By Alex Julius
When I first laid eyes on the Thermos Shuttle Chef at the Darwin Boat Show, I was impressed. Put simply, the Shuttle Chef is a great solution to providing tasty, nutritious, hot meals for people on the move and removes the requirement for a continuous external heat source to complete the cooking process.
For the last several months, I’ve been using both the Thermos Shuttle Chef RPC 6000W which comes with two 3.0L cooking pots, and RPC 4500 which comes with a single 4.5L cooking pot. These internal saucepans are constructed from multi-layered stainless steel with a carbon steel plate sandwiched into the heavy stainless steel base. You throw your ingredients into these pots and place on the stove for the initial heating up. Both systems incorporate a patented outer vacuum insulated container that boasts impressive heat retention qualities to finish cooking your meal to perfection. Each also came with an accessory padded carry bag which increases insulation and protects your Shuttle Chef. Apparently the outer, insulated pot uses patented “Thermax” vacuum technology which virtually eliminates temperature change by creating an airless vacuum space between two stainless steel walls. Cooking with the Thermos Shuttle Chef can be a simple straightforward affair that can also provide rewarding outcomes for more culinary adventurous chefs. Just refer to the excellent Thermal Cookware Recipe Book for that. I soon found that knocking up a casserole or tasty bush stew is really easy and the beauty of the system is that your evening meal can be prepared at lunchtime and be ready to eat when dinner rolls around, and you don’t need to be on hand to monitor the cooking process. This is a boon for people on the move during the day; ie driving between campsites or for those who have set up camp and are out fishing, hiking or hunting and returning to camp late, tired and hungry. What a delight it is to just open the pot and dinner is ready, perfectly cooked, piping hot and ready to eat! I’ve used the Shuttle Chef to take hot meals (still cooking) out in the field where it has worked a treat. However, increasingly I’m using it at home, especially on weekends when I’m free to prepare a meal in the middle of the day. Any of your favourite slow-cooker-style meals, and much more, can be prepared easily this way. For example, assemble your preferred ingredients according to your recipe. Place them together in the inner pot and heat on a stove or portable gas burner. Bring contents to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, remove from the heat source and seal in the outer pot. Allow to sit for 4-8 hours and the retained heat will complete cooking the contents without overcooking.