The wondrous Wonderbag! *Ad*
Have you heard of the Wonderbag? It is a thermal cooker, which is similar to a slow cooker. However, they don’t need to be plugged in. This means they don’t use any energy! I’ve been eyeing them up for ages. So I got in touch with the lovely people at Wonderbag to ask if you they would send me one so I could do a Wonderbag review. Happily they agreed!
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To use a Wonderbag* you need to heat up and cook the pan of food first for a bit. Use a pan with short handles so it fits into the bag. I have a large Wonderbag and my Le Creuset tri ply saucepan* fits perfectly in it (find out more about why I chose to buy those saucepans here: how to choose a saucepan). Then place the hot pan on a trivet, or heat proof mat in the bag. You can put the cushion lid inside, pull the drawstring, and leave it to do it’s magic for a few hours.
How to make pasta sauce in a Wonderbag
To begin my Wonderbag review, I needed to test it out. So I decided to make a use-it-up variation on my basic pasta sauce recipe . I made the basic recipe. Then I added in various chopped vegetables from my fridge that needed using up including some broccoli, courgette and carrots. To start, I cooked the sauce on the hob for 30 minutes. Then I placed it in the Wonderbag on a wooden mat. Finally I left it for around 3 hours to continue slow cooking! Although the sauce was cooked before it went in the Wonderbag, slow cooking it brings out the flavour in the tomato and makes the sauce much tastier. It came out great and after it had cooled down I portioned it out into containers to freeze and use another time!
More info about Wonderbags
I like the ethos behind the Wonderbag. For each bag sold a donation is made to the Wonderbag foundation to “support Wonderfeasts and subsidize Wonderbags to communities across the world”.
The Wonderbag comes with a handy cookbook and guide to timings for how long different foods can be left in the bag. You can also check out their website for recipes and information about how to use it. I’m looking forward to experimenting with it more and seeing what else I can make in it!
Is it worth the money?
If you don’t want to invest in a Wonderbag, you can make your own DIY thermal cooker. I used to use a freezer bag and towels – read more about how to do it (and how to not do it) here: Make your own slow cooker.
You are probably wondering if I made my own, why did I want to do a Wonderbag review? Well, I accidentally melted my freezer bag with a hot pan. Also it was a bit fiddly getting the towels wrapped around the pan. You can get around that, but it is easier to use the Wonderbag as it is designed with a hot pan in mind.
Whether or not it is worth the investment is down to how much you think you will use it. I use mine to batch cook soup, stews and sauces regularly. You can also make yoghurt in it. If you are thinking of buying one, make sure you get the right size bag for your pans, as they come in different sizes.
I love mine and I’m really glad I’ve got it. I will be using it for years to come!