Report one year down the track:
After a while I gave up experimenting with thermos cooking
. Failures included rice, pasta, and lentils. These were either undercooked or overcooked or the texture not right. Eggs were hit and miss too.
I have also given up using it to cook foods that need to be partially cooked before going into the thermos. If I am putting on a pot to do this, it is easier to just insulate the pot to allow cooking
to finish, without taking the food
out and putting it in a thermos. I simply wrap my pressure cooker (used as a pot often as well) in a couple of blankets. Better insulation
can be achieved by using a Wonderbag (see NornaBiron's posts #15 & 17) or a home made version (see Sparrowhawk1's post #32). Sometimes bringing the pot to pressure and simply leaving it to sit unopened for an hour or two is enough to cook most things. No need for expensive thermal cookers
Having said that, the thermos is absolutely brilliant for cooking oat porridge (no difficult to clean pot to wash up either), quinoa and grains like barley and hard wheat. It beats any other method hands down.
All of these have one simple recipe:
1 cup rolled oats (not the 'quick' ones)/quinoa/grains (I rinse the quinoa and grains first)
2 cups boiling water
(no need to measure, I just fill a 710 ml thermos almost full)
Oats only need about 45 minutes. Before serving I add about half a cup or a bit more of milk and stir briskly to give a smoother, creamy texture. Then I serve this with dried and fresh fruit and nuts and sugar or honey. Half a teaspoon of cinnamon added with the boiling water
is a good addition.
For the quinoa and grains I leave it an hour or two, drain the excess water and spread on a paper towel lined tray to dry out the excess moisture. These are then used in a host of recipes
(it can be as simple as adding a tin of tuna and corn and some sweet chilli sauce for a very quick, nutrituous hot meal). No harm leaving any of these several hours in the thermos.
Dead easy, fuss and mess free. Simple to do while sailing as only the kettle needs to be boiled.
The thermos has also been handy for keeping soup or casseroles hot during day passages. It is really comforting in winter to wrap your hands around a hot mug of something more substantial than coffee or tea.
So after a year of use, I am giving the wide mouthed thermos a five star rating as a useful galley item
. Many thanks Blue Crab for introducing me to this method of cooking and for the laughs on this thread and to everyone for their contributions