php/FirelessCooker

http://www.selfsufficientish.com/hayboxcooker.htm

http://community-2.webtv.net/adowning/FirelessCooking/

Using a hot box requires a little more forethought and preparation since you have to wait so long for the meal to finish cooking, but you will use half (or less) of the energy usually required to prepare your gourmet delicacies, hence being kind to both the environment and your pocketbook.

Golden Syrup Scones – thermalcookware.com

Golden Syrup Scones

A favorite winter desert that is so easily made.

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups of self raising flour
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of castor sugar
1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of Golden Syrup
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 of a cup of milk

Simmering time on the stove top: 15 to 20 minutes

Thermal cooking time: 30 minutes minimum

Method:
1. Grease a stainless steel cake tin or loaf tin that will fit into the Shuttle Chef inner saucepan
2. Sift the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter
3. Mix in the sugar and cinnamon
4. Add the syrup and sufficient milk to make a soft dough
5. Knead gently
6. Roll out to fit your container
7. With a knife, cut through the dough to make even sized scones (approximately eight scones)
8. Gently transfer these into the tin and cover with a suitable lid or a sheet of Alfoil
9. Place the tin on a suitable height trivet (if required) inside the inner saucepan
10. Pour in enough hot water to come 2/3 of the way up the sides of the tin
11. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 top 20 minutes
12. Place the inner saucepan into the outer vacuum insulated container and closed the lid
13. Leave for at least 30 minutes.

Wholemeal Bread or Scones – thermalcookware.com

Wholemeal Bread or Scones

A very simple “standard recipe” bread mix that produces excellent results.

Ingredients:
1 x 12 gram sachet of dry yeast
1 1/2 cups of wholemeal plain flour
1 1/2 cups of plain flour
2 teaspoons of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of oil
1 1/4 cups of warm water
Sesame seeds

Simmering time on the stove top: 20 minutes

Thermal cooking time: 1 hour

Method:
1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl
2. Add the oil and water and mix well together to form a soft dough
3. Turn onto a lightly floured board and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic
4. Cover with a clean damp cloth and allow to rest for about 10 – 15 minutes
5. Shape the dough into a loaf and place into a large greased loaf tin or two smaller loaf tins
(for rolls, you can divide the dough into 10 even pieces and shape them into individual rolls or buns and place them into greased loaf or cake tins.)NOTE: if you are using the RPC 4500 that has only one single inner saucepan you will need to cook these one at a time.
6. Brush the loaf or rolls with warm milk or water and sprinkle with seame seeds if desired
7. Make a pleat down the middle of a piece or oiled Alfoil (the pleat allows the bread to rise) and cover the bread with the Alfoil
8. Place the loaf tin into the inner saucepan or saucepans and then place the inner saucepans into the vacuum insulated outer container for 40 – 45 minutes for Bread or 20 – 25 minutes for Rolls to allow the dough to rise until it is approximately double in size. NOTE if the weather is cold you can warm the inner saucepan first or pour approximately 2 cm of hot water around the loaf tin.
9.OPTIONAL: Secure the Alfoil around the lip with string or an elastic band to prevent moisture from getting in
10. If you are using the 3 litre inner saucepans place the loaf tin on the bottom and fill around the tin with hot water to 2/3 the height of the tin.
11. If you are using the 4.5 litre inner saucepan you can place a suitable trivet into the saucepan first and then place the loaf tin on this and fill with hot water to 2/3 the height of the tin
12. Bring the water to the boil and gently simmer4 for 20 minutes
13. Transfer the inner saucepan into the vacuum insulated outer container and closed the lid
14. Leave for a minimum of 1 hour
15. Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack
NOTE: You can prepare your breads and rolls in the evening and leave them in the Shuttle Chef all night.

Black Bean Soup – journalofantiques.com

RECIPES: The following recipes are wonderful in a fireless cooker [if you are inclined to make one or to use an antique], as they benefit from long, slow cooking. They are also easily adapted to a crock pot or to the usual low temperature stove top simmering, but for shorter cooking times. Black Bean Soup adapted from Margaret J. Mitchell: Fireless Cook Book, 1909

1 pint black beans
1 quarts water
1 small onion
2 stalks celery
2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon mustard
Cayenne to taste
3 tablespoons butter
1 ½ tablespoons flour
2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
1 lemon, sliced

Soak beans overnight, drain and add 2 quarts water. Mince the onion and celery and saute in 1 ½ tablespoons butter; add onion and celery to the beans, and when boiling put them into a fireless cooker for from 8 to 12 hours. Rub the soup through a strainer [or puree in a food processor], add the seasonings and correct to your taste.

Saute the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons butter with flour for 2 minutes, add the resulting roux to the bean mixture, and boil together for 5 minutes.

Pour soup over the sliced eggs and lemon in a soup tureen and serve hot. Boston Baked Beans adapted from Delicious fireless Cooked Dishes, 1919. Pick over one quart pea beans, cover with cold water and soak overnight. In the morning drain, cover with fresh cold water, heat slowly to boiling point, add teaspoon soda.

Again drain beans, throwing bean water out of doors, not in sink, add ¾ pound salt pork, leaving rind exposed. Mix 1 tablespoon salt [if salt pork is not very salty in itself], ½ tablespoon mustard, 1 cup boiling water, and pour over beans.

Then add enough more boiling water to cover beans. Put in bean pot or casserole dish and cook until noon, using one radiator [the soapstone cylinder pre-heated on a stove or in an oven] heated to 450 degrees. Heat two radiators to 450 degrees and replace with beans in cooker. Bake until evening.

If you wish to serve the beans at noon-day meal, start them the night before and use two radiators in morning. When I reheat the radiators for the beans, I put in Brown Bread, and bake it in the same compartment for 3 hours, remove it, and leave the beans in until ready to serve.

The Fireless Cooker

The fireless cooker was a strange beast. Even its name seemed to be a contradiction in terms. It cooked without fire and provided an effortless hot meal. Its early history is open to speculation and lies vaguely in the past, but came into prominence at the turn of the twentieth century, at least for the modern collector, with the development and promotion of commercial versions.

It may be that the origin of fireless cookers arose from the needs of early rural folk whose work sometimes took them too far from home to get back for the much needed noon dinner. Imagine a haying crew or harvesters in somewhat distant fields, pressing on to accomplish as much as possible, for as long as favorable weather held, but whose arduous labors demanded nutritional recharging and physical rest. An easy carry-along meal of bread and cheese may not have sufficed for such demanding occasions; the time it took to travel home and then back would have cut substantially into the necessary restoration of body and spirit.

The fireless cookery system required that a long-cooking soup, stew, or porridge be set on to cook very early in the day. When it was roughly half-cooked (and presumably synchronized with the departure time of our hypothetical farmer ), it was placed—food, pot, cover and all—into a tightly closed container and buried within an insulated container, to be carried along for eventual consumption. During this time, the food continued to cook via its own residual heat, and could be expected to be ready a few hours later when needed.

Tracking down early fireless cookers reveals occasional early references to “hay boxes.” These seem to have been crude, homemade containers of almost any sort, filled with hay (insulation), and in which a hot pot of food was kept warm until such time as it could be consumed. This kind of make-shift equipment was unlikely to have survived in recognizable form, and even collectors of folk art will probably not be able to identify them from such vague and indefinite descriptions.

Hay boxes accompanied not only farmers but also many overland emigrants to the western territories. Families traveled with constant pressure to cover as many miles during daylight as they possibly could, and could not allow themselves the time to start fires and cook in the middle of the day. In fact, surviving trail maps indicate plainly that travelers could not expect supplies of potable water and burnable firewood at all stopping places. Given the arduousness of walking miles each day, and the need for sufficient calories, substantial noon dinners (hopefully hot) were essential. The problem was solved by cooking late the previous evening, occasionally overnight and early morning, and then, before leaving the site, packing the hot, perhaps unfinished noon dinner in a portable hay box for final cooking or keeping hot.

The term “hay box,” still in use by 1900, was soon to be supplanted by another term: the “fireless cooker.” These were sturdier hinge-lidded affairs, wooden boxes with hay insulation packed around carefully shaped and sized holes that would just hold covered metal pails or canisters of food. Margaret J. Mitchell, in her thorough-going work The Fireless Cook Book [New York: 1909], used both terms, and touted them as a new adjunct in the home kitchen or small institutions—boarding houses or lunch-rooms, for example. She recommended them as labor-saving and a means to better-tasting and nutritious cookery. Her book offered directions for making several models at home, and they seem to be relatively simple and common-sensical. She cites the advantages and disadvantages of hay boxes made of purchased boxes or barrels, styles of kettles and pots, insulation materials, etc. and explains how to best use them. Mitchell also offered a large number of both original and adapted recipes. Citing their considerable early use in Norway and other European nations, she declared that dishes usually prepared by boiling or steaming, and even some kinds of baking, could be prepared in a simple hay box, and believed that the newly developed insulated cooker, an offshoot of manufactured fireless cookers, would work well for baking. She recommended them for their economy of fuel, space on the stove, efforts, utensils, work time, and wholesome results. And she noted the absence of heat and odors in the kitchen, improved flavors, and bearing on “the servant question.”

Eventually fireless cookers were manufactured as metal chests. These were double-walled (to hold insulation) steel boxes on legs. The interior was all metal, and featured built-in cylindrical holes to hold the covered canisters that just fit them. In addition, they now contained pairs of thick soapstone plates, also sized to just fit the holes, one below and one atop the food canister. The heavy hinged, double-walled lid fit neatly over these. Some had specially insulated cushions to place between the canister tops and soapstone plates and the lid. These soapstone cylinders were a new feature- the pre-heated stones added heat for more efficient cooking times and temperatures. In earlier versions, it is possible that the same kinds of preheated soapstones that heated small portable warmers (to be carried to church or in a carriage in winter to keep one’s feet warm) were adapted to such cookery.

It may be of particular significance that so many of the books and pamphlets promoting fireless cookers were written in 1917 and 1918, possibly influenced by the needs of World War I. Constance C. Radcliffe Cooke’s The Cooking-Box: How To Make And Use It, Together With Eighty Economical Recipes Adapted For Fireless Cookery, was used as a text in local English Cooking Centres and cooking schools throughout Britain; American ephemera- Fireless Cooking, Containing Directions and Recipes ( 1918 ) and Delicious Fireless Cooked Dishes (1919) seem to be similarly influenced. War needs appear to have capitalized on this earlier technique.

Margaret J. Mitchell, an American writer addressing the social and cultural needs of her peers, focused on the new perception that the new modern woman could free herself for an afternoon out, while still having a hot dinner for her family in the evening. This angle was clearly featured in commercial promotional ephemera and cookbooks. In some ways this reflected the new craze that brought “science” into the kitchen, and cooking schools’ vision that fireless cookers were “the wave of the future.”

This is a clear example of social need being the mother of invention. Freeing up women’s time fit the orientation of the “modern woman” of the time, who had increasingly taken on the important work of philanthropy—fund raising to support causes (churches, welfare reform, community improvement, or politics). In addition, the “New American Girl” was athletic and involved in women’s clubs dedicated to education, culture, or entertainment. As such fireless cookers were one of the early home technology innovations that were meant to take women out of the home, as opposed to so many domestic innovations, among them the woodstove and the canning jar, that increased household responsibilities and kept women home-bound. In this light, one can make a parallel to the modern crock pot, a standby also designed for women out of the home. Although crockpots depend on electricity, their rationale is the same—a slow-cooking moist dish that one sets up in the morning and eats some hours later as a main dinner dish.

In light of the centuries-long, slow evolution of hearth technology and its subsequent cook-stove adaptations, the fireless cooker appears to have used its “primitive” roots to leap into the early twentieth century kitchen. What may have seemed an incredibly revolutionary technique to early crock-pot users was really just another adaptation to changing fuels. Today it would be interesting to learn just how many kitchens held them, how often they were indeed used, and whether they were more common in cooking schools and home economics classes than they were in homes. In any case, they seem to have faded away and become novelties within only a few decades. Perhaps they required too much space, gave way to easily adjustable gas and electric stoves, or reflected a basic change in women’s cookery.

Alice Ross brings 25 years as a dedicated food professional teacher, writer, researcher and collector to her Hearth Studios, at which she teaches workshops in various aspects of hearth, woodstove and brick oven cookery. She has served as consultant in historical food for such noted museums as Virginia’s Colonial Williamsburg and The Lowell National Historical Park in Massachusetts. Ross wrote her doctoral dissertation in food history at the State University at Stony Brook. Currently, she is involved in a major kitchen report on Rock Hall Museum, a 1770’s Georgian mansion on Long Island. Dr. Ross’ e-mail address is aross@binome.com. Her web site is www.aliceross.com

Easy Chicken Stew

WFMW – Easy Chicken Stew

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken thighs (cut into small pieces) – marinate with 1 tbsp oyster sauce, dash of dark soy sauce, dash of pepper for about 20 mins.
  • 2 large potatoes – peel and cut into cubes
  • 2-3 medium carrots – peel and cut into cubes
  • 2 medium onions – peel and quartered
  • 1-2 star anise
  • 1/2 cinammon stick
  • 1 tbs oyster sauce (in addition to 1 tbs used to marinate chicken)
  • 1 tbs dark soy sauce (the thick sort)
  • 2 tbs light soy sauce
  • 1 tbs worchester sauce
  • 1/2 – 1 tbs sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbs cornstarch

What I do is put everything into the inner pot of the cooker and bring it to a boil over the stove for about five minutes. Then I remove the inner pot from the stove and plonk it into the outer pot. The stew’s ready 2-3 hours later!

Thermal Cooker Reviews

Here are some of the commercial thermal cookers I’ve purchased and have an opinion on.

The Thermos/Nissan brand have been the best quality brand of thermal cooker I own.  I have a Shuttle Chef 3L version and 4.5L RPA4500S. They use a vacuum flask as the insulator which is superior to other outer containers that use a foam core or other insulator. 

The stainless steel innerpots are of a thick gage steel and well made.  The bottom of the RPA4500S innerpot is stainless stell. On the CC4500S model the bottom is clad with aluminum.

Instructions on how to use a commercial thermo cooker

Here are some instructions and recipes on using a thermal cooker.

Thermal Cooking Recipes and Instructions

Soups

Onion Soup – thermalcookware.com

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 –thermalcookware.com

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 –thermalcookware.com

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 – thermalcookware.com

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
Ingredients:
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

Method:
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
Ingredients:
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

Method:
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.

http://solarcooking.wikia.com/wiki/Heat-retention_cooking

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.

Heat-retention_cooking_times.gif

See Also

Related links

Demonstrations of a thermal cooker working

The good folks down under at http://www.thermalcookware.com.au 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:

http://www.thermalcookware.com.au/main.php?mod=Dynamic&id=43

The individual links are as follows:

Lamb Shank:

http://www.thermalcookware.com.au/images/uploaded/media/thermal001_1.wmv

Thai Green Curried Chicken and Rice

http://www.thermalcookware.com.au/images/uploaded/media/thermal001_2.wmv

Carrot Cake

http://www.thermalcookware.com.au/images/uploaded/media/thermal001_3.wmv

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUKBjMXwtyI

Dream-Pot Thermal Cooking (Part 2)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5idSW284ffo

Dream-Pot

http://www.queenslandweekender.com.au/gsec2cqw/story.asp?weekID=111&storyID=604

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

Thermal Cooking Meat Loaf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x33XMFpdahY

Thermal Cooking Vegi Bake

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp-XZocac20

Thermal Cooking Butter Cake

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjM8FRnXZjI

Thermal Cooking Silver Side

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nh8-g_oAHBo

The ECOPOT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZ4nRTHEDS8

COOKING WITH RETAINED HEAT

COOKING WITH RETAINED HEAT

http://www.inforse.dk/europe/dieret/Biomass/biomass.html

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.

THE HAYBOX COOKER
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.

BUILDING INSTRUCTIONS
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.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE
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

Ingredients
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

Method
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

METHOD

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

Bread & Butter Pudding

wafflesBoiling time on stove: 10 minutes
Cooking time in thermal cooker: 1 1/2 hours minimum.

Ingredients:
Ratio:
1 cup milk
1 tblspn sugar
1 egg
Vanilla essence
2 tblspns sultanas
2 slices bread buttered and spread with jam and then cut into fingers
Nutmeg
Coconut
Method:
Warm the milk with the sugar in the small inner pot.
Beat egg and add to warm milk with vanilla. Stir in sultanas.
Place bread on top of milk mixture.
Sprinkle with nutmeg and coconut.
Almost 1/2 fill large inner pot with hot water and bring to the boil
Place the small inner pot into the large inner pot. Put on the lid.
Slow boil for 10 minutes on the stove (as a double saucepan).
Place complete 2 inner pots into the thermal cooker.
Let stand for minimum time.

Corned Silverside

http://www.dreampot.com.au/recipes/corned-silverside/corned_beef_veges_dream-pot 1170289519.jpg

Boiling time on stove: 20 minutes
Cooking time in Dream-Pot: 3 hours minimum

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 kg corned silverside
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup brown vinegar
  • 1 tbs french mustard
  • hot water

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients into large inner pot. Cover until approx. 2/3 full with hot water and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.
  2. Gently boil on low heat for twenty minutes, covered with lid, checking occasionally that a gentle boil is maintained. If desired, add whole vegetables for the last 10 minutes of the boiling time
  3. Transfer into the Dream-Pot for 3 hours minimum. Can be served after 3 hours, or when travelling, serve at day’s end

Chicken, Sweet Corn and Vegetable Soup

http://www.dreampot.com.au//recipes/vegetable-soup/
Boiling time on stove: 10 minutes.
Cooking time in Dream-Pot: 1.5 hours minimum.

Ingredients:

  • 1 swede
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 turnip
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 zucchini
  • 3 celery sticks
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1.5 litres boiling water
  • 1 packet cream of chicken soup
  • 1 packet chicken noodle soup
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 can sweet corn including juice
  • 1.5 chicken breast fillets (500 grams)

Method:

  1. Cut vegetables into small cubes
  2. Place all vegetables into large inner pot. Add boiling water. Bring to boil, stirring intermittently.
  3. Add soup mixes,(throughly mixed into the cold water). garlic powder, salt & pepper,sweet corn & diced chicken breasts. Stir well to combine.
  4. Return to boil, reduce heat and gently boil for 10 minutes, with lid on – stirring intermittaently.
  5. Transfer to Dream-Pot for minimum cooking time After 1.5 hours, serve with hot crusty bread or serve at the end of your day’s travel!

http://www.survivalblog.com/2007/12/time_and_energy_efficient_cook.html

Time and Energy Efficient Cooking, by KBF (Dec 12 2007)

 

I wish to share some valuable information on my personal experiences with the use of two cooking devices which I incorporate into daily homemaking practice when I am attempting to conserve on water and on fuel usage. Both of them are extremely time and energy efficient.

The two kitchen products which have earned their weight in silver in my home are my pressure cookers, and my newest kitchen toys, which come from an old Asian origin and cooking concept, the thermo cooker pot.

I have and use several sizes of pressure cookers. I chose the pot size for use for the job I’m performing based on the fill capacity of the product I am cooking in it. The pot capacity should never be over 2/3rds full. The food is liquid pressure cooked on the basis of requiring very little water or liquid and a minimal amount is lost and released as pressurized steam, thus it cooks evenly, thoroughly, and quickly. Time savings average about one half compared to the usual on the stove top methods. Fuel savings are dependant on the time required for the recipe. I use this method for large vegetable batches, and large cuts of meat, like roast cuts or several chickens and get a finished product that is tender to cut with a fork. My very large pressure pots are mostly used for canning purposes to put up jars of volume batches of seasonal produce, meats, and jellies. Using the pressure cookers overall cuts my actual cooking and canning time by one third, compared to using the open pot boil methods. When you are putting up hundreds of jars, this time efficiency becomes necessity. I have had a few mishaps however over the years. They were character building learning experiences of what not to cook in a pressure cooker. Beans, rice, and whole grain cereals need to be constantly monitored, as the small needle outlet from which the pressurized steam escapes becomes easily clogged, and when it does you have now created a bean bomb! If you’re like me and are multitasking in or out of the household, constant sitting to a pot is not time efficient or possible. I have discovered my next favorite device as a result of this need to cook my one pot meal favorite dishes and also to simultaneously free myself to leave to do other equally important jobs. This device allows me to leave the house and come home hours later to a safe, hot cooked meal.

The thermo cooker pot is actually two pots, one (the cooking pot) is inserted into a second thermo insulated pot and is sealed with a hermetic seal lid. The pots can be found in Asian market stores, online, and from high end kitchen and industrial supply houses and are sold by numerous makers. Some makers sell their pots to other distributors who stick their retail labels on them. More expensive in this case is not necessarily a better pot. Key points of its success for your needs are to consider the following issues when searching to procure one. The pot set needs to be constructed of excellent quality stainless steel in order to maintain heat conductivity and easily clean and withstand staining. The floor of the pot must be constructed of no less than two air-insulated layers. The inner pot’s volume size needs to be one that will compromise and accommodate the majority of food dishes you normally prepare, if you desire to own just one size. Think in volumes of servings somewhere between how much soup, stew, arroz con pollo [rice and chicken], or how much hot grain cereal you make in one batch. Waste is non productive and expensive ultimately in time and money. Thermo cooker pots work on the principals of applying fast radiant energy cooking to your prepared dish by using the inner cooking pot on the stovetop. The recipe chosen must be able to be brought up to and kept to a boiling temperature for at least 5 minutes, the longer you can boil it the better. Secondly, this inner pot is covered and then immediately placed inside the slightly larger external thermo chamber pot, it is tightly sealed, and taken off the radiant source to finish the cooking process over the next hour on its own kinetic heat requiring no external fuel source. I leave mine in the warmest location in the house. The food contained inside the thermo chamber continues to cook by conductant heat for the next hour or so at a heat temperature gradient loss of kinetic energy which gradually decreases over 6 hours of time and maintains itself at a warming temperature up to 8 hours. The food will then remain warm to +/- 160 degrees up to 8 hours, this being dependant on normal external ambient room temperatures. I have tested my unit with a thermometer after 8 hours, and it made the grade in 65 degree ambient room temperature. This can be a boon to use in fuel and time conservation modes during TEOTWAWKI. It can also be used inversely chill perishable foods safely for consumption for 6 to 8 hours. Think summer mayonaise and egg based salads or cool fruit salads or transporting fresh farm pot cheeses without ice.

I have now mastered my pots usage to include making yogurt, soft goat cheeses and tofu successfully by not boiling the milk or soybean curd but by bringing it slowly up to incubation temp for the culture I am using, and then using the thermo pot to finish the process of maintaining the heat source. In the past I used an old wide mouth thermos bottle to do this method but it did not hold enough volume for my family’s consumption or barter needs. We also now wake up to fresh hot maple wheat berry cereal in the morning by preparing this before retiring for the night. I have used the thermo pot now on different stove and fuel sources, including wood burning and get pretty consistent result. I have used it even away from home to travel and on hunting trips using the butane camp stove. I have boiled the recipes required water, and dumped in our packaged dehydrated camp food, to either wake up to warm eggs and sausage or to come back from the hunt to eat a great hot meal.

I hope this info will help all the cookies create more efficiency in their survival preparations and also to help them find more enjoyment time to read JWR’s great postings and books!
Have a blessed and bountiful New Year!

The Haybox: Why Every Household Needs One

http://www.talkingleaves.org/node/142

|

2003 Spring

“Revolutionary Kitchen Device Guarantees

  • No more burnt rice, beans, or soup
  • 20%-80% cooking fuel savings
  • Food kept hot for hours, ready whenever you are
  • Dramatic reduction in food-tending time
  • Almost unlimited flexibility in cooking schedule
  • 25% cook-water savings
  • Optimal flavor and nutrition
  • Ideal for feeding large groups!”
  • If the above were an actual ad, it would likely provoke a few questions:

    (1) Is this just a lot of hype, a quick-sell con job?
    (The answer is, fortunately, no. This essential kitchen device is not a fraudulent marketing ploy but an easy-to-build item, and it actually performs as described.)

    (2) If such a device exists, why doesn’t everyone have one?
    (I don’t know. Everyone should have one. We live in a commercial culture where do-it-yourself ecological practices are not promoted because they don’t make anyone a fast buck or increase the GNP. More education is necessary.)

    (3) How can my household or community get one?
    (It’s easy: make it yourself.)

    The device I’ve described is a haybox, also known as a retained-heat cooker, insulated cooker, or wonder box. Of all the sustainable technologies I’ve encountered in my years of living in community, it’s the one that is the most universally applicable and appropriate. In short, every community and household should have one–or ideally, more than one. We at Lost Valley Educational Center have five; Aprovecho Research Center (which has led the way in educating about them) has at least half a dozen; other intentional communities, urban cooperatives, co-housing and activist groups are discovering them; and some eco-pioneers are even whispering about installing hayboxes in the White House once it is recaptured from its current occupiers in 2004. Good for people, good for the earth, and good for our country, hayboxes are the essence of patriotism. In fact, only terrorists wouldn’t like them.

    Hayboxes work on the simple principle that if the heat applied to food in the cooking process can be retained within that food, rather than lost to the environment, no “replacement heat” is needed to keep the food cooking. In conventional cooking, any heat applied to a pot after food reaches boiling temperatures is merely replacing heat lost to the air by the pot. In haybox cooking, food is brought to a boil on the stove, simmered for a few minutes (5 minutes for rice or other grains, 15 minutes for large dry beans or whole potatoes), then put into an insulated box, where it completes its cooking. Food will be ready in anywhere from one to one-and-a-half times the “normal” completion time, with no tending needed and no danger of burning, and will stay piping hot for many hours, allowing maximum flexibility in the cook’s and the eaters’ schedules. For grains or beans, water is reduced by one-quarter, because water is retained within the food rather than simmered away into the air (it’s important to use pots with tight-fitting lids in haybox cooking). The larger the quantity cooked, the more effective this technique is (the hotter the food will stay, for longer), because increased thermal mass holds more heat. And because most of the cooking occurs in the 180 degrees F-212 degrees F range, rather than at a constant 212 degrees , more flavor and nutrients are preserved.

    As in conventional cooking, presoaking and draining beans makes them easier to cook and to digest. A few particularly long-cooking foods, such as garbanzo beans, may need reboiling part-way through the cooking process. For health reasons, meat dishes should always be reboiled before serving–but all other foods should be safe to eat straight out of the haybox. (However, don’t put a partially-eaten pot of lukewarm food back into the haybox without first reheating it, since hayboxes are not only excellent cookers but also ideal incubation chambers for yogurt and other bacteria-rich food.)

    Hayboxes are easy to construct through a variety of methods. The haybox itself is any kind of insulated container that can withstand cooking temperatures and fits relatively snugly around the pot. Effective insulation materials include hay, straw, wool, feathers, cotton, rice hulls, cardboard, aluminum foil, newspaper, fiberglass, fur, rigid foam, and others. The insulation is placed between the rigid walls of a box, within a double bag of material, or lining a hole in the ground. Campers have created “instant hayboxes” by wrapping a sleeping bag, blankets, and/or pillows around a pot. The most effective insulating materials create many separate pockets of air, which slow down the movement of heat. Two to four inches of thickness, depending on the material, are necessary for good insulation. Some materials, such as aluminum foil or mylar, actually reflect heat back toward the pot.

    Any material used must withstand temperatures up to 212 degrees F without melting (exposed styrofoam won’t work), and without releasing toxic fumes or dangerous fibers (rigid foam and fiberglass both need to be covered). The insulation also must be dry, and be kept dry (an inner layer of aluminum foil or mylar can help prevent cooking moisture from entering the wall of the box). The box should be as snug-fitting as possible around the pot, with a tight seal so that heat does not escape from the cooking cavity. Build your haybox to fit your largest pot; for smaller pots in the same box, you can increase performance by wrapping towels, blankets, or pillows around the pot.

    Hayboxes used on a regular basis or in a group setting need to be durable: I’d recommend constructing a wooden box, with a “hat” type lid (so that the opening is at the bottom, to minimize heat loss). Attach handles to make lifting this upper section easier, and line the inner walls with mylar if possible (it can be salvaged from used food storage containers, balloons, etc.). If you can’t find mylar, be prepared to replace your aluminum foil lining periodically. Depending on where you are using the haybox, you may want to attach casters to the bottom of your base. Find a good place to store and use your haybox, within or easily accessible to the kitchen.

    One final guarantee: once you’re a haybox devotee, you will never willingly go back to conventional methods of preparing pots of grains, beans, or long-cooking soups again, especially if you’re feeding a group. Happy cooking!

    A different version of this article first appeared in the Summer 2002 issue of Communities: Journal of Cooperative Living (see www.ic.org).

    For further information, contact Aprovecho Research Center, 80574 Hazelton Rd., Cottage Grove, OR 97424, (541) 942-8198, apro@efn.org, www.efn.org/~apro.

    Chris Roth is a haybox devotee living at Lost Valley Educational Center.

     

    ©2003 Talking Leaves
    Spring 2003
    Volume 13, Number 1
    Communication & Eco-Culture

    Haybox

    http://www.lostvalley.org/haybox1.html

    Hayboxes
    Haybox cooking (also called retained-heat cooking) is an age-old method that can be used to conserve energy not only during times of crisis, but anytime. Depending on the food item and amount cooked, the use of a haybox or insulated cooker saves between 20% and 80% of the energy normally needed to cook a food. The longer an item usually takes on a stovetop, the more fuel is saved. For example, with a haybox, five pots of long-cooking dry beans will use the same amount of fuel to cook to completion as just one pot cooked without a haybox.

    The principle of retained-heat cooking is simple. In conventional cooking, any heat applied to the pot after it reaches boiling temperature is merely replacing heat lost to the air by the pot. In haybox cooking, food is brought to a boil, simmered for a few minutes depending on the particle size (5 minutes for rice or other grains, 15 minutes for large dry beans or whole potatoes), then put into the haybox to continue cooking. Since the insulated cooker prevents most of the heat in the food from escaping into the environment, no additional energy is needed to complete the cooking process. The hayboxed food normally cooks within one to two times the normal stovetop cooking time. It can be left in the haybox until ready to serve, and stays hot for hours. “Timing” is much less important than in stovetop cooking: stick a pot of rice, beans, or stew in at lunch time, and it will be ready when you are, and steaming hot, at dinner time.

    The haybox itself is any kind of insulated container that can withstand cooking temperatures and fits relatively snugly around the pot. Hayboxes have been made using hay, straw, wool, feathers, cotton, rice hulls, cardboard, aluminum foil, newspaper, fiberglass, fur, rigid foam, and/or other suitable materials as insulation. The insulation is placed between the rigid walls of a box, within a double bag of material, or lining a hole in the ground. “Instant hayboxes” have been created by wrapping a sleeping bag, blankets, and/or pillows around a pot. The most effective insulating materials create many separate pockets of air, which slow down the movement of heat. 2 to 4 inches of thickness (depending on the material) are necessary for good insulation. Some materials, such as aluminum foil or mylar, actually reflect heat back toward the pot. Important characteristics of any insulating material incorporated into a haybox include:

    • It must withstand cooking temperatures (up to 212 degrees F or 100 degrees C) without melting.
    • It does not release toxic fumes (any kind of foam insulation needs to be covered with aluminum foil or mylar) or dangerous fibers (fiberglass also needs to be covered).
    • It can be fashioned to be as snug-fitting as possible around the pot. A little pot in a big box will not cook as effectively; it’s better to wrap pillows, towels, or blankets around it to fill up the space.
    • It can be made to form a relatively tight seal, so that heat does not escape from the cooking cavity. Since hot air rises, a container designed to open at the base rather than the top will retain more heat.
    • It is dry, and can be kept dry, since wet materials don’t insulate as well. An inner layer of aluminum foil or mylar helps keep cooking moisture from entering the walls of the box. Mylar, which can be salvaged from used food storage containers, balloons, etc., tends to be a more durable inner layer than aluminum foil.

    Cooking containers, too, should have tight-fitting lids, to prevent the escape of heat and moisture.

    Since water is not lost in haybox cooking the way it is during extended stovetop simmering, the amount of water used to cook grains and beans is normally reduced by one-quarter. Instead of adding 2 cups of water per cup of dry rice, try adding 1 1/2. Also, the larger the amount cooked, the more effective haybox cooking is, since a full pot has more mass and therefore more heat storage capacity than a half-full pot. Haybox cooking is ideally suited for a family or large group, or anytime there’s a reason to cook in quantity. If you’re cooking alone, try cooking full pots of food using a haybox, then reheating small portions for individual meals–this too can conserve fuel.Retained-heat cooking has many other advantages in addition to energy and water conservation. As mentioned, it makes “timing” less critical, since it keeps meals hot until serving time. Once the initial boil-and-short-simmer stage is past, it also eliminates the danger of burning the food on the bottom of the pot (the sad fate of too many pots of grains, beans, or other foods left simmering too long without stirring on the stove). Hayboxed food can actually be better for you, and tastier, than food prepared exclusively on a stovetop, because most of the cooking takes place in the 180 degrees F to 212 degrees F range, rather than at a constant 212 degrees F (lower temperatures preserve more flavor and nutrients, as they also do in crockpot cooking and solar cooking).

    If you want to prepare multiple items for a meal but have only a limited number of flame sources, hayboxes can also greatly facilitate the logistics of food preparation. For example, you can bring your beans to a boil, simmer them 15 minutes, put them in a haybox; then bring your rice to a boil, simmer it 5 minutes, put it in another haybox; then prepare your vegetable stir-fry or soup, etc. At the end, you’ll have a uniformly hot, unburnt, multi-dish meal, all off a single flame, probably consuming less total fuel than you would have used simply to cook the longest-cooking item alone without a haybox. You’ll also have used one-quarter less of your drinkable water supply in preparing the food.

    Presoaking and draining beans always makes them easier to cook, as well as to digest. A few particularly long-cooking foods, such as garbanzo beans, may need reboiling part-way through the cooking process. For health reasons, meat dishes should always be reboiled before serving.

    Hayboxes are second only to solar cookers (which, however, are dependent on sunshine) in their potential to conserve resources. They’re easy to build, easy to use, and have many other advantages. Y2K or no Y2K, they deserve a place in every home.

    Retained Heat Cooking

    http://solarcooking.org/heat-retention/ret-heat.htm

    Once food is heated to boiling, cooking can continue in an insulated box

    Daily cooking [on a stove or over a fire] frequently includes a long simmering period which is required for many beans, grains, stews, and soups. The amount of fuel needed to complete these cooking processes can be greatly reduced by cooking with retained heat. Even today, in some parts of the world, 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. Then the whole thing is covered with a mound of earth. The heat from the rocks cannot [easily] escape and the food is cooked very slowly.

    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 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 or basket lined with a reflective material into which a pot of food previously brought to a boil is placed. The insulation greatly slows the loss of conductive heat, and the shiny lining reflects the radiant heat back into the pot. This works best when the pot fits snugly into the insulation with no air in between.

    Such a box or basket can easily be made of inexpensive, locally available materials. It can be wooden, or cardboard, or any combination. Hay, straw, rushes, feathers, sawdust, rags, wool, shredded paper, etc. are all good insulating materials.

    Principles to be kept in mind are these:

    • Insulation should cover all six sides of the box.
    • The box should be airtight.
    • The inner surfaces of the box should be of a heat-reflective material.

    There are some adjustments involved in cooking with haybox cookers:

    • Less water should be used since it is not boiled away.
    • Less spice in 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 on the solar cooker or over a fire.
    • 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.
    • Haybox cookers work best for large quantities, as small amounts of food have less thermal mass and cool Preheated stones could always be put in together with the pot to prove the additional thermal mass needed to keep the temperature up over a long period of time.

    (This above portion of this article was excerpted from Cooking with the Sun, State Technical College, Altötting, Neuötting Str. 64 c, 84503, Altötting, Germany)

    Types of thermal cookers

    Main Meals

    Many of the following recipes were found here: http://www.thermalcookware.com.au/main.php?mod=Dynamic&id=23

    Click on the individual headings to goto the specific recipe.

    Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
    An interestingly tasty dish that is visually appealing.

    Serves 6.

    * 1 head of green Cabbage.
    * 1 teaspoon of Cumin Seeds.
    * 1 lb (1/2 a kg) of minced Turkey.
    * 1 teaspoon of Olive Oil.
    * 1 large Onion, peeled and cut into chunks.
    * 3 cloves of Garlic, peeled and crushed.
    * 1/2 a cup of green Capsicums, seeded and cut into chunks.
    * 1/4 of a cup of chopped Parsley.
    * 1/4 of a cup of Tomato Paste.
    * 1/2 a teaspoon of ground Cumin.
    * 1 tablespoon of dried Dill.
    * 1/2 a teaspoon of Salt.
    * 1/4 of a teaspoon of ground Black Pepper.
    * 3 cups of cooked long-grain Brown Rice.
    * 1 Egg, well beaten.
    * 1 litre of Tomato Juice.
    * 2 tablespoons of Corn flour.

    Cooking time on the stove: – 15 minutes.

    Thermal cooking time: – A minimum of 2 hours.

    1. Core the Cabbage with a sharp knife.
    2. Place the cored Cabbage in a large pot and cover it with water.
    3. Bring the pot to the boil for 3 minutes.
    4. Remove the Cabbage and when it is cool enough to handle break off as many leaves as are cooked to a supple softness.
    5. You will need 12 leaves so you may have to replace the Cabbage in the boiling water to prepare the remaining leaves.
    6. Heat the Olive Oil in a large frying pan on medium heat and toast the Cumin Seeds for 2 minutes.
    7. Add the minced Turkey and cook until browned, stirring to ensure the meat is freely broken into small pieces.
    8. Add the Onions and Garlic and cook until the Onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.
    9. Add the green Capsicum, Parsley, Tomato Paste, Cumin, Dill, Salt and Pepper and mix together thoroughly.
    10. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked Brown Rice and the beaten Egg.

    To make the Rolls: –

    1. Lay the Cabbage leaf flat and spoon 2/3 of a cup of the filling into the centre.
    2. Fold all four sides until they meet in the centre.
    3. Tie securely with butchers string and place them into the Cook and Carry pot.
    4. When all the rolls are inside pour in the Tomato Juice and use medium heat to bring the covered pot to the boil.
    5. Boil for 1 minute.Turn off the heat and transfer the pot into the Thermal Cooker. for a minimum of 3 hours.

    Making the sauce: –

    1. Make a sauce by stirring the liquid from the cooked Cabbage rolls into a medium saucepan.
    2. You should have approximately 3 cups and if there is not enough you can add more Tomato Juice.
    3. Remove 4 tablespoons of this liquid and mix it with the Corn flour in a small bowl to make a paste.
    4. Bring the liquid in the saucepan to the boil then remove from the heat.
    5. Stir in the paste and then return the saucepan to the heat stirring as it comes to the boil to thicken.

    Serving: –

    1. Cut the Butchers string off the rolls and remove carefully.
    2. Place two rolls on each serving plate and cover with the sauce.

    Jambalaya
    A traditional hot chunky style chicken stew that really brings out the flavours of the deep south.

    Serves 6

    * A 3.3 lb (1 1/2 kg) whole Chicken.
    * 1 Teaspoon of Olive Oil.
    * 125 grams (4.4 ounces) of Short Cut Bacon, sliced into approximately 2 cm pieces.
    * 3 medium Onions, peeled and chopped into large chunks.
    * 3 cloves of Garlic, peeled and crushed.
    * 1 Red Capsicum, seeded and chopped into 2 cm cubes
    * 1 Yellow Capsicum, seeded and chopped into 2 cm cubes.
    * 3 medium Carrots, peeled and finely sliced.
    * 2 stalks of Celery, finely chopped.
    * 1 tablespoon of Chili Powder.
    * 1/2 a tablespoon of Crushed Cayenne Pepper or Paprika.
    * 1-1/2 cups of Long Grain White Rice.
    * 1/2 a cup of Tomato Paste.
    * 3 cups of Ham Stock.
    * 1 can of tinned Diced Tomatoes.
    * 1/2 a teaspoon of crushed Black Pepper.
    * 1/2 a cup of minced Parsley.
    * 1 Bay Leaf.
    * 1 bunch of Fresh Spinach, remove the stems, rinse well and cut into fine shreds.

    Cooking time on the stove: – 17 minutes including frying time.

    Thermal cooking time: – A minimum of one hour.

    1. Cut the legs, thighs and breast off the Chicken, remove the skin and bones then cut the meat into large chunks and set this aside.
    2. Note: – the Chicken discards and bones can be used for a stock for other meals later.
    3. Lightly brown the Chicken in the pot then remove it and place it aside for later.
    4. Pour the Olive Oil into the pot and add the Bacon and brown it on all sides.
    5. Stir in the Onions and Garlic, and cook for 2 minutes.
    6. Add in the Capsicums, Carrots, Celery, Chili Powder and Cayenne (or Paprika), and stir until all the vegetables are coated with the spices.
    7. Add the rest of the ingredients except the Spinach, bring the mixture to the boil and then turn down the heat to simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on.
    8. Turn off the heat and transfer the pot into the Thermal Cooker for a minimum of one hour.

    To serve: –

    * Spread the Spinach shreds over each plate to form a crisp green nest and then spoon the hot Jambalaya on to this nest.

    Poached Herb Chicken
    Herbed chicken and vegetables…what more can you say…..just enjoy.

    Serves 6

    * 1 roasting Chicken approximately 3.75-4.5 lb (1 3/4 to 2 kg).
    * 1 cup assorted Fresh Herbs of your choice.
    * I teaspoon of Olive Oil.
    * 1 medium white Onion, peeled and coarsely chopped.
    * 3 large Carrots, peeled and cut into quarters.
    * 6 medium Red Potatoes, well scrubbed but not peeled.
    * 6 cups of Chicken Stock.
    * 1 Teaspoon of Salt.
    * 10 whole Black Peppercorns.
    * 2 cups of fresh Green Beans.
    * 1/4 of a cup of Dijon Mustard.
    * 3 tablespoons of Cornflour.

    Cooking time on the stove: – 10 minutes.

    Thermal Cooking time: – A minimum of 3 hours.

    1. Wash and dry the Chicken, removing any visible fat.
    2. Stuff the cavity with the Herbs and then put it in the refrigerator until ready for use.
    3. Heat the pot on medium and add the Olive Oil and Onions, fry for about 3 minutes.
    4. Add the Carrots and continue frying for another 2 minutes.
    5. Place the prepared Chicken on top of the Onions and Carrots and then tuck the Potatoes all around the Chicken.
    6. Pour the Stock over the Chicken and Vegetables and bring to a full boil.
    7. Add the Salt and Peppercorns, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface.
    8. Place the Green Beans on top of the Chicken and put the lid on the pot.
    9. Turn off the heat and transfer the pot into the Thermal Cooker.
    10. Leave for a minimum of 3 hours.

    Before serving the meal: –

    Make the sauce.

    * Take 3 cups of the hot Chicken Stock from the pot and pour it into a fat strainer jug.
    * When the fat has risen to the top, pour the “defatted” liquid into a saucepan.
    * Remove 1/3 of a cup of this liquid and mix it with the Cornflour in a small bowl to make a paste.
    * Stir the Mustard into the saucepan and heat gentle.
    * Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the slurry and then return to the heat and bring the mixture to the boil to thicken.
    * When suitably thickened turn off the heat.

    To serve the meal.

    * Remove the Chicken from the pot and slice it thinly.
    * Serve the Chicken with the Potatoes and Green Beans and pour the sauce over the top.

    Spicy Baked Beans
    A hot and spicy bean meal that is well accompanied by nachos and dipping chips.

    Serves 12

    * 1 teaspoon of Olive Oil.
    * 2 1/2 cups of chopped Onions.
    * 2 cloves of Garlic, peeled, crushed and finely chopped.
    * 1 tablespoons of freshly grated Ginger.
    * 2 cups of Carrots, peeled and finely sliced.
    * 2 cups of Apples, peeled and cored and sliced.
    * 1 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper.
    * 1/2 a cup of Tomato Paste.
    * 1/2 a cup of Dijon Mustard.
    * 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce.
    * 1/2 a cup of Brown Sugar.
    * 2 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar.
    * 1 cup of Tomato Paste or Tomato Sauce plus a half a cup of water.
    * 1/2 a cup of Raisins.
    * 1/2 a tablespoon of crushed Chili Pepper.
    * 1 Bay Leaf.
    * 2.25 lb (1kg) of Red Kidney Beans soaked overnight beforehand.

    Cooking time on the stove: – 5 to 10 minutes.

    Thermal cooking time: – a minimum of 4 hours.

    1. Add the oil to the bottom of the pot and fry the Onions over a medium heat for approximately 3 minutes or until they soften and clear.
    2. Remove from the heat and add the chopped Garlic, Ginger and Cayenne allowing the mixture to cool for about 30 seconds, stirring to release the volatile oils.
    3. Stir in the Carrots and Apples until they are well coated with the spices.
    4. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir thoroughly and place back on the heat to bring the mixture to a steady boil.
    5. Turn off the heat and transfer the pot to the Thermal Cooker, close the lid.
    6. Leave the meal to Thermal cook for a minimum of 4 hours.

    Lamb Shanks with Cous Cous
    A tasty and hearty meal with the Lamb Shanks tenderised to perfection.

    Serves 4.

    * 1 cup of Chick Peas soaked over night.
    * 4 Lamb Shanks trimmed to fit the pot.
    * 1/2 a cup of Flour.
    * 4 large Onions cut into quarters.
    * 3 cloves of Garlic crushed.
    * 1/2 a table spoon of mixed dried Herbs.
    * A small bunch of Parsley finely chopped.
    * 2 table spoons of Curry Paste (mild, medium or hot as required).
    * 3 Potatoes cut into large chunks.
    * 4 Carrots sliced thickly.
    * 4 large chunks of Pumpkin.
    * 3 cups of water or Vegetable Stock.
    * 2 table spoons of Tomato Paste.
    * Salt and Pepper to taste.
    * 400 grams (14.1 ounces) of Cous Cous.

    Cooking time on the stove: – 15 minutes.

    Thermal cooking time: – a minimum of 4 to 5 hours.

    1. Toss the shanks in seasoned flour.
    2. Place the shanks, onions, vegetables and herbs into the pot.
    3. Mix the curry paste and tomato paste with the stock and add to the mixture.
    4. Bring the mixture to a simmer point and add the pre-soaked chick peas.
    5. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on.
    6. Turn off the heat and place the pot into the Thermal Cooker and close the lid, leaving it for atleast 4 to 5 hours.
    7. Cook the cous cous separately as per the packet direction when you are ready to eat.
    8. Serve the cous cous as an accompaniment to the main meal.

    Simple Lamb or Beef Stew
    A delightfully hearty meal for lunch or dinner especially when the weather is colder.

    Serves 6.

    * 2.25 lb (1 kg) of Lamb or Beef cubed into large pieces.
    * 2 tablespoons of plain Flour.
    * 1 tablespoon of Olive oil.
    * 2 large Onions cut into quarters.
    * 2 cloves of Garlic crushed.
    * 1 stalk of Celery sliced into medium pieces.
    * 1 Parsnip cubed into small pieces.
    * 1 Carrot cubed into small pieces.
    * 2 Potatoes cut into quarters
    * 1 packet of dried Green Peas.
    * 1 Massel Vegetable Stock Cube.
    * 2 table spoons of Soy Sauce.
    * 1/2 a cup of Barley.
    * 3 cups of water.
    * Salt and Pepper to taste.

    You can vary this to suit your tastes by the following: –

    * Add some mixed Herbs, either dried or fresh.
    * With the beef you can substitute one cup of water for a cup of Red Wine.
    * You may add two table spoons of Thai Red Curry Paste.
    * You may also add a tin of Tomatoes however you will need to adjust the water amount to compensate.
    * You may also substitute Frozen Vegetables for the fresh mentioned above.

    Cooking time on the stove: – 12 to 15 minutes.

    Thermal cooking time: – A minimum of 3 to 4 hours.

    1. Heat the oil in the pot and cook the onions and garlic over a medium heat until they are transparent.
    2. Remove the pot from the heat.
    3. Toss the cubed meat in seasoned flour.
    4. Add the vegetables, soy sauce and water to the pot with the cooked onions and garlic,
    5. Bring the contents to the boil over a medium heat and add the Meat, Barley, Stock and Dried Peas.
    6. Reduce the heat to a slow simmer for 12 to 15 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally.
    7. Turn off the heat and transfer the pot into the Thermal Cooker for a minimum of 3 to 4 hours

    Coq au Vin
    A very tasty chicken dish rich in mushrooms, bacon and herbs. One that will have them coming back for more.

    Serves 6.

    * 3-3.3 lb (1 1/2 kg) of Chicken pieces.
    * 3 slices of Bacon.
    * 4 Spring Onions chopped.
    * 4 small Onions sliced.
    * Some Olive oil for frying.
    * 250g of button Mushrooms.
    * 2 cloves of Garlic crushed.
    * 1 tablespoon of dried Thyme.
    * 8 small Potatoes, scrubbed and halved.
    * 1 cup of Red Wine.
    * 1 cup of Chicken Stock.
    * A small bunch of Parsley finely chopped.

    Cooking time on the stove: – 10 minutes

    Thermal cooking time: – A minimum of 1 hour

    1. In a large frying pan, fry the chicken pieces until well browned on all sides.
    2. Remove these and place them to one side.
    3. In the same pan brown the bacon and spring onions and then remove them to one side.
    4. Place the onions, mushrooms and garlic into the pot.
    5. Add the chicken, bacon, spring onion, salt and pepper to taste, thyme, potatoes, wine and stock.
    6. Bring the contents to the boil with the lid on and then turn down the heat to simmer for 10 minutes on low.
    7. Turn off the heat and transfer the pot into the Thermal Cooker and close the lid.
    8. Leave to Thermal cook for a minimum of one hour.

    Recipes above were found here: http://www.thermalcookware.com.au/main.php?mod=Dynamic&id=23

    Corned Silverside.

    1 ½ to 2 kilogram piece of Corned Beef (choose a square cut piece to fit easily)

    2 Bay leaves

    1 large Onion

    3 strips of Orange peel

    4 Cloves

    2 tablespoons of Brown Sugar

    1 cup of Balsamic Vinegar

    1 tablespoon of Mustard

    ½ a tablespoon of Peppercorns

    Water to cover.

    Simmering time on the stove top: 30 minutes

    Thermal Cooking time: 3 to 4 hours minimum.

    Place all the ingredients into the inner pot.

    Bring the contents to the boil.

    Reduce the heat to a simmer.

    Simmer gently for 30 minutes with the lid on.

    Turn off the heat and transfer the inner pot to the outer Thermal Container.

    Leave to complete the cooking for 3 to 4 hours minimum.

    You can add the required vegetables whole with the corned beef while it is being simmered or else you may wish to freshly cook vegetables to serve with the corned beef when you are ready to eat.

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