What IS a Wonder Oven? Is it an oven, or a slow-cooker, or a cooler?
It is actually all three! To work as an oven, or a slow-cooker, all you have to do is boil the food on your stove top for 10-15 minutes. Place the pot inside the Wonder Oven and it will finish cooking for you. It’s so much better than the electric kind of cooker because you can carry this one with you. Imagine the benefits to having a home-cooked meal when you’ve spent the day at soccer games, or even after a day of traveling? I didn’t even mention the advantages of using less fuel.
Because of the construction of the bag, though, it can also be used as a cooler. I use mine to carry frozen, or refrigerated food home from the grocery store. I live about 30 minutes from the closest grocery store, so that is important, and it also means that I don’t have to rush home. I have plenty of time to make extra stops if necessary.
Comparing Two Wonder Ovens: “Bulked up” vs. “Floppy”
You’ll see two styles of Wonder Ovens out on the market. Some that look like this one shown below. It kinda looks like a snowman, don’t you think?
And those that look like this. Makes you want to snuggle up with it, doesn’t it?
They both do the job. However, two or three inches of compressed beads are really all that are necessary to adequately retain a temperature. There’s no functional advantage to having a “bulked up” Wonder Oven, though some people prefer that it can stand up by itself. Also, having more beads it may make the person using it feel more confident that it can do a job if they haven’t tested it yet.
Why “Floppy” is Fantastic:
By knowing there isn’t an advantage to having more of the beads in a set of pillows, there are two reasons we feel fewer beads are actually better:
1. Using them within a holding container (like a box or a plastic tub) keeps them protected from the elements, if using outside.
2. Less bulk to store and move around.
3. Pillows are more adaptable, each on their own when there are fewer beads. You can even use them independently (the bottom or the top on its own) to retain the heat of a small item, wrapped up by the pillow.
In the picture below, you can see that safety pins were used to hold this “bottom” together while keeping cold foods cold.
4. We’ve found pots of any size are nested more easily using fewer beads.
Sometimes using less really is MORE!
Is Bigger Better? Tiny (3 mm) beads Vs Larger (5 mm) beads
Another thing you’ll often see in wonder ovens is a difference in the size of beads used. Tested against one another, the smaller beads out-perform larger beads. This is easily explained when you consider air space and its effect on heat retention. Larger beads, compressed against themselves, create more air space between themselves than smaller beads do. The smaller beads fit more tightly together as they’re compressed, allowing more of the temperature to be retained.
“After 3 hours of comparing different size beads and regrind fill, the wonder box with the smaller beads was 7 degrees warmer than its counterpart with larger beads.” Here are the results on a time/temperature graph. Courtesy Thermal Cooker.
What do I do with it?
Okay. Now that we’ve determined that the “floppy” Wonder Oven is superior to the bulked-up version, you’re probably curious about what you can do with your Wonder Oven.
Once you start using it, you’ll find that you can adapt many of your standard recipes. Just remember: You have to boil the pot (or water) for 10-15 minutes before you put it into the wonder oven so it will retain enough heat to continue to cook.
Megan Smith is a wonderful resource for recipes and has lots of directions and photos. You’ll feel like you’re right there in the kitchen with her. Visit her at http://myfoodstoragecookbook.com/category/wonder-oven-cooking/
Here’s my recipe for Wonder Oven Ham & Beans, but don’t think all you can cook are soups and one-pan foods. Megan has directions on how to bake bread and cook chicken by surrounding the pots with boiling water.
Here’s the deal:
When you purchase from this site, you’ll receive a quality product because we’ve taken all this research into consideration.
1. 100% Cotton. Most wonder ovens out there are made with 100% cotton, but some are not. If there is enough polyester in the fabric, it could melt. That’s why 100% cotton is the best. I am not able to offer a variety of colors or patterns because I shop for fabric that allows me to keep the price as low as possible for you. If, however, you are interested in a specific “theme,” just contact me. I’ve been thinking that there are some tailgaters out there who might like one made with official team logo fabric. (Imagine putting that pot of chili in the back of your car and pulling it out, ready to eat, after the game!)
2. Virgin 3 mm Beads. We use the smallest beads we can find, and you can be sure they are “virgin” beads. We do NOT use the recycled beads because we want those with the best shape to conduct the heat/cold to the best of their ability.
3. Double Stitched. Every My Wonder Oven sold through this site is double stitched. That may not sound very important, but if you’ve ever had to clean up tiny styrofoam beads that came out of a ripped bean bag, you know they’re annoying. It takes extra time, but we want to make sure your oven is the sturdiest it can be. I don’t think any other site offers the double stitching.
4. Best Price. My Wonder Oven sells for $62.50 and that includes shipping to the 48 US contiguous states. Your order will ship UPS Ground.
5. We Make it For You! All you have to do is order and have it shipped directly to your home. There are sites out there that give you the pattern for making your own, but unless you’re in a class where someone is giving you instructions on how to put them together, it’s pretty confusing.
6. Comes from a smoke-free and pet-free home. I have allergies and this would be important to me. Maybe it is to you, too.
If you’re looking for a way to prepare nutritious meals without having to have a constant source of energy, this is the answer at the most affordable price. Just 10-15 minutes of boiling on the stove and once you put your pot into My Wonder Oven, you can forget about it. Go about your day and spend time on something more fun than watching over your stove.
Your card will be charged $62.50 for the price of the oven. This INCLUDES shipping.
In the State of Texas, you will also be charged 8.25% sales tax. I don’t have any control over that one!