Friday, 11 April 2014

NEW PAGE! Thermal Cooker Recipes.

You may or may not have noticed the new tab at the top of each blog post which says 'Thermal Cooker Recipes'.

A couple of months after buying the bus, I discovered thermal cooking. It seemed like a good idea so, unwilling to spend the big bucks on a Dream Pot, Shuttle Chef or Eco Pot, I went ahead and bought a cheaper Primus Brand 'Campfire' thermal cooker for $150 at Aussie disposals. It comes with a bag, smaller inner pot and trivet. I also bought the optional mess tin for cooking cakes and bread (I haven't tried it yet).
Click here for their online store:

Source: Aussie Disposals website.

My friends and family own the 'name brand' pots and they work really, really well. I'm not showing a preference for any of the brands, but MY pot is excellent. I love it.

One thing I did do was buy the books from Dream Pot as the instruction manual I got with mine only had about three recipes in it. The extra books were a good investment for a beginner.
The other good resources I found were:
Eco Pot (only a few recipes here) 
Shuttle Chef (apparently they also have a book but I haven't bought it)
Pinterest isn't just about thermal cooking but people have 'pinned' some of their favourite recipes on there and if you do a search, you'll find them. Also, search for 'slow cooker' or 'crock pot' or even 'dutch oven' recipes because just about anything you can cook in one of those, can be cooked in the thermal cooker.

Of course, the best way to get to know the cooker and what it can do is to EXPERIMENT!

"What does this have to do with buses or motorhoming?" You ask.

Well, they use very little energy.
For a fall-off-the-bone stew, you will use about 20-30 mins of cooking energy. For rice: 2 mins cooking time! This is a great way to save energy on the road.
Although we will have a kitchenette in the bus, we are planning to cook most meals on the camp fire or on a little butane stove outside. This cooker saves lots of energy.

It is a safe and easy way to cook while traveling.
Put the meal on at 8am when you're packing up to go to the next campground. Pull up at  lunchtime and have some of the meal at a park or something (if you'd like to). Keep driving OR enjoy some sight seeing for the day and by dinnertime, when you're tired out and just finished setting up camp, dinner will still be warm (note- if you're frightened of 'bugs' these cookers are safe for around 8 hours, after that, they recommend some reheating, which is no drama, usually only takes a few minutes).

One last reason I REALLY wanted one was because I can prepare most meals at home and pop everything into a large Ziploc bag and freeze them flat. Then, when we go camping, just grab the top one out of the bus fridge or Esky and cook it up! Having frozen meals in the fridge will save on fridge energy, they will defrost slowly and safely and will take up less space all chopped up and flat, also, I won't be spending valuable relaxing time doing food prep. I'm considering buying a vac sealer... but we will have to see about that!
Have I convinced you yet?

Back to the original reason for this blog post...

If you look at the top of the page, I have added a tab labeled 'Thermal Cooker Recipes'. As I experiment, I'll add my 'hits and misses' recipes there, so you can use them too!

Feel free to message me or comment on here if you have any recipes or suggestions that I can add.
Happy cooking!

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