By March 28, 2012 Read More →

10 Reasons to Have a Wonder Oven

In the depression when times called for conserving and stretching a budget, people came up with ways to save on cooking fuel costs.  By using an insulated hay box they were able to cut down on the cost of cooking and baking foods.  Food was brought up to a boil or to a certain temperature and then placed into the hay box.  The hay box was usually a wooden box and had lots of hay stuffed on all sides of the enclosed pan that maintained the temperature.   This process of cooking worked to allow the food to retain the heat by using insulation.

Today there is even a better option to the hay box.  The Wonder Oven uses two insulated cushions inside a plastic tub.  The cushions are filled with polystyrene beads that are great at maintaining a constant temperature.  This is how you can keep things hot or keep things cold.

Here are 10 quick reasons to have a Wonder Oven!

  1. Become self-sufficient in the event of an emergency
  2. Save and conserve on fuel
  3. Never burn your food
  4. Easy and efficient
  5. You can bake homemade bread
  6. Keep Ice Cream frozen on a hot summer day
  7. Make a gallon of yogurt overnight
  8. Cook oatmeal or hot cereal overnight for a hot breakfast in the morning
  9. Keep your kitchen cool in the hot summer months
  10. Spend only 5 – 20 minutes heating up the food prior to placement in the Wonder Oven

A Wonder Oven works as long as the cushion is not removed until the cooking time is completed, or valuable heat will be lost.  It is best to use an appropriate sized cooking utensil to the amount of food.  Another words, you do not want to cook a little food in a large pot.  Large gaps of air space in your pan could cause food to not cook evenly.

When cooking anything like a roast or a whole chicken, make sure that there is liquid covering the meat and everything is brought to a boil.  Both the liquid and the meat should reach the same temperature. Meat must be covered with liquid! The cooking time is 5-6 hours, or all day. It does not matter as the meat will never burn or dry out!

Examples of Cooking Times using the Wonder Oven:

  • Whole Chicken – boiling time 20 minutes and Wonder Oven time 5-6 hours
  • Steamed Bread – steaming time 10 minutes and Wonder Oven time 2 hours
  • Pinto Beans – boiling time 15-20 minutes and Wonder Oven time 5 hours
  • Oatmeal – boiling time 10 minutes and Wonder Oven time 1 hour or overnight

For more recipes and information about Wonder Ovens, please visit .



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13 Comments on "10 Reasons to Have a Wonder Oven"

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  1. Kris Watson says:

    I am eager to testify to the efficiency of the haybox concept! We couldn’t have done Thanksgiving without it, and it is looking great for Easter as well!

  2. Cindy says:

    Sounds like you have some experience Kris! I love that I do not have to worry about burning my food once it is put into the wonder oven. Let us know how your Easter meal turns out.

  3. Solardoggy says:

    Nice article; great concept. Folks on solar who don’t have enough battery use the same concept with refrigeration: cool it during the day with the solar power and let it “coast” all through the night.

  4. Lisa K says:

    I love this concept! Where can you get the polystyrene beads to make one of these?

  5. Shirley Guice says:

    This is an interesting article. I wonder if I could use this oven all year round. It is always good to have an emergency oven around. Good article!

    • Shirley, yes, you can use the Wonder Oven any time of the year. Think of the Wonder Oven as a non-electric crock pot that does not need to be watched. :) You will need another type of fuel (stove, oven, fire, Volcano Stove, camp stove..etc) source to heat up the food before placing it into the Wonder Oven. Then the food will continue to cook. Thank you for posting.

  6. This is a great idea and could be precisely what is needed in an extended disaster scenario.

    • Yes, it could become very helpful in that type of scenario. One of my other favorite alternative cooking methods is the Kelly Kettle. If you have not seen it, look it up.It boils water to a rolling boil in 3-4 minutes. I love mine!

  7. sharford says:

    I have a cheap foam cooler that I use for the same purpose. Instead of the blanket, I line the bottom and sides with newspaper; wrap my food in foil and place in the newspaper nest. Cover with more newspaper, put on the lid and voila. I place my Thanksgiving turkey inside to let it rest and/or transport. It has stayed in the box for up to five hours and remains as room as it was when removed from the oven. The resting period creates the moistest turkey we have ever eaten.

    • That is another great example! Thank you for sharing. To me a Wonder Oven (or the different variations) is kind of like a crock pot that does not get plugged in. :)

  8. sharford says:

    Opps. Should say as “warm” as it was when removed from the oven.

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