Technology
Turning two pots into one efficient pot
fuel_saving_Sufuria.jpg

Here’s an interesting idea by Kenyan maker Dominic Wanjihia. By taking the rim from a Sufuria cooking pot, flipping it upside down, and attaching it to a slightly smaller pot, he was able to more efficiently capture heat from a fire. The result should be that less fuel is required to cook a meal, which is both an economic and environmental win.

This might actually solve a problem that I’ve had at home. One of my cooking pots has small plastic handles on it’s sides instead of a single long one. So much heat escapes from my gas range around the side of the pot that it heats up the handles, making it difficult to pick up. Of course I could just use a pot with a different handle, however Dominic’s device makes me wonder if that heat would be better captured if the pot had an oversize bottom to completely cover the burner. Think it would work? Does anyone sell them? If not, I might have to break out the welder and do some experiments… [via afrigadget]

12 thoughts on “Turning two pots into one efficient pot

  1. containing the heat source makes for MUCH more efficient heat usage. think kiln. or oven.

    garrett wade sells some irish foul weather kettles that are fully contained burners and food vessels – which makes it possible to cook food with scrub brush, or whatever’s handy, by stuffing it into the bottom, lighting it, and having the heat completely channeled to the vessel above.

    interestingly enough, the large kettle could be hacked for efficiency by adding some spiraling vanes in the chimney.

  2. This is basically what I´ve carried in my pack most summers (and some winters ) in my pack : a Trangia stove ( http://www.trangia.se ) , which holds a meths/kerosene/gas burner instead. There are three pots involved , the acual pot is shielded on the sides as well , which reduces heat loss dramatically. We call them storm kitchens : if you can stand up in the wind , you can make food. In the slimmed down army model the shell comes from two conical “pots” , this leads the heat more efficiently along the sides of the actual pot. The full kit includes a small coffee kettle , two pans , and a frying pan – a real kitchen in your pack , not an anorectic tea heater …

  3. I was in the grocery store last night and they had asparagus on sale. I thought of how asparagus looks when it’s cooking in a pot. The pot is a big round circle, and the asparagus takes up just the diameter. All the energy of heating the rest of the water to boiling point is wasted.

    I suppose there isn’t much rectangular food in the world, but hey, there’s also corn on the cob and spaghetti.

    I think there are already rectangular pots, but we need rectangular stove elements too. It would save energy and the water would come to a boil faster.

  4. As far as cooking corn/asparagus or any veggie in totally immersed water hence the waste, remember that with a lid (saves heat and cooks more efficiently) items like this can be fully cooked by steaming them. Bringing 3/4 cup of water to a boil and keeping it there at a lower heat to steam, is way easier than bringing 6 cups of water to a boil and keeping it boiling. Carrots boiled until the water is orange, no thanks.
    The propane collapsable cookstove I made for my boat has sides on it to stop wind, not only to keep strong gusts from blowing the flame out, but to keep the heat contained within the burner-to-cookpot area. With a double walled cookpot like this and a lid, I’ll bet huge box meals like hamburger helper could be made with the lowest flame setting and minimal fuel.

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