In a SHTF scenario, some of the things one wants to conserve is water & fuel. A couple of decades ago I was given the "As Seen on TV Pasta cooker'. This was a see through plastic thermos that one poured boiling water into, then add pasta, and 10-15 minutes later, voila, cooked pasta.
Looking at this new wonder a light bulb idea sparked in my head" what if I used a much more insulated Thermos and tried cooking in it? What could I make?
Sure enough, over the years, now and then a YouTube video popped up with this same idea of mine. Most were Novice home Chefs and DIY project streamers. Almost all neglected to test the temperature of the food after cooking to see if it was safe to eat and not in the Food Danger zone 40°F-135°F. In fact, just last night I saw a video of someone that did use a meat thermometer for a pork soup he cooked using the Thermos method, coming out at just under 143 degrees F ( 2+ degrees lower then the suggested 145°F for Pork.
So, how does one cook in a Thermos method safely?
Step one: Finding the right type of thermos. This turned out to be a trial-and-error procedure. Fact is the thermos used was the key to success. Thermoses' have a rating how long food will remain hot in their food containers. The longer the duration equates to a lower loss of temperature per hour. A four hour rating one could lose up to 15° F -20° F per hour if not more. So after 6 hours any meat or seafood cooked in this thermos would no longer be safe to eat.
In the end, out of all the Brand name Insulated Food Containers I tested, only Stanley 1913 came out ahead. Testing it, I noticed that even after 24 hour period, I still had the ability to have a lukewarm cup of Joe. I knew right then and there that this was the Brand of choice for this experiment.
Now you have the Thermos, what is the next thing you need to do?
Since there is no fuel source being used to maintain the temperature within the thermos, as a Sous Vide accomplishes, the next thing you need to do is calculate the temperature loss of your thermos. The reason why this is important is because when you are preparing your meal on the stovetop to bring it to a boil so that you can pour it into the Food Jar, your Beginning temperature reading is going to be ~212-215° F. Knowing the rate of heat loss allows you to multiply that amount to find out the temperature your food will be for each hour of cooking.
Last thing to do.
Now that you know the amount of degree in temperature lost per hour, you need to now know what the required cooking temperature the protein needs to reach to be "Fully Cooked" and killing all bacteria. Now some foods one ma be able to slow cook for the full duration of 6 hours, while others like chicken which requires the highest internal meat temperature for proteins, you will have only 4-5 hours of cooking in this method prior to the internal temperature reaching 185°F.
Now that is just slow cooking a meal. Thermos cooking can also be used for pasta, rice, couscous, quinoa, and other grains and legumes. Pasta for example can be al Dante in 10 minutes, or softer at 15 minutes. Quinoa on the other hand can take between 30 minutes to 45 minutes to cook.