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Old 06-15-2010, 08:10 PM   #1
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Hay box cooker - most economical way to cook?

This post was inspired by another thread, in which the poster asked what was the most economical way to cook when boondocking and trying to conserve fuel?

One suggestion was a 12 volt crock pot. This got me thinking about the hay box cooker that was used in lumber camps and on farms more than 100 years ago.

Here is how it works. At breakfast time fill your Dutch Oven or iron pot with all the ingredients to make a tasty stew, soup, or similar dish. Put it on the stove and heat to boiling. Then put the pot in a wooden box and pack hay all around for insulation.

Now you can take the box into the woods, to a job site or on a hunting fishing or picnic expedition. By lunch time your food will be cooked to perfection and still hot.

You could make up an insulated box for your Dutch oven that would do the same thing and also serve as storage when you were not using it. Allowing you to make lunch on the embers of the breakfast fire or use the minimum of propane.

Has anyone tried this?
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:15 PM   #2
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Quite a lot of us have (and use while camping), Thermos brand - and some other brands also - "thermal cookers." There are several threads on those in the Forums; I think you'll find them if you search for "thermal cooker". Somewhat pricey, but a terrific product.

I use mine all the time and it works very well indeed ... and on the same principle as hay boxes, but without all the hay. I love to make up a big batch of beef stew or some such in the morning, put the hot pot into the insulated container, and it's good and hot and well cooked for dinner. Good for tailgating also, and for road trips; make dinner in the morning, go for a drive, and "uncork" it at dinner time.

It also works well in case you need an ice bucket or wine chiller!
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