Posts filed under ‘Hay Box cooking’

Cash Saving Tips No.1

Reading Time: 3 mins

Welcome to the first in my series of ways to save yourself a bit of cash.

One of my more recent ways I’ve come across to save a bit of cash is to cook using the ‘Hay Box’ method.  My Mum says that during the war her family cooked alot in this way.  It’s ideal for cooking meals like casseroles, stews and well anything in a sauce basically.

All you need:-

  1. a large cardboard box, say about 3′ x 3′ x 3′ (1m x 1m x 1m);
  2. a large old blanket or sleeping bag;
  3. a cooking pot or saucepan that you’d cook a casserole or mince dish in.

Not too hard so far, eh?!

If you haven’t got a cardboard box that big you could ask your local supermarket for one or use something similar in size like a large clothes basket.

Your blanket or sleeping bag ideally needs to be one that you don’t mind the odd drip of food on.

To prepare the meat and sauce of a bolognaise:-

  1. First of all prepare and cook your meal in the normal way but 6 hours before you want to eat it – cook your mince in a saucepan on the hob as normal but only up to the point where you’ve added all the ingredients and would then leave it to simmer for say 20-40 minutes.;
  2. Whilst this is cooking get your ‘Hay box’ ready.  Put the cardboard box on the floor out of the way somewhere  with the lid open.  Then take your blanket (insulation) and line the box with it but so that there is plenty left over to cover up your pot with afterwards.  Try to make sure the bottom is flat so that your sauce doesn’t tip out;
  3. Then turn off the heat under your pan and very slowly and carefully lift your pan and lower it into the bottom of your blanket lined box;
  4. Then cover over the top of your pan with the left over blanket and tuck it in firmly round all the edges so that it’s 100% wrapped in thick layers of blanket.  If the lid shuts that’s a bonus but it seems to work fine either way.
  5. Leave it for 5-6 hours.

And it’s as simple as that!

When you open up your ‘Hay box’ having made (in the case of Spaghetti Bolognaise) the spaghetti seperately, your meat part of the meal is still very hot so be very careful when touching it.  You’ll most likely still need oven gloves to protect yourself.  Your meat is then ready to serve straight away, and it’s all the better tasting as it’s been sitting in it’s own juices for so long! Yum!

The meat and sauce for Spaghetti Bolognaise can be ready in only 4 hours whereas a dish like stew with big pieces of potato can take more like 6 hours.

This way of cooking is perfect for preparing before you go out in the morning and it’s always ready when you come in at the end of the day.  If you’re an hour late it won’t even spoil, the worst that I’ve had happen is potatoes being crumbly as they’ve cooked a little too long and when that happened to me it was after 8 hours!

Here’s a site that has loads of  good links to other Hay Box information sites.

Haybox links


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February 13, 2010 at 10:50 am 1 comment

Sarah Stone

Hi and welcome to my blog!

I write about life issues that crop up for me, from cash saving tips, nappies and cooking to self harm.


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