How handy are slow cookers, especially coming into Winter? And such great time savers! Add ingredients in the morning, carry on with your day, and come dinner time, your warming, nourishing meal is ready. We've found a product that is used in a similar way to a slow cooker that will save you time, money, electricity and potentially up to a quarter of a tonne of carbon entering the atmosphere per year. Introducing the EasyOven!
EasyOven started over 25 years ago when Australian inventor, Joanne Kennard, designed a heat retention oven that not only kept food hot during transport, but that could continue the cooking process while in transit, saving time and energy.
Who is the EasyOven good for?
- those wishing to save money on electricity and gas bills, or reduce their carbon footprint
- people living with shared or limited kitchen access
- transporting hot meals to gatherings with family and friends, or to those in need
- schools - tuckshops and cooking programs
- camping and hiking
- disaster relief areas
- rural communities
- any situation where energy sources are limited
What is the EasyOven
The EasyOven is not technically a slow cooker, but a cooking device designed to significantly reduce the energy required to cook a meal. It is an all-in-one thermal oven that is used after an initial short cooking time in a heat proof pot. The pot is then removed from the heat source and placed in the EasyOven, which insulates the heated pot and its contents, using the heat energy to continue with the cooking process.
The EasyOven is made from a cotton/polyester fabric that incorporates a specially designed metalised polyester which retains heat for hours. It has been tested in various climates around the world, as well as field tested during the earthquakes of Christchurch, New Zealand and the floods in Brisbane, Australia. Each time it performed beyond expectations.
How to use an EasyOven
Simply start your meal in a pot over a kitchen stovetop, gas burner, paraffin stove or open campfire. Add your vegetables, protein, herbs and spices. Bring it to the boil and leave on the the heat source as per the minutes specified in the table below. Then place the entire pot into the EasyOven to finish the cooking process without the additional energy.
Rice, for example, takes 20 minutes to cook on a stovetop. To cut the energy down by 90%, bring your rice to the boil over the stove top, cook for 2 minutes, then add the entire pot to the EasyOven for 1 hour.
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How much energy will you saveIn the scenario where you are cooking 500g of rice (by bringing it to the boil in a metal pot over a heat source, turning off the heat source, and placing the pot in the EasyOven where the cooking process is completed), UniQuest found the following energy savings.
- With an electric cooktop, there are savings of 122.3 kg CO2e per oven per year and electricity use is reduced by 90%
- With a single natural gas burner, there are savings of 18.7 kg CO2e per oven per year and gas use is reduced by 90%
- With a kerosene cooker, there are savings of 255.1 kg CO2 e per oven per year and kerosene use is reduced by 41 %.
- With an open wood fire, there are savings of 37.7 kg CO2e per oven per year and wood use can be reduced by 80%.
- With an open charcoal fire, there are savings of 168 kg CO2e per oven per year and coal briquette use can by reduced by 80%.
How much money will you save
How much money you save will depend on where you live, what heat source you use, and the type of food you're cooking.
One example: If we consider an electricity price of 26c per kWh, using a regular slow cooker 3 times a week for 8 hours each time will cost you around $1.26 per week or $65.52 per year. If you replace that slow cooker with an EasyOven it will cut that cost by up to 90%, bringing that figure down to $6.56!
What to cook in it
Use the EasyOven to cook meals you would normally stew or cook slowly over the stove or in the oven, or as you would a regular slow cooker. You can make vegetable and meat-based stews, curries, soups, even lasagne! Here's a great recipe for lentil and quinoa chilli from Aggies Kitchen to try in your EasyOven.
Lentil & Quinoa Chilli
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 2 capsicums, chopped
- 1 420g can diced tomatoes
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 1 can water (use the can of diced tomatoes to grab all the leftover flavour)
- 1 cup dried lentils
- 1 420g can pinto beans
- 2 tablespoons chilli powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Place all ingredients into a 5 litre pot. Place the pot on your stove and turn heat to medium. Bring to boil and boil for no more than 5 minutes.
- Turn heat off. Remove pot from stove. Add your pot to the EasyOven and zip it up. Leave it in the EasyOven for 1 hour.