Tea-cozy Cooking Method

Cliff Jacobson has recently been writing and 'lecturing' about the tea-cozy cooking method. He has used the approach on trips for the past couple of years, so it has been field tested. If I recall correctly, he said that it cuts fuel usage by about half (over whatever it was that he was doing before). Total weight for the equipment is just a few ounces and bulk is probably like a LARGE grapefruit.

The basic idea is:
1) get things hot
2) insulate them
3) set aside for a while
4) eat

The equipment he demonstrated was homemade, he said that store bought cozies use fabric that does not get along well with flame. Suggested ironing board pad material or some-such. The equipment:

1) a piece of closed cell foam about 1/2 inch thick and slightly larger than the bottom of your largest pan.
2) an insulated 'hat' for each pan consisting of a circular top an inch or so larger than the top of the pan & a slot in the top for the lid handle to stick out of.
3) an insulated wrap long enough to wrap around the largest pan and not quite as wide as the pot is tall. velcro tabs allow this to adjust to more than one pan size.

The idea is that with the hat and wrap you can insulate the top of the pot and all but about the bottom inch or so of the sides.

Use the hat and wrap when heating on the stove. Use the hat and wrap plus the foam pad (under the pot) when setting the hot food aside.

Here is his recipe for cooked spagetti noodles:
1) fire up the stove
2) place enough water in the pot, (add a little oil if you like)
3) wrap the pot, place on stove, place hat on top
4) bring to a boil
5) add noodles
6) set aside, insulated with pad, wrap & hat
7) prepare sauce & other goodies for the next 20 minutes
8) drain the noodles, add sauce and eat

If really cold and/or windy, toss a vest or sweater over the insulate pot for extra insulation when set aside.

I would be inclined to still screen the stove from the wind and blacken the pot bottom (but not carry a commercial wind screen)

If large enough, the pad doubles as a sit-upon or kneel-upon.

BTW, this method assumes you use a lid on the pot:-)

Jim Colten

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