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BirdBrain
03-12-2013, 10:40
Recently I have become aware of the homemade cozy. Here are a couple of links for those who need more info:
http://www.modernbushman.com/2012/02/21/diy-ultralight-cozy-for-backpacking-hiking/
http://sectionhiker.com/diy-freezer-bag-cooking-cozy/

Here is what I think I am hearing about cooking in a homemade cozy.

Method of cooking:
1) Boil water
2) Put packaged meal in cozy.
3) Pour boiling water into meal package that is in cozy.
4) Close cozy and wait.
5) Stir and eat out of package.

If this is true, I note the following:
1) Stove would be run just long enough to boil water
2) Pot would not have to be cleaned.
3) Portions would already be measured.
4) Meal packages would be only trash.
.
Am I thinking correctly?

Rocket Jones
03-12-2013, 10:42
Yes. You don't have to fully boil water, near-boiling is enough. You can heat enough water for a hot drink at the same time.

Get a long-handled spoon. Easier to eat from the bag that way.

Pingus
03-12-2013, 10:53
Cozies are completely unnecessary. If you have a pot and a lid, boil your water, add your food, cover with lid and let sit til done. I've used both methods and found the 'cozy is extra weight and space in my pack. It works either way. A cozy is just a peice of unnecessary gear. :)

Prop Blast
03-12-2013, 10:56
I will put my freeze dried meals in zip lock bags. Those bags will go into an empty/cleaned Mountain House bag and be zipped up. The Mountain House bag makes a minimal cozy. It can be reused many times, is super light, and can be rolled or folded to take minimum space.

swjohnsey
03-12-2013, 10:58
Cozys conserve fuel.

BirdBrain
03-12-2013, 11:12
Cozys conserve fuel.

That was my thought. The weight conserved in fuel and the fact that there is no cleanup make it an option I will use.

BirdBrain
03-12-2013, 11:53
I will put my freeze dried meals in zip lock bags. Those bags will go into an empty/cleaned Mountain House bag and be zipped up. The Mountain House bag makes a minimal cozy. It can be reused many times, is super light, and can be rolled or folded to take minimum space.

Is there an issue with boiling water in zip-locks? Do you use a special zip-lock?

FatHead64
03-12-2013, 12:19
I will put my freeze dried meals in zip lock bags. Those bags will go into an empty/cleaned Mountain House bag and be zipped up. The Mountain House bag makes a minimal cozy. It can be reused many times, is super light, and can be rolled or folded to take minimum space.

Is there an issue with boiling water in zip-locks? Do you use a special zip-lock?

What I have read elsewhere on WB is that brand is important - don't use off brand ziplocks.

lukabrazi
03-12-2013, 14:59
Also you can find pint ziplocks which I did not know until recently. These are the perfect size for two packs of oatmeal or two packs of easy mac.

bigcranky
03-12-2013, 15:06
Yes, you are thinking correctly. Cozies are great. One additional feature is that you can put small flour tortillas inside the cozy with your rehydrating dinner and they will warm and soften. (Can't do that in the pot :) ) I like to make burritos and this works very well.

Prop Blast
03-12-2013, 15:11
Is there an issue with boiling water in zip-locks? Do you use a special zip-lock?

I will just use the heavier freezer bags. They can stand up to boiling for trail cooking. That way, my trash is composed of thinner, more flexible zip lock bags and not the heavier Mountain House or commercial bags. I will have only one Mountain House bag as a cozy until it wears out. Then I'll trash it and buy another meal but wash out and reuse the bag as a replacement cozy. Like you mentioned earlier, it sure saves on cleanup by cooking in the bag.

jimmyjam
03-12-2013, 15:16
If you make your cozie out of the blue pad foam or the eva type foam or even the foil coated bubble stuff, you can use it as a seat cushion when you are not cooking with it.

BigRing
03-12-2013, 19:29
Birdbrain, I started using a cozy last year...experimented with different materials. You can use ductwork insulation that looks like foil covered bubble wrap, or a car windshield sunshield. The best material I have found to use is a re-useable foil lined grocery bag.

swjohnsey
03-12-2013, 21:26
Reflex is the best stuff I have found.

wcgornto
03-12-2013, 21:30
Is there an issue with boiling water in zip-locks? Do you use a special zip-lock?

Always use ziploc freezer bags. The storage bags do not work well with boiling water.

Another Kevin
03-12-2013, 22:29
Birdbrain, you are indeed thinking correctly. I favour Reflectix insulation and foil flue tape (not duct tape, it peels off after a while of being exposed to the heat) for making the cosy. Make it like an envelope with a flap to tuck in over the freezer bag - it's more efficient when it's closed.

Sometimes I do hybrid cooking. For example, rice and lentils in the freezer bag and curry in the pot. The curry gets poured over the rice and lentils at the very end. That way the rice doesn't turn to gluey mush the way it would if I heated them all together. Disadvantage is that then you do have to wash the pot.

And the other poster is right. Do not use generic freezer bags from Target or Wally World. There's nothing like having the bag containing your chicken-vegetable-and-couscous-stew burst.

RodentWhisperer
03-12-2013, 22:43
Just a thought: I've known some people who use their fleece beanies/hats as FBC cozies. They swear by it, and claim that it allows them to eliminate one more piece of "unitasker" gear. I've not tried it myself (I use a homemade Reflectix cozy), but I've thought of giving it a test, just to get a feel for it.

Another Kevin
03-12-2013, 23:14
Yes, you are thinking correctly. Cozies are great. One additional feature is that you can put small flour tortillas inside the cozy with your rehydrating dinner and they will warm and soften. (Can't do that in the pot :) ) I like to make burritos and this works very well.

Great idea! I hadn't thought of warming the tortillas in the cosy next to the beans. Must try that next time.

Rocket Jones
03-12-2013, 23:41
Just a thought: I've known some people who use their fleece beanies/hats as FBC cozies. They swear by it, and claim that it allows them to eliminate one more piece of "unitasker" gear. I've not tried it myself (I use a homemade Reflectix cozy), but I've thought of giving it a test, just to get a feel for it.

If your dinner springs a leak, your head warmer smells like food.

BirdBrain
03-13-2013, 01:09
Always use ziploc freezer bags. The storage bags do not work well with boiling water.

Working well is very important and that advice is needed as well. However, my concern is with the plastic breaking down and getting in my food. I read a response from the Zip-lock company where they stated that it was not safe to cook food in their product using this method. I am not sure if they are covering their butts and don't want a McDonald's type lawsuit or they are saying their plastic is not designed to withstand that kind of heat. After researching the subject, I found this company sells bags designed for this kind of abuse.

http://www.packitgourmet.com/CookIn-Bags.html

BirdBrain
03-13-2013, 02:32
After further research, it appears that Ziploc freezer bags are safe and bpa free. they also make a microwave Ziploc bag. It appears that the post from Ziploc that I mentioned in the last reply may be dated. Here are some links for those that may share my concern:

http://www.ziploc.com/Sustainability/pages/Safety-and-Plastics.aspx
http://www.ziploc.com/Products/Pages/FreezerBagsSmartZipSeal.aspx?SizeName=Pint
http://www.ziploc.com/Products/Pages/ZipSteamMicrowaveCookingBags.aspx?SizeName=Medium

Rocket Jones
03-13-2013, 06:45
Yep. This ^^^^^.

Another Kevin
03-13-2013, 07:45
The microwave bags are fine for microwaving. The freezer bags are better for the trail. The little valve on the microwave ones isn't necessary for freezer bag cooking (there's no steam under pressure that has to be vented), and tends to dribble.

MDSection12
03-13-2013, 09:11
Always use ziploc freezer bags. The storage bags do not work well with boiling water.

+1

From what I have read these are the only ones that are expressly safe for putting boiling water in.


Just a thought: I've known some people who use their fleece beanies/hats as FBC cozies. They swear by it, and claim that it allows them to eliminate one more piece of "unitasker" gear. I've not tried it myself (I use a homemade Reflectix cozy), but I've thought of giving it a test, just to get a feel for it.

I've been doing that but just made myself a cozy out of an insulated mailing envelope I cut down. The hat works well... But if it's cold I want that hat on my head. The envelope weighs near nothing, cost me nothing, and hardly takes up any space. :)

Drybones
03-13-2013, 09:36
Can't believe no one has taken this thread down another road....cozy thoughts?

drifter
03-13-2013, 09:36
+2, to be safe always use ziplocs. freezer bag cooking and using whatever type of cozy you fancy is great. Lots of recipes on trailcooking.com

BirdBrain
03-13-2013, 09:43
Can't believe no one has taken this thread down another road....cozy thoughts?

It got you to look at the thread. That was the intent of the title. I have found that you need a provocative title to get people to look at your thread.

Thank you to all. These have been fantastic and very specific responses.

BirdBrain
03-13-2013, 09:44
The microwave bags are fine for microwaving. The freezer bags are better for the trail. The little valve on the microwave ones isn't necessary for freezer bag cooking (there's no steam under pressure that has to be vented), and tends to dribble.

Given the amount of good advice you give on Whiteblaze, I am not sure we need more than one Kevin.