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Wood and gas will ultimately become precious resources during a long-term disaster. When a regional or national disaster is billed as a short-term emergency, it is still very wise to conserve all resources just in case the official government disaster estimate proves false. Integrating thermos cooking into the family or mutual assistance group preparedness plan will help keep warm and healthy food flowing without the usage of wood and gas. Cooking one or two meals, or portions of those meals using the thermos method will save fuel that could be desperately needed for heating or water purification purposes at a later date.

Thermos cooking should be added to your preparedness food and off the grid living plan. The process is simple, requires just one cooking tool which is both lightweight and portable. Preparing food over an open fire while camping or during an emergency situation may not always be feasible, or even the best option, from an OPSEC point of view. Long-term storage food cooks quickly and simply. During a disaster, time, and energy will both be in short supply, making long-term food storage pouches of entrees, side dishes, and containers of wheat, fruit, vegetables, and other ingredients often needed in thermos recipes, even more important food supply preps.

I love my cast iron cookware and wow family and friends with my open flame meals when camping, but after discovering the ease and flexibility of thermos cooking, I will surely be employing that method of food preparation to my outdoor culinary plan as well.

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Thermos Cooking Basics

Cooking a breakfast of oatmeal in a thermos (or multiple thermoses) does not required the immediate attention or constant stirring of the cook. The minutes saved during this task could be used to attend to other necessary chores. The standard thermos retains approximately 75 percent of its heat, even after the first 24 hours, according to the Thermos Cooking website. A thermos filled halfway with hot water can also be used to make a meal utilizing a long-term food storage pouch later in the day.

When searching for a thermos at a yard sale or discount retailer, skip the plastic models often marketed for children’s lunch boxes and opt instead for an old-fashioned metal thermos.

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Cooking with a Thermos

Pre-heat the thermos before using it to cook by using boiling water. The hot water heats up the metal and helps with both heat retention and the prevention of food spoilage. The boiling of the water will require the uses of resources, but far less than cooking a full meal. A “rocket stove” style device could also be used for the boiling of water. Such emergency cookers require just a small amount of twigs or dry brush to get a sufficient flame and heat very quickly.

Once you have combined all the thermos cooking recipes and placed the lid firmly back on the container, give it several god shakes and place it on its side. The thermos can later be turned upright if needed, but at first you will want to make sure that the boiling water comes into contact with all ingredients fully and evenly. Just like we learned in kindergarten, heavy items sink.

If the food inside the thermos will not be eaten for an extended period or will be exposed to very cold weather, you could wrap it in foil, a piece of a Mylar blanket, or clothing to decrease potential heat loss.

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Thermos Cooking Recipes

Whole Wheat Chili

Ingredients
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper
• 1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
• 2 cups of whole wheat – cook in a thermos or with another heat source beforehand
• 1 4 ounce can of diced green chilies
• 1 15 ounce can of kidney, block, or pinto beans – drained and rinsed
• 2 garlic cloves minced
• 2 tsp of cumin
• 1 chopped medium onion
• 1 tablespoon of olive oil
• 2 tablespoons of chili powder

Directions

1. Heat the olive oil using a solar oven, rocket stove, or other heat source.
2. Once the oil is hot, placed the chopped onion in the thermos and allow it to cook until softened.
3. Add the chili powder, cumin, and garlic and continue to cook for about 20 second.
4. Now add the tomato sauce, beans, pepper, wheat, chilies, and tomatoes.
5. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes before eating.

Oatmeal

Ingredients
• 1 cup of oats
• 4 cups of boiling water
• Dried fruits and nuts – optional
• Sugar or salt to taste

Directions
1. Preheat the thermos with boiling water for about 10 minutes – drain water.
2. Pour the oats inside the thermos
3. Add four cups of boiled water for every 1 cup of oats.
4. Close the thermos.
5. Pour in the salt or sugar and optional mixed nuts and dried fruits before eating.
6. A standard thermos offers enough oats for two people and

Chicken Macaroni Soup

Ingredients
• ½ cup of shredded cabbage
• 1/2cup of finely chopped carrots
• 1 cup of chicken breast that has been cut into bite-sized pieces
• 1 cup of macaroni
• 2 minced garlic cloves
• 1 small white onion chopped
• 1 teaspoon of olive oil
• 4 cups of boiling water
• Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. Preheat thermos with boiling water for about 10 minutes – drain water
2. Heat olive oil in a solar over, rocket stove, or skillet while the thermos preheats
3. Saute the bite-size chicken breasts until brown using a heat source of your choice
4. Add the onion and garlic. The onion should be fairly see-through when done
5. Pour all of the ingredients from steps 2 through 4 into the thermos
6. Pour in the boiled water
7. Add the salt and pepper and vegetables
8. Place the lid firmly on the thermos

Bread Pudding

Ingredients
• ¼ cup of dried raisins
• 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon
• 2 tablespoons of honey
• 3 slices of bread which has been cut into cubes
• 1 can of evaporated milk
• 1 pinch of nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Directions
1. Preheat the thermos with boiling water for 10 minutes before dumping out the water
2. Mix all of the ingredients except the bread in a skillet or sauce pan while preheating the thermos
3. Place the bread cubes in the empty thermos
4. Pour in the items mixed together in the skillet or pan
5. Cover the thermos with the lid and allow the heat to warm the ingredients for half an hour before eating.
6. Stir and enjoy

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