My $180 lesson

14 Nov

We all know the simplest ideas are usually the best.  Unfortunately, figuring out what’s simple (and best) isn’t always so simple.  After a long road, I’ve finally found the simplest, cheapest and best container for making bread in a Wonder Oven.   If you’ve already read the step by step “how to” of making bread in a wonder oven (over in this post), knowing this item is out there will save you a lot of hassle.  After all I’ve spent in both time and money figuring it out, it seemed worthy of a post to save others the same trouble.

I’ve been making bread in my Wonder Oven for more than three years now.  From the first time I learned how I was hooked by how easy and preparedness-plan friendly it was.  Like many of you, I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen!  The only problem was with the container issue.  The juice cans were just that… juice cans.  They worked but unfortunately they rusted after being used just a few times.  So the search began for a better container:  it had to be metal (for the heat involved) and couldn’t include plastic.  In shopping around (in gas alone) I probably could have titled this post “my $200 lesson” for how many stores I visited looking for a container that met these two requirements.

Finally, I came across something that would work:  an asparagus steamer.  It was sturdy, made for years of use and the best container I’d found, with a lid to boot.  I was ecstatic!  It was $30 dollars (on clearance), a little more than I wanted to spend but I went ahead and picked it up anyway.  The only problem, realized once I got home, was that it was taller than the pot I had for it to fit inside and required finding another bigger pot.  The canning style stock pots didn’t work (they were too big to fit into the Wonder Oven) and so again I had to go shopping.  Finally I found a bigger pot that worked (an All Clad 12 quart pot with steamer basket)…at $150.00.   It took a lot of hemming and hawing but finally my mother in law assured me I wouldn’t regret it so I bought it.  It’s worked great and I’ve made a point not to think about how much I initially paid for it.

Fast forward to about a month ago.  A helpful reader let me in on another much more affordable and all around better container option.  This one’s short enough as not to require buying an additional pot and it’s inexpensive.  This 3.5 quart Bain Marie pot (with a lid) was a $15 purchase at a restaurant supply store (a 2 quart version can be found here on Amazon) and works just beautifully.

8 Responses to “My $180 lesson”

  1. plicketycat November 15, 2012 at 1:16 am #

    The bain marie pot is an awesome solution. I’ve been making smaller steam breads in our Wonder Oven with a stainless steel “lunchbox”, and that’s worked out pretty well for the two of us. The $35 tiffin set I got (similar to ECO or LunchBots) came with an oval that I use for bread and cakes, a square that makes great brownies, and 3 mini-tins which make awesome muffins and single-serve “toad-in-a-hole” (sausage in a biscuit). I can actually stack all 5 of these in my BWB canner at once using the canning rack, or use them individually in various smaller covered casserole dishes and stockpots. Just make sure any seals are silicon or real rubber, and not plastic/poly.

    • myfoodstoragecookbook November 15, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

      Great ideas! I really like the idea of stacking it all. So do you have larger than normal sized pillows for your WO to fit the canner sized pot? Also, you mentioned making brownies. There was a comment this week asking about making brownies (something I haven’t done) over in this post. Are there any tips you could offer there? It sounds like I need to beg you for a post on that one along with the stacking idea here! 🙂

      • PlicketyCat November 16, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

        My WO is an old 54 qt cooler stuffed with a quilt, so my graniteware canner just fits if I turn the handles running lengthwise. I found that cooler works even better than the beanbag pillows for heat retention in our super-cold climate and it helps keep inquiring puppy noses out.

        My 10″/5 qt Dutch oven also fits in the cooler WO, and using this with the WO makes the absolute *best* baked beans without having to worry about accidentally scorching them on the bottom. Since the cast iron gets and stays really hot (compared to steel or aluminum), I did make an Insul-Brite cover for it so it won’t scorch the quilt or melt the cooler.

        I’ll head over to the brownie post and see what tips I can offer 😉 Guess I know what my next guest post will be, huh? LOL

      • myfoodstoragecookbook November 17, 2012 at 1:47 am #

        That’s awesome! Um, yes…I really want to see that!

  2. Debbie smith November 15, 2012 at 3:33 am #

    It’s always nice to learn from someone elses journey – thanks!

  3. Vic March 17, 2013 at 4:59 am #

    The Wonder box, is also known as a Haybox and Fireless Cooking. Thank you for a great article and site.


  1. My Kind of Wonder Bread « My Food Storage Cookbook - November 15, 2012

    […] (purchased w/ lid separately).  You can find them at restaurant supply stores.  Read my review here in this post for more details. Making the better “wonder […]

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