What a Crock!: Wonderbag brings something new to the age-old methods

Through the years, there has been an influx in new ways to slow cook. It once was rare to see anything new in the method besides the cooker’s colors, shapes or patterns. Then came improvements in settings, allowing for ways to keep foods warm after they are cooked, or timers that allow even greater convenience for those who need it.

It is still rare to find a change in how to slow cook. There is now one that makes a departure from the standard slow cooker. The Wonderbag is designed to bring slow cooking to those with limited resources or those interested in going green — unplugged.

Intrigued? Me, too. The Wonderbag is a heat-retention cooker that continues to cook foods brought to a boil by regular methods for an additional time, up to 12 hours. There are no plugs to what looks like an attractive cushioned bag pulled together by a drawstring to seal.

The Wonderbag was presented at the 2013 World Economic Forum as a way to address health, environmental and economic issues facing Africa and developing countries by cutting the cost of fuel for cooking.

The purchase of one Wonderbag gives another to a woman living in Africa. It is only available online at amazon.com/wonderbag for about $50.

Knorr and Wonderbag have partnered to create a recipe booklet that comes with the cooker. Instructions call for the recipe to be basically cooked through after being brought to a boil in a cooking pot that must be either copper, steel, aluminum, enameled cast iron or glassware, then placed in the Wonderbag.

The heat-retention method continues the final cooking while keeping it warm until ready. The Chicken Liguria recipe was totally cooked at the end of four hours; however, it “rested” until I took it out after five hours. The covered pot was as hot as when it was placed into the bag, requiring pot holders to lift it out.

Julie Kay is a columnist for The Advocate. She can be reached at juliekay6122@gmail.com.