Thermal Cooking Accessories
Updated: Nov 14, 2020
Accessories expand the thermal cooker into something much more useful then it initially may seem to be. It becomes very versatile more than just a slow cooker for soup, beans and rice.
Thermal cooking accessories include bread/cake pans, oven bags, snapware, mason jars, inner pots, steamers and trivets.
Utilizing accessories makes it possible to cook more than one dish at a time, prepared foods which can't normally boil, steam, and control portion sizes.
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Let's start with mason jars since many people have access to them.
The beauty of mason jars when thermal cooking is that they can be submerged without the risk of the food inside getting waterlogged. There is no need for a trivet or worrying about how much water is added to the pot. Just fill to the top covering the jars.
Choosing the correct mason jar for the job depends on what you want to make. I have used all shapes and sizes. But my favorites are ones without a neck in them so that breads, cakes etc. easily slide out. With larger mason jars these are usually the wide mouth, and the smaller ones are regular mouth.
Boiling times vary depending on the size of the mason jar, but in general smaller jars require a 5-7 minute boil and the larger jars a 15 minute boil for most dishes.
Oven / Roasting Bags
Always have extra oven bags around, they come in very handy when thermal cooking. Both in the actual cooking and when using a HopeSaC thermal cooker. (A HopeSaC is a thermal cooker I designed for humanitarian work, but as it turns out, is great for anyone who would like to make there own - link to more info).
Back to oven bags.
Think French cooking... Sous vide. Which is a cooking method in which food is placed in a plastic pouch or a glass jar and cooked in a water bath for longer than usual cooking times at a precisely regulated temperature. When using oven bags while thermal cooking we adapt this just a tad, but not much.
I love using oven bags to prepare meals all-in-one pot. When preparing this way I usually prepare the meat and sauce in the oven bag and the vegetables in the pots. Here is a short video showing how this works:
When using an oven bag with a HopeSaC, it is used to help keep the HopeSaC (or other DIY insulators) clean by putting the pot of boiling food into the oven bag and then placing into the HopeSaC (insulator). The oven bag catches anything that may spill. More information can be found in the Step-by-Step DIY HopeSaC Pattern Course.
Snapware Containers are a bridge between inexpensive and submergible mason jars and the size and shape of the more expensive Cake/Bread pans. Right up front I will give you a heads up, these containers will not last forever. Eventually the snapping flaps don't snap well and the rubber rim might get dirty or fall out. But with that said, they are inexpensive at Walmart, the 4 cup are a perfect size and they are submergible! All wins in my book.
Always make sure the snapware containers are glass. Two -four cup glass containers stack perfectly inside of a 7 liter pot, with a boiling time of about 25-30 minutes for most dishes.
Cake/Bread Pan with Lid
Cake/Bread containers are the most popular accessory. Everyone wants the ability to make bread and cake in the thermal cooker. Always be on the lookout for good containers that can be used in the thermal cooker.
Containers with their own lids are great for making cakes and breads. These containers require a trivet. This is to make sure that the thermal mass is maximized and there is enough heat in the pot to continue cooking once removed from the heat.
Bread/Cake Pans without Lids
Always be on the lookout for containers that might be useful in the thermal cooker. The tall one is my favorite as it makes a nice long - albeit - round crust-less loaf of bread.
Simply cover the container with a piece of foil and secure the foil with an elastic. The shorter container needs a trivet to increase the thermal mass.
Trivets help increase the amount of water in the pot creating more thermal mass. The more thermal mass the longer the food stays hot and continues cooking.
Submergible pots do not need to sit on a trivet.
Email me for information of this trivet firstname.lastname@example.org.
2.5 L Triple Clad Pot
Saratoga Jacks carries a 2.5 liter inner pot with a triple clad base. This pot comes standard in their 7 Liter Deluxe thermal cooker.
The pot is available al la cart to upgrade the SJ Regular 7 liter thermal cooker or can be used in other brands with the same size and design. The triple clad heavy bottom pot helps with better heat distribution.
I love using the second pot inside of the thermal cooker. It makes it possible to make two dishes at the same time. Many times I fix rice in one and meat with sauce in the other to put over the rice.
Steamers can be used for vegetables, fish, and custard.
Steamer inserts are available for both the 7 Liter and 5.5 Liter Saratoga Jacks thermal cookers and other compatible sizes and designs.
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! https://www.thermalcooking.net/online...
Learn to make your own HopeSac for thermal cooking: https://thermalcooking.vipmembervault...