Thermos Cooking

thermos-cookingThere are not many feelings I enjoy more than the one I get when I’m cooking a meal over a camp fire. However, sometimes it is not always practical or indeed possible to keep a fire burning.

For example, let’s say you are in a Shelter In Place situation after an emergency has occurred in your area. Having a sustained fire in or near your home is not going to be practical after a little while, so you will need to have other methods of cooking your food.

One easy method of doing this is thermos cooking.

What Is Thermos Cooking?

Thermos cooking is exactly what it says it is – it is cooking using your thermos instead of a sustained fire. All you need in addition to your thermos is some boiling water and your ingredients to be cooked.

Your water can be boiled using a small fire which only needs to burn long enough to get the water boiling, on a wood burning stove or any other method of heating you deem appropriate to your situation.

A wide-mouth thermos works best for meals.

What Are The Benefits of Thermos Cooking?

  • It uses very low amounts of fuel – once your water is boiling there is no need to keep your fire burning so fuel usage is minimal
  • It is hard to overcook food in a thermos, so anything cooked will usually taste pretty good
  • A thermos is portable, so you can carry it with you anywhere
  • Very little effort is required after the initial preparation of the ingredients
  • It is easy

What Are The Disadvantages Of Thermos Cooking?

  • It takes quite a long time for a meal to be ready – forward planning is essential with thermos cooking. The thermos may need a good few hours before your food is ready to eat
  • A thermos is not self-heating so you will need extra materials or equipment to get the thermos and water used heated up to start the process
  • Limited options for meal choices – some foods work better than others for thermos cooking. An extra consideration is what food you can actually fit inside a thermos in the first place

Food Choices For Thermos Cooking

Certain foods are better suited for thermos cooking:

  • Rice (“instant” rice works best)
  • Soups
  • Stews
  • Chilli
  • Thinly sliced meats
  • Broths
  • Pasta
  • Vegetables
  • Oatmeal
  • Lentils

Foods that do not cook so well in a thermos include:

  • Beans – larger beans such as dried limas would need to be precooked on a stove before being finished off in a thermos
  • Anything with cheese in – cheese will stick to the inside of the thermos and is very difficult to remove
  • Any meals that require lots of ingredients to be added at different times – heat escapes each time you open your thermos, so the odd peek to check how things are progressing is fine, but repeatedly opening to add ingredients will affect temperature
  • Foods that can’t be bought to a full boil before adding to the thermos

Here are a couple of recipes that work well with thermos cooking:


What you need:

  • Oats
  • Boiling water
  • Salt or sugar to your taste
  • Dried fruit or nuts of your own preference

How to cook:

  1. Preheat your thermos by adding boiling water and sealing for 10 minutes
  2. After 10 minutes empty the water out of the thermos
  3. Put your oats inside
  4. Add boiling water – 1 cup for every cup of oats used
  5. Seal your thermos
  6. Leave for at least 10 minutes
  7. Before eating add the salt/sugar and dried fruit or nuts

Your thermos will keep your oats warm for hours once they are ready

If you have a sweet tooth this recipe might work for you:

Bread Pudding

What you need:

  • A quarter of a cup of dried raisins
  • An eighth of a teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 3 slices of bread which has been cut into cubes
  • 1 can of evaporated milk
  • Nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

How to cook:

  1. Preheat the thermos as you did in the oatmeal recipe
  2. While you are preheating the thermos mix everything together with the exception of the bread
  3. Once the thermos is preheated, empty the water and add the bread to the thermos
  4. Add all ingredients that have been mixed together to the thermos
  5. Seal your thermos and allow time for everything to be heated



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