Cooking hints

The ecopot thermal cooker

I love my ecopots! They make my life so much easier. They enable me to cook lunch and dinner in the morning, so I only need to be in the kitchen for a few hours in the morning and they do the rest! 

The ecopot is a thermal cooker. There are a number of thermal cookers on the market, mainly marketed towards travelers, as they come with the option to use 12V power.

The way a thermal cooker works is as follows. There is an inner pot (and in the case of the ecopot, another smaller pot that fits into the inner pot) and a heavily insulated outer pot with a lid. You put all your ingredients in the inner pot(s) and bring them to a boil. After boiling for around 5 or so minutes, you sink the innerpot into the insulated outer pot and due to the heavy insulation it cooks itself with its own heat. In the ecopot food stays warm for upto 8 hours, it is recommended to reheat after that time.

If I make dinner in the morning, I usually take the inner pot out at lunch time, reheat it again until boiling (usually only takes a couple of minutes) and sink it back into the outer pot again. Then it is ready for dinner.

Meat that needs longer cooking time I cook one morning, reheat at lunch and put the inner pot into the fridge overnight. Then I reheat it the next day with added vegetables etc.

The pot is fantastic for stews, sauces, soups, rice etc. Soup can nicely cook all day without extra power. This slow cooking method really allows the flavours to combine beautifully and meats and hard vegetables will become soft.

The thermal cooker is extremely efficient and allows me to save energy (no electricity and less gas) and the freedom to not have to be in the kitchen all day! If you like to find out more about thermal cookers, look them up online or go to ecopot.com.au. I am not sponsored by ecopot, I just love this way of cooking!

You can also make your own thermal cooker by using a polystyrene box with lid and fill it with straw. You can use any pot that fits in the box to heat your food in and put it into the box. I do not know how long it will stay warm for using this setup, you will have to check it yourself. It will depend on amount of insulating material used.

I would recommend this type of cooking to anyone, especially people who are busy (aren’t we all these days?). Ecopot does have a power outlet which can keep the temperature consistent, should you be away for longer than 8 hours. Another option is to just reheat the food in the inner pot when you come home. Very handy when you don’t want to cook after a day at work!

©2014 Zaia at wholefoodcookery.com – Ecopot thermal cooker.

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