a Dutch oven/fuel economy observation, a hint if you will.

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I posted this under food. Yesterday I decided to try out my farmers box which I had made many years ago from an article I had read in Mother Earth News.It worked great.

What's a farmers box? It is a heavily insulated container which can house a dutch oven. I made mine out of 2 inch closed cell foam. I cut rings in the foam which were the diameter of the oven so it would nest inside. The bottom I left solid and the lid I left solid.

How do you use this thing? Yesterday I made up Elk stew using stewmeat and potatos,canned corn,tomatos,turnips,onions etc.General stew stuff. I browned the meat in the oven(I was using the last of the 2yr old cow we had gotten and it was fairly freezer burned). After browning the meat I added the rest of the vegies and extra water and brought it to a rolling boil with the lid on it.I then took the closed oven,placed it into the box dropped the lid and left it alone.Total preperation time was 25 minutes. This was at 11:00. At 16:30 I opened the box, retrieved the meal and ate it. Everything was very well done and the meat was more tender than I could have asked for.

The advantage of this method of cooking is less fuel used and You can fire and forget it so to speak.

I hope this is of use to you.

-- nine (nine_fingers@hotmail.com), January 19, 1999


I have constructed one very similar. I used two inch thick rigid insulatin, two thickness for a total of four inches on all sides. I fitted more insulation for the interior to fit, exactly the large pot that I use. Actually, more like six inches around. Top and bottom. It is about a perfect seal. I boil water for whatever is to be cooked and throw in the ingredients. I close the lid and come back in a couple of hours and virtually no heat has escaped. It is still scalding hot. I cook with less than one tenth the energy that way.

Of course this is good only on certain things. Boiling beans, or stews etc. But, it is exceedingly effective.

-- Paul Milne (fedinfo@halifax.com), January 19, 1999.

I don't see that nine or Paul have referenced foil......... so these probably aren't solar cookers. You can boil water in solar cookers: sterilize baby bottles & utensils; bake bread. The materials are about $3 per to construct by yourself. Plans are free.

Just do a search on "solar cooker".

-- Lisa (lisab@shallc.com), January 19, 1999.

Thanks a LOT Nine and Paul! NOW you tell me I could have made my own! :-) I just ordered a "Volcano" which does basically the same thing. Another real advantage I saw from it, this one can be burning hot on the inside, and the outside is cool to the touch. A friend has one, and you can "cook on a tablecloth."

-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), January 19, 1999.

Gayla, You won't be un happy with the Volcano Stove.One of my friends has one of the large ones and he can cook a complete meal with 15 briquets. It is really amazing.Dis advantage is the live fire with the associated monoxide problem. He cooks in the Garage.

I mentioned my little deal,with the farmers box, due to my irrational exhuberance(Thanks Alan) at the fact it was SOO hot at the end of the experiment.

I plan on getting a Volcano just for the fact it can use scrounged up fuel in a pinch.The more ways you can get to your goal the better off you are.

-- nine (nine_fingers@hotmail.com), January 20, 1999.

Where does one find a Volcano?

-- Watchful (seethesea@msn.com), March 21, 1999.

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