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The Basics Part 3 – Making the most of it with heat retention and pressure cooking

Once you’ve managed to produce enough heat to cook with, we want to get as much out of it as possible. No one wants to waste fuel.

Heat retention

There are two ways to retain heat. We can slow the loss of heat by using insulation. This is the method used by thermoses to keep your coffee warm. You can find larger thermoses for cooking, such as thermal cookers and hay baskets (eg. wonderbag).

We can also retain heat by using a material that can store it, such as stone or cast iron. This is how stone pizza ovens work. In the past there would often be a big oven that would be used by the whole village. This was usually the baker’s oven.

When the baker had baked all the bread for the day, the oven would still be hot enough for cooking. At this stage, the baker would place pots of beans, peas, meat or various stews in the oven to slow-cook overnight on the customer’s behalf.

Pressure cooking

Pressure cooking is another way to get more out of your fuel. By increasing pressure, the food cooks more quickly. This means shorter cooking times and less fuel consumption.

Pressure cooking is best used in a fixed location, such as an off-grid homestead. However, there are some lightweight and durable pressure cookers developed for camping. These pressure cookers are flexible and well-suited for travel.

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