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Use the box cooker to cook only.
When doing cooking tests with the box cooker you are advised to weigh the ingredients accurately and to make notes. You need a thermometer as well to determine what temperature the cooker reaches. All this has to do with the time the food must be in the cooker and with what quantities the best results are achieved.
Almost every part of the world demands different ways of cooking. This is because of the different types of food, ways of preparing and eating times. But even more important are the intensity of the sun and the altitude people live at. So, to be able to instruct local people, cooking tests are obligatory. When introducing cooking by sunrays in areas where meals are too one-sided, you could try to change this during cooking classes.
Although the cooker can also be used to sterilize water or to sterilize medical instruments, the rule is:
Use as little water as possible
All the water that is not strictly necessary to cook the food (carbohydrates mainly) is superfluous. It takes extra and unnecessary energy to make the water boil. Cooking with the box can be compared to cooking in a pressure-cooker. In both the food is steamed, but in the box cooker the pressure is lower and the cooking takes longer.
To start the circulation of humid air 2 spoonfuls of water are put into the pre-heated cooker (max. 155° C) together with the pans. Consequently a humid, somewhat higher pressure develops.
The potato, for example, has in itself enough sap to be boiled in. With rice and pastas a small perforated pot or a (potato) stewing basket could be used. The food is steamed above the water then.
It is common knowledge that beans cook better in a cooker than in a pan on a fire. This is because the beans become hotter in steam than in water, as steam has a higher temperature than boiling water. For vegetables the adhesive water is usually sufficient.
Do not open the cooker unnecessarily while cooking
Each time the cooker is opened a quarter of the cooking time is lost. That is why all ingredients, flavours and herbs should be put in together.
When heating food for a second time it should be cooked again for at least 15 minutes to avoid bacterial contamination. Therefore this heating process must take longer.
Preparing maize porridge
Maize porridge is a different story. The quantity of water required should be put in the cooker for about 45 minutes. During that time it will get a temperature of about 60° C. This depends on the quantity of water. Then the pan has to be taken from the cooker to add the maize flour. After that the thick mixture has to be in the cooker for another 45 minutes. It is not necessary to stir.
When the water is not heated beforehand, and the maize flour and the water are put in the pan together, the flour will sink to the bottom. You will not get porridge as the flour sinks to the bottom before it is cooked.
The boxcooker type Dierkx in action.
The double boxcooker in the full sun.
Het folding device in action.