WONDER BOX COOKER, A MUST HAVE!!

What is a Wonder Box? A Wonder Box is a heat retention cooker. The major benefit of the Wonder Box is to reduce the amount fuel you need to cook meals.  A source of information I read, stated that you can save up to 80% of your needed fuel by using a Wonder Box, because the heat used for simmering is eliminated.  What kind of meals can you cook in the Wonder Box? Any meals that you can cook in a Crock Pot. You have to allow a little more time.

A Wonder Box is two cushions placed in a 20 gallon container with a lid. There is a top and a bottom cushion, filled with bean bag filler. You can use also shredded foam, shipping popcorn or wood chips. With wood chips you will have to empty the cushion before washing. (I ordered bean bag filler on-line from Wal Mart), (and I also bought a container at Target for $8.00 on sale) The top cushion takes 7 gallons of beads and the bottom takes 12 gallons, according to directions. (I filled mine with a less and it works well.)

I used a piece of flannel to make mine. It had frogs on it and I love frogs. (Good eating too). They recommend a soft cotton or broadcloth material. Cotton works best as it will not melt when touching the hot surface of the pot. (You can use a piece of foil on the bottom also, between material and hot pot.)

What is  great about the Wonder Box, it can also be used to keep things warm, I’ve tried it when taking a cooked meal to my mother in laws and I needed pot holders to take the dishes out.

Are you interested in a Wonder Box, stayed tuned for more information?   Patterns will be posted in the near future as wells as recipes.

Preparedness Mom

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21 Responses to WONDER BOX COOKER, A MUST HAVE!!

  1. pat says:

    I really like the idea of the Wonder Cooker. It would be great for the summer months. I discovered your blog today and could stay up all night reading. There is so much great practical information. Thank you!

  2. Nelson Mei says:

    I want to buy a wonder box in South africa. Can you please tell me where to find one.

  3. Mpho Gaborone says:

    I am based in Botswana (Gaborone) is there a place where i can get it from even in RSA.

    • Yvonne says:

      It seems that most people make their own Wonderboxes these days. But you can buy a WonderBAG – just google “wonderbag south africa”.

  4. admin says:

    Most of us make our own Wonder Boxes. There is a pattern for one in an earlier post, do a search under Wonder Box and you will find it. If you can’t find the Polystyrene Beads, you can use wood chips. The only disadvantage of wood chips is you can’t wash them as easily. You have to take the cover off the wood chips to wash it.

    Howard

  5. Jenni says:

    I have been using a wonderbox for almost two years. My favorite thing to use it for is rice, or chicken and rice, but it’s great for many things. I use it to keep sidedishes hot until the rest of a meal is ready, to transport hot (or FROZEN) foods, to simmer poultry or meat, etc. And yes, in the summertime it is a lifesaver. I even have a propane stove outside to get the food boiling so I don’t have to turn on any heat in the house. I didn’t use a pattern. I just made six simple square cushions , filled them each 1/3 full of polystyrene beads, then sewed the edges together to form a box, with the top of the box left unconnected from the rest. Make your squares of fabric about 4 inches taller and 4 inches wider than the height and width of the pot you plan to use because with the seams and the filling out from the beads, they’ll end up smaller. ONLY USE 100% COTTON FABRICS Do not fill cushions more than 1/3 full. Always fill your pot all the way full with no more than an inch or two of airspace to cool the food, and always boil hard for five minutes and add tightly fitting lid before removing from heat and nesting into wonder box. While food is boiling, fluff up and open wonderbox so it’s ready. I always lay a towel in the cushions before the pot. That way the cushions are protected from spills, and I can use the ends of the towel as pot holders to lift out the pot when it’s time to eat.

  6. Abongiwe Mvulana says:

    I loved the wonder box in the 80s when we cooked samp in ,it saved 4hours of fuel.

    I live in East London and would like to make myself one, but where would i get the polystrene balls from .

    • Prepardness Mom says:

      If you don’t have a walmart in your area, I ordered thru them 19.00 for a large bag.
      on line. You can use wood chips or buy a child bean bag and use the beads in that. Remember with wood chips if you need to wash the bags you have to empty them out. As one of our readers suggested, use a towel under the pan and use as a pot holder to remove from box. Please let me know if you find any. Thanks for writing.

  7. Kiara says:

    hi. the company that i work for is based in kzn, south africa and we manufacture and supply polystyrene granules, that can be used in thermal cooking and wonder boxes.
    you may reply if you know of anyone interested in our product. thank you

    • Elizabeth Stevens says:

      We would like purchase polystyrene granules,pleas e advise how to go about it.
      Thank you
      Elizabeth ste v ens

      • Prepardness Mom says:

        I purchased my pellets from Walmart. I ordered them on line and picked them up at the store. Saved shipping cost. On line go to Walmart, then search bean bag filler. They are 3.5 cubic feet for 15.00. It fills one and a half wonder ovens. I stretched mine to 2 since I wanted the pot to fit snug inside. To much filler doesn’t let you do that. Fill the bag and try the pot and see how good it fits. You can then judge your filling. good luck

  8. Kemal says:

    I have been using a wonderbox for alsomt two years. My favorite thing to use it for is rice, or chicken and rice, but it’s great for many things. I use it to keep sidedishes hot until the rest of a meal is ready, to transport hot (or FROZEN) foods, to simmer poultry or meat, etc. And yes, in the summertime it is a lifesaver. I even have a propane stove outside to get the food boiling so I don’t have to turn on any heat in the house. I didn’t use a pattern. I just made six simple square cushions , filled them each 1/3 full of polystyrene beads, then sewed the edges together to form a box, with the top of the box left unconnected from the rest. Make your squares of fabric about 4 inches taller and 4 inches wider than the height and width of the pot you plan to use because with the seams and the filling out from the beads, they’ll end up smaller. ONLY USE 100% COTTON FABRICS Do not fill cushions more than 1/3 full. Always fill your pot all the way full with no more than an inch or two of airspace to cool the food, and always boil hard for five minutes and add tightly fitting lid before removing from heat and nesting into wonder box. While food is boiling, fluff up and open wonderbox so it’s ready. I always lay a towel in the cushions before the pot. That way the cushions are protected from spills, and I can use the ends of the towel as pot holders to lift out the pot when it’s time to eat.

  9. Brittany Andrus says:

    I am loving the wonder oven!!! But I can’t figure out how to make brownies. Do you have any insights? I’ve tried a few times but to no avail.
    Also, I hope it’s okay to post this here but since I’m loving the wonder oven so much, I’m open to making them and selling them for people that don’t want to make the pattern and sew it themselves. I can be contacted at brittle91@gmail.com.
    Thank you!

  10. isabel says:

    I am teaching Hand & Needle Craft Skills at Lovedale Public FET College, Alice Campus in the Eastern Cape. Our students are making these Hot / Wonder /Magic Boxes as part of our syllabus.

    The wonder / magic of these boxes are the fact that you use your stove only for 5 minutes to cook food that will usually need electricity for 40 minutes to 3 hours because you apply the principle of insulation. They are also useful to keep frozen food / drinks cold for hours!

    We sell them for R150 per box. Contact us at igunter@telkomsa.net

  11. Patricia Marsh says:

    The Wonder boxes were first made in Cape Town at Compassion, where I volunteered, and we used the original Anna Pearce design. Compassion has closed their doors but I still make them from home and they cost R75 each.

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