Picture of How to Make a Wonder Box Cooker/Cooler
A few years ago a friend showed up at a gathering with a frozen lemonade pie that had traveled quite a long distance and was still frozen solid.  “How?” was asked and the reply was “My Wonder Box”.  That was my first introduction to the Wonder Box Cooker/Cooler.  It was designed for the people in Africa who do not have enough fuel to cook their food.  Once a dish is hot, it can be moved to the Wonder Box and about 4 hours later, with no additional fuel expended, the meal is cooked.  It also works to keep cold things cold, and warm things warm.  Think how useful this would be if there was no electricity for an extended length of time.  Just use your BBQ grill to heat up the pot of food for 10 to 15 minutes and then stick it in the Wonder Box to finish the cooking.  The box holds the heat in to the pot using it to cook the food instead of the heat escaping into the air, and then having to use more energy to create more heat to cook the food. Here is how to make your own Wonder Box Cooker.
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Step 1:

Picture of
Pattern for the Wonder Box (You will need heavy paper, a protractor (a paper one can be found here:, a pencil, a ruler, and paper scissors to make your own copy of the pattern from the one found here: ( this one is no longer there, try this one:
3.5 yards material (100% cotton)
Sewing machine
Sewing scissors
Fabric weights (pattern found here:
Straight pins
+/-12 gallons Polystyrene Pellets (bean bag filler, check the web)
Large piece of paper (to make a funnel not shown)
Empty 1 gallon ice cream bucket (not shown)

My pots always leak a little. I know the box can be washed, but what a pain. Has anyone tried to use something like an emergency blanket (the thin metallic things) under the pot in case of leakage?

cege8 months ago

Is it possible for you to post pattern for Wonderbox. It's no longer available on sites you linked. Thank you!

craftknowitall (author)  cege8 months ago

Here is another link.

cege8 months ago

I checked the sites you mentioned- but pattern is no longer posted.

Bubbler1 year ago
A great Instructable for the home use or travel or in a permenant camp situation. I have seen much plainer and rougher versions made with tea chests etc; but this one has the nice homely appearance about it.
bbubbles2 years ago
The link you have for the pattern doesn't work anymore (March 2013), I found another one here:

I'm planning on making these! And thank you for the link to the instructable for the pattern weights too!
craftknowitall (author)  bbubbles2 years ago
You are welcome. The link was there when I published this instructable, last November, so I am grateful. If you don't mind, I will put the new address on my instructable, Thanks you so much.
Not a problem! Great instructable!
Curiositykt2 years ago
This would be great for making yogurt.
craftknowitall (author)  Curiositykt2 years ago
I did use it in my Greek yogurt instructable: Yes it is great for yogurt. Thanks for looking.
aingeal692 years ago
I can definately see where this would be useful in traveling or needing the stove space to make other items while something else is cooking. However, I fail to see how this would be useful with zero electricity since you must heat it up first.......unless one is doing that over an open flame, then maybe. Good project though! I'll probaby try it.
craftknowitall (author)  aingeal692 years ago
As I said in the Introduction: "Just use your BBQ grill to heat up the pot of food for 10 to 15 minutes and then stick it in the Wonder Box to finish the cooking."   I have a brother in New York State who has gone for several weeks at a time, during winter, without electricity and they use their outside BBQ grill to heat up food during those long time periods. It does work.  Thanks for your comment and for looking. 
wazzup1052 years ago
I used a bed + duvet once for this purpose for a Christmas dinner for which I lacked the proper amount of stove-pits. Worked like a charm ! You have to be creative when you have to feed 20 people with a 4 pits stove :)
Love it! Just in time for holiday travel! And thanks for the 'ible on the pattern weights too! :)