Published on January 7th, 2010 | by Becky Striepe10
Save Energy By Cooking With Your…Thermos?
[social_buttons]A friend recently hipped me to thermos cooking, which takes advantage of the thermos’ insulation to trap and use food’s residual heat for cooking. I was intrigued and immediately starting looking for more information on the subject. Here’s what I learned.
Thermos or vacuum flask cooking is an easy way to save energy. It’s as simple as using a crock pot but requires a fraction of the energy.
You can cook either in a regular old thermos or invest in a vacuum flask. The vacuum flask retains heat a bit better, but they’re on the pricier side. It’s a two part situation, where the food vessel goes inside a vacuum seal that helps retain the heat.
The basic method for cooking dry pasta and grains is to bring the grains and water to a boil on the stove, then pour the boiling food into your preheated thermos. To preheat the thermos, you just pour boiling water into it, so the insides are warm and won’t cool the food. Then you seal it, give it a shake, and let it steep until you’re ready to eat! Since you’re cooking at lower temperatures, it takes longer than making food on the stove, but the energy savings make the planning seem totally worth it. Cooking times seem to range from a just under an hour to overnight, depending on what you’re cooking.
ThermosCooking.com has some really helpful information, including recipes and cooking times for common grains.
I found an incredibly helpful article from Kurt Saxon that includes recipes, tips for planning your day’s thermos-cooked meals, and saving money on food in general.
Several folks recommended Aladdin Stanley as a good brand for thermos cooking.
If you’re looking to make big batches with this method, you might look into this thermal cooker over at Amazon.
Have any of you tried your hands at thermos cooking? I’d love to hear your stories!
Steel Cut Oats. Creative Commons photo by dlifson
Aladdin Stanley Thermos. Photo via Amazon
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