Cooking With a Thermos

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How to cook with a thermos

thermos upright

In this article we will cover an efficient and simple way to cook most things that require boiling water.

I prefer thermos cooking to normal pot and water boiling methods because I do not have to constantly stir the pot, I cannot burn the ingredients to the pot, I can multitask with meal preparation without taking up a spot on the stove, and I can prepare something the night before or before a long trip that will be warm.

Things Needed:

  • Thermos
  • Timer
  • Tea kettle or other way to boil water
  • Grain, pasta, vegetables, meat, or whatever recipe ingredients are to be cooked.

Step 1:

Look up the recipe to be cooked. I would start with googling something “normal” and then add “cooking with a thermos “.

  • Pasta, oatmeal, or quinoa is a good starting point.

Step 2:

Pour water (hopefully filtered) into the kettle and start heating.

  • I find measuring cold water easier than measuring boiling water so I measure into the tea kettle rather than measuring into the thermos.

water and kettle

Step 3:

Add the ingredients into the thermos as the water is heating.

  • If what is being cooked will expand ensure room is left in the thermos for expansion.
  • Measure what is put into the thermos and measure how much water is added.

Pouring oats into thermos

Step 4:

Once the water is boiling, add the determined amount into the thermos.

Pouring water into thermos

Step 5:

Start the timer on the stove or watch the clock.

Step 6:

Put the cover on the thermos and shake vigorously.

Shake thermos

Step 7:

Place the thermos on its side so the contents do not pack to the bottom.

  • If bored shake the thermos a few times throughout the cooking to keep things from sticking together such as highly processed pasta.

Lay thermos on side

Step :8

Once the timer is done, open the thermos and check the contents for thorough cooking.

  • If the contents are not cooked thoroughly put the cover on and let sit longer.
  • If the contents are cooked to properly pour off excess water, if necessary, and serve.

Step 9:

Mark the time for thorough cooking along with the amount of contents cooked and the amount of water for future reference.

Lessons Learned:

  • Keep records of the cooking times for different ingredients.
  • The first time something is tried it will not be perfect so records will help for next time.
  • Large mouth thermoses work better for cleaning and large pasta.

open with cap

  • Kraft Mac and cheese turns to mush and sticks together if over done and leads to a cleaning nightmare.
  • A long wooden spoon helps to get the contents out of the thermos.
  • Pouring the water out of the thermos is simple by barely loosening the cap to let water through like pouring coffee.
  • Many people recommend preheating the thermos with boiling water but I have found it does not make that much of a difference and takes more time and hot water.
  • I find it easier to add the measured amounts of cold water into the tea kettle. This way I don’t have to try and measure cups of boiling water and can just pout the entire contents into the thermos.
  • Thermoses will lose their “thermos” properties when the vacuum is lost between the inner and outer layer.
  • I bought many thermoses at the thrift store and they work like new.
    • I did buy some that did not hold their temperature well.
    • I get my thermoses for pennies on the dollar so even with a dud every now and then I am still ahead from buying new.
    • To tell if a thermos is working fill two thermoses, one that works and one that is being tested, with the same amount of water and check them every hour with a thermometer. If one drops in temperature drastically while the other holds a high temperature one is faulty. I dispose of the faulty thermoses so no one will have to deal with cold ingredients again.

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