Hay good looking, watcha got cooking?

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This week, patrons of the restaurant De Witte Tafel in Eindhoven will be served their meals on a hay box cooker. The restaurant wants to show people how to save energy and so they pulled out the old-fashion hay box cooker.

In this box, covered in hay, food can be simmered and kept warm, saving on gas use. According to Mounir Toub, one of the chefs, the box of hay is great for cooking.

Being very curious orange at 24 oranges, here’s what I learned about the hay box cooker:

Haybox or retained heat cooking is simply cooking a liquid based food like a soup or stew in its own heat. During WWII, cooking oil was rationed for the war effort, and so this method became popular as a way to conserve cooking fuel. They used hay in a box because the air spaces in the hay trapped in heat and allowed the soup or stew to cook in its own heat. Hay, shredded news paper, rice hulls, cotton balls, corn husks, etc., will work as long as it is packed loosely and creats air spaces.

And then of course, there probably is a risk of fire, but the green point is definitely well-made.

(Link and photo: omroepbrabant.nl)

2 Comments »

  1. “And then of course, there probably is a risk of fire,”

    Not really. You don’t put the haybox on the stove or fire. You first heat up the broth in a normal pan, and then, when the water boils, you put the pan into the haybox.

    Comment by Eric — February 19, 2008 @ 12:12 pm

  2. Ah cool. I said probably because the Dutch comments of the article pretty much slagged it off on that point.

    Comment by Orangemaster — February 19, 2008 @ 12:14 pm

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