Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Thermal Cooker for Christmas

I admit it I've fallen off the retail consumption train.  For months I haven't purchased anything but food, household products and gasoline.  Then I broke my leg and had oodles of time on my hands and my ole friend Amazon began calling my name.  So I have purchased an early Christmas present for our coming days on the road.

I have been researching thermal cookers for some time and finally decided on the one that I wanted so I purchased it and have been having great fun experimenting with it.  I expect to be boondocking extensively so this cooker will be both a cost saver for fuel and allow safe, unattended cooking while I am communing with nature.


I decided on a Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker.  It comes with a heavily insulated base and lid shown to the left and two inner stainless steel pots and a lid that fit in the interior.

 I chose this cooker because it had 2 inner pots to allow for and entree and side dish to be cooked at the same time.  I also wanted a medium capacity since storage of leftovers is an issue.  It also was in the mid price range with good reviews on Amazon.

                                                   This is how they work.

Brown and add ingredients in the largest of the inner pots.
The Pot should be at least 3/4 full.
Bring to a full boil and continue for at least 5 minutes.

If the second pot is being used, ensure that it is ready to put both pots into the inner chamber at the same time.

Leave in inner chamber where the heat is retained without further need for electricity or gas for up to eight hours.

 PRESTO - Dinner is Ready!!

There are some basic differences between Thermal Cookers and Crock Pots.
  • After boiling most recipes require no further heat source (ie. electricity or gas)  I have chosen to thicken some dishes and add tender vegetables (such as broccoli above) after opening using further energy as I prefer crunchy vegetables.
  • Very little heat loss occurs... the outside of the cooker is completely cool to the touch
  • You literately cannot smell it cooking as air does not escape during the cooking process.  Since there is little evaporation some adjustment is required in the amount of liquid especially for recipes such as rice. 
I have made Chicken Teriyaki, Beef and Broccoli in oyster sauce, Beef Stew and Chicken Noodle Stew.  next on the menu is Chili and cornbread.   Yogurt can be made in the cooker also although I haven't tried making it yet.

Here is a link to a review of the Saratoga Jack thermal cooker
And the link where I purchased it

It's helping pass the time until my leg is healed and I can get back on track with reading my house for sale.

 I am having fun, fun, fun!!


  1. I found your post very interesting. I have looked at thermal cookers but couldn't decide which one to try. Will look forward to reading further posts from you on how this cooker works. Thanks!!

  2. I'm very interested in these thermal cookers. never heard of them before. But I also think the "smell" of what I am cooking is half the fun of cooking. thanks for posting about this. Please continue to send us reviews of different foods you cook in it.

  3. I really like the idea of not using any energy. The other day I made meatloaf in my crock pot while I was boondocking. It was sunny all day, so I did it with the solar charging my house batteries. It took all day and was delicious. I can get six meals out of a small meatloaf, some dinners, some meatloaf sandwiches, which I love. This wouldn't work during cloudy days, though. I'll have to check on those. Probably pretty expensive...

  4. So glad you have had so much success and such fun with this. It's definitely on my list to Santa. I'm not dreaming of a white Christmas, I'm dreaming of boondocking.

    How's the ankle doing??

  5. Sounds like you could soon publish a book on thermal cooking recipes. I'd definitely be interested in a virtual copy.

    Glad you can still have fun with a broken leg.

  6. I've never heard of a thermal cooker before. I'd love more details. It sounds great!