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close this bookIdeas for Action : Save, Recycle and Do Not Pollute (IIRR, 1992, 146 p.)
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View the documentMaking a haybasket cooker

Making a haybasket cooker

What you will need

· a basket at least 35 cms deep and 35 cms in diameter
· a piece of cloth
· a needle
· thread
· scissors
· 1 sack of insulating material (very dry hay or grass, wood shavings or newspapers)
· cooking pan 30 cms in diameter with a well-fitting lid
· a flat stone approximately the same diameter as the pan

Measuring from the top, make a mark on the inside of the basket at 25 cms. Fill the basket of this line with the insulating material.

Place your pan in the center of the piece of cloth. Collect the corners of the cloth above the centre of pan, making a bag.

Place this bag containing the pan on top of the insulating material in the basket. Firmly pack more insulating material inside the basket, around the bag and up to the top of the basket.

Open out the bag and tuck the edges of the cloth down between the insulating material and the inside of the basket. Stitch the cloth to the top rim of the basket.

Make a cushion which is slightly larger than the lid of the pan, filling it with the same insulating material. This will be placed on top of the pan as extra insulation.

Turn the lid upside down and fill it with insulating material. Then cover it with a piece of cloth.

Tuck the edges of the cloth between the insulating material and the inside of the lid. Stitch the cloth all the way around, along the inside corner of the basket lid.,

Advantages of fireless cooking

· It produces tasty food that keeps its shape and colour.
· It is almost impossible to burn or overcook food as the temperature decreases gradually.
· It makes even tough meat quite tender.
· Food is more nutritious. As food only boils briefly, nutrients are not destroyed.
· It requires much less fuel; energy consumption is reduced by 3 to 20 times.
· It is safe for children as they cannot get burned.
· It is easy to use. It takes less of the cook's time: there is no fire to be watched.
· During hot weather, the kitchen stays cool.
· Food can be kept warm for a long time for family or friends who arrive late.

Advantages of fireless cooking

Using a haybasket cooker

Now, that we have made a haybasket cooker, let's look at how to use it. When a hot pan of food is placed on top of the hot stone inside the basket, all the heat is trapped inside. This heat will continue to cook the food and keep it hot.

1. Bring to a boil the food in a pot covered well with a lid. Let the food simmer for a short time. At the same time, get a flat stone very hot. Remember to use a stone approximately the same diameter as the pan.

2. Put the heated stone in the bottom of the haybasket. Position the covered pan of hot food on top of it.

3. Place the cushion, then the insulated lid on top of the pan and leave the food to cook slowly.

Haybasket cooker


Outreach No. 83.

Ideas for Action:

A Technology Information Kit, November 23 - 28, 1992