Sunday, November 2, 2014

THE RAPID Fireless Cooker

THE RAPID Fireless Cooker was given to me recently by a native Adirondacker who knew I'd cherish it forever.

Friends and family often joke - I should have lived in the 1800s. Between my desire to live off the grid, my correspondence via the handwritten word, my nearly 20 year stint without television and my inability to text or be reached by cell phone, some would consider me of the old-school. Well, except that I'm constantly blogging and prefer my river crafts be forgiving and inflatable (rather than wood). 

Anyway, I collect Adirondack relics and this one tops my collection. THE RAPID Fireless Cooker was used by guides of old.
How a Fireless Cooker Works:
"It was a simple concept.  Food was put into a specially designed kettle with a minimum amount of liquid and brought to a boil, and the kettle was then put away in a well insulated container where the heat of the liquid finished cooking the food."

Information above from:

Fireless Cookers in History:
"In some parts of the world, the concept of the fireless cooker has been known about for centuries. During the middle ages Europeans used "hay boxes" and holes in the ground filled with straw. American Indians took a slightly different approach to limiting heat transfer losses by enclosing the heat source (fire-heated stones or clay balls) within the cookware. Some American Indian groups used "cooking baskets" for this purpose; tightly woven, watertight baskets, which could be coated with clay for insulation. Others stone-boiled soups and stews in a hole that they dug in the ground, lined with animal hide.

The fireless cooker became popular in the western world in the years between the 1890s and the 1930s. A Norwegian "self-cooking apparatus" received an award at the 1867 World Exhibition in Paris. It was a simple yet elegant container with four layers of felt for insulation.

Initially, the heat retention cooker was mainly used to make food more portable for use by people on the move such as guides, fishermen, hunters and soldiers. Amsterdam trams (streetcars) had them on board for the driver. However, during the first decades of the twentieth century, the fireless cooker also became a permanent fixture of many American and European households, an appliance often found next to the cooking stove.

The best models were made entirely out of metal lined with mineral wool insulation, and kept the cooking pot and insulating material separated for easy cleaning and durable construction. These devices were also used for cooling".

Information above from:

A fireless cooker with associated cooking pots. Image: Wikipedia Commons
Check out an ancient manual and cookbook based on THE RAPID Fireless Cooker at:

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