Years ago I found a copy of the book Cooking Without Fuel that described a common appliance of 1900 that functioned much like a modern cooler. The idea was that you cook food until it boils, then put it in an insulated container which will maintain the heat and allow it to continue to cook, but using no more fuel or electricity. Think putting a pot of boiling rice into a cooler, and you’re on the right track.
For years we’ve had one of these in camp for cooking beans or rice. It’s a big plastic bin containing a small cardboard box, with the rest of the bin stuffed with hay. We use the cardboard to keep plastic from melting. It works great; just the thing when you want to boil rice during the breakfast fire and keep it cooking all day using no more fuel.
A few books talk about cooking in a similar fashion in an insulated thermos, but the idea never took off with me because it sounds awful to clean. But on a recent trip to town I saw an item I’m considering adding to my field school cooking kit that will function like a portable fireless cooker. I haven’t pulled the trigger on it yet, but it’s an insulated 3 quart crock made of stainless steel that has a super wide mouth making it easy to clean. It seems to fit the bill as the ideal fireless cooker.
If I end up getting it, I’ll post my results with it.
Anyone else have any experience with fireless cookers? If so let me know.