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Non-electric Slow Cooking

 
gardener
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As mentioned by Rose Macaskie hay-box or Cook Box Cooking is a great 'days gone by' method of cooking.

This is the option for when you want to avoid using electricity, don't have access to electricity, don't want to heat your kitchen or need a larger pot than your favorite slow-cooker.  Slow even cooking using retained heat cooking.

Watch the video all about it : http://www.youtube.com/user/pocketsofthefuture#p/a  You don't have to reheat or continue cooking after removing from the 'box'.

Very cool 
 
pollinator
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Just wanted to mention a smaller-scale version of this:  Thermos (Dewar flask) cooking.

A wide-mouth thermos works better, of course.  My parents do this to cook beans in the summer.
 
Jami McBride
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How does that work Joel?

~Jami
 
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Oh wow, Jami and Rose! You know how it is when you're surfing the web and you bound down a rabbit trail of information that you can't retrace later? Thermal cooking, or a hay box cooker is one of those things I found a while ago, and then couldn't remember any of the terms for it so all my google searches hit dead ends. This thread and the link helped me find the vocabulary--thank you! 

Joel, I think you're simply talking about putting boiling hot food in a thermos, and letting it finish cooking in there, correct? One of my cookbooks, The New Laurel's Kitchen I think it was, recommended putting oats and boiling water in a thermos the night before you want to eat them. Which not only saves energy, but also makes a pretty instant breakfast! Too bad I'm reducing grains....
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Jami McBride wrote:
How does that work Joel?

~Jami



As Jocelyn mentioned, it's the exact same idea as straw box cooking:  Heat the food to the cooking temperature, and insulate it to maintain that temperature as it cooks.

But a thermos can maintain a smaller amount of food at a more-constant temperature, so it's more suitable for smaller households.

Too bad I'm reducing grains....



A custard would work this way, too.  It's tricky to maintain one at the proper temperature otherwise...

I could see using it for fermentation as well: have the starter culture and any solids in the thermos, and watch the thermometer as a pot of liquid cools, only pouring it in when it hits the appropriate temperature..
 
Jami McBride
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Hummm.... I'll have to try it.  This would be great for trip food/snacks.

Mostly I cook mass-quantities because of teenagers 

Jocelyn:  I do know what you mean - sheez I hate when that happens.  Seems I always find what I wanted but the amount of work to do so can be crazy.  If you don't clear your browser history you can dig backwards that way and find sites visited long ago.... just an idea.
 
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sometimes I follow so many rabbit trails I forget what I originally was looking for. I saw some commercial about internet overload or something and it hit waay to close to home!

this would be useful in many situations and a fun way to feed a family/freind get together! thanks for posting!
 
steward
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I cook beans in a fashion not far from this.  Bring them to a boil for a couple minutes, turn off the heat for an hour or two, repeat.  Saves a lot of propane.  I'm going to look further into this.
 
Ken Peavey
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Last night was sausage and peppers over white rice.  All I did with the rice was bring it to a boil for a couple minutes.  Heat was turned off.  Lid kept in place, the
stuff was perfect in about 45 minutes.  The pot held enough heat to keep the dish going.
 
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But a thermos can maintain a smaller amount of food at a more-constant temperature, so it's more suitable for smaller households.



This works really well for whole grains.  Put a measured amount of wheat (or rye, oat groats, barley, etc) into a thermos bottle, add cinnamon and maple syrup to taste, then pour in boiling water and seal it.  Within eight hours you'll have a wonderfully warm and tasty breakfast.
 
                                  
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Kurt Saxon has a good page of thermos cooking ideas to save money and enhance nutrition, although his politics may cause you to throw up afterwards:

http://survivalplus.com/foods/Saving-Money-With-A-Thermos-Bottle.htm


And some other sorta permie food prep ideas:

http://survivalplus.com/foods/toc.htm
 
pollinator
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There is a related thread, Haybox Cooking: https://permies.com/permaculture-forums/8127_0/cooking-and-food-preservation/haybox-cooking , which also talks about a commercial alternative to the haybox, Mr. D's Thermal Cooker
 
I do some of my very best work in water. Like this tiny ad:
A rocket mass heater is the most sustainable way to heat a conventional home
http://woodheat.net
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