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Just an observation, really

by Keith Taylor
(South Africa)

Beat up, but still going strong

Beat up, but still going strong

I have looked at some of your haybox pages and am frankly quite amazed at the hoops through which people have been jumping to build a perfectly simple, straight-forward heat retainer. At its simplest, a cardboard box with some old clothing (preferably woollen) packed under, over and around a pot is perfectly adequate and does the job admirably. If you're short of old clothing, crumpled newpaper will do, but it's not as good as old wool jerseys.
One can go farther and line the cardboard box with 50mm (2") expanded polystyrene sheet (? styrofoam) and use old clothing, newspaper or rags to pack around the pot.
One of mine is a polystyrene foam cooler box packed with old clothing.
They will all keep food hot (and simmering) for up to twelve hours, turning the toughest meats into the most delicious, tender stews, while using less energy than a slow cooker.
I cannot understand why people want to spend a lot of time, energy and money on what is supposed, in the end, to be a time, labour and money-saving device! Keep it simple ... isn't that the core of the sentiment?
Just remember to hang out the padding to dry, as it can become quite damp from the steam the escapes around the lid of the pot.
We have been using our present two for well over ten years ... I guess it shows.

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Apr 21, 2016
Heat retainer
by: Anonymous

We use heat retainers also, it saves a lot of fuel.

We cook dry corn for pozole, tamales..etc and it takes more than an hour and a half boiling to soften the corn. With the heat retainer we bring it up to boiling and immediately put it in the heat retainer and let is sit for a few hours. Then again we bring up up to boiling and follow the same process. It usually takes 3 boilings to have the corn well done.

We boil the corn with wood ashes, about 1:3 ratio by volume or one part ashes to 3 parts corn. After cooking the ashes are thoroughly rinsed out. The ashes add many minerals and the alkali makes the niacin available for absorption.

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