How can I make a haybox cooker that reduces smoke

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To save even more fuel, use a haybox cooker to keep food warm or to simmer it after it has come to a boil on your stove. This cooker can cut fuel use by more than half when cooking beans, meat, rice, or grains. Rice and grains will use ⅓ less water, because not as much water will evaporate.

Make a haybox by lining a cardboard box with 4 inches of hay (or use straw, sawdust, old clothing, feathers, chaff, cotton, wool, styrofoam, or corrugated cardboard). Leave space inside the box for your cooking pot and for more insulation on top of the pot. The lid of the box should fit tightly.

When using the haybox cooker, remember:

  • food cooked in the haybox takes 1½ to 3 times longer to cook than over a fire.
  • beans and meat should be simmered on your stove for 15 to 30 minutes before going into the haybox. The foods may need to be reheated after 2 to 4 hours.
  • keep the pot closed and boil meat dishes again before eating. This prevents bacteria from infecting your food.

Keep the hay cooker away from an open flame.

  • Burns, A. A., Niemann, S., Lovich, R., Maxwell, J., & Shapiro, K. (2014). Where women have no doctor: A health guide for women. Hesperian Foundation.
  • Audiopedia ID: en030107