Haybox or fireless cooker made of a wool blanket

This page is a translated version of the page Marmite norvégienne pour nomades and the translation is 100% complete.

Tutorial de avatarSoizic Brun | Categories : Food, Energy

Fireless cooker made of a woollen blanket for steaming food. The principle of the fireless cooker or Norwegian pot is to place a stewpot in an insulating receptacle after boiling for slow cooking without using a heat source. This specific space-saving model is perfectly suited to nomadic life, especially in a van, but not only, and can be adapted to various sizes of stewpot or saucepan.

License : Attribution (CC BY)


The fireless cooker is a steaming device that has been around for thousands of years. The principle is to place a pot in an insulated container after boiling for slow cooking without a heat source. In addition to saving energy, the other advantage is that the nutrients are preserved. The dishes are tasty because they are cooked slowly; we've tested and approved it extensively, particularly with lentil and soups.

Video overview


• A blanket for a double bed (preferably wool)

• Fabric

• Sewing thread

• 2 Velcro strips, approx. 30 cm long


• A pair of scissors

• Needles

• Pins

• A sewing machine optionally

Step 1 - Preparing insulation

  • Fold the blanket into thirds and check that this is enough to enclose your stewpot.
  • Cut the blanket into three squares of equal size
  • With the rest, cut two squares the width of the stewpot
  • Sew these two small pieces in top of each other at the centre of one of the larger squares to make a double base for the stewpot
  • Overlay the three large squares on top of each other
  • Sew them together by hand around the edges

Step 2 - Making the cover

  • Cut the fabric to cover both sides of the blanket squares
  • Cut two Velcro strips about 30 cm long
  • Position the Velcro strips on the fabric, making sure that the two opposite sides overlap when you close the Norwegian pot on the stewpot.
  • Secure the Velcro strips to the fabric with pins
  • Sew them to the fabric
  • Fold the fabric in half, overlapping the edges
  • Sew two edges of the fabric together to make the cover
  • Slide the blankets squares into the cover
  • Stitch in the centre to keep the blankets in place inside the cover
  • Sew the last edge of the cover. You can also sew on a zip to make the cover easier to wash.
  • You can now use your Norwegian pot!

Step 3 - Using the fireless cooker

  • Start cooking on the heat using your most isolated pot
  • Place the lid on the pot and bring to the boil.
  • Further cook for a few minutes (depending on the recipe chosen, the pre-cooking time will vary).
  • Place your Norwegian pot wide open on a flat surface
  • Stop cooking and place the boiling stewpot in the centre of the Norwegian pot
  • Close the edges with the Velcro strips, taking care not to leave any gaps between the pot and the fabric.
  • Allow to stew inside the Norwegian pot for the minimum time required according to the recipe, usually double the normal cooking time.
  • Open the pot and check that it is cooked through and still hot.
  • All you have to do now is enjoy your tasty recipe.

Step 4 - Tips

  • A wool blanket will limit the number of layers you need to use for insulation, but you can use other insulating materials.
  • Velcro straps allow you to use different sizes of stewpot or saucepan. Make sure you make your Norwegian pot with the largest pot you're going to use.
  • We recommend that you recycle materials. You can find woollen blankets and cotton fabrics at recycling centres.
  • When cooking, it's best to choose a cast-iron or terracotta casserole, as the heat loses more slowly, but the most important thing is that the lid fits the pan properly so that it doesn't leak.
  • Tighten the Velcro straps as much as possible to prevent heat loss.
  • Make sure that there is enough water in the pot to simmer for several hours.
  • If you have left your dish to simmer for more than 2 hours, there is a risk that the temperature will have fallen below 60 degrees and that bacteria will have developed. It is therefore advisable to bring your dish to the boil before eating it.
  • You can use your Norwegian pot as a quilt over your duvet for extra warmth around the feet especially when it is still warm after having cooked!

Notes and references

Tutorial of a wooden haybox from the Low-Tech Lab : https://wiki.lowtechlab.org/wiki/Marmite_norv%C3%A9gienne/en