Trying to Cook Food in a Thermos Flask

This is an idea I did not invent, but I thought it might be interesting to explore as part of a theme of kitchen economy (that a lot of people have been asking me to cover).

16 Replies to “Trying to Cook Food in a Thermos Flask”

  1. Afterthoughts & addenda
    Preheating the flask Yeah that would help and is something I always do, when I'm not trying to be as frugal as possible.
    Heat lost vs consumed I think I'll repeat this with different flasks and also test how much heat reduction there is when the flask is just filled with boiling water for several hours. Obviously things like the denaturing of proteins into their cooked consistency, is a chemical process, and may actually 'consume' heat, reducing the overall temperature

  2. There's actually a product currently on the market designed around the idea of insulated cooking – essentially it's a big insulated blanket/bag you wrap around a just-boiling pot to slow cook something and save on fuel. It's not really designed for Western people (though you can buy one), but more for people in developing countries where fuel is not as cheap and plentiful, and women spend a disproportionate amount of time tending to fires and cooking instead of doing more productive and personally beneficial things.

  3. this is how my mom used to make my dads lunches before work. She would throw a bunch of ingredients(usually left overs I think) in his thermos and then heat some water up in the kettle and then pour it in and then seal it up.

  4. I once knew someone who lived in a tiny rented office who cooked like this

  5. I think you need everything to be near 100C before sealing … then it should work on rice and veggies…

  6. I wonder if the last two experiments would have worked out better if you had brought everything to the boil on the hob like with the first one. I know technically the kettle brings the water to 100° but from experience making rice and things, it usually then takes a few minutes to get back to boiling once I’ve poured that water into a pan (I guess the cold pan, or in your case flask, plus cold ingredients bring the temperature down enough to affect cooking).

    You could be correct about the rice needing constant heat, although I usually turn the heat off when cooking rice once the water has all gone and I keep the lid on for another ten minutes for it to steam and it does make a difference.

    Really interesting experiment and thought provoking.

  7. you can get insulation bags that are meant for poorer countries, where you heat up the pot to temperature, put the lid on, and put it in the bag so it can finish cooking. just like your hay example.

  8. I use a thermos everyday to make those instant packet soups and noodles and I usally add some cheap frozen veg to them and just let it sit in on the boiling water like you did and they come out great there basic meals but good to snack on if your trying to be a little healthier

  9. As part of the ‘save money with the energy hike’. Might be interesting to try other heat sources such as radiator/airing cupboard/sun/window seal/car engine (I have seen car engine done)

  10. Your stew was boiled first and then cold solid ingredients were added. You need to take the temperature after mixing. Vegetable pectins don't break down under 85C

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