A thermal cooker is basically like a giant thermos. To cook food in a thermal cooker, remove the inner pot. Place your food inside the inner pot and bring it to a boil on a stove. If you have electricity/gas, you can bring it to boil on your regular stove, if not, use a butane stove, alcohol stove, backpacking stove, kerosene stove, propane stove, jet boil, rocket stove or volcano cooker to boil your food. When the contents of the pot has boiled for 3-10 minutes (depending on your recipe) place the lid on the inner pot and place the inner pot inside the thermal cooker. Once you shut the lid to the thermal cooker, your food will cook until it's done, without using any more fuel!
The thermal cooker works best when it is at least 75% full. If you're making a smaller recipe, boil water in the larger inner pot and place it in the thermal cooker. Then use the smaller inner pot to bring your food to a boil and then place it on top of the larger pot inside the thermal cooker. This gives the thermal cooker enough heated mass to keep your food cooking. The great thing about a thermal cooker is that by using both inner pots, you can cook two different kinds of food at the same time.
A thermal cooker cooks kind of like a crockpot, so many of the same recipes can be adapted by using a little less liquid than your recipe requires, since none of the moisture will be able to escape the pot when the thermal cooker is closed.
There are so many things you can do with a thermal cooker. You can make hot soups, stews, oatmeal, pasta dishes, roast meats and even bake breads. My family loves to cook rice in the thermal cooker. We usually start it before we head to church on Sunday and take it out three hours later when we get home. We reduce the amount of water by about 1/4 cup, and it turns out perfectly each time!
A thermal cooker also makes a great cooler. Chill the inner pot and then fill it with ice cream, or anything you want to keep cold. You can take the thermal cooker on your boat, a hike, or to a picnic, and the food will stay hot or cold for several hours!
This month we're offering a Saratoga Jacks 7 liter thermal cooker in our stake order. The 7 liter thermal cooker holds enough food to feed a family of 6-8, when using the larger inner pot. Saratoga Jacks also offers a smaller 5.5 liter thermal cooker, but it is not being offered in our stake order. For more information on the thermal cooker available in this month's stake order, click here. All orders are due this Sunday, July 10, by the end of your ward's block of meetings. Please contact your ward provident living specialist to order.