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Slow Cooking With A 'Wonderbag'

Owd Lad
Owd Lad

Posts : 187
Join date : 2011-06-17
Age : 67
Location : Kirkcudbright

Slow Cooking With A 'Wonderbag' Empty Slow Cooking With A 'Wonderbag'

Post by Owd Lad on Wed 25 Apr 2012, 10:09 pm

I have toyed with the idea of making a 'Haybox' cooker for some time but have never been able to come up with a design which was anything other than large, bulky, ugly and unlikely to be given house room by Doreen, then we saw a reference to the 'Wonderbag' and decided to look a bit closer. These work on the same principle as the 'Haybox' cookers but have been given a design tweak.
They look like a large and somewhat gaudy pumpkin being made up of an insulated base and numerous insulated segments that are pulled together with a drawstring. The insulation is made up of polystyrene beads. The idea is that you start a stew or casserole on the hob and, after a maximum of 30mins cooking, you tranfer the pot to the Wonderbag, add the insulated lid and pull the drawstring to keep the heat in. Then leave it alone for a few hours and the stew slowly cooks in the residual heat. The advantage of the bag, as opposed to the haybox is that you can use a large variety of sized pots whereas the haybox is really only for use with the size of pot it was designed for.
The idea comes from South Africa and is an idea for saving fuel, carbon emissions and expense, particularly for poorer parts of the world. The cost, in the UK is £38 each but for each one bought one is donated to a needy family in Africa. Upon seeing them Doreen's green and charitable credentials came to the fore and we ordered three. One for us and two for (Wait for it and remember it's still only April!) Christmas presents!
It was a couple of weeks before they arrived and I must confess to having been itching to try out ours. The first recipe was for a beef stew which I cooked on the hob for half an hour and then into which I also placed a few whole peeled spuds, cooked for another few mins and transfered into the bag. Seven hours later the pot and contents were still very warm but not boiling hot. Unfortunately the spuds weren't wholly cooked and neither was the meat, so back onto the hob for another half hour to finish off. Why weren't things cooked? Well I reckon it was down to using a pot that was a bit too big and had too much space left inside and also because I had used potatoes that were too big to have come up to temperature and start cooking before the transfer to the bag was made.
Since then a few other recipes have been tried plus another version of beef stew with cut up potatoes and all has been well. I have made a couple of modifications to the bag. The first was to cut a circular piece of silican baking sheet to fit the bottom of the bag, to help with any spillage and then, during a shed clear out at weekend, I found an unused closed cell sleeping mat and cut out two more circles, one for the bottom and one for under the lid together with a strip to go around the pot when it's in the bag. Will it make any difference? Who knows? The idea is that added insulation can't do any harm.
Other than cooking the bag can also be used as a cold bag for frozen or refrigerated stuff and I suppose you could also keep a boiled kettle in it to save time and fuel for those , like me, who like regular brews.
Are they any good? Yes! once you get used to them. Are they worth the money? That would depend on how often you would use them. The material that ours have come in is an orange 'ethnic' pattern. Good colour coordination for some of the older Dandys. Other colours and patterns are supposed to come along in due course.

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Posts : 1716
Join date : 2011-09-04
Age : 60
Location : Cardigan west wales

Slow Cooking With A 'Wonderbag' Empty Re: Slow Cooking With A 'Wonderbag'

Post by Caz1960 on Wed 25 Apr 2012, 10:31 pm

if and when a farmer allows during camping dig out a hole in the ground saving soil and turf with hot coals at the bottom of the hole place food wrapped in foil of put half cooked stew in pot place in hole cover with earth and turf go off on a hike or outing when come back several hours later dig out food hot and cooked the other thing to place your food in to save using foil is a thick pastry place in fire cover in hot coals earth etc.. then break open pastry eat the filling we used to use orange peal to poach eggs on open fire halve an orange eat contense wash the peal dry then small bit butter then egg and place on hot coals but as you say it getting used to the bag then when you get the hang of it nothing stops you try porridge that great to do bag it out for walk come back and oooh love it sunny
Dandy Owner

Posts : 6837
Join date : 2011-06-12

Slow Cooking With A 'Wonderbag' Empty Re: Slow Cooking With A 'Wonderbag'

Post by Helen on Thu 26 Apr 2012, 10:51 am

This bag would mean that you could do a stew pop it in the bag and put in the car for the journey or in the Dandy when on site, so when your all set up or return from a day out and hungry dinner is ready and waiting , no need to start cooking. It's genius Slow Cooking With A 'Wonderbag' 184121345

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Slow Cooking With A 'Wonderbag' Empty Re: Slow Cooking With A 'Wonderbag'

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