Thermal pots are portable appliances that do not depend on a continual supply of gas or electricity. After an initial burst of 10 or so minutes, an inner pot full of uncooked food is slotted into an outer pot. Then, after the lid on both inner and outer pot are firmly shut, the internal heat of the uncooked food will gradually cook itself from within, because the walls of the outer pot are completely vacuum insulated.

One of the many benefits of cooking in this way is that you can eat your meal whenever you are ready because it will keep your food piping hot, not disintegrated, for several hours. You thus save money on fuel, be it electric, propane, gas, or other, and are able to get on with the many other activities and duties you probably need to fulfill.

It can be transported due to its size and weight, and usually has convenient carry handles which means it is great in the car, perhaps taken to a 'potluck' or Thanksgiving. Unlike other appliances, your thermal pot will not degrade the food to mush, but it will retain its shape even after hours. Minerals, nutrients, flavors, and shapes are also retained because no evaporation or outward conduction is taking place. It also generates less grease, smoke, and odor once you eventually open it up and enjoy it. It also never burns the food and is easy to clean!

Best Choice: Tayama Therma TXM-70XL Energy-Saving Thermal Cooker

Best Value: Zoie + Chloe Vacuum Insulated Food Jar & Thermal Crockpot Cooker

Premium Pick: Tiger Vacuum Insulated Non-Electric Thermal Cooker

Your stovetop is also liberated from pots and pans because the best thermal pot can go anywhere in your kitchen, such as on the counter. It can also be perfect for the preparation of steel-cut oats or 9-grain cereal, which can be prepared before you go to bed and perfectly edible and delicious when you open it up for breakfast the next morning.

It also functions as a cooler, so that potato salad, cold pasta, or yogurt can be stored in it and no ice packs or other shenanigans are required. It is even able to preserve the integrity of ice-cream, which makes it the ideal accompaniment to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.

The Best Thermal Pots

1. Tayama Therma TXM-70XL Energy-Saving Thermal Cooker

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The Tayama TXM-70XL Energy-Saving Thermal Cooker is an efficient time-saving appliance. Its ‘heat-retention’ technology is both safe and saves energy. You only need to use your stove for 10 minutes, and then let the internal dynamics to do the rest without an ongoing heat source. Not only is it impossible for you to overcook the food by accident, but you can also preserve the natural flavors and nutrients of the food, without it getting annoying evaporated. The inner pot first needs to be around 80% filled, not less, in order for maximum heat retention to occur (extra air reduces this). For this reason, you should not keep checking it until it is completely done. Although you can leave the food to cook by itself, you should not go beyond the 6-8 hour mark, since after that time the temperature will naturally start to decline. You can, however, reboil the inner pot and your food, if you want to cook it beyond that amount of time.

2. Thermos Brand Thermal Cooker

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The ideal cooking system for baked beans, rice, sauces, soups, stews, and more. Thermos Brand Thermal Cooker has a two-piece structure that permits fantastic responsiveness to your cooking, including highly efficient temperature retention, flavor retention, and easy portability. It’s 1.5 liters, the bottle-shaped design is generous and allows you to walk away from it and get on with other things. Its outer lid screws tightly on to the body to create a perfect vacuum seal. It comes with two recipe books, bilingual (Japanese & English) for your convenience. When you use this appliance you are part of a much older heritage than you might think. The Japanese expertise and Chinese workmanship make this stainless steel container robust and reliable, as you use it over many years to come.

3. Tiger Vacuum Insulated Non-Electric Thermal Cooker

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This made in Japan capacious 8.0L(8.45qts) inner pot can be easily be put on your stove top, brought to the boil then set in the outer container. The vacuum insulation of Tiger Vacuum Insulated Non-Electric Thermal Cooker is powerful yet the outside is cool to the touch, and keeps food piping hot at 163F for 6 hours, saving energy and not burning it. The inner pot uses stainless steel and aluminum to create a layered effect, while the tempered glass lid excellently retains the heat inside. You only need to set it at a low-temperature, and flavors will be wonderfully preserved and brought out. No additional heat source is needed once it has reached its optimum temperature.

4. Sunpentown Thermal Cooker

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Sunpentown Thermal Cooker needs just ten minutes of initial ‘stove time’ and then does the rest itself, thus saving you cooking time, cost, and energy. All you need to do is put the relevant ingredients into the inner pot, cover it, boil for around ten minutes, then remove from the heat source and place it in its outer thermal pot. A convection effect is created in which steam circulates inside and goes on for another thirty minutes, staying hot for up to eight hours. Your dish is effectively cooked in its own juices and internal steam, allowing nutrients to be maintained. Even when comparing this with a pressure cooker, it is 30% more effective.

5. Thermos Vacuum Heat Insulation Cooker

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This vibrant red Thermos Vacuum Heat Insulation Cooker is an excellent way of cooking food at minimal effort. Once the initial heat has been turned off, the internal dynamics of the cooker will do the rest, so that you can enjoy sumptuous, flavorsome food without having to slave over it for hours, personally. Its proportions are 30 x 24 x 17.5cm, (12 x 91/2 x 7 inches) while it weighs in at 2.3 kg (1.1 pounds). It has a resilient aluminum cooking pot lid, while its main cooking pot handle knob is made from stainless steel. Its container body is made from phenol resin while its beautiful, vibrant red color is composed of acrylic resin paint. Meanwhile, its ability to cook enough food for five people makes it ideal for hosting and entertaining family or friends.

6. Thermos Shuttle Chef Vacuum Insulation Cooker

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This Japanese vacuum insulation cooker, the Thermos Shuttle Chef Vacuum Insulation Cooker 4.5L, is clear stainless steel and has a tempered glass lid. It is over twelve inches deep, over ten inches wide, and around 91/2 inches high, so is perfect for cooking a range of delicious dishes, but can easily. be transported somewhere else, for convenience or for a potluck or ‘bring-a-dish’ dinner. Weighing in at 6.8 lb it is not flimsy or lightweight and is able to provide enough food for a mid-sized gathering. It has that Japanese sense of heritage and quality, which you will love.

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7. EDGING COOKWARE Enameled Cast Iron Thermal Cooker

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This EDGING COOKWARE Enameled Cast Iron Thermal Cooker is a heavyweight champion of cooking, boasting excellent conduction of heat, superb heat retention, and an easy to clean non-stick enamel interior. It spreads the internal consistency and is equally adept at marinating and storing food, alongside the usual expectation for it to cook. It goes just as well on glass cooktops as it does on electric or gas stoves. Meanwhile, its two handles are very easy to clean, with no ‘blind side’ which can make some other models harder to clean. Unlike aluminum, there is no fear of metallic ingestion, ceramic being just about the safest and most hygienic substance on the market. It is a serious thermal cooker for serious, food-loving homeowners and even chefs.

8. Empress Thermal Insulated Magic Cooker Pot

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The Empress Magic Cooker is able to create delicious meals with virtually no external, continuous heat applied. It will not burn, dry, or boil your food to oblivion, but will use its internal dynamics to gently cook food after a brief period of initial heating has finished. After your ingredients have been added to the inner pot, you simply need a brief period of stove-top (or other) heating, before transferring everything into the main pot, after which time you cover it all up and leave it to cook. Once it has arrived at its desired temperature it will then keep your food warm for up to eight hours. Not only can it cook food, but it can also serve as a rice cooker, ice bucket & ice cream maker, cooler, warmer, and yogurt maker, so you are effectively getting five appliances for the price of one!

9. Tayama TXM-70CFZ Energy-Saving Thermal Cooker

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The Tayama TXM-70CFZ is a thermal cooker which has great energy-saving attributes and is designed to help busy people who just want the machine to take up the burden of cooking their food. It has highly efficient “heat-retention” technology which is also safe and easy to use. After just ten minutes of initial heating, the thermal cooker will do the rest, never overcooking, always preserving and enhancing the natural flavors and nutrients of the foods in question, with no evaporation detracting from your ingredients. Its inner pot should be filled to about 80% capacity, so that heat can be adequately maintained, and it should not be opened or checked on in order to aid this process of maximum heat. Your cook is fine to be left for eight hours, ie. a working day, so that you can enjoy it when you come home from work. If you want to extend this then you can simply reboil the inner pot again, and then place back into the outer pot so that the heat will be further extended.

10. Zoie + Chloe Vacuum Insulated Food Jar & Thermal Crockpot Cooker

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This highly original and aesthetically pleasing Zoie + Chloe Crockpot Cooker employs a double-wall vacuum insulation system whereby food is kept either cool or warm for up to twelve hours. It comes with some recipes, so you can start to prepare for lunch in the morning, and it will be quietly going about its cooking process unbeknownst to you. 25oz (750 ml) is a generous amount of room, in this more compact size of the design, so that multiple people, adults or children, can be served at one sitting. It is very easy to clean and has a wide mouth which makes filling and extricating food very hassle-free. Its lid also functions as a serving bowl, and there is a telescopic stainless steel spoon included, for your convenience. Even when hot liquids are inside it has a ‘cool touch’ exterior and remains condensation immune from colder contents. Both exterior and interior are made from premium stainless steel, which is safer and more durable than aluminum, and less prone to rust.

11. Tiger Non-Electric Thermal Slow Cooker

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This Tiger Non-Electric Thermal Slow Cooker is extremely hardy and durable, able to be used outdoors or indoors. It ample 4.5L(4.75qts) inner pot is briefly heated via a heat source such as a stove-top, then after reaching boiling-point placed into the outer container. This outer container is made from stainless steel and will thoroughly cook your food without any external heat source being applied, its outer body remaining cool while the insides are extremely hot. In fact, it can maintain the food at 154F for 6 hours, saving you energy and personal preparation time. It cannot overcook or burn your food, benefits from the expertise of Japanese craftsmanship, and its dimensions are 9.6L x 9.1H x 13.1W, weighing 7.3lb.

12. Thermos Carry Thermal Cooking Pot

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The Thermos Carry Thermal Cooking Pot is simple and easy to use and can enable you to take food with you, as well as keep it on your counter. There is a useful handle that makes it easy to transport, while its dimensions of 9 x 9 x 9 inches mean it will easily sit in the car. It can maintain cold food or warm food in that condition for up to six hours, while its retention of both flavor and temperature is second to none. It is adept at cooking rice, soups or stews, as well as many other things, eg. Jambalaya. Its inner pot is made from stainless steel, while its outer container is vacuum insulated, preserving your food in an unburnt and unscorched condition. Even vegetables will retain their nutrients and freshness, due to its vacuum seal. Its 4 3/4 Quart (4.5 Liter) capacity means you can cook for a group of people, while its sturdy, robust appearance creates a confident and no-nonsense approach to great cooking.

Features To Consider With Thermal Pots

Size

The best size is generally the largest size, due to the fact that you have the flexibility to cook for smaller or larger groups of people, as you wish. 4 to 5 liters is more than enough room to prepare a delicious dish for family or friends; however, to achieve the optimum amount of heat retention you'll need to keep it about 80% full, so it's perhaps not going to be quite so effective if you want to cook for just one or two.

Smaller 1 or 2-liter thermal pots are still very useful, especially if you're regularly cooking for jus one or two of you. However, with its insulated thermal technology, you will still get the advantages of thermal cooking, even though its heat mass won't be as longlasting. You can generally rely on retaining a temperature of 160 degrees F for up to four hours, but this, of course, falls short of the eight hours that large models can provide

Number Of Inner Pots

A thermal cooker has both an inner pot and an outer container. The inner lid tends to be made of stainless steel and has a lid, whereas the outer is a thermal container that also has a lid. The difference is that this outer pot is insulated, and so it uses the heat from the inner pot to prolong the cooking process. Unlike a crockpot, no continual outside heat source is needed, for the two pot design means that no heat can get either in or out, but internally the food is being cooked by its own pre-existing heat. Clever stuff!

Insulation Method

The food must first be brought to boiling-point before you may place that very hot inner pot into the outer pot of the thermal cooker. The lids of both pots are then put on, and from then on the remaining heat will do the rest of the cooking job, without any further direct heat being needed from outside the pot. There is no heat which is lost by reflection, while the double-walled vacuum means that no conduction is possible. Even infrared radiation is reflected back into the food, and the result is that the food retains its heat marvelously, even after a number of hours.

thermal pot in use

Ease Of Use

Having a fuller pot will help you to achieve the optimal thermal mass; most pots suggest having them 80% full, at a minimum. Certain foods that take longer to cook, like pinto beans, will require you to have the pot even fuller. Rice, on the other hand, doesn't take that long to cook, so it isn't so crucial to have a fulsome pot. Any dish with meat in, by contrast, requires the pot to be fuller. By the way, never put frozen food or meat into your thermal cooker; this will affect the heat retention; always ensure you have thawed it out first. Some models will come replete with their own recipe books included in your purchase, but if not there are plenty available online. You don't need to be a top chef to use it correctly, and it will soon become one of your favorite kitchen products.

Cooking Features

Unlike with traditional oven cooking or stovetop cooking, your food will not become burnt or overcooked when using your thermal pot; the liquid does not dry up. No external heat source, gas or electric, is required since a camping-stove or even natural fire will do as good a job. You can set it up initially, but it will only need around 10 minutes and will then get on with the job of cooking internally, due to its unique structure. It can also be used as a cooler, keeping foods cool for up to eight hours. It's the perfect accompaniment to potlucks, camping, picnic, etc. because it is neither particularly heavy not large, so easily fits into the passenger seat or passenger seat footwell.

´╗┐Ease Of Cleaning

It is only the outer pot which is going on the heat source, be it gas, electric, or campfire. The outer pot is never heated in this way. Therefore, it will behoove you to pay the most attention to the cleaning of this inner pot. Generally, it's fine for it to go in the dishwasher; most are made from some kind of stainless steel so that should be fine. The outer pot, on the other hand, should never be submerged or put in the dishwasher. Instead, it should be thoroughly wiped down with a wet cloth, both inside and out. When you compare the amount of washing and cleaning that your normal utensils require, the thermal pot is a really hassle-free option.

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Thermal Pot FAQ

Q: What is a thermal cooking pot?

A:

In a nutshell, a thermal cooker is a cooking appliance that cooks food over an extended length of time (like a crockpot), without requiring any continual heat source like gas, electric, or butane (you only need an initial burst of about 10 minutes). Instead, it relies upon vacuum insulation which effectively locks heat in an inner pot and works in tandem with an outer pot to utilize the food's own heat to cook itself from within. This encourages the food's flavors to stay within, stops vegetables and meat from disintegrating, and prevents burning. With a bare minimum of power (just 10 minutes or so), the thermal pot can be left to get on with the process of cooking, over many hours, freeing you up to do other things.

Q: How does a thermal pot work?

A:

The widespread usage of the thermal pot goes back to 1990s Asia, in which the use of two stainless steel pots was widely used. Essentially, the inner pot is heated to the boiling point, then placed in a fully insulated outer pot. Heat is still released from the food but remains trapped within, and so over an extended amount of time, it cooks itself from within. When you buy a thermal pot, it can range in size from 8 to 16 inches in diameter and is usually around 10 inches tall. Due to the hollow empty fully insulated thermal wall, the concept is not dissimilar to that of a Thermos flask; however, because of its larger size, and the fact that you will keep it fairly full, this ensures that the food is slowly cooking for several hours, at which point it will stop cooking and gradually lose heat if left for too long. It's ideal for preparing food for a group of people, transporting food to an event, or setting up and leaving on while you're at work.

Q: How do you use a thermal pot?

A:

You need firstly fill the thermal pot with the relevant ingredients, ie. fill the inner pot and put on a heat source for a certain amount of time; usually 10 or 15 minutes should suffice but it could depend on the precise food being cooked. The lid is put on the inner pot after it is taken off the heat source. This is then placed carefully inside the outer thermal pot, and this further lid is then shut and locked into position. You then just store the whole thermal pot somewhere convenient, like your counter, and leave for the relevant period of time (see thermal pot recipes online for precise cooking time for various dishes). You then simply open up both lids, and voilà - it's ready to be consumed! No power cords are required during the cooking process, which is a real bonus. In times of timings for general foodstuffs, something like beef brisket would require 3.5 hours, chicken stock 2 hours, rice just 30 minutes. The cook will remain in a ready-to-eat condition for up to 8 hours, though, so you don't need to be rushing back to open it all up and can dine at your convenience. If a certain dish takes longer to cook you can simply boil the inner pot again, and start the process all over again.

thermal pot on kitchen table

Q: How does ECO pot work?

A:

ECO pots also cook food without necessitating any extra power. It's pretty similar to how one operates a regular thermal pot; however, it also uses something called thermosteam technology, which is an industrial-grade low conductive insulator is used, so that the cooking process is even longer, ie. the food will stay hot for longer, while this patented Thermoplas does its work in a way which will require even less input from fossil burning fuels. In essence, it does what a thermal pot does but over a longer period of time, thus saving you even more energy.

Q: Can you cook rice in a thermal pot?

A:

In a word, 'Yes'. Regular steamed White Rice needs to be boiled for 2 minutes, then left in your thermal pot for 30 minutes. Add 2 or 3 cups of cold water to 2 cups of uncooked white rice, after thoroughly rinsing the rice. Then, after bringing to the boil let the thermal pot do the rest. You can also combine the rice with soup or stew by placing a small pot of rice inside the inner pot full of uncooked stew, thus killing two birds with one stone.

To cook steamed brown rice you have normally needed to alter the cooking time somewhat, because of the fact that brown rice grains soak up more water and dry more rapidly. However, using the thermal pot all you need do is add just half a cup more water than you would do with white rice. It's as simple as that!

Q: What are the benefits of a thermal pot?

A:

As well as the insights you have read in the introduction above, here is a list of the benefits put in a succinct way, for convenience:

  • The extended cooking time or 'slow cooking' means you will receive a flavorsome, healthy dish with tender meat, but without the expense and waste of electrical or other power being continually employed.
  • It is ideal for camping, because you don't have to rely on electric but can use any heat source, even for a short amount of time, and the thermal pot will do the rest.
  • Carbon dioxide emissions are reduced because of the reduced usage of gas, even though like slow cookers, the thermal pot is working for hours on end.
  • The end product in terms of your food that of good texture, shape, and flavor. Unlike some cooking devices, it won't just turn the whole thing into mush.
  • It is child-friendly and house-safe, in that you don't have to worry about a boiling outer rim, and there is no potentially dangerous stove top gas or electric being employed (once you close both lids).
  • It keeps the temperature hot, ready for you to enjoy, within a given time-frame of (usually) several hours.
  • It allows you to go to work or be out all day, allowing the thermal pot to cook by itself. It is perfect for a busy, time-poor lifestyle.
  • Reduces your utility bills and saves on propane, if camping, so in the long run will pay for itself.
  • It gives off less heat than traditional cooking, so doesn't add to your discomfort, especially in summer months.
  • Doesn't contribute to a room's humidity because both lids effectively seal in any heat.
  • Could be very useful on a boat, where you can leave the thermal pot and enjoy fishing or snorkeling.
  • Ideal for taking to family gatherings or 'potlucks' - it is cool to the touch and often has a convenient carrying handle.
  • Also functions a cooler so is a convenient way of transporting salads, jello, or other things which need to be kept cool.

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Sources

What is a Thermal Cooker and How does it Work? - Finedining Lovers