Wednesday, June 29, 2016


If you didn't make it to our "Cooking Without Power" class on Saturday, you missed out! We learned dozens of ways to cook when the power is out, and had a wonderful time tasting all of the delicious food we made!
We started the class by learning about sun ovens, how to use them and all of the different types of food that can be made by simply harnessing the power of the sun! In just a little over an hour and a half, we made bread, orange rolls and even roasted a chicken with vegetables!

 Next, we fired up the apple box ovens. Apple box ovens use charcoal as a heat source. The foil-lined box acts as an insulator and reflects the heat, heating foods up to between 300-400 degrees!
The foil-lined pan with charcoal goes underneath the apple box.
 In the apple box ovens, we made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and caramel apple cinnamon roll pie, but apple box ovens can be used to cook just about anything, including to make dutch oven cooking more efficient.
 Next, we learned all about dutch oven cooking. We learned how to start the charcoals in a charcoal chimney, and how and where to place the coals above and below the dutch oven.
At the class, we made chicken and potatoes. We also made the most delicious quiche, which can be cooked directly in the dutch oven, or to save time on clean up, it can be cooked in a tin pie plate inside the dutch oven.
After learning about dutch oven cooking, we learned all about butane stoves and thermal cookers.
A thermal cooker is a great tool to use when your fuel is limited and you need to cook something for a longer period on time, such as beans or wheat berries. To use a thermal cooker, bring the contents to a boil and let boil for 3-10 minutes depending on the recipe. Once the food is finished boiling, place the lid on the pot, and place the pot inside the thermal cooker. The thermal cooker acts like a thermos, retaining the heat and cooking the food for several hours.
You can also use a vacuum sealed thermos the same way. Boil your food and water for a few minutes, place in the thermos. Always be sure that your food retains a high enough temperature, or it will become unsafe to eat. If you follow the directions and use the right equipment, your food should be piping hot for several hours.
A Wonderbag is another version of a thermal cooker. To use the Wonderbag, simply boil your food in any pot and place an air-tight lid on the pot. Place the pot inside the Wonderbag, place the included pillow on the top, and cinch the sides of the bag. In no time, dinner will be ready!
We also learned about the wonder box. A wonder box is two small square-shaped bean bags, placed inside any larger box or container. In this case, we used a large plastic tote. We placed the first bean bag in the tote, put the heated pot on top of the first bean bag, and placed the second bean bag on top of the pot. Cover the entire container with a blanket to ensure no air escapes.
A wonder box, Wonderbag or thermal cooker can also be used to keep ice cream cold!
We learned that you can cook just about anything in a Wonderbag or wonder box! In fact, we made lasagna, baked beans, beef stew, pasta salad, omelets and bread!

 Next, we learned about backpacking stoves and fuel. The stove and fuel we have available for purchase in this month's stake order is a great value and price. You can find more information on this month's order by clicking here.

 Next, we learned about alcohol stoves and rocket stoves. There are many different ways to make your own alcohol stoves and rocket stoves. Here are a few of the alcohol and rocket stoves we had on display...
We discussed several different options of fuels, cooking sources, heat sources and light sources.
 But the best part of the class was the FOOD!
Caramel Apple Cinnamon Roll Pie made in the apple box oven

Mountain House freeze-dried meals made with the backpacking stove

 Quiche made in the dutch oven (This was the favorite recipe of the day!)

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies made in the apple box oven

Mountain Dew Chicken & Potatoes made in the dutch oven

Pasta salad made in the thermal cooker

Beef stew made in the wonder box

Baked beans made in the wonder box

Lasagna made in the thermal cooker

Orange rolls baked in the sun oven

Homemade bread baked in the sun oven
Banana bread baked in the sun oven

Whole roasted chicken and vegetables cooked in the sun oven

Stayed tuned for the next couple of weeks as we learn more about the Sun Oven, thermal cooker, Wonderbag and wonder box, thermos cooking, dutch oven cooking, apple box ovens and more.

For "Cooking Without Power" class recipes, click HERE.


  1. Wow--this is impressive! So...if I were going to invest in one, which is your favorite?

    1. Well, it's definitely important to have a heat source, so I think the most versatile would be a butane stove and plenty of butane. This is something you can use to cook indoors, which is nice for when the weather is bad. The only drawback is that you have to have fuel. Next, I would get a thermal cooker. Thermal cookers reduce the amount of fuel needed to cook your food. The combination of a butane stove and a thermal cooker is probably the most efficient way to cook, using the smallest amount of fuel. The sun oven would be my third choice. Sun ovens are AMAZING! They can cook anything! The only drawback to a sun oven is that you need full sun. On a stormy day, you'll probably have a difficult time getting enough sunshine to cook your food.

      If you're interested in purchasing a butane stove, you can find one on Amazon or at Walmart for around $18.

      Here is a good deal on a 12-pack of butane at $2.23 per can:

      Thermal cookers can be purchased at:, or you might be able to find other brands of thermal cookers online.

      The All-American Sun Oven can be purchased here: