Keep your Cool this Summer: Wonder Oven Tip!

21 May

We all know wonder ovens keep things hot for extended periods of time, however it’s useful to know they also keep things cool, even frozen in the very same way!  

As an example of this, last summer our family took a road trip at which at one point – going from point “A” to point “B”– we knew we were going to be arriving to a family reunion the very same night our family had been assigned to make dinner for the group.  We wouldn’t have time to visit a store, so before leaving we picked up frozen hamburger patties and packed them in the wonder oven to travel with us.  Once we’d arrived and were ready to make dinner, a full 12 hours later, we pulled the hamburger patties from the wonder oven to use and they were still rock hard frozen. Of course we gathered a group from the family together (those kind enough to indulge me in my thrill of all things wonder oven) and oohed and ahhed at the “wow” of these pillows!!

Keep Frozen Foods Frozen

For this reason, having a wonder oven is extremely useful for many reasons.  If you’re freezer went out for whatever reason, you could save some of your food from perishing by simply bundling it up in your wonder oven pillows.  The more pillows you have on hand, the more food you could save!

In keeping things frozen, another use for them is to keep either a set of pillows with it’s container (if you have room) or just a single pillow –with a way to secure it around your food– in the back end of your vehicle to keep ice cream and frozen foods frozen on your way home from the grocery store.  Here in TX, everyone knows ice cream is the last item you buy when grocery shopping, just to be able to get it home before it melts!  With a wonder oven pillow on hand, you don’t have to worry — you can even go run a few errands afterward — the ice cream will stay frozen.

Keep Cold Foods Cold

Another application, one that I use a lot, is in using my wonder oven pillows (here in the Texas heat) to keep things cool.  Simply by wrapping up the food in one of the pillows, keeping the food surrounded by the insulating beads within the pillow, foods such as lunch meats and cheese can be kept cool for hours (all day if needed) for picnics, etc.  It’s so easy and it doesn’t even require a container!


Usually, if we’re going out and we know we’ll have easy access to the car, I’ll just keep the pillows inside the plastic tote and fill it up with what we’ll need that way.  Sometimes however, you’re not planning to be anywhere near your car when you know you’ll need the food you’ve packed (and the tote is too huge to carry) so in that case I’ve used just a single pillow to lessen the bulk, and it works the very same.  This idea alone is one reason I think using less beads (as opposed to some wonder ovens/ wonder boxes that stand on their own rather than needing a container) is preferable — it’s so convenient to take along like this!

We just used them again to keep our sandwich goods cool last weekend while at my kids’ swim meet.  I didn’t want to buy lunch while we were out all day, so I just wrapped the cheese and meat for sandwiches up in one of the smaller pillows, securing it with large safety pins.  It kept everything exactly as cool as they were when I pulled them out of the fridge  and we made sandwiches when we wanted to about 4 hours later.  You could also add a  few strips of velcro if you wanted, rather than using pins.


IMG_8528 IMG_8538


How it Works

As far as the pillows are concerned, it only requires (from what I’ve tested) about two inches of “barrier” to insulate anything effectively whether it be hot or cold.   (Btw, just for your information hot boiling water has been tested to stay hot and boiling in a wonder oven between 15-18 hours.)  Now of course if you open the pillows at any point and “peek” you’re going to lose heat/cold, so that’s a key to keep in mind.

Also, many times I’ll have people ask me details about the plastic totes they should buy, how thick the plastic should be, etc.  This example of using it entirely without a container demonstrates that it isn’t about the container at all.  The only thing the container does is “contain” and create the barrier, pressing the beads together.  Any way you use it, so long as you keep your food securely “tucked in” to the pillows without disturbing the insulating barrier, the temperature it went in with will be the same later when you pull it out!

Try it out!  You’ll love using your Wonder Oven to keep foods cool this summer!

Wonder Oven Patterns

I’m still very happy to send patterns out to anyone who wants one.  I got behind over the last three weeks, so to all those who’ve requested one most recently, they’re (finally) going out in the mail today to you.  From this point forward, I’ll be moving to a once a month mailing schedule.  Over the last three weeks I’ve had 22 requests (SO great!!) but with life and all happening I don’t have time to go to the post office so often.  I’ll mail this recent batch out today and then the next month’s worth of requests will be mailed out July 1st.

Just send me an email, at if you’d like a free pattern to make one yourself!

You can visit this post to hear a radio show all about Wonder Ovens and cooking with them, including the details about the beads needed to make them and where I originally found them to buy!  As a post note, an online source has since been discovered for the beads, found here.

Lastly, another option, if you’re not wanting to sew them, is to buy a set already made.  You can expect to pay somewhere in the ballpark of $60-$80 with shipping, where as if you make it yourself it’ll work out to $20-ish (per two pillow set).  A friend of mine sells them HERE and another blogger I know sells them HERE.




16 Responses to “Keep your Cool this Summer: Wonder Oven Tip!”

  1. A Barker May 21, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

    Wonder Oven Patterns

    Just sent me an email, at if you’d like a free pattern to make one yourself! I would love to have a pattern to try.

    Thanks, Anita Barker     (

  2. Agnesa May 22, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    Dear Megan, Sorry to hear all of your Wonder ovens are gone, I am sure everyone who bought one is super excited to have one and at such a great price. That was a great thing you did for all of those people. I was hoping to get the pattern if I could.
    I would like to make my own Wonder Oven, since there are none of yours left to purchase. I don’t know if you want your questions answered for the patterns as well so here goes. I have been out of work since June of last year, 2013. I have been having a lot of health problems and am unable to work. As you could imagine things are pretty tight around here. We have a pretty large family my husband, 3 kids and my parents, all live together we all try to help each other out by living together. I know the Wonder Oven would be a great thing to have to keep the cooling costs down. We all have allergies and I have asthma so going without air conditioning is really not an option. So having the Wonder Oven would help us out with keeping the house from heating up there by making the air run a lot. Thank you for hearing me out. Hope to hear from you. Thanks again. Blessings to you and your family. Agnesa

  3. Brittney May 24, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

    Love this post! Such great ideas. I made a hoagie sandwich and ran errands for the day. Just got my wonder oven in the mail, so I stuck the sandwich in the oven as I drove all over town. When I pulled it out to eat it, hours later, it was nice and fresh and cool! Perfect!

    • Megan May 25, 2014 at 7:56 am #

      So glad to hear it, Brittney!! Isn’t it great?! 🙂

  4. Lisa June 2, 2014 at 7:06 am #

    I loved reading about keeping foods cool! I love the idea of putting your food in and safety pinning it shut and protecting it from the heat.

  5. laurabruno July 21, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

    Reblogged this on Laura Bruno's Blog and commented:
    I’ve just discovered Wonder Ovens, and what a great way to re-initiate my childhood sewing machine that my parents dropped off last summer. Sure, I need to dig it out of the garage behind all the gardening stuff, but this is pretty amazing. It keeps hot things hot, frozen things frozen, and cold things cold. Knowing friends who lost everything in their freezers during the extended power outages in Goshen a few weeks ago, it just seems like a no-brainer to have these on hand. I had also wondered if there was a way to use a rocket stove (which I own but haven’t tried yet) to heat dried beans to boiling but then continue the very long cooking process without the fuel and attention of a fire. Well, wonder no more with the Wonder Oven. You can find patterns on through this post or elsewhere online. I think two makes sense for multiple uses. This is even more exciting than my Stanley Thermos! 🙂

    • Megan July 22, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

      Thanks for the reblog, Laura! 🙂

  6. Ascension Angel July 22, 2014 at 3:23 am #

    Thank you for BEing an INspiration to your SELF!

    • Megan July 22, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

      So nice! Thanks!

      • Ascension Angel July 22, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

        But most importantly, you’re an INspiration to the WORLD! 😀

  7. Mythoughts76 July 22, 2014 at 6:53 am #

    Reblogged this on My Thoughts File.

    • Megan July 22, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

      Thanks for the reblog!

  8. Jennifer Frandsen November 16, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    I recently learned about the “Wonder Oven”. I was very curious and had to make one and try it myself! It worked so well and exceeded my expectations. You almost have to see the results to believe how great it is! It works to cook food by heat retention. You bring the food to a boil for a few minutes on your heat source, then place the pot with lid on in the Wonder Oven where it continues to cook. In a few hours your meal is prepared! After 4 1/2 hours the lid was so hot I had to use a hot pad to check the food. I wrapped the pot in a Mylar emergency blanket to keep the oven clean and retain more heat. I also put something heavy on the top while it was in use.
    I made Brown Rice, Split Pea Soup and Steel Cut Oats with Dried Apples all in the first day!! I also tried a 15 bean soup that was fantastic! Yesterday I made a butternut squash soup that was yummy too. They were all amazing and perfectly cooked!!! I know it will save time in the kitchen and be a wonderful preparedness item that will help my fuel go further.
    If you are interested or know others who may want one, please pass this along. I will take orders through email…
    I offer them for $40 plus shipping. (This is the lowest price I’ve seen.) The shipping seems to be between $8 and $12… I think it will give more people a chance to get one and learn how to use it. It would be great Christmas gifts for friends or family members who need preparedness items.

    All the Wonder Ovens are filled with 3mm virgin polystyrene bean bag beads. The tiny beads retain the heat the best.
    Please let me know if you have any other questions. (You can email me for pictures.



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