Friday, December 16, 2011

How to Cook Potatoes in a Thermos

Print this articleThermos cooking is easy, healthier than frying in oil and can be done when camping, boating or in any environment where you don't have access to a traditional kitchen. Although cooking potatoes in a thermos takes about 2 hours, it takes only about 10 to 15 minutes to prepare the potatoes and thermos for cooking, so you can quickly set the potatoes to cook and go back to doing other things, whether you are setting up a camp site or enjoying time at home.

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Boil enough water to fill your thermos in an electric kettle. Look on the bottom or the lid of your thermos to find how many ounces of water your thermos holds if you are not sure of its size. You can also boil this water in a pot on the sink or in the microwave, but an electric kettle boils water faster and makes pouring into a thermos easier. If you do not have access to electricity, boil water over a fire.


Preheat the thermos by filling it with boiling water and letting it sit for at least five minutes. Pour boiling water from the electric kettle into the thermos while holding the thermos over the sink. The sink is the safest place to pour water because it not only allows you to pour from a high to a low surface but it also will contain any spilled water. Because you are pouring boiling water, you may want to hold the thermos with an oven mitt or towel. Place the stopper in the thermos. Do not remove it until you are ready to cook your food.


Boil another kettle full of water. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes. The amount of potatoes you cook depends on the size of your thermos. The potatoes will need to be fully immersed in water to cook completely, so prepare only as many potatoes as can easily fit and be covered with water in your thermos.


Pour the water quickly out of the preheated thermos, drop in the potatoes and fill the entire thermos with boiling water. Put the stopper in the thermos. It is important to do this as quickly as possible so that no heat escapes from the thermos. Lay the thermos on its side so the heat permeates the potatoes evenly.


Allow the potatoes to cook for two hours. Check the bottle after about an hour to ensure the potatoes are still cooking. Crack the stopper. If no steam rises, reheat the bottle by placing the contents in a pan on the stove, bringing them to a boil and pouring them back into the thermos. If you are camping or in an environment without a stove, keep some water boiling as you cook just in case you will need to reheat the bottle. In this case, leave the potatoes in the thermos, drain the water and pour the boiling water in the thermos.


Check the potatoes with a fork to see if they are done. If they are tender, they are ready to eat. If they are still hard, allow some more cooking time. If you are near a stove, Carolyn Shearlock of suggests finishing your food on the stove. If not, you may just have to wait a a few more minutes until the potatoes are done or replace the water with boiling water again.

Tips & Warnings

While Carolyn Shearlock notes that a 16-oz. thermos may be big enough to cook for one or two people, a 1 or 1 1/2 quart thermos is a better investment for those who will be doing a lot of thermos cooking. You should also cook in a sturdy, stainless steel thermos that has a tightly-locking stopper. This will better keep the heat in.

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