The Green Pail Retained Heat Cooker




Introduction: The Green Pail Retained Heat Cooker

The Green Pail retained heat cooker holds many foods at cooking temps long enough that simmering is not necessary it will hold 7 liters of pintos hot long enough to cook them well done and keep them above 170 deg F for 5 hours.

The Green pail is basically an inner shell isolated from an outer shell with loose fill insulation.

The Green Pail retained heat cooker is green because:
1- It is made from recycled plastic pails
2- It saves the energy that it takes to simmer food.
3- It keeps the heat out of the kitchen saving summer time ac cost
4- It can be made locally from local materials with local labor.
5- It saves the time necessary to watch food simmer, you can simply set it and forget it, walk away and leave it for hours.
6- It can hold food at safe temps between meals making refrigeration unnecessary, which could be handy in off grid situations.
7- It is a street vender micro enterprise design that someone could build and sell at flea markets, garage sales.

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Step 1: 7 Liters of Pintos of Cooked Well Done.

7 Liters of pintos of cooked well done.

Step 2: 7 Liters Held to 174 Deg F for 4.75 Hours

7 Liters held to 174 deg F for 4.75 hours

Step 3: The Green Pail Parts

The Green Pail is made from 2- 9" cake pans, that cost $1.50 each at the dollar store, 30" of 14" wide aluminum, that cost $2 at Home Depot, 2 lids, a 5-gallon plastic pail and some screws and sawdust.

Step 4: The Inner Shell Is Cut

The aluminum is cut for the inner shell, with enough length for lap.

Step 5: The Inner Shell Is Sized

The aluminum is fitted tight to the cake pans, which act as heads for the inner shell.

Step 6: Now to Make the Cap

The insulated cap is made of two parts, a lid and a cake pan/head filled with insulation.
Part of the flange is removed from the lid.

Step 7: Two Lock Tabs Are Left So That It Is Easy to Install and Remove.

Two lock tabs are left so that it is easy to install and remove.

Step 8: The Rolled Flange Is Cut in 4 Places

The rolled flange is cut in 4 places

Step 9: And Flattened So There Is Enough Room to Install the Screws

and flattened so there is enough room to install the screws

Step 10: The Pan/head Is Filled With Insulation

The pan/head is filled with insulation

Step 11: And Screwed to the Lid

And screwed to the lid

Step 12: Size the Inner Shell for Its Length

To size the inner shell for its length, it is installed in the pail

Step 13: And the Lid Is Installed and Measured

And the lid is installed
The amount of the inner shell to be trimmed is measured

Step 14: The Inner Shell Is Marked

The inner shell is marked

Step 15: The Inner Shell Is Trimmed

The inner shell is trimmed

Step 16: The Head on the Cap Should Fit Tight in the Inner Shell

The head on the cap should fit tight in the inner shell

Step 17: The Ring Is Made

A ring is made from one of the lids to blank off the inner shell and outer shell to retain the loose fill insulation. The outer flange of the ring is trimmed away.

Step 18: A Line Is Scribed for the Inner Hole

A line is scribed for the inner hole

Step 19: The Inner Hole Is Cut

The inner hole is cut

Step 20: The Ring Should Fit Snug Over the Inner Shell

The ring should fit snug over the inner shell

Step 21: Add Enough Sawdust to Fill the Bottom Head

Add enough sawdust to fill the bottom head

Step 22: Sawdust Is Filled Around the Shell

Sawdust is filled around the shell

Step 23: The Ring Is Installed

The ring is installed

Step 24: The Ring Is Screwed From the Outside

The ring is screwed from the outside

Step 25: The Fit Is Tested

The head should fit snug in the inner shell

Step 26: One Way to Use the Green Pail

You can use the cap as a base and the pail as a cap

Step 27: Another Way to Use

You can put a pot in the pail and use the insulated cap

Step 28: Scrape Off Painted Label

I have decided that spray painting is not a very green thing to do so I have started scraping off the painted label.

Step 29: A White Green Pail

So if your Green Pail is white that is even greener, so to speak.

Step 30: Please View the Video

The Green Pail video is much more instructive
Thanks for viewing,

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    13 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Great idea. I am going to make one.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Excellent instructable. Only suggestion, leave the pail white. White absorbs the heat from the sunlight and is more visible in the outdoors. Heat coming from the inside will meet the heat coming from outside. Have the green and white with boiling water and then test and take new temperature measurements to see if it helped?.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    If the insulation is really good it shouldn't make any difference. The heat from the inside or outside shouldn't be passing through the insulating layer.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I always read that Black obsorbs, white repels...


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great project ,Here in Australia those magic cooker are US $200.oo bloody rip off.
    I just finished a volcano kettle this will be next.
    cheers peter

    i know sawdust can be found for free but what about using vermiculite or pearlite from the garden center. it would make for a lighter (and mold/rot retandant) retained heat cooker!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    why not use a white bucket and paint the outside dark? In gardening white containers hold the heat well, but for plants that require more watering, dark containers absorb too much heat causing more watering.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I have made 6 of these since last fall. WalMart carries a camo 5-gallon plastic bucket with lid for around $6-7.00 in the hardware dept. Conceals well in the bush, plush the dark green/black/brown color absorbs more heat from the sun. I purchased some Stainless Steel "Bain Marie" pots from Lanny. They work great. Also WalMart carries a Ozark Trail 3.5quart blue enameled pot with lid and wire handle for about $10.00 which works fine. Thanks again, Lanny.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    You are 1000% correct. What I was thinking off?, I don't know. It was posibly visibility that blinded me.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Thank goodness, i thought i was the only one who liked retained heat cooking.