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Forum > Miscellaneous > Using a heat pack in a casserole cozy.. ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Using a heat pack in a casserole cozy..
Good idea or Not so Much??
Canadian Jane
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Canadian Jane
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Alberta CANADA
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Date: 10/19/12 0:59 AM

I got one casserole tote done - a prototype. I used 1 layer of insulbrite batting - which BTW - shrinks about 1/2 inch when I press it!! (Not sure what the problem is there... perhaps another thread... but if you know what I am doing wrong please advise. Thank goodness I cut my peices a bit bigger, then quilt, then cut to size.)

Anyway, I checked to see how long my tote would keep things hot. I filled my casserole dish with boiling water and put it in my tote. It was 186 degrees (we are above sea level). One hour later, it was 136 degrees.

I am thinking that I would like my tote to retain heat a bit better but I would prefer to not add the extra bulk that another layer of batting will bring.

I thought of those heat packs. I was wondering if I sewed some pockets inside my tote and inserted a few of those heat packs if that would do the trick and keep the food warmer for longer.

Has anybody done this or something similar? Good idea?? Or struggle through with the extra layer of batting is the better way to go? (Maybe the heat packs can continue to cook/burn the food?)

Comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

petro
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Date: 10/19/12 1:58 AM

I don't know if this will give any help or not, but here is the link to the blog post I made about making a wonderbag
http://patternpandemonium.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/wonderbag-2/

which is a fabric 'haybox'. I made two of these, one small, one large. The casserole goes into it after having been brought to boiling - or depending on ingredients a little longer on the stove - and a few hours later is cooked and still hot, not boiling but definitely hot enough to eat. I have left casseroles for four hours, but not longer, as yet, so am not sure how long it would stay hot for. Its important to insulate under the casserole as well as the sides and top. I used polystyrene beads as insulation.

Doris W. in TN
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Doris W. in TN  Friend of PR
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In reply to Canadian Jane <<


Date: 10/19/12 8:55 AM

If you are referring to the gel-filled packs that can be frozen, for keeping foods chilled, as well as microwaved for keeping foods warm, it should work fine. As long as they are not sewn in permanently. I use the Pyrex Portables when carrying heated food to covered dish events.(see photo below of current 2012 model)


Canadian Jane
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Canadian Jane
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Alberta CANADA
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In reply to petro <<


Date: 10/19/12 10:08 AM

Simply - WOW -

I read a bit about hayboxes but not nice fabric ones like yours. What a marvelous idea!

I don't want mine to cook per say, just keep the food hotter for longer. I will have to check and see where I can get polystyrene beads here and do some experimenting.

Thanks!

DolphinDancer30

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In reply to petro <<


Date: 10/19/12 10:19 AM

Corrie ten Boom (The Hiding Place) used a similar method. She put the boiling food in glass jars, wrapped them in newspapers, and closed them up in an old suitcase. She saved fuel by boiling the evening's meal while cooking breakfast.

Canadian Jane
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Canadian Jane
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Alberta CANADA
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In reply to Doris W. in TN <<


Date: 10/19/12 10:24 AM

Yes - those gelpacks are what I mean. No, I would NOT sew them in. Just tuck them into the side pockets I would sew. Maybe I don't even need pockets. (Got me thinking that my idea might be handy in the summer as well to carry salads and other dishes needed to be kept cool as well.)

I have not seen those Pyrex portables here at all. But then I haven't really looked! They look great. But sometimes have to cook enough for 25 people or more (pot luck style)so I need something that can be kept warm in a fairly big dish. I will have to keep my eye out though as those Pyrex dishes might be very handy indeed!

Crock pots work pretty good for most things but sometimes all I want to do is keep a big bowl of steamed veggies nice and warm. (We usually come, socialize for an hour or two, then eat.) My crockpots are too big for that quantitiy. I really do not want a "crock pot" collection either so I don't want to buy a smaller one that might work.

Thanks!!

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