Cooking when camping – a simple solution to hearty meals out & about

As travellers ourselves, we know that after a long day on the road the evening meal is usually something quick and simple but that has taken on a whole new meaning to us since we discovered the benefits of using a thermal cooker for cooking when camping.

A while back we were camped in a national park, when one morning at the camp kitchen we observed a couple preparing a corned beef to have for dinner that night. We noticed they were using a thermal cooker. We were intrigued by these as we had heard about them before. We got talking to this couple and they were quite willing and eager to show us how it worked and told us all about the different meals they liked to cook in it.

Basically thermal cookers work similar to a household slow cooker where by you add all the ingredients to the inside and it cooks slowly with an even heat.  Thermal cookers act like a vacuum flask and keep the heat in allowing the food to cook slowly. All that is required is a small amount of initial heat for a short period of time to start the cooking process. The heat is retained in the unit and the food will continue to cook without the risk of over cooking or burning. Tasty meals and tender meat every time.

Meals such as stews, casseroles, soups, corn meats and even pot roasts can all be cooked in a thermal cooker with only minimal fuss. Typically these meals would require several hours of constant heat either using electricity or gas and would generally be impossible or inconvenient when travelling. Let’s face it we all enjoy these types of meals especially a hearty casserole in the winter months. A thermal cooker is handy on days were you plan to be out doing day trips or planning a long day on the road. It is nice to know that the families evening meal has been taken care of. Just chuck in your ingredients and start the cooking process for around 20 minutes. Then after a busy day traveling or exploring you will have a hearty hot meal waiting for you without fuss or without the need to re-heat. Depending on the model you chose you can cook a complete two course meal or a serve of rice and even dessert all at once.

Personally we chose the 6 litre family size DreamPot and to be honest some of our favourite meals so far have been cooked using it on our travels.

The benefits of a thermal cooker:

  • Conserve LPG due to shorter cooking times.
  • Can still enjoy our favourite hearty meals whilst on the road.
  • Ability to cook a meal in two parts (curry and rice for dinner and dessert etc.).
  • No need for a constant source of power.
  • Large size models available for family meals or preparing future meals.
  • Makes good use out of cheaper cuts of meat giving tender results.
  • Some models allow for yoghurts to be made.
  • The DreamPot model also acts as a chiller/warmer, great for drinks cold or to keep cooked food warm.

I would recommend a thermal cooker to any traveller or even one for the home for those who love slow cooked meals but don’t like the idea of leaving appliances switched on unattended.

Some examples of thermal cookers are:

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