Thursday, December 4, 2014

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - When "Wonder" Becomes "BAM-azing"!

Most of you know how much I LOVE my Wonder Oven. I love it so much that I almost had it sit next to me during our family pictures this year. I love it so much, sometimes I sit and talk to it. It is a GREAT listener and gives "Wonderful" advice. The only problem is...I've found another. 

It has been known by many names...Wonder Bag, New Cooking Bag, Cute Cooker...but the job it does is the same. It is self-reliant and frugal in the fact that it does not waste a joule of heat to keep food not only hot, but cooking. BAM-azing!!

Don't get me wrong, I still love my Wonder Oven. I still use it often. Picture it as a faithful dog that is 75 (in dog years), and I just got a new puppy. They still serve the same purpose, but I just don't have the heart to put the old one down yet. :)

There are a couple of reasons I like the "Cute Cooker" more than the traditional "Wonder Oven":
  • It is more compact
  • You don't have to hide your oven under inside an 18 gallon bucket (it fits perfectly on a counter)
  • It uses less insulation to retain the heat than the "old faithful" Wonder Oven
  • They're just down right fun!
Here's how it works: 

Bring your food to a boil over a heat source ( stove, rocket-stove, volcano stove, etc. ) - what your cooking depends on the length of the boil. 

As a general guide things need to be cooked according to hardness (except bread...I'll splain' later):

Boil Time 
(over some type of fire)
Oven Time
Just heat water to make the lid hot
15 minutes
5 minutes
30 minutes
5 minutes
30 minutes
Raw meat pieces (chicken or beef)
10 minutes
20 minutes
Beans (soaked over night)
15 minutes
3 hours
Whole chicken
25 minutes
3 hours (until center reads 180 degrees)
Small misbehaving children
You can’t eat those…
… they’re gamey…

When I first started cooking with a Wonder Oven, I was actually a little scared. It was new and I didn't want to mess up. Consider it better to practice now and get the quirks figured out, or waste ingredients when you REALLY need them? I'll hold your hand...we'll do this together :). 

Here are some recipes from "My Food Storage Cook Book" website. SHE IS AMAZING!! I love it when people find a hobby that benefits not only themselves and their family, but unknown numbers of people who read their blogs or other media outlet. That is a HUGE key to self-reliance! And a bonus?...all of the ingredients are FSF!!! (food storage friendly!)

Wonder Oven Lasagna

Potato Stroganoff

Cajun Read Beans and Rice

Overnight Oatmeal

Cheesy Italian Shells

Mexican Tortilla Lasagna


A variation of cooking meat pieces without actually "boiling" the meat:

Bread is a bit of a different beast. Here are some great step by step instructions - bread needs a separate container (you'll see with the link), but here are
detailed bread instructions - best part...NO CRUST! (boil 10 minutes cook:

Muffin instructions (boil 10 minutes - oven time is 3 to 4 hours):

If you would like to make your own cooking bag or wonder oven, let me know. I can make them for around $50. If you have one and you need motivation to get started (or re-started) using it, let me know. I will get the information to you. It really is an excellent source (with a bit of a learning curve) and can be one of the greatest tools you'll ever own!

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