A pot cozy is a simple and elegant alternative to simmering that will dramatically save fuel. It will also allow you to cook many foods that you wouldn’t normallly think of for backpacking, such as uncooked rice, beans and thick pasta. If you want a pot cozy but prefer not to make your own, you may order one from Anti Gravity Gear. Several stock sizes and custom sizes available. Part of profits go towards supporting boy scout Troop 270 in Hampstead, NC and other outdoor maintenance agencies.
1) 3/8 ” closed cell foam (cut an old foam pad or buy a cheap one from K-Mart or WalMart)
2) 2 inch wide aluminized furnace tape (duct tape can be used but makes for a slightly heavier cozy).
3) Heavy duty Aluminum foil
2) Felt marker
4) Tape measure
The pot cozy is made of 3 parts, a circular top, a circular bottom and a rectangle that is bent around to form a tube. Aluminum foil is added to the inside bottom to prevent sticking.
Step 1: Take into consideration the lid and folding handles, if your pot has them. Using the tape measure, measure around the circumference of the widest part of your pot. Next, determine the maximum height of your cook pot with the lid. Add half an inch (12 mm) to the height.
Use these 2 measurements to cut out a rectangle of foam. When the foam is bent it should form a tube that will easily slide over your pot, but have a close fit.
Join the tube together with tape across the seam, running the tape around until it overlaps itself. Test it over your pot to see it slides over the pot firmly but easily.
Step 2: Now use the foam tube to draw two circles on another piece of the closed cell foam. The diameter of these circles should be the same as the outside of the tube made in step one. Cut these circles out, place one on one end of the cylinder and run tape around the bottom of the cylinder with 1/2 on the cylinder and the other 1/2 protruding over the bottom. Fold the protruding overlap onto the bottom of the cylinder. The tape folds over in places, this is OK. If you want it to look really neat, you can make slits in the tape every 1 inch to within 1/4″ of the bottom so that the sections will overlap cleanly.
Step 3: Place your cookpot open side down on a piece of aluminum foil and trace a circle around it with the marker. Cut out the foil, make 4 small loops of tape, place them evenly along the bottom of the foil and tape the foil to the inside of the foam cylinder.
Step 4: The foam lid may either simply rest on top of the cylinder, or you can use tape to make a hinge by running a strip along both sides of the cylinder onto the outside and inside of the lid. Your cozy is now done!
If the food you are cooking normally requires 20 minutes of simmering, cook for 5 minutes past boil and store in pot cozy for the remainder of the time you’d normally cook. The cozy will keep your meal piping hot for up to 3 hours, depending on conditions.