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  • Writer's pictureCindy Miller

Mexican Pinto Beans & The Moment I Knew

It's taken a bit of time to find my way.

I knew I wanted to share what I had been learning about retained heat cooking to as many people as possible but finding people interested was a challenge. Sure there were some but in our fast paced lifestyle home cooked meals seemed to be far and few between for the majority of people.

How to reach those who could benefit the most from retained heat cooking was my challenge. As I pondered over what to do, I decided that the way I could do the most good was to find those in low resource settings. Those who could more easily see the benefits of fuel and time savings that retained heat cooking has to offer.

In November of 2017 I had the opportunity to go to Mexico with Builders Without Boarders of Utah. This was my chance to see what I could come up with to teach retained heat cooking, also known as thermal cooking. It didn't take me long to realize that supplying everyone with a stainless steel thermal cooker was not logical. With my background in thermal cooking I knew what I liked and didn't like so I decided to design my own.

It took a while, but with the help from my sister in law I decided on the name The HopeSaC Thermal Cooker. With my goal of helping people and interest in humanitarian a name standing for Hope, Service and Charity was the perfect name.

Enter The HopeSaC Project:

a system of donations of time and supplies to make HopeSaC thermal cookers

education and teaching of retained heat cooking principles

and HopeSaC distribution to those in need

I soon learned that there were plenty of people willing to help make the HopeSaCs.

The question then became - would they be wanted?

The trip to Mexico answered that question.

I prepared Mexican pinto beans in the HopeSaC. Dry beans were soaked at least 6 hours, strained and all of the ingredients were brought to a boil in a pot and boiled for 10 minutes. Then placed in the thermal cooker overnight. Then next morning during the class I explained how they were made and and showed them the beans.

When I asked the class "When was the last time you boiled your beans for 10 minutes"?

The room irrupted. They immediately understood as I heard the word "gas" "gas" "gas" repeated over and over.

I knew at that moment that this was a thing.

Mexican Pinto Beans


1 pound dried pinto beans, rinsed

1 (29 oz) cans diced tomatoes

1 (4.5 ounce) can diced green chile

1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 Tbsp. chili powder, or to taste

1 Tbsp. ground cumin, or to taste

1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, or to taste

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

salt to taste

Place pinto beans into a large pot and pour in enough water to cover by 2 to 3 inches. Let beans soak overnight.

Drain beans, return to pot, and pour in fresh water to cover; add diced tomatoes, bacon, onion, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Cover. Carefully place pot into the center of the HopeSaC. Leave in the HopeSaC for at least 6 hours.

One-half hour before serving, open HopeSaC, and take of lid to the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add cilantro. Return lid and top round insulator to the HopeSaC. Synch tight until ready to serve.


Thermal cookers are like a big crock pot, cooking food slowly over time. While slow cookers require constant electricity, thermal cooker utilizes heated (boiling) food to complete the cooking process.

Purchase Retained Heat Containers, Cookbooks and More here!

Learn to make your own HopeSac for thermal cooking: https://thermalcooking.vipmembervault...

OTHER VIDEOS YOU MAY LIKE: Ideas to Use your Thermal Cooker for a Whole Week:

Join us HERE for the Thermal Cooking Online Course!!! https://thermalcooking.vipmembervault...

Live Digital Cookbook: https://thermalcooking.vipmembervault...




DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting The HopeSaC Project so we can continue to provide service to those in need! SHOW LESS

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