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Who doesn’t love having easy meals to make and eat while camping?
What I’ve got for you today are some pretty amazing and simple ideas for making cooking while camping easy peasy using a thermal cooker.
If you don’t know what a Thermal Cooker is you are in for a treat!! You can go check out this article that explains what a thermal cooker is & how it works, and you’ll begin to see how handy they can be while camping!
Making Cooking while Camping Easy with a Thermal Cooker
We recently went on an overnight campout and here is what we did for our evening meal:
Morning of the day we left:
I threw some Easy Coconut Curry Chicken and Veggies in our thermal cooker (see how to use a thermal cooker here,) and packed up for our adventure, and then we were off! I’ve included the recipe down below…
(We used the Thermos RPC-6000 6L for this camping trip.)
(In this picture, you can see the coconut curry chicken boiling for a few minutes on the front burner, and the water for the rice coming to a boil on the back burner.)
In the afternoon:
We drove for a while and arrived at our campsite, set up our tents, played a bit, and then…
At dinner, we were all super hungry so we simply opened our thermal cooker and enjoyed a delicious ready to go hot meal that everyone enjoyed. No need for cooking that night. No need for any fuss. Ready to go.
Then to top it all off, we opened our second thermal cooker and served up perfectly cold ice cream to everyone’s delight.
It’s fun to make homemade ice cream and get it good and frozen in your thermal cooker and then take it camping with you.
(And, you don’t even have to make homemade ice cream. You can just go buy enough ice cream to fill your thermal cooker, scoop it into your thermal cooker, and put it in your freezer a day or so before you go camping. Let it freeze good and solid, then you can transport it in your thermal cooker to your camping destination! You’ll be the hit of the party that night! )
>You see, a thermal cooker simply retains the temperature of the food inside of it. So it can keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold! Super cool!<<
Here’s the recipe we made for dinner…
Easy Coconut Curry Chicken & Veggies in a Thermal Cooker
- 2 Tbl Olive Oil
- 1 onion, diced or sliced thin
- 1/4 - 1/3 c Yellow Curry Paste
- 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bite-sized chunks
- 1 20 oz can Coconut Cream (yes, cream, not coconut milk)
- 1 1/2 c chicken broth
- 6 baby golden Yukon potatoes, cut into chunks
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 c snow peas
- 2-3 handfuls baby spinach
- 2-3 Tbl brown sugar
Place the inner pot of the thermal cooker on your stovetop.
Add the olive oil and the onion. Saute for a couple of minutes.
Add the yellow curry paste, stir.
Add the chicken pieces and stir to coat. Saute for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the coconut cream, chicken broth, and brown sugar. Stir.
Add red pepper, snow peas, and spinach.
Bring all to a boil. Let boil for 3-4 minutes.
Place lid on the inner pot, turn off the burner, and put inner pot into the outer pot of the thermal cooker. Close the lid on the outer pot and let sit for at least 2 hours before eating.
If the proper care and handling of your thermal cooker has taken place, your meal can stay in your thermal cooker for up to 10 hours before eating.
Remember the safety of your food items is up to you.
And Now – How to Cook Awesome Rice in your Thermal Cooker
I can hear you saying, “Now wait a minute – you’ve cooked rice many times before on your stovetop and you know that to cook rice it’s a 2-1 water/rice ratio.
But not in a thermal cooker. In this method of cooking all the moisture is retained. You won’t need as much water to make perfect rice because all of this water will stay in with the rice.
- 4 c water
- pinch of salt
- 2 1/2 c white rice
Place the inner pot of the thermal cooker on your stovetop.
Add the water and salt, bring to a full boil
Add the rice, stir.
Bring to a boil, and let it boil for 2-4 minutes.
Put the lid on the inner pot, turn off the burner, and place the inner pot into the outer pot of the thermal cooker.
Is ready to eat in about 2 hours.
If the proper care and handling of your thermal cooker have been given, your rice can be left in the thermal cooker for up to about 8 hours, depending on how full your pot is. The more full the pot is, the longer it can stay warm.
That’s what’s so great about the Thermos RPC-6000 6L thermal cooker – it has two smaller pots inside of it that are 3 L each. That means I cooked the coconut curry chicken in one pot, and rice in the other, and they both continued cooking inside the one outer thermal pot.
One thermal cooker to carry, two food items inside. Crazy cool!
(This is my awesome crew enjoying our dinner together while camping. And yes, I was the one taking the picture, as usual. 🙂 )
Here are Some Other Things You Can Easily Prepare in your Thermal Cooker on a Campout:
Get two meals off of one pot of boiling water:
In the morning, fill your thermal cooker inner pot with water and bring to a boil.
Make Omelets in a Bag, and let them cook in your thermal cooker rather than having to stay on the flame of your fuel source for the full time.
Then take out your Omelets in a Bag and use that hot water for hot chocolate or add a dehydrated meal package(s) to it. Let the meal sit in your thermal cooker for up to eight hours and enjoy your dinner!
OR, of course, you can make any other of your favorite recipes for dinner!
Overnight Steel-cut Oats
Want breakfast to be ready immediately when you’re up and ready to go in the morning? Hold on for this idea…
When you’re snuggled up around the campfire at night, you can easily prepare breakfast at the same time.
Bring to a boil in your thermal cooker:
- 4 1/2 cups of water
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbl butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups Steel-cut Oats
Bring to a full boil for 2 minutes, then place the inner pot into the outer thermal pot and close it. Set is aside while you sleep and enjoy a nice hot breakfast 8 hours later.
Voila. Easy peasy camping breakfast.
Waking up in the morning and eating your breakfast. You also throw together your dinner in a thermal cooker, heating it up either on the campfire or your cookstove.
Once it’s good and hot, you set the thermal cooker in a safe place at your campsite and take off on your day hike.
When you return later that day all happy and hungry, you pull out your thermal cooker and serve a delicious hot meal that is ready to go.
This is a serious reduction in your time spent cooking!
Man, that just makes camping and outdoor adventuring all the more fun!
Family Reunion or Large Group Going Camping?
This is where having more than one thermal cooker (or having 6 of them like I have!) comes in handy. Mass cooking and transporting of food has never been easier than with thermal cookers.
Once you get the idea of how thermal cookers work, your mind will begin spinning with ideas of how useful they will be on campouts.
You’ll see how they save you time and fuel.
You’ll see how they help provide a good hot meal with minimal time and attention paid to the cooking process.
Learn How Simple and Awesome Thermal Cooking is with These Articles:
- What is a Thermal Cooker & How Does it Work?
- How to Use a Thermal Cooker
- How to Make Yogurt in a Thermal Cooker
- Homemade Ice Cream on the Go With a Thermal Cooker
Here’s a Great Recipe Book to Teach you All About How to Use a Thermal Cooker
It’s called “Let’s Make Sense of Thermal Cooking Cookbook”
Our friend Trisha shared this cool experience of using her thermal cooker on their family campout:
I made stew at the house before we left for our family campout. I knew it would be hectic trying to get the tent, cots and kitchen up and functioning before everyone would be hungry. We had a 3 hour drive and it was dark and chilly by the time we got there. I was able to just pull out the bowls and spoons and feed everyone HOT stew. I loved it. I want to get another thermal cooker because there are a lot of us and there are times we would need more cooking room.
What Kinds of Thermal Cookers Do I Recommend?
While there are several brands of thermal cookers out there, we’ve used several of them with my husband having had a preparedness business, and I can say that hands down, Thermos brand is my favorite. It simply is super high quality and the performance is exceptional.
The Different Sizes of Thermos Thermal Cookers
The smallest is the Thermos 1.5 L
It’s a very popular size. Being just 1.5 liters, it’s great for lunches and 1-2 person meals. Because it is smaller than the other thermal cookers it won’t have as much heat mass, therefore it won’t keep your food hot as long, although still long enough to totally reap the benefits of thermal cooking. While the larger Thermal Cookers can retain a temperature of about 160 degrees F even after 8 hours, the food inside the 1.5 L pot can retain a temperature of about 160 degrees Fahrenheit even after 4 hours. Still a very handy item.
This is the one I use most often:
This is a great size for regular family meals as it can serve between 6-10 people. Super handy.
And just so you know, there is another color of this same size Thermal Cooker:
The CC-4500 and the RPC-4500 are initially the same Thermal Cooker. The CC is a US version that is black and silver, and the RPC is an international version with a brown and light bronze-ish color. They both perform equally well.
And, the double whammy:
The Thermos RPC-6000 6L with TWO inner pots
OK, this one is a really cool thing. You can cook TWO items in it at once. Like a chicken recipe in one pot and rice in the other. Voila, chicken and rice made in one Thermal Cooker.
AND, you can order a single tall 6L pot to go with this RPC-6000. It comes in handy when you have large recipes to make…
Then there’s the biggest of them all:
THIS is the one I LOVE at big family gatherings like Thanksgiving and such. It’s the one I use to make a bunch of mashed potatoes in. It’s SO cool to be able to peel and chop up the potatoes earlier in the day, bring them up to a boil for a minute or two in the inner stainless steel pot, then put it in the outer thermal pot, close it, and let it sit on my counter the rest of the day while I’m doing other things.
**Note that Thermos brand thermal cookers are imported and the packaging and materials inside are geared for the Asian market as Thermos has not localized these cookers for the US market. However, part of the recipe book is in English and the simplicity of use doesn’t require much instruction.
BTW I tried a different kind of bug repellent this week.
I got tired of using a bug repellent that was full of all kinds of unhealthy chemicals, so I tried the TerraShield essential oil from DoTerra. And you know what? It worked famously. Like instantly.
We just put a couple of drops on each arm and each leg, one on our neck, and that was it. No more pests bothered us. I was seriously impressed.
I created a simple Camping Menu printable for you where you can create your menus for your campout, as well as write the food items you’ll need to bring, as well as the cooking items you’ll need.
So Let’s Get Camping!
Nothing compares to the beauty and wonder while camping, and for me (as someone who really does not like cooking) being able to prepare meals while camping with great ease is a super big plus.
I hope you enjoy camping and cooking with your thermal cooker!