Hay-box cookers are insulated boxes. They have no heat source. They retain initial heat for a long time and the food cooks.

While hay was used in days past, you might like to try using a large Esky i.e cooler, two small pots that fit inside it, and a few small ‘pillows’ filled with polystyrene beads.

This will work best when your pots are both full to the top with boiling food.

Method 1 – Hot meal for Stake Conference

  • Heat the food on your stove. Cook for a few minutes.
  • Cover the pots with aluminum foil, shiny side in, to reflect heat.
  • Place pots and foil inside the esky. On a tea towel.
  • Cover both pots with 1 or 2 tea-towels each. They will insulate and absorb steam and cooking moisture.
  • Pack all gaps with small ‘pillows’ filled with polystyrene beads.
  • Seal up and do not open until ready, 3 hours later.

Method 2

You can also cook food using a laundry basket and old sleeping bags as insulators.

Learn more ...

When traveling, take a hay-box-cooker with you. Eat a hot meal on route. Our take it to stake conference with your family and serve a hot meal between sessions of conference.

“Mrs Bach stated that she has now (1905) been using the hay box for thirteen years, and that it has greatly reduced for her the cares and annoyances of housekeeping.

At first she used the box merely for the purpose of keeping finished food warm, but it was not long before she discovered that the process of cooking continued in the box. She soon found that she could finish in the box all boiled and roasted meats, sauces, fish, soup, vegetables, fruits, puddings etc. Of course the box cannot be used for beef steaks, cutlets, pancakes and the like, articles whose chief attraction lies in crispness resulting from rapid cooking on a hot fire, but when food of this kind is being prepared it is a great comfort to the housewife to know that the rest of the meal is ready and hot in the box.” 2

P.S. It’s great comfort to the whole family too. It’s not a gender role activity. H.

References & photo credits

1. Feature photo\ http://www.providentliving.org.nz/2011/11/save-power-with-a-hay-box-cooker/
2. “The Fireless Cooker”
3. Photo of hay box cooker http://todaywhilethesunshines.blogspot.com/2011/09/alternate-cooking-sources.html
4. Photo of red hay-box-cooker http://solarcooking.org/heat-retention/images/img20.jpg