Prepared for Christmas – Thermos Cooking
My dad had a Stanley thermos’ when I was a kid. He took one, filled with coffee, to work every day that I can remember. While I haven’t actually thought about owning and using a thermos in quite some time, I was recently re-introduced to them and I think they are fabulous for daily cooking or emergency use.
Why is a thermos a good emergency preparedness Christmas item, you might ask? I can hear you now – Thermos?…BORING…there must be something more up to date or high tech that I can be giving as a gift this year. I have learned that a thermos is good for more than just hot beverages, it is also a handy tool to have around for emergency cooking.
You can purchase a good thermos at most any store that sells housewares. The cost for a quality bottle should be somewhere in the $25 range. We are not talking about the kind of thermos I had in my lunch box as a kid, though – these are heavier, and stainless steel lined, no more inside glass breakage like the olden days. I would also suggest that you purchase one with a wide mouth. It is much easier to get food in, and out when they are cooked.
According to Carolyn Shearlock at theBoatGalley.com you should:
Carolyn’s post about the 11 key points for successful Thermos cooking is a must read if you want to begin using this wonderful resource in your home. She has fantastic recipes too.
Thermos Cooking is Versatile
Thermos cooking works best for single item foods (think rice or oatmeal) that require you to cook in liquid. Experiment with the following beginning items:
- Rice – any kind will work, white or brown, as long as it doesn’t need to be browned first
- Rolled oats, buckwheat, and other cereals
- Quinoa, Wheat, Kamut and other whole grains
- Soak and cook dried beans
- Reconstituting dried and freeze-dried foods
Once you feel comfortable with the process and know the capacity of your thermos try adding an additional step – brown the meat and learn to make soups, stews, chili and spaghetti sauce. Basically, any recipe you can use in a crock pot can be adapted to thermos cooking.
Thermos Cooking – Energy and Time Saving
Do you have one of those electric kettles? They are fantastic. It takes just over 3 minutes to bring a full kettle of water to boiling. The same amount of water on the stove takes about 6 minutes. I am always looking for ways to cut down on our expenses and this is one way I do it. In a real emergency, where we have no power, I can boil my water, place it in the thermos to cook and save valuable fuel. The nice thing about cooking in the thermos, is that you don’t have to watch the food or stir it. Plus it’s hard to overcook and you can’t burn it. Just set the timer and continue with dinner prep or go relax for a few minutes. Feel free to take a quick peek inside once or twice, it isn’t going to release enough heat to cause a problem.
Thermos Cooking Directions
Follow these simple steps as you begin to learn about thermos cooking.
#1 Choose a quality metal thermos that will retain enough heat to cook food.
#2 Preheat the thermos. Heat water to boiling and fill your thermos for about 5 minutes. This step is really important and you should not skip it. It is the key to your thermos cooking success.
#3 While the thermos is preheating, measure your ingredients for cooking. After 5 minutes pour out the water or use it for something else.
#4 Measure and boil more water, then place your ingredients in, and pour the water in as quickly as you can. I use a canning funnel to help pour the ingredients into the thermos. Once you’ve poured all your ingredients into the thermos, close it up, but don’t screw it down so tight it’s hard to open later.
#5 Give it a good shake and place your thermos on its side for the suggested cooking time. Why on its side? More surface area helps it to cook evenly.
#6 Give it a shake every so often – for extended cooking times, say 45 minutes – shake it every 10-15 minutes until the water is absorbed. You will hear and feel a difference when it is done. Open and enjoy!
More recipes and how-to video’s can be found at www.thermoscooking.com
Quinoa Thermos Cooking Recipe
Ratio: 1 part quinoa to 2 parts liquid
Salt: To taste – try 1/3 teaspoon per cup of quinoa to start
Cooking Time: 45 minutes (approx.)
Pasta Thermos Cooking Recipe
Ratio: 2-3 servings of pasta to enough water to fill your thermos
Salt: a pinch
Cooking Time: 10 minutes (approx.)