Thermal Cookers are AMAZING. This is the post where I tell you the things that have my friends rushing out to buy a thermal cooker after water aerobics or a park play date.
You see, I can’t shut up about my thermal cooker, because it’s my favorite thing to happen to cooking since the electric pressure cooker. (And yes, I’m still using that also. They work really well in tandem, and the electric pressure cooker has lightning speed on its side. But now in no particular order, I give you the top ten reasons why owning a thermal cooker will change your life!
1. Convenient Hot Meals On The Go
I can’t overemphasize this–This pot is like your slow cooker except it doesn’t overcook, it doesn’t need a power connection, it doesn’t slop over the sides because the unit is sealed. This beautiful piece of engineering makes dinner something you can take anywhere, hot, ready, at a moment’s notice. Oops, Mom, I forgot to tell you I’ve got a game across town? Someone grab the picnic bag and the thermal cooker full of dinner. It’s cool to the touch on the outside, and it’s not going to spill all over our car. In a few minutes, wherever we go, we’ve got our healthy, hot dinner ready. And look… I’ve just become a domestic goddess!
2. Reduced Fuel Consumption = Saving the Planet and Your Budget
If it only takes a 3-5 minute rolling boil (recommended by my thermal cooker manufacturer–consult yours for requirements as each unit is different) to provide enough heat to cook your meal all day and keep it hot for up to 8 hours, think of all the energy you’ll save. Maybe you’re happy about this because you care about global warming and reducing your carbon footprint. Maybe you want to save on your power and gas bills. Maybe you’re just glad not to heat your kitchen up and melt off all your makeup. 😉 Maybe it’s the apocalypse, and you don’t have much in the way of fuel. This way you’re cooking your food well with a minimal time and fuel output.
3. Camping and Road Trips
If you’re like me, most times you go camping the food is the biggest part of the ordeal. What if you only needed enough fuel for your camp stove to do a 3 minute boil of your dinner? What if you could just dump canned goods into the thermal cooker, bring it to a boil, close the lid, and head off on your adventures for the day. When you stagger back into camp after your husband pushed you up a mountain all day–not speaking from personal experience here–what if a hot beef stew was waiting in your thermal cooker with fresh-baked cornbread in the top nesting pot?
Happier already? Me too! Also think about the morning you leave for your camping trip, taking 3 minutes to boil the pot you prepared the night before. Then you nestle your thermal cooker in the back of the van between sleeping bags and pads, and when you finish setting up camp, your chicken curry and rice are perfectly ready for dinner. Camping and traveling have never been SO delicious!
Traveling with another family? No problem. This cooker fed two families of five with leftovers every night. Providing food for extended family? Also no problem. That’s why you have two thermal cookers. 😉
4. Soccer Night
Don’t look now, but with 5-10 minutes of morning prep, you’re ready to win soccer night EVERY week! The other moms are whipping out their rubbery takeout pizzas, and you’re like… hold on kids, here’s the sloppy joes I just threw together this morning. Careful, now… don’t burn your mouth. It’s piping hot! Ever wanted everyone to hate you? Oh, and then when it’s your turn to provide the game-end treats, you’re like, hold on… let me open up my second thermal cooker that’s stuffed full of ice cream sandwiches that I threw in three hours ago, and still have the frost on the outside of the papers! Don’t believe me? Get ready to have your mind blown.
5. Perfectly Cooked Meals — Ready When You Are
Ever left your slow-cooker on too long? Oh no… Look at all that crusty residue burnt all over the sides of the pan. That’s going to be a bear to clean, and not very delicious. And those potatoes and zucchini chunks? Boiled to bits of goo. But not anymore. No crusty, baked on residue, because the heat source for your food is the food itself. Nothing is jostling or boiling the food. Potatoes stay pristine and shaped perfectly, even the zucchini in my veggie stew was the perfect consistency, and I let that baby cook for 6-7 hours. Most meals can be ready in 2-4 hours, but can stay hot and ready for up to 8. And there’s no fire risk like you have with a slow cooker.
6. Overnight Hot Breakfasts — Ready When You Wake
Wait until you try our amazing overnight steel cut oats! Perfect texture, and piping hot right when you wake up! Cooking breakfast in three minutes the night before? Yes, please.
7. A Portable Fridge – Cold Foods On The Go
With a pre-chilled inner pot and ice in the top nesting pot, you’re that person who can bring ice-cold popsicles to the beach, and eat them four hours later. Yes, you shall be the star of every outing. Also, think about your cold foods kept nice and cold all day on the road trip. No more lukewarm, floppy string cheese. 🙂
8. Ten Minute Meal Prep
Early in the morning, when you have a few free minutes, throw together dinner for that night. The kitchen hasn’t had a chance to heat up yet, and you’re not going to heat it up. You’re just going to mix a bit, boil for a minute or two, and close the thermal cooker. Then all day, your dinner is happily cooking without heating up the kitchen, without sucking power, and without filling your house with food smells. I know the smell of cooking dinner is sometimes pleasant. But not after the cooking is done, and the strange meaty garlic smell is lurking in the bedroom for several hours. Also not when what you’re cooking is dry beans. Imagine well-cooked beans without the bean stench filling the house.
9. Pot Luck Perfection
Just imagine being the one person at the pot luck who isn’t looking for a plug in, who doesn’t have to reheat the food they brought, who doesn’t need to quickly shove their cold salad into the refrigerator, taking up prime fridge real estate. You’re the one who’s like . . . oh . . . it’s time to eat? Sure, let’s just open up my thermal cooker, and pull out the perfect meal as though I timed it for this very minute.
10. No More 5 PM What’s For Dinner — Healthier Dinner Ready To Go
The bonus of cooking your food in five minutes in the morning, and then forgetting about it all day, is that when you’re suddenly realizing it’s five o’clock, and you’re having that heart attack, wondering if you should run to Little Caesar’s, you will realize that your hot, perfect, healthy meal is sitting waiting for your family. And this cooking method preserves nutrients, and will often mean a home-cooked meal when you might have reached for the box of mac and cheese instead.
If I haven’t convinced you yet, I’m not sure I ever will . . . but Kate couldn’t convince me until I saw it for myself. I’ll be posting more YouTube videos in the coming days, so hopefully it’ll feel like you’re there, experiencing it with me.
If I have convinced you, click here to buy your Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker today!
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Thermalcookerrecipes.com provides recipes as a resource and educational tool only, and makes no food safety guarantees. We are not liable for any failure to meet food safety standards that may arise in your thermal cooking. We make every effort to ensure that our recipes meet established food safety standards. But all thermal cookers are not created equal, and there are many variables at play resulting in the temperatures reached and maintained in your thermal cooker. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific brand and model of thermal cooker, even if that means tailoring our recipes.
If you are in doubt, please consult the FDA page on foodborne illness for safe cooking temperatures and other safety tips. And use a food thermometer to ensure that your food has been cooked and stored at a safe temperature.
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