Thermal Cookers are ideal for RVs

After 2 extensive trips (15 months and 7 months) and a few smaller trips, I decided that I really missed having handmade soups and casseroles. Now I know I can cook these on a hotplate or even on a camp fire, but we came to a few conclusions about ourselves.

  1. We do not want to collect and burn a lot of wood for quite a few hours during the day, partially because we don't want to start a fire early in the day and have to stick around to keep it stoked and supplied with fresh timber.
  2. We would be travelling rather than stopping early enough to get the meal going.
  3. It uses quite a fair amount of fuel if we were to use gas or butane energy when we are free camping which is most of the time.
  4. So that left it to when we were having a "quiet" day in a caravan park, which was not very often. If we were in a caravan park, we were usually in town for a purpose, whether it be to get some supplies, visit a medical professional or whatever. Any 'spare' time we would much rather be out sight seeing and no way was I prepared to leave something on in the caravan even if we had a slow cooker with us which we don't.

Then I started to hear about thermal cookers.

What is a thermal cooker?

Thermal cooking is a fuel efficient way of  cooking by steam inside insulated chamber. Thermal cooking has been around for hundreds of years and is still used today in some tribal communities. I can think of two, the Maoris and the Hawaiians with the pit cooking.

Hangi Maori style cooking
Imu Primitive Cooking
Today we have a  system whereby we simply bring the food to boiling temperature for anywhere from 3 to 15 minutes depending on the ingredients and then turning off the heat and quickly placing the pot in inside a insulated chamber pot keeping it warm for a further 3-8 hours! Think of it like a giant thermos! With this method, the food being cooked in its own moisture & steam, the nutrients within are fully preserved and less fuel is being consummed. On average, thermal cooking is 30% more energy efficient compared to its alternatives.

What can you cook in it?

I have much to learn but it is ideal for slow cooking meals like soups, corned beef and casseroles. The recipe books includes rice dishes, such as risotto, pasta dishes such as bolognaise, lentils and beans dishes such as chilli con carne, quiches and frittata, corned beef, pot roast, meatloaf, puddings and custards. Gosh the recipe book even includes cakes and breads! I just have to let you know how I go with various recipes.

What brands of thermal cooker should I look for?

Two main brands were recommended, the EcoPot and the DreamPot. There are cheaper versions but my research via real people on  various RV forums and the internet, told me that they were inferior mainly due to thinner bases that burn the food easily and poorer insulation of the main chamber! Aldi's have released a contender. It is early days to tell, but they generally come out with some decent quality stuff. Let me know if you have one and what you think of it in the comments below!

The better brands weren't cheap in my books, starting at around the $180 mark. But human nature dictates that people will buy things and then later figure that it doesn't suit them after all. Now be honest, how many tools and gadgets have you tucked away in the kitchen or garage that you thought you would use more, but it just collects dust? That's why places such as Ebay and Gumtree thrive, selling our excesses. So I kept my eye out in both these places after asking on some RV forums if anyone had one they wanted to sell. I found a nearly new one for $120 and my daughter lived close enough to pick it up for me. Yay!

So the first thing on my cooking agenda is for some good nourishing Chicken Soup since I have a bit of a cold.


  1. I have a dream pot and we love it we cook a two course meal great to serve up golden syrup dumplings after a lovely chicken casserole or something else they are amazing well worth every cent

    1. I haven't actually cooked a dessert in the DreamPot yet. Would you like to share your recipe with me.

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