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Haybox Cooking / Thermal Cooker / Wonder Box

 
master pollinator
Posts: 8263
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I've been doing a lot of my towel version of Hay box cooking in the Philippines. I have a big electric kettle that is used for drinks but also for making soup and boiling vegetables. I run the kettle until it clicks off and then wrap it with several old towels. Once in a while I hit the button and let it get up to boil in again.

Hay box of soap making. That's right, soap making. I set up a double boiler system so that the excess Heat created when lye is put into water can be transferred to the oil. This required finding just the right containers that Nest inside one another. After the oil pot is placed in the hot water, it is all covered with towels until a temperature equilibrium is reached. Then the lye is poured into the oil and soap is made. We made many batches of soap without using any heat Source other than that from the chemical reaction and the Sun. I sometimes set the jugs of oil in the Sun a few hours before making the soap.

I always use this method when cooking rice. I bring it up to temperature, then cover it and walk away with the stove turned off.
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There's a kettle in there
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Each batch of soap is wrapped in towels to preserve Heat
 
Posts: 33
Location: La Bretagne
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Hello Mick and thank you for the reply and ideas. I think that cutting out one side for a door would probably work well. I already have the door that would then become the outer door, I just will have to figure out something so that the insulating inner door is tight, as the outer door in an old piece of carved wood that has been held together since we recovered it with a few pieces of metal. I like the idea of just cutting out the side. And having that cut out side become part of the future box.

That is cool that your Christmas tree star is still used!

Thanks again.
 
Posts: 83
Location: Lake Geneva, Switzerland, Europe
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Thanks everybody for this great discussion. I have since taken to wrapping my pressure cooker in an old ski jacket placed in a wooden box once I've brought it up to pressure. Finishes cooking and keeps the food  warm for several hours. Great for pot lucks.
 
Posts: 23
Location: in the country in southeastern US
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I first tried "haybox" cooking after reading about a variant of it in a pamphlet put out by researchers in Aprochevo, NM. (back in 1990s). They were giving out DIY directions to make a rocket stove from common materials (back when rocket stoves were new)and included a pamphlet of using wrap cooking to finish off foods started by boiling on a rocket stove.  I tried it and it works a treat, PLUS you do NOT have to buy anything to use the technique.  Just boil your food, wrap 3 inches thick with a quilt (polyester or wool recommended, because the insulation is closed cell and does not absorb water vapor and get moldy.  It helped to have a pot with no long handles (like what passes for a dutch oven nowdays) for easier wrapping, and a larger pot would cook more efficiently due to more greater heat retaining mass.  Using oven baking bags makes it possible to bake in it as well.  Yes, I have patterns for a wonder box, and there is an insulated bag called a "wonder bag" that is another variant sold ready made on Amazon (I just use my old poly quilt - wrapping a 2nd pot with a poly blanket if I need two pots cooked.  I'm cheeeep.)
 
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