Cooking in a hay box

Cooking with minimum amount of energy use, what are our options? Currently most stoves are gas powered or run on electricity generated from coal, gas or nuclear power which all have their downsides. You can decrease the amount of energy using a hay box and you do not burn your food! Interestingly, on the campsite you probably already do it, as the amount of gas is limited to a can. And actually, it is a very old habit when those resources were much scarcer.


  • Big bucket, box or case. You could also use something that already is nicely isolate such as a cooling box or thermoscan.
  • Isolation material such as aluminum foil, hay, straw, shredded paper, blanket, sleeping bag.
  • Food to cook.

Instructions for cooking

  1. Fill your box with insulation material. If you use a blanket leave some of the blanket hanging out.
  2. Heat your beans, rice, outs, gort, legumes, bouillon, hachée, goulash, mais or couscous until it boils.
  3. Pour the content in the thermos or place the pan in the box with insulation material.
  4. Add more insulation material on top and close the box.
  5. Depending on what your are making the cooking time is 30 minutes (rice) up to hours (beans).

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