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Wonder Oven - A Bean Bag that Cooks - Video

I attended the Hurricane Preparedness Fair at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston recently.  Last year, there were two of us at...

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Top 10 Features of My Wonder Oven

Wonder Ovens are energy-saving, non-electric slow cookers. In order to slow cook food, all you do is use a pan with a lid and bring the food to a rolling boil for about 10-15 minutes.   Don't peek under the lid.  Just pick up the pot with something to protect your hands and place it in the Wonder Oven. 

Here are just 10 features you'll appreciate.  

1. 100% Cotton

We promise the fabric won't melt!

2. Double Stitched

We want to make sure those beads stay right where we put them!

3. Filled with 3 mm polystyrene beads

Smaller beads conduct the heat better because there is less air space around them. Bigger is NOT always better.

4. VIRGIN beads

My Wonder Oven beads have not not been recycled from someone else's bean bag.

5. Floppy rather than overstuffed

This feature makes it easier to store, and allows you to fit it into a container (which is great when you're cooking on the go) or wrap it around your food. Go freestyle, baby.

6. Washable

If My Wonder Oven gets soiled, simply wash that area with soap and water and allow to air dry. It's a good idea to wrap your pot with a towel to avoid spills. A solar blanket also works great to catch spills and reduce condensation.

7. Cook on the road!

Think of it as a non-electric slow cooker. 

8. Refrigerate on the road

Great for keeping groceries cool, or even frozen, on the ride home.

9. Made in the USA

Even better, made in TEXAS.

10. Affordable pricing

Because I can purchase the fabric and those 3 mm VIRGIN beads here locally, I can keep the costs down. 

One of my favorite things to do is browse the sales at my favorite fabric store and search for quality, 100% cotton that I think you'd enjoy having in your home.  

Interview: Dr. Prepper

My Wonder Oven: DIY Cooker, Cooler, and Oven

Joyce Moseley Pierce is not only an author, radio talk show host, but she’s also filling the additional roles of mother, grandmother, wife, and successful serial entrepreneur as a writer and a talented seamstress and manufacturer of an exciting homemade food cooking and cooling product. Joyce makes the wonder oven kitchen products in her spare bedroom, packages them, and takes them to the post office as she grows her in-home business.

 My Wonder Oven: DIY Cooker, Cooler, and Oven [ 1:16:44 ]

Now that Joyce has reached retirement age, she feels she can build other aspects of her life to help others be more able to prepare better for the future that lies just over the horizon. Having been in Houston during Hurricane Ike, Joyce remembers living without utilities for weeks after the storm passed. She’s not going to be caught again without remedies for natural and man-caused disasters over which she has no control. Joyce has been practicing her adapted preparedness life since 1989, and has become quite adept at fixing up, making do, and mixing & matching her talents in many aspects of staying engaged in the lives of her children and grandchildren. Visit her websites listed above and enjoy her immersion in doing good for others as she continues to grow her skills, talents, and abilities so she can weather life’s oncoming storms of natural, man-caused, and personal disasters––whether unexpected or expected!

 James Talmage Stevens (aka Doctor Prepper™) began his career in the preparedness industry from the days of his youth. His family lived with his Grandparents immediately following the end of WWII. He learned the basics on the Pace farm in rural Guilford County (NC). Farm chores and gardening were standard fare––plowing the back 40 behind a stubborn mule was substandard! In 1974, upon finishing graduate school with 4 young children and no prospects for a job due to economic conditions during a national economic slump, James reverted to his past experiences on the farm and chronicled in his notebook, along with some hand-me-down recipes from his mother and grandmother. Noting there were no viable books that dealt with all the basics, i.e.: a broad range of food products, he began to utilize his analytical skills, organizing handwritten notes, recipes, and food lore into one volume of information. He spent his spare time while job-hunting, and Making the Best of Basics was created. Before going to press, the subtitle Family Preparedness Handbook was added to distinguish Basics… from the emergency preparedness genre of the existing Civil Defense and governmental agency information.

Purchase your wonder oven through my Etsy Store.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What IS a Wonder Oven?

What IS a Wonder Oven? Is it an oven, or a slow-cooker, or a cooler? 

It is actually all three! To work as an oven, or a slow-cooker, all you have to do is boil the food on your stove top for 10-15 minutes. Place the pot inside the Wonder Oven and it will finish cooking for you. It's so much better than the electric kind of cooker because you can carry this one with you. Imagine the benefits to having a home-cooked meal when you've spent the day at soccer games, or even after a day of traveling? I didn't even mention the advantages of using less fuel. Because of the construction of the bag, though, it can also be used as a cooler. I use mine to carry frozen, or refrigerated food home from the grocery store. I live about 30 minutes from the closest grocery store, so that is important, and it also means that I don't have to rush home. I have plenty of time to make extra stops if necessary. 

Comparing Two Wonder Ovens: "Bulked up" vs. “Floppy” You’ll see two styles of Wonder Ovens out on the market. Some that look like this one shown below. It kinda looks like a snowman, don't you think?

 Image result for wonder oven

And those that look like this. Makes you want to snuggle up with it, doesn't it? 

Image result for wonder oven

They both do the job. However, two or three inches of compressed beads are really all that are necessary to adequately retain a temperature. There’s no functional advantage to having a “bulked up” Wonder Oven, though some people prefer that it can stand up by itself. Also, having more beads it may make the person using it feel more confident that it can do a job if they haven't tested it yet. 

 Image result for wonder oven

Why “Floppy” is Fantastic: By knowing there isn’t an advantage to having more of the beads in a set of pillows, there are two reasons we feel fewer beads are actually better

1. Using them within a holding container (like a box or a plastic tub) keeps them protected from the elements, if using outside. 

2. Less bulk to store and move around. 

3. Pillows are more adaptable, each on their own when there are fewer beads. You can even use them independently (the bottom or the top on its own) to retain the heat of a small item, wrapped up by the pillow. In the picture below, you can see that safety pins were used to hold this "bottom" together while keeping cold foods cold.

  Image result for wonder oven

4. We’ve found pots of any size are nested more easily using fewer beads. Sometimes using less really is MORE!   


Is Bigger Better? Tiny (3 mm) beads Vs Larger (5 mm) beads Another thing you’ll often see in wonder ovens is a difference in the size of beads used. Tested against one another, the smaller beads out-perform larger beads. This is easily explained when you consider air space and its effect on heat retention. Larger beads, compressed against themselves, create more air space between themselves than smaller beads do. The smaller beads fit more tightly together as they’re compressed, allowing more of the temperature to be retained. "After 3 hours of comparing different size beads and regrind fill, the wonder box with the smaller beads was 7 degrees warmer than its counterpart with larger beads." 

Here are the results on a time/temperature graph. Courtesy Thermal Cooker


I've had customers tell me they're glad I don't "overstuff" because it makes the oven so much easier to use.  See for yourself.  Visit my Etsy store and check out the comments.  I do my best to make sure every customer is satisfied.  I'll do the same for you!


P.S.  I think you'll find that I'm the ONLY one who double stitches every wonder oven I make!  This is important because this one extra step assures you that none of those pesky beads escapes.   Each one is hand made in the Great State of Texas so you know your oven is made in the USA.