Thermos cooking isn't well-known in The United States of America, but in countries where fuel is very expensive, most cooks usually use their thermos in ways that save both fuel and energy. We can learn from them.
Things You'll Need
- boiling water
If you don't have a thermos, then buy the best quality one you can afford. A wide-mouth thermos will be easier to use for cooking in. Aladdin Stanley Thermos is the one I use. Make sure that your thermos is lined with stainless steel and not glass.
You are going to be starting your cooking by heating the meal or food to the boiling point, in a pot on your stove top, and then once your food is boiling hot, you pour the food into your preheated thermos bottle, and finish cooking the food in the thermos.
Thus you are saving lots of energy because you're using the minimum amount of energy to cook your food.
To preheat your thermos, you simply boil enough water to fill your thermos, then pour the boiling water into your thermos. In the meantime you are preparing your dinner, or cereal, or whatever, on the stove.
Once your food has reached boiling point, you pour the boiling water out of the thermos bottle, and using a funnel, pour the food into the preheated thermos.
Cover your thermos with the lid that comes with it and set aside to let your food continue to cook in the thermos.
Don't forget to turn your stove off.
When your food is done, pour it into a nice serving bowl or plate and enjoy.
Remember to thoroughly wash both the thermos and the funnel between each use.
That is one way to cook in your thermos, but there is also another way of doing things.
That is to actually use your thermos to cook your food, (rather than starting the cooking process on your stove), you add your ingredients to your thermos, along with some boiling water, and cook your meal in the thermos for several hours.
For this method, you still need to pre-heat your thermos. Don't forget to preheat it as it is very important.
Also cut all foods into small pieces, with no big hunks of anything, so all the food will cook evenly.
When you have added your food, and covered it tightly with its lid, then lay your thermos on its side, as all the food will cook more evenly that way. (If you leave it standing upright sometimes only the food on the bottom will cook.)
Oatmeal is very easy to fix in a thermos. Use steel cut whole oats as they taste best. Prepare the oatmeal the night before by preheating the thermos, then pouring out the boiling water, add your oatmeal, and fill the thermos with more boiling water.
In the morning your oatmeal will be cooked perfectly.
Whole wheat breakfast cereal can be prepared the night before, to eat in the morning too. Just put 1 cup of whole wheat and 2 cups of boiling water in your preheated thermos before going to bed. Cover tightly and lay on its side. Leave thermos overnight and your cereal is cooked perfectly in the morning.
You can also cook rice, or rice and beans, or rice and lentils in a very similar fashion. Takes about 8 hours to cook usually. Remember rice expands so leave a bit of room on the top of your thermos for that.
You can also make rice and chopped up veggies this way. It helps here to bring the rice to a boil, and even cook it for about five minutes before adding the rice and chopped up vegetables to the thermos to finish cooking.
Pasta cooks even faster, just add about 1 1/2 cups of egg noodles or macaroni, two cups of boiling water, and your seasonings to your preheated thermos. Cover tightly and cook. It should be done in about twenty minutes. You can add a can of drained tuna fish to the hot pasta or macaroni after removing it from the thermos if you want for added protein.
Some people prefer to keep one thermos to use just for cooking food in, and buy another thermos to use just for drinks.
Tips & Warnings
- Make sure you get a high quality thermos, stainless steel inside and not glass. They shatter.
- Remember to lay your tightly covered thermos on its side after you have closed the lid. Things cook more evenly with the thermos on its side.
- Follow all recipes exactly so your food is safe and delicious to eat. Remember people all over the world have been cooking like this for many years.
- Don't put grated cheese in your thermos, sprinkle some on the top of your food later instead, as cheese is really hard to clean out of a thermos container.
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