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300 Days To Doomsdays Skill – Haybox cooking

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30 Jun 2012

173 days until the end of the world – according to the Mayans. But we, as preppers, know that at anytime a disaster can strike and turn our lives upside down and inside out. According to the Mayans the Earth will be flooded again. But if you assume equal chances for all disasters, I like the probability of increased volcanism leading to increased earthquakes, leading to a crustal shift that leads to large tsunamis on coastlines. It doesn’t have to be a big shift either: Imagine the devastation of just the earth moving 1 mile out of place.

So onto happier things: Cooking. Eating a hot meal is so very important and a person who can cook a hot meal for their friends or family receives such a hugh psychological boost that can’t be measured. Eating that meal, in the presence of friends and family, provides a person with connection with normalcy that can’t be measured either.

When we take for granted the most simplest things, losing them weighs our hopes down like a boulder.

haybox is an insulated container which can make significant fuel savings – up to 70%! Just bring the food to a boil, place the pot inside the haybox, and cover. The haybox will contain the heat in the food so that it will continue cooking without using extra fuel. In terms of our three heat concepts, a haybox works by maximizing heat storage and minimizing heat loss. A haybox is ideal for foods with a high water content like soups, stews, rice, boiled eggs and more. Foods which lose a lot of steam on the stove can be cooked with less water using a haybox.

You can precook the beans and legumes in some recipes, such as chili, in the haybox before adding other ingredients, since some beans must be boiled for at least 10 to 15 minutes to make them safe to eat.

Hayboxes can also be used to raise bread or incubate yogurt or tempeh. Place a container of hot water in the haybox to keep the temperature up.

You can use a cooler as part of a haybox, but you will probably want to add more insulation. You can make a haybox from all sorts of local materials, such as a basket filled with dried grass and covered with a bag or pillowcase of dried grass on top.

Cooking times:

Food: Boil time: Haybox time:
Rice 5 min 1-1.5 hours
Potatoes 5 min 1-2 h
Soup and stock 10 min 2-3 h
Green Lentils 10 min 3-4 h
Pintos 10 min 3 h
Split Peas 10 min 2 h
Quinoa 5 min 1.5 h
Millet 5 min 1 h
Polenta 1 min 1 h
Winter Squash 5 min 1-2 h
Steamed bread 30 min 3 h
Chicken 6 min 2-3 h
Beef 13 min 3-4 h

A word of warning: Haybox cooking can save vast amounts of fuel, but there is a risk of bacterial growth if the food items are allowed to remain in the danger zone for one or more hours. For this reason, food cooked in hay boxes is normally reheated to boiling before eating. Using a food thermometer eliminates the guesswork; It’s Safe to Bite When the Temperature is Right.

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