Wonder Box - Eco Activity

The Wonder Box is essentially a heat retention cooker, and we have worked with many projects city wide to run workshops so people can make their own, as well as learn low cost, healthy recipes.

Heat Retention Cooking

can be used to create healthy, nutritious recipes, whilst saving users money on energy bills.

Follow our handy how-to guide to make your own Wonder Box, using the button below.

Heat Retention Cooking works by bringing food to the boil in an ordinary pot and then placing the pot into an insulated container. This keeps the heat in and allows the food to cook over a period of time – it might be simplest to think of a heat retention cooker as an unpowered slow cooker. The charity Compassion, working in South Africa in the 1970s was so inspired by these devices they started calling them Wonder Boxes. This method works really well for traditional one-pot style meals such as stews, soups and similar dishes. Using a roasting bag in a pot of boiling water, it is possible to slow-roast food such as joints of meat and vegetables, and HRCs can be used to make yoghurt or to prove bread for baking.

Critically, because it uses no fuel beyond the initial time on the hob, a Wonder Box can save users money. Testing demonstrates that used 2-3 times a week, a Wonder Box can save anywhere between a quarter to a third on a user’s electricity or gas spend. One user consistently saves £5-£6 per week when before they were spending £20 a week on electricity. Wonder Boxes are inherently safe, food won’t stick or burn and there is no risk of fire. Many people experiencing poverty have good cooking skills and know how to make good nutritional choices for their families, but the high cost of fuel coupled with inefficient appliances means they rely on microwaves because this is the fastest and therefore lowest cost route.

We believe that heat retention cookers can challenge fuel poverty, nutritional deficits and improve quality of life for people in Scotland’s poorest communities, while addressing the environmental impact of fossil fuel use.

Click here for a how-to guide to make your own Wonder Box, and if you are a faith community project interested in running a workshop, please contact us for advice. Also, please click here for Wonderbox recipes.