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Wonderbag – Product Review

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vanlifeeats
Vanlife Eatshttps://vanlifeeats.com
Two passionate Vanlife cooks and the creators of Vanlife Eats.

Wondering how to do slow cooking in a campervan? The Wonerbag makes slow cooking in your campervan easy and uses the bare minimum of power consumption. Here is our first-hand experience in using the Wonderbag.

The Wonderbag has an incredible ethos behind it, helping in the reduction of carbon (CO2) emissions that are pumped into the environment by the use of cooking over an open fire.

It also helps aid in the prevention of forest/bush fires and deforestation across the globe.

Every day, more than 3.5 billion people cook over an open fire and the Wonderbag helps reduce the impact this has on our environment as well as freeing up the laborious unpaid tasks involved in creating large long-lasting cooking fires typically that of woman and children.

In a whole year a Wonderbag could save:

  • 70% less fuel required fo cook
  • 2 tons of carbon environmental emissions reduced
  • 60% less indoor/in-van air pollution
  • 1,000 litres cooking water spared
  • 1,300 hours of unpaid labour reduced
  • 10x more income for women living in extreme poverty
  • 5 large trees saved from deforestation

The Wondebag campaign ensures that families living in poverty are supplied with a Wondebag so that they can more efficiently cook for their family.

Sarah, the creator of the Wonderbag, grew up in Africa working alongside families and woman living in poverty. She then setout to make a difference and

How are the Wonderbags made available to families in poverty?

There are options for you to make a simple donation that supplies a Wonderbag but also for every one Wonderbag purchased, a second is donated to a family living in poverty.

What is a Wonderbag

The Wonderbag is an insulated thermal draw-string bag that acts as a heat-retaining oven. This makes it an ideal solution for slow cooking and keeping food hot for up to 12 hours.

The Wonderbag is not that dissimilar to a classic dutch oven or a hay-box and utilises the cooking method of thermal cooking that has been around for centuries.

The earliest known records of using this cooking method date back to medieval times.

Why does a Wonderbag suit Vanlife?

Wonderbag slow cooking in your campervan means stews, tender meats and generally keeping food warm for long periods of time. You could be travelling in your van over a distance, out hiking in the great outdoors or just out working, and when you finally get to settle in your van you have a delicious cooked meal ready and waiting.

Having hot and nutritious food is an essential part of living or travelling in a van and slow cooking is an incredible means of getting maximum flavour from your meals.

Who else would benefit from using a Wonderbag?

Anyone conscious on power consumption and time would benefit from using a Wonderbag for slow cooking.

Suitable users could be:

  • Campers
  • Those living in a Boat
  • Motorhomes / RV
  • Hikers
  • People living in self converted barns, sheds and tiny homes

It could even be a usuful kitchen gadget within a regular home. Warm your meal through and leave it in the Wonderbag to finish cooking until you get home.

Our experience in using the Wonderbag

We originally had a slow cooker on board and we would let the food cook whilst we were on the road during the day. It was great!

The downside was that the cooker was hghly power consuming and unless the engine was running we couldnt really use it.

When we discovered the Wonderbag we were intrigued and purchased one immediately. Could this put delicious slow-cooked meals more regularly on our vanlife menu?

Unpacking

We ordered our Wonderbag on Amazon at the price of £49.99 which we didnt think was an ureasonable price.

When it arrived it was compressed within a vacuum packed bag and so once opened it was incredibly satisfying watching this large puffy bag grow into shape….the simple things huh!

Whilst we waited for 1 hour to pass for the wonderbag to form it’s natural shape we had a good look through all the content.

The Wonderbag comes with some information about the Wonderbag charity and a handful of recipes to try.

Cooking

Our first recipe was pretty adventurous as we went for a chicken stew. Straight in with confidence!

The instructions state that you need to heat everything up to a boil before leaving to slow cook in the Wonderbag so we fried up some onions, added some chicken thighs to seer and then some extra veg and finnaly some stock. After bringing to the boil we removed from the stove, and placed the lidded pan into the Wonderbag.

The pan fitted quite snug and we placed the Wonderbag lid on top and finnaly pulled the drawstring engulfing the pan into the Wonderbag.

3 hours later…

Excitedly we revealed the pan from the Wonderbag and removed the lid.

We found the stew to be at a warm temperature and borderline cooked! What did we do wrong?

We had a suspicion and a few days later we repeated the test. This time we used a much thicker stone pot.

3 hours later…

Steam erupted from the pot as we removed the lid and there was a hot and perfectly tender and hot chicken stew! Woohoo!

Conclusion

We have continued to use the Wonderbag numerous times and we have had real succsess. Typically we would prepare and cook during lunchtime and leave the pan in the Wonderbag until the evening.

Slow cooking in our campervan has always been a treat as we are typically very busy during the afternoons, even when travelling.

I work from our van so when I take a break during lunchtime it is ideal to cook something to slow cook in the Wonderbag and enjoy in the evening.

It is vital that you have a suitable pan or pot to use with the Wonderbag.

Our first use was not a great success but then after thinking about it our pan was thin and would no way retain enough heat to aid the cooking process.

The pan we use is a Flavourstone induction pan which we highly recommend for Vanlife cooking.

The other key to slow cooking in your Wonderbag is to ensure you cook the food enough prior to placing the food inside the Wonderbag. It needs to cook through first and the cooking process within the Wonderbag is to finish and soften the food.

Here is the recommended cooking time for common foods:

Whilst not essential, we highly recommend the Wonderbag as an energy efficent means of slow cooking and keeping food warm.

If you love slow cooked meats in particular you will LOVE the Wonderbag!

SUMMARY

PROS

  • Easy Cooking
  • Zero energy consumption
  • Encourages nutritious meals

CONS

  • Quite big / hard to store
  • Pre-cooking required
  • Suitable pan essential

REVIEW OVERVIEW

ZERO ENERGY SLOW COOKING
CHARITABLE CAUSES
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
EASY COOKING
TASTY FOOD
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Wonderbag - Product Review<table style="border-collapse: collapse; width: 100%;" border="1"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="width: 50%;"> <h2 class=""><span style="color: #00ff00;">PROS</span></h2> <ul> <li>Easy Cooking</li> <li>Zero energy consumption</li> <li>Encourages nutritious meals</li> </ul> </td> <td style="width: 50%;"> <h2 class=""><span style="color: #ff0000;">CONS</span></h2> <ul> <li>Quite big / hard to store</li> <li>Pre-cooking required</li> <li>Suitable pan essential</li> </ul> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>