Page 1 of 1

Haybox - Bacteria?

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:42 am
by Sarouel
I'm seriously lusting after a SlowCooker right now, as cooking peas on a weekday night is no fun. But due to several reasons (electricity use, one thing taking space, fear of fire) I'm against buying one.
But I do have a pressure cooker and an old sleeping bag, so I could build an quasi-haybox.
I'm just not quite sure about the food safety, doesn't the food get significant cooler during the 12ish hours in the sleeping bag? According to wikipedia the danger zone for food-borne bacteria is roughly 5 to 60 °C (41 to 140 °F), so bam -enormous bacteria growth.
Or can I just boil the food again in the evening?

Anybody any experience?

Re: Haybox - Bacteria?

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:52 am
by vexed87

Re: Haybox - Bacteria?

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:22 am
by Tiarellla
@sarouel, I would not expect that it is dangerous as you kill almost all micro organisms in the beginning and spores need a much longer time to become active again. This is only valid if it is boiling in the beginning and the cooker closed most of the time to avoid new micro organisms falling in. To increase safety you cook it again for a few minutes in the evening before eating.

Re: Haybox - Bacteria?

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:13 pm
by prognastat
An option might be to include a thermometer and do it on the weekend and once it gets close to the danger zone to heat it back up higher again and put it back in?

I would probably use an Instant Pot style cooker myself as it's faster and more energy efficient than a SlowCooker, but probably not as efficient as the Haybox and you already have the pressure cooker so it'd probably save you money.

Re: Haybox - Bacteria?

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:29 pm
by jacob
If things are cooked in a pressure cooker, bacteria will be well-murdered (compared to other methods), once steam is built up and maintained for normal cooking jobs. If you don't remove the lid, there's no way new bacteria can get in.

I think a more pertinent point is the desire to pressure cook AND leave it in the haybox for 12 hours?!? Cooking black beans, for example, only needs to build to pressure (10 minutes?)... and then sit under the pillows for 20-30 minutes. Then it's done. If you leave it sitting for hours, it's going to be mush. The point of a pressure cooker is exactly that you don't have to cook all day. Only reason to use a haybox is to cut fuel consumption by 25-50% by not heating on the backend after developing pressure.

PS: Note that I cook 95%+ vegetarian and stay away from "mixed salads", so contamination is generally not something I worry about.

Re: Haybox - Bacteria?

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:47 pm
by Sarouel
Thanks for your ideas.