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Coolbox Cooker

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by velocidad, 4 Feb 2008.

  1. velocidad

    velocidad Senior Member

    talking about energy usage and other green issues the other day,mum told me about strawbox or haybox cooking . basically part cooking something like stew for example, and then putting in a box lined with hay/straw to continue cooking. the hay obviously acting to insulate and thus using less energy to cook. anyway being fresh out of hay and staw, i started looking round for bits to make something similar for her....i wanted to know if it worked too :smile:
    used a coolbox, which was a good start, it basically being an insulated box. lined it with some polystyrene, leaving just enough room for the container i was going to use for the 'stew'. said space lined with tinfoil, more polystyrene on top, then the coolbox lid.
    works great! :thumbsup: so far mum has cooked stew, soup and rice pudding in it. cooking times take a bit of experimentation, but basically prep in the morning and it's cooked by tea time :ohmy:

    cheers, velocidad :tongue:
  2. Abitrary

    Abitrary New Member

    Sounds like a less risky crockpot. How much do you have to cook it for originally though?

    Could you, in the morning for example, boil a kettle and pour it over some raw chicken and vegetables, and then put it in the box to make a stew?
  3. velocidad

    velocidad Senior Member

    meat i'm not sure about, mum is vegi. but bring to boil and simmer for few mins before transfer to coolbox cooker seems to work well for veg. reckon if you cooked meat as you would before putting in a slow cooker that would be about right.

    cheers, velocidad;)
  4. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    York, UK
    Great idea! Even less power than a crockpot I guess, because if I remember right you still had to start the stuff off the same way to put in the crockpot...

    Also, you're not leaving something electrical on and bubbling away in an empty house, if you all have to go out...
  5. Cycling Naturalist

    Cycling Naturalist Legendary Member

    It works provided you can keep the temperature above the effective cooking temperature - otherwise it ceases to cook and merely keeps something warm.
  6. Fnaar

    Fnaar Smutmaster General

    Someone mentioned recently, and I do a lot, things which cook with hot water (pasta, veggies, boiled eggs, rice etc) to heat through to start them off, then turn power off with lid on tight and let it cook without further gas or lecky. I have rice down to a T now (or to an R if you like) ... cover it with water, boil for a few mins, lid on, leave for 12-15 mins ...perfect...the art is in getting the right amount of water for the amount of rice at the start.
    The coolbox cooker sounds good... might give it a go...
  7. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    York, UK
    Yes, I need to perfect that - my electric hob plates hold the heat so well once hot, the problem is putting the lid on and it boiling over - there's a fine art to turning it down just right.

    What I do do though, is use the residual heat, once I've served up, to heat water for the washing up...
  8. velocidad

    velocidad Senior Member

    i'll give that rice thing a go, cheers fnaar.

    coolbox cooker also good for keeping one thing warm while you finish cooking something else. i hope to make a slightly bigger one for the velocifamily to use.

    cheers, velocidad.
  9. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Staff Member

    My Mum has a straw box for this purpose, and on Christmas Day has brought down a peice of Gammon in it, still nice and hot, nearly 2 hours later. Don't know how much time she cooked it for first though or how long it was in there in total.
  10. velocidad

    velocidad Senior Member

    is your mums actually an old fashioned box with straw, or a modern day thing like the coolbox? does she use it a lot, what sort of things does she cook, any heat retention cooking tips?

    cheers, velocidad :biggrin:
  11. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    York, UK
    Dammit. I remeber seeing a programme about hayboxes and there was some tip I remember, because it was a bit surprising... Can't blooming well remember what it was now! Might have been something like dampening the hay or something....

    A quick google throws up a lot of links - this guy has had more of less the same idea as you. I like the idea of being self-sufficient-ish!

  12. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    York, UK
    Oh my. Just got to the page on growing and spinning your own cotton... I could be here for some time...
  13. frog

    frog Guest

    Had a recipe for Japanese Rice which I lost years ago. But from memory.

    Long grain rice - two tablespoons per person
    7.5 fluid oz of water for each portion
    Wash the rice until the water runs clear - takes ages but needs the starch washing out.
    Put in sauce pan which has a good fitting lid and bring to the boil.
    Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 mins. Turn off heat and leave for 15 mins.
    All the water has been absorbed and the rice is lovely and fluffy.

    Might have got the rice qty out a bit though. :biggrin:
  14. velocidad

    velocidad Senior Member

    thats a great site, self sufficient-ish, now we could all do that ;). the 'it's not easy been green' forum ( born from the program of the same name) may be of interest to you arch. i've just joined it, tons of info about green things. nice and friendly too. i thought of you when i saw someone offering free wool in the swap/need/want type section of the forum, think it's gone now though ( huh, now i tell you! :biggrin:)

    cheers, velocidad
  15. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    York, UK

    oh, I've been meaning to look at that site, keep forgetting, cheers for the reminder....

    <bumbles off to have a look>