Sunday, October 13, 2013

Experiment on the Word.....the Wonder Oven

What's in the 'box' you ask?  It's a Wonder Oven.  I have had the pattern for some time, but just haven't taken the time to do anything with it.  

I will be teaching a class on Powerless cooking this week and decided to 'experiment' with this device.

For me, the most challenging part was to make the pattern from the instructions. (I will be doing a post just on assembling this device in the near future).  Once the pattern was made, sewing took only minutes.  Filling it with pellets was an adventure that only Rooster Senior to come up with...but it was brilliant.  I will show you that process soon...I promise.

Here is a view inside the bottom piece.  

Here is the top.

Soooo.....does it really work?  I decided to experiment and see.

Since Rooster Senior is under the weather, I decided to make Chicken Soup.  Here I have used my own Canned Chicken, and then added the water.

The seasonings were added (from my Pantry)

I used raw carrots and celery on purpose.  I wanted to see if they would get cooked in this device.

I even added Pearl Barley...again to see if it would cook all the way through.  I brought the Soup to a boil and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

I put the pot inside the bottom of the Wonder oven. As it is filled with Styrofoam-type pellets, I just molded the bottom around the pan.

Then I placed the lid on top.  I did this at about 10:00 in the morning and then left for a long day of Church meetings.

I left it on the counter just like this.  Rooster Junior got home first.  He didn't mess with it even thought he knew dinner was inside.  When Rooster Senior and I returned home (at about 5:00 p.m.), our son quickly set the table as my Visiting Teacher came over for a few minutes.  I heard my son take the pan out of the device.  I wanted to quickly measure the temperature, but again I had company.  I decided I could wait to do that.

It may not be the best picture, but hopefully you can see Cooked Celery and Cooked Carrots as well as Cooked Pearl Barley.  After my Visiting Teacher left, I quickly checked the temperature.  It was above 140 degrees F.  The Pan was hot, the soup was delicious.

My son also sliced up some Rosemary-Garlic Sourdough Bread that I made yesterday.  It was all really yummy.  I will do another post featuring this.  It was delish to say the least!

Take-away points:
  • This device does not require any fuel.  Think about that in a time of emergency.  Once the food is warmed, it will hold the heat and continue to cook the food over time.  I can't say enough about how important the fuel issue is.
  • This device is really, really easy to make once you have the pattern drawn to scale.
  • It worked like a charm.  I plan to use it again on days when I know that I won't be home for a long time.  I know that the food will be cooked and at a safe temperature.
  • I won't wait for an emergency to use this.
  • I hope you noticed the 'loops' of ribbon on each piece. These are to hang up the 'oven' in the closet when it is not in use.
  • My husband and son didn't even pull funny faces when I used this today.  I guess they are getting used to me.

Consider getting one for your family.....soon!


freemotion said...

It has been almost a year since you posted this and it is still on my to-make list! It is awesome. I will get to this project....tell me, have you continued to use it? My only concern is the inevitable spills. Has this happened? Have you had to, and been able to, clean it?

Anonymous said...

In the Netherlands this is known as a hay box. a crate or box fill it with hay or straw and it does the same. My late grandmother ( born in 1904) said she used to put the pan in bed in the winter. so when the little ones went to bed after diner wouldn't be so cold for them. potatoes, rice, soup, everything is possible

The Little Red Hen said...

You are correct that this is a form of a "Hay Box". I have used blankets to achieve the same effect. How cool is it that you Grandmother mentioned the other use to keep the bed warm. What a great idea. I have touched on the use of a "Hay Box" in this post, toward the bottom. It is a great way to cook and transport foods.

Thank you for stopping by!

The Little Red Hen said...

Freemotion: I have used it several times and it has worked beautifully. Because my containers had lids and the wonder oven was secured in a storage tub, I have not had an issue with spills. I store this in a closet by using the loops to hang the 2 pieces on a hanger. I would assume that you would spot clean it if necessary. I hope you give it a try!

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