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Old 10-29-2013, 01:48 PM   #1
Lorelei L's Avatar
Name: Lorelei
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Hay box?

I collect vintage cookbooks, and I recently got a reprint of all the pamphlet cookbooks that the British gov put out during war & post-war rationing. They mention using a "hay box" for slow cooking and conserving fuel. This ancient idea (I had to google it!) would work well for off grid camping as well. Insulation was originally hay or grass, but newspaper or woodchips would work. The cookbook suggests using a gas mask box! I was thinking amazon box or a box that a small appliance came in. I'm going to give it a go with maybe a bean pot.
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Old 10-29-2013, 05:05 PM   #2
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Also searching "thermal cooker" will return numerous good ideas on building your own with blankets, foam, or sleeping bags. Lots of receipts too.
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Old 10-29-2013, 05:21 PM   #3
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wow very interesting. I had to google it too. I'd like to know how it works out.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:08 PM   #4
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I would think staying away from synthetics for the insulation would be wise, because you bring the pot to a full boil right before you put it in and close it.
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:26 PM   #5
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The "hay box" slow cooking method was often used on the wagon trains that moved west during the mid-1800's. The cooking would be started using the morning fire, the cooking pot with the heated food would be placed in the insulated box, and set in the covered wagon. Once reaching the evening camp, the meal now cooked could be quickly heated and served. Applewood Books has a reprint of "The Fireless Cook Book" , M. J. Mitchell, 1913.
Another interesting book from Applewood, is a reprint of "The Prairie Traveler- A Handbook for Overland Exxpeditions ", R. B. Marcy, Capt U.S. Army, 1859
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:26 PM   #6
Name: rick
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Did it many years ago in a cooler with boy scouts. hay box stew it worked out very well on a fall camp.
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