Letter: Sarasota Jacks Thermal Cooker

This is a review of the most amazing product I have purchased. It is called the Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker. It is truly amazing. I wanted another form of cooking with very little energy usage. I have in my provisions a solar oven that is fantastic in the summer. I also have butane cook stoves and I have ways to cook by fire and a wonder oven, but I needed a winter time way to cook.

I found this product by chance. It comes in three sizes with many different cook pots and accessories.The one I chose was the medium. The inner pot, which comes with it, holds about a gallon measurement, and I chose to buy a smaller pot, which holds over a quart of liquid, as well as a trivet. My investment was a bit over a hundred dollars. When it arrived, I set it up on my counter and found it took very little room and went right under my cabinet.

My first cooking session was Bear Creek Potato Soup. I followed directions on the package and added the required amount of water, which was eight cups. This was added to the large pot. I put this on my stove and brought the pot of water and soup mix to a rolling boil which took about eight minutes. Then I took it off the stove and put on the top. I walked it over to the thermal cooker, opened the lid, inserted the pot, and then closed it. After three hours I opened my pot and raised the lid. I found thick soup base and tender dehydrated potatoes; it was very hot.

The next meal was cornbread that I mixed from scratch. I sprayed the smaller pot with Pam and added cornbread batter. Then I put the lid on. Meanwhile I brought a pot of water to boil in the larger pot. I put the large pot inside the thermal cooker, put the smaller pot with lid on top of water, and closed cover. After a few hours, I opened it and found baked cornbread– not brown cornbread, like from an oven but firm to the touch. It tasted just like I had done it in my oven.

My most impressive thing to cook in it was rice. As a southerner, rice is a staple. I use only Zatarain’s rice. On my stove or rice cooker, it comes out fine except you have to fluff it up. I put my large pot of water on to boil, while the small pot holds the water and rice. (It takes more water, like four cups of water to 1 1/2 cups of rice.) Then I put the large pot in, then the smaller pot with lid on top, and then closed it all up. After a couple of hours I opened it, and my rice grains did not need to be fluffed. All I had to do was shake the pot, and it was fluffed. The rice grain size was doubled from the dried stage.

I truly love this idea and wanted to pass this on. It uses a fraction of fuel, which saves money and fuel, which was my goal. – P.N.

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