Step 12: Food safety

At 63 degrees C (145 F) or more, many spoilage bacteria are killed, as Louis Pasteur discovered when he developed the industrial process of pasteurization.

Many yeasts and bacteria will grow optimally at a temperature of 30-37 C (86-98 F). My guess therefore is that it is best to avoid keeping food in the Hay Slow Cooker long enough for the food temperature to drop below 63 C (145 F).

To be extra sure, it is best to reheat the food shortly (2 minutes) to 74 C/ 165 F or to boiling point before serving.

Rice should be treated extra carefully. Uncooked rice can contain spores of the food poisoning causing Bacillus cereus that can survive even boiling temperatures. So try not to activate those spores in rice by avoiding keeping it at temperatures between 5C and 63C (41F and 145F).
Great 'ible. I would think using a cast iron dutch oven would be ideal for this, since cast iron holds heat better than thinner pots. Guess I better buy some more dutch ovens when I make this! Good job.
I enjoyed your instructables. I have also been using this method for years. There is no other way to cook rice. I boil it for 5 minutes and then put it in the box. I call it a Hot Box and it is filled with polystyrene chips rather than hay. <br>Here are the instructions to make it. <br> <br>http://funkyfuzzypanda.blogspot.com/2011/01/green-fuzzy-panda-5-make-your-own-hot.html
I have used this concept for long already. Especially good for rice potatoes and stews. But cox I am too lazy to build a 'hooikist' I have used a much easier method: When I take the pan of the fire, I wrap it in a thick towel and then put that pan+towel in my bed, with the duvet stuffed over it ;-)<br><br>Works like a miracle. Never burned rice anymore and my gas-bil is really low.<br><br>Yeah, one day I will make the hooikist but for now I can tell you the principle works
This is an awesome instructable. Thanks for taking the time to work it all out and make the math easy. I'm about halfway through making one. In the future I plan to use it to do demonstrations of energy efficient cooking techniques. The pdf could use a bit of streamlining. At least one page (Measurements and Templates) has three different versions which all print when I am only telling my computer to print one page.
I love your hay cooker instructable! On dddddd's point, I would add that a fantastic use for this might be cooking outdoors, say, on a camping trip, hauling the packets empty and filling with straw or other available dry materials at the campsite. I can also see its utility at an outdoor picnic/pig picking event to keep contents hot longer. And the cat points to an additional use for this pattern (sans lid), to make pet beds. The "ring" portion is especially preferred by my 13 year old Springer Spaniel, to ease pressure on her arthritic hips and keeps warmth around her tender joints. Well done!!
Thanks Teklawgirl! It warms my heart to know that at least for one being on the world (your Spaniel) it was worth making this instructable.
What an awesome idea! There should be a section on this site for useful things our grandparents would have done! BTW, great pic of the cat. -T
Very nice. Using one fifth of the energy to cook food doesn't mean much in an age when fuel gas and electricity are delivered to our houses. In the days when you burnt wood, and had to gather it yourself and carry it yourself, something like this would mean carrying one-fifth the wood. Many old processes and methods were much more conservative than anything we do today. And the handcrafting is another benefit. You got my vote.
What a beautiful Hay Cooker! Thanks s much for sharing this. Fantastic, I love it.
Your cat seems to like it a lot Hes cute
I think this is a great idea! Thanks for posting.
Very interesting!
I have GOT to get that cat recipe from you from step 13. Maybe try it with a siamese for some asian flavor... ;-)
I prefer to cook my hay quickly. (hehe . . neigh)

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