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Sharon the Cat
03-12-2013, 12:26
Having got interested in the Magic Cooker and then ordered one from ebay which turned out not to be in stock :rolleyes2: we decided to have a go at making our own.

I already had a Le Creuset cast iron casserole that my mother gave me.
19032
Phill made a box from 18mm marine ply (just happened to be what we had) & lined it with Kingspan insulation board. I taped all the edges of the board with foil insulation tape.
19033 19034
Plenty of hay & straw available from the barn next door.
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I started off a bacon & butterbean stew at midday. It went into the box at 12:30.
19035
We like most things motorhome to have a dual purpose so this is also a step-up for the fixed bed & a coolbox. Phill has worked out it will hold 16 beer cans.:cheers:
19038
We'll be having dinner at about 7-8pm & I will report the results.

ivecotrucker
03-12-2013, 12:37
There used to be stories of this working in hitchhiking/wilding circles in my younger days but I've never tried it myself. Let us know whether you are dining in tonight or going down the chippie.

Sharon the Cat
03-12-2013, 12:47
There used to be stories of this working in hitchhiking/wilding circles in my younger days but I've never tried it myself. Let us know whether you are dining in tonight or going down the chippie.

If it's not cooked through I'll just pop it on top of the woodburner. :egg:
The pot that is, not the box.

MORGANTHEMOON
03-12-2013, 12:51
It's not April fool day is it.

How can that work?

ivecotrucker
03-12-2013, 12:56
The theory is, or was, that heat generated by bacterial decomposition of the hay/leaves/grass would slowly "cook" something but I've not heard of it being used for many a year now.

MORGANTHEMOON
03-12-2013, 12:57
The theory is, or was, that heat generated by bacterial decomposition of the hay/leaves/grass would slowly "cook" something but I've not heard of it being used for many a year now.

mmmmmmmmmmmm!

Sharon the Cat
03-12-2013, 13:05
The theory is, or was, that heat generated by bacterial decomposition of the hay/leaves/grass would slowly "cook" something but I've not heard of it being used for many a year now.

That would take years! I think you're getting muddled up with compost heaps.:confused:

A hay box, is a cooker that utilises the heat of the food being cooked to complete the cooking process. Food items to be cooked are heated to boiling point, and then insulated. Over a period of time, the food items cook by the heat captured in the insulated container. Generally, it takes three times the normal cooking time to cook food in a hay box.

sasquatch
03-12-2013, 13:45
I've used hayboxes in the scouts and they worked on the heat you put into the pan.Cast iron although heavy,retains heat better than a thin walled pan and Le Creuset is as good. I have cooked porridge in one for a camp of 30 for the following morning,cooks overnight perfectly. Ideal for stews and currys,and slow 'roasts'.

Hay Box Stew - Ingredients are the same as for any stew you'd cook at home. Cut up vegetables small, and beef into cubes. Cook meat well. Bring water to hard rolling boil, allow to boil for 10 minutes, add meat and vegetables. Place in stewing pot with lid and place in hay box. (The vegetables will cook during the day). Cook for about 8 - 10 hours, then serve.

Oatmeal - Bring water to boil, add oatmeal and salt (raisons if you wish), place stewing pot with lid on in hay box and allow to cook overnight for about 8 - 10 hours. The oatmeal will be smooth and creamy and then of course you can add brown sugar, chocolate chips, fresh fruit, etc. to make it more appealing.

A link to more http://thethermalcookrecipes.wordpress.com/tag/hay-box/

n brown
03-12-2013, 13:51
what you forgot to mention and what's confusing poor old MTM is that you heat the pot of food before putting it in the box,as I remember from my younger days .

shawbags
03-12-2013, 14:11
That would take years! I think you're getting muddled up with compost heaps.:confused:

A hay box, is a cooker that utilises the heat of the food being cooked to complete the cooking process. Food items to be cooked are heated to boiling point, and then insulated. Over a period of time, the food items cook by the heat captured in the insulated container. Generally, it takes three times the normal cooking time to cook food in a hay box.

My first thought was compost as I was reading this , I wouldn't fancy scraping the mess off and then eating the stew the pong may be a little off putting :scared: :lol-053: .

Sharon the Cat
03-12-2013, 14:28
what you forgot to mention and what's confusing poor old MTM is that you heat the pot of food before putting it in the box,as I remember from my younger days .
19044
I thought all you wild campers new about these things, hence how we made the box but not the full idiots guide.

ivecotrucker
03-12-2013, 14:42
That would take years! I think you're getting muddled up with compost heaps.:confused:

A hay box, is a cooker that utilises the heat of the food being cooked to complete the cooking process. Food items to be cooked are heated to boiling point, and then insulated. Over a period of time, the food items cook by the heat captured in the insulated container. Generally, it takes three times the normal cooking time to cook food in a hay box.

Compost or Cuisine ? You couldn't really tell the difference with my cooking.

Bigpeetee
03-12-2013, 15:01
Used a home made one very similar using 100mm Kingspan and an old hotwater tank jacket.

Worked a treat. OK, not compact but at camp space wasn't an issue.

Just needed slight heating some 8 hrs later, but cheap cuts of meat do so well.

Sharon the Cat
03-12-2013, 15:31
Used a home made one very similar using 100mm Kingspan and an old hotwater tank jacket.

Worked a treat. OK, not compact but at camp space wasn't an issue.

Just needed slight heating some 8 hrs later, but cheap cuts of meat do so well.

Must admit the worst bit is the hay/straw. It's all over the kitchen & I had spiders & creepy crawlies all over the work surface afterwards.

Testing time in about 3 hours.:tongue:

Fazerloz
03-12-2013, 15:41
Wouldnt have thought you needed the hay with the kingspan but every little helps, enjoy your meal im sure it will have worked.

QFour
03-12-2013, 15:57
So if we put a pan in a wardrobe ( previously lined with tin foil ) in the MH and then stuff the wardrobe with straw / hay and then drive to destination 3 hours away the food will be hot .. Hmmmmmmm ..

Makes more sense now . But putting food in a large flask would do the same .. ( minus the spiders ) ..

..

Siimplyloco
03-12-2013, 16:00
Must admit the worst bit is the hay/straw. It's all over the kitchen & I had spiders & creepy crawlies all over the work surface afterwards.



I imagine that if polystyrene beads had been around in the middle ages, they might have used those instead!
John

n brown
03-12-2013, 16:00
19044
I thought all you wild campers new about these things, hence how we made the box but not the full idiots guide. some of the knives in the drawer aren't as sharp as others !

Sharon the Cat
03-12-2013, 16:04
So if we put a pan in a wardrobe ( previously lined with tin foil ) in the MH and then stuff the wardrobe with straw / hay and then drive to destination 3 hours away the food will be hot .. Hmmmmmmm ..

Makes more sense now . But putting food in a large flask would do the same .. ( minus the spiders ) ..

..

1. The wardrobe door would be bound to come open whilst you were driving along. :cry:
2. I think you need more than the heat of the food. You need the heat of a good thick pot as well, plus a lot more insulation. Just a flask wouldn't actually cook food. It just keeps it warm.
3. Our large necked flask wouldn't keep anything warm, it made a distinct tinkling noise yesterday morning & has since been consigned to the bin.:wave:

oldish hippy
03-12-2013, 17:16
never had a problem with my stainless steel flask it work well and has survived a number of falls

trevskoda
03-12-2013, 17:35
good job all round,but would it be more sence to have a lock down lid,the way i drive we would be swimming in it before we got to our destanation,glug glug.

Sharon the Cat
03-12-2013, 18:32
After 6 hours and 20 minutes.
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Potatoes, carrots & swede all very well cooked. No complaints at all.
Hay a bit damp & smelly but none of it in the dinner.
We'll be taking dinner with us when we go away for the weekend on Friday. :tongue::tongue::tongue:

QFour
03-12-2013, 18:43
So there you are traveling along for 6 hours while the food cooks. WHERE do you store the BEERS while you're on the move :sad:

trevskoda
03-12-2013, 18:43
After 6 hours and 20 minutes.
19052
Potatoes, carrots & swede all very well cooked. No complaints at all.
Hay a bit damp & smelly but none of it in the dinner.
We'll be taking dinner with us when we go away for the weekend on Friday. :tongue::tongue::tongue:

love it ,but thats no way to treat the sweads,what did they ever do to you.

Sharon the Cat
03-12-2013, 20:21
So there you are traveling along for 6 hours while the food cooks. WHERE do you store the BEERS while you're on the move :sad:

In the fridge. Where the bacon was.

sapper
04-12-2013, 08:06
never had a problem with my stainless steel flask it work well and has survived a number of falls

My Alladin stainless flask has served me well for over 30 years, it's been driving over, dropped from heights, kicked about and even used for weapon practice!!!

Still like the idea of the hay box though.

Chris

Sharon the Cat
04-12-2013, 09:00
My Alladin stainless flask has served me well for over 30 years, it's been driving over, dropped from heights, kicked about and even used for weapon practice!!!

Still like the idea of the hay box though.

Chris

With a name like Sapper you've probably had your dinner cooked in something similar.
Phill's son in law is an army chef, we never thought to ask him for advice.

Siimplyloco
04-12-2013, 09:55
Phill's son in law is an army chef, we never thought to ask him for advice.

I wouldn't if I were you....
12 years a Sapper!

Sharon the Cat
04-12-2013, 10:29
I wouldn't if I were you....
12 years a Sapper!

I'll tell him you said that. He may be a chef but he's just passed the commando course. :eek:

Siimplyloco
04-12-2013, 12:21
I'll tell him you said that. He may be a chef but he's just passed the commando course. :eek:

The Army Catering Corps - ACC for short, was known as the Aldershot Cement Company! The Royal Army Service Corps were known as the Blanket Stackers. I won't tell you what the Commandos were known as....
John

Philcott
04-12-2013, 12:38
They do work and work well - if you're going to use it often, make up some 'pillows' of straw/polybeads that will fit around the pot and one for the top of the pot. Glad you enjoyed your meal.

As an aside, a form of haybox used to be used to keep day old chicks warm in the broody box - a heater of some sort in the middle (piece of wire netting around it to keep the straw off. A circle of fine wire netting in a larger circle, packed with straw behind it and into the corners of the box. Chicks were put in the free bit between the heater and the fine wire netting. Worked well then and still does today! :D

Sharon the Cat
04-12-2013, 15:00
They do work and work well - if you're going to use it often, make up some 'pillows' of straw/polybeads that will fit around the pot and one for the top of the pot. Glad you enjoyed your meal.

As an aside, a form of haybox used to be used to keep day old chicks warm in the broody box - a heater of some sort in the middle (piece of wire netting around it to keep the straw off. A circle of fine wire netting in a larger circle, packed with straw behind it and into the corners of the box. Chicks were put in the free bit between the heater and the fine wire netting. Worked well then and still does today! :D

If the ebay Magic Cooker doesn't ever get here, I might well make up some little sacks of polystyrene beads as the hay goes everywhere.

We made a wooden box type, rather than a bean bag box for it, so that it would have more uses for us in the van. Our bed is a bit too high for me! :sad:

Sharon the Cat
05-12-2013, 07:01
If the ebay Magic Cooker doesn't ever get here, I might well make up some little sacks of polystyrene beads as the hay goes everywhere.

We made a wooden box type, rather than a bean bag box for it, so that it would have more uses for us in the van. Our bed is a bit too high for me! :sad:

Message from ebay trader.

"As our supplier has still not yet been able to provide us with an exact date as to when the item will be in stock again, we have refunded you the full amount (please allow 5-7 days for the funds to arrive into your account)."

This was showing as in stock when I ordered it. Good job we made the hay box.
Now I just need to go out & disembowel some beanie babies.:baby:

Caz
05-12-2013, 08:13
Have you looked at the alternatives? My friend has a Dreampot (the Aussie version) which she bought from somewhere in UK. Or there is the Wonderbag, also sold in UK. Or Mr D's thermal cooker.

They all work in the same way.

Sharon the Cat
05-12-2013, 08:56
Have you looked at the alternatives? My friend has a Dreampot (the Aussie version) which she bought from somewhere in UK. Or there is the Wonderbag, also sold in UK. Or Mr D's thermal cooker.

They all work in the same way.

I looked at all of them. I nearly made my own wonderbag but went for the hay box because it is more versatile.
We're off for the weekend tomorrow so I'll be trying bits of old duvet stuffed round it instead of the hay.

sapper
22-12-2013, 09:38
I'll tell him you said that. He may be a chef but he's just passed the commando course. :eek:

That's easy.... the hardest course to pass is the Catering course - no-one has ever passed it yet, boom, boom!!

GinaRon
20-08-2014, 14:23
Hi Sharon, just been shopping and picked up two boxes made of styrafoam stuff (insulation boxes) free can they be used for the cooking box thing that Phil made you? :idea:

Sharon the Cat
20-08-2014, 14:36
Hi Sharon, just been shopping and picked up two boxes made of styrafoam stuff (insulation boxes) free can they be used for the cooking box thing that Phil made you? :idea:

Yes Gina, they would be perfect.

Ours is now a duvet box cooker, hay was messy, smelly & damp.
It also doubles up as a step I can stand on to see into the oven.

We use ours most times we go away, especially if leaving after work as dinner will be all cooked ready for when we reach our destination, and was used twice last weekend.

Squeegee
20-08-2014, 14:55
You can put a sheet of glass over the top and place the thing in the sun. with the kingspan insulation it will get very hot, and cook the stuff free. I have not tried this myself but got the info from a website some time ago.

Sharon the Cat
20-08-2014, 14:59
You can put a sheet of glass over the top and place the thing in the sun. with the kingspan insulation it will get very hot, and cook the stuff free. I have not tried this myself but got the info from a website some time ago.

I don't think I'd try that method for cooking from scratch.
Sounds like a combination food poisoning/fire hazard to me. :scared:

jamesmarshall
20-08-2014, 19:19
some of the knives in the drawer aren't as sharp as others !

Many years ago I was told you can cook an egg by putting it in a sock and spinninig round over your head. the top of my arm and my shoulder still hurt. :(

antiqueman
20-08-2014, 19:27
That would take years! I think you're getting muddled up with compost heaps.:confused:

A hay box, is a cooker that utilises the heat of the food being cooked to complete the cooking process. Food items to be cooked are heated to boiling point, and then insulated. Over a period of time, the food items cook by the heat captured in the insulated container. Generally, it takes three times the normal cooking time to cook food in a hay box.

sounds like a good diet to me ready next week hope lots of other nutrician about like ale :yeahthat:

antiqueman
20-08-2014, 19:35
love it ,but thats no way to treat the sweads,what did they ever do to you.

I can't see the meat??

harrow
19-05-2015, 07:24
Having got interested in the Magic Cooker and then ordered one from ebay which turned out not to be in stock :rolleyes2: we decided to have a go at making our own.

I already had a Le Creuset cast iron casserole that my mother gave me.
19032
Phill made a box from 18mm marine ply (just happened to be what we had) & lined it with Kingspan insulation board. I taped all the edges of the board with foil insulation tape.
19033 19034
Plenty of hay & straw available from the barn next door.
19037 19036
I started off a bacon & butterbean stew at midday. It went into the box at 12:30.
19035
We like most things motorhome to have a dual purpose so this is also a step-up for the fixed bed & a coolbox. Phill has worked out it will hold 16 beer cans.:cheers:
19038
We'll be having dinner at about 7-8pm & I will report the results.

Instead of Hay or a duvet try polystyrene PACKING PEANUTS as they will be easily washable and of course light to carry!

Sharon the Cat
19-05-2015, 07:47
Instead of Hay or a duvet try polystyrene PACKING PEANUTS as they will be easily washable and of course light to carry!

The duvet works best as it is in two pieces & can hang to dry after use.

Hay, straw, polystyrene, vermiculite & anything loose makes a real mess when taking the pot out.


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