Monday, February 20, 2012

After Happy Call, This Is What I Am Experimenting With....

After using Happy Call pan for a few months, I've began looking around for other kitchen gadgets that either cooks faster or saves me effort and energy (electricity/gas).

I remembered having two Endo brand thermal magic cookers (5L and 2.5L) stored away at the top kitchen cabinet and decided to take them out and give it another try.

I purchased the pots more than a year ago from Metro during a special promotion. If I'm not wrong, I paid about $80 for them.

How the Endo thermal cooker works

The thermal cooker comes with an inner pot and an outer/thermal pot.

According to the manual, you just need to place ingredients in the inner pot, put on stove and cook for about 10 minutes (start timing after water boils). Then transfer inner pot into the outer pot and cover lid. The food will continue cooking using heat retention technology (to read more about the technology, go to here and here).

Benefits of thermal cooker
  • No monitoring required
  • Saves electricity/gas
  • Helps keep food warm for a few hours

The Endo cooker also comes with a small 'saucepan' so you can cook two things at the same time e.g. boil soup in pot and steam tofu in the saucepan.

For full-time working moms, you can cook your food in the morning and by the time you're home, dinner is ready.

My experience with Endo thermal cooker

The reason I stopped using the thermal cooker was that I found the food wasn't as tasty as compared to cooking on the stove or using slow cooker.

This time round, I tried letting the food cook longer on the stove before transferring to the thermal pot, and also let it cook longer in the pot and the taste turns out better (not as bland; more concentrated). But I would still prefer the food cooked the 'traditional' ways or maybe I just need to experiment a bit more.

So far, I've only used the pot for cooking porridge, soup and making desserts.

I would say I'm a happier thermal cooker user now because the food taste better than when I first used the cooker.

The helper is also happy with using the cooker. She would make porridge in the morning, then concentrate on doing other chores. When lunch time comes, our food is ready. Or she makes soup in the afternoon and it will be ready for dinner. Meanwhile, we save on gas and electricity.

By the way, one tip I read from a local forum is that you can take out the soup/stew about an hour later to boil again and then put it back into the thermal cooker. I believe the food will definitely taste more concentrated/stronger done this way. Will try this out.

Besides Endo, there are also other brands available in the market. What I know of is Tiger and La Gourmet (sometimes I wonder if the results would be different if I use one of these more expensive brands).

By the way, it seems that thermal cookers can be used to make cake and bread loaf. Now, this begins to sound like a good addition to the kitchen, doesn't it?

Thermal cooker recipes

Bubur Terigu the healthy version (dessert) - by Ellena Guan
Red bean soup - by Ellena Guan
The thermal cooker thermal cooking weblog
DreamPot Recipes

Are you also using a thermal cooker? How do you like it? Do you know of other time-saving or energy-saving kitchen ware?


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