Oh... LIFE! What happens when you make other plans! Ha ha. So I've been meaning to get this post written for over a week now and I don't really see a chance to do it justice like I wanted. It's just NOT gonna happen. So instead, I'm going to type quickly - get some photos up - and give my readers some information and my thoughts on a product I finally 'got around' to trying.
When I first starting seeing these about 5 years ago, I didn't pay them attention because I thought they were stupid. For the cost, I thought they were ridiculous. There are plenty of other ways to heat foods and liquids and this was an expensive 'fad'.
And I may still be right about that... but have to admit, I kind of like them.
Although I bought two different brands of 'tumblers' or travel mugs, I also bought a cook style version for food. I'll link to those and allude to those but this short review is going to be geared towards the tumblers/mugs. The food cookers work the exact same way so it's all relative.
The tumblers are made with a heavy duty plastic outside tumbler that holds the inner canister/tumbler in which you place your soup, coffee, tea, etc. Anything that fits into the container basically. It's about 15 ounces capacity.
The first one I bought was on clearance because the company has discontinued them and won't be selling them anymore. You'll see the company name in my photos but as they are clearing out their warehouse you'll have to pick up one of the other brands on the market. AND (this is important) for anyone buying that particular brand (with the little acorn) they DO NOT SELL THE HEAT PACKS FOR THIS TUMBLER ANY LONGER. So, you will get a tumbler/mug that is completely useless unless you find another supplier for the little water activated heat packs.
And with that, let's dive into what I'm talking about! THESE are the tumblers/mugs. And this one is by a brand that currently is still available as of this post.
- Traveling cup with options to heat up anytime, anywhere without fire, gas and electricity
- Perfect for all outdoor, camping, traveling and everyday use
- Compact lightweight and durable
- Magic Cook Heat Packs sold separately
- Water activated heat packs which can generate heat of up to 203 F Degree
The first tumbler I purchased (from the little acorn logo company) that doesn't have any of the heat packets available, was useless until I found the heat packets, but luckily I found those were still available from Magic Cook. I ordered a tumbler from them as well as a bunch of the packets.
The TRAVEL MUG - TUMBLERS USE THE 20 GRAM SIZE. DO NOT USE THE LARGER 50 GRAM SIZE FOR THE TUMBLER MUGS. The larger size is for the food cooking containers. The smaller size is for the liquid coffee/tea/soup tumblers.
Magic Cook 20g Refill Heat Pack (Pack of 5)
Barocook Fuel Pack Set (10-Piece), 20g
I was getting ready to leave the house to go hiking so I did a 'test' using both brands of tumblers. I took video as well but for lack of time, we are just going to do photos today. You can easily see the process in them.
Side by side from the top looking down
you can see how you take out the inner canister and place
one heat pack into the bottom of the outer plastic container.
The 'acorn' brand came with ONE PACKET so I did get to try 'their' packets although they no longer sell them (again, they are discontinuing carrying these items so I got the mug pretty cheap but they don't sell extra 20 gram heat packets)
A close up of the instructions.
How to use a heatless cooking system...
- Separate cups and place food/liquid into the stainless inner bowl.
- Place the heat pack into the bottom of the plastic cup.
- Pour the suggest amount of water in (only 2 tablespoons - don't use more!)
- Place the stainless steel inner cup inside the plastic cup, over the steaming heat packet, now activated with your water. Seal with the top lid.
- Wait 7-10 minutes for cooking time as the packet reacts with the water and heats up to 203 degrees.
I put hot coffee into mine so it was already hot, and my intention was to 'test' the packets and the process but also to keep my coffee HOT for the 45 minute drive to the hiking location I was going to.
After adding the 2 tablespoons water, put the inner stainless tumbler inside the outer plastic cup. Seal with the lid.
Here is the bubbling and steaming process going on in the Magic Cook brand tumbler as it activated nicely right away. The sealed container holds in the steam and hot water. The container does get really hot so you won't want to be holding it during this time.
Remember the company on the left is discontinuing theirs, so perhaps
that is why their packet did NOT immediately activate as well as the Magic Cook brand.
You can see it just sitting there slowly starting to steam a little while the
Magic Cook was going to town!
What happened later however, was about 5 minutes down the road the company version on the left FINALLY started to really activate. It suddenly started to bubble and steam like it was supposed to. At that point it finished the job quite nicely. Both containers got very got (even with the foam cover on the outside to help protect your hands).
The coffee was actually a little too hot to drink (and I like my coffee at about 192 degrees!). I had to let it 'cool' down for about 15 minutes before I could drink it. It was very hot initially but it does cool down quickly once the sealed lid is opened to consume the food or beverages and the little packet cools down immediately after it's activated.
You can then throw the packets away in the normal trash. NOTE: the packets get ROCK HARD after being used. So much so, that I had a hard time getting them OUT of the tumblers. I had to use a knife to slide around the outside and slowly wiggle it to get it loose. It had molded itself to the shape of the cup and then hardened in place since I didn't empty the outer cups until I returned home a couple hours later after hiking.
I LOVE THEM. I stocked up on the 20 gram heat packets for the 2 tumblers I own.
As I mentioned, I also bought the cooking bowl for food, that uses the larger 50 gram size so I bought 3 boxes of those as well.
For camping, hiking and power outages these are fabulous but I also make a lot of solo cross-country road trips and I like to bring coffee with me when I run errands as well. THIS is ultimately why I bought these; for HOT coffee while running errands and driving cross country. I WILL NOT DRINK coffee that has even begun to cool. It changes in flavor and I just won't/can't drink it. So, I'm THRILLED with them for those reasons above and beyond the camping/emergency usage.
Products related to this post: The larger 'cooker' and heatless mug set available from Barocook:
Barocook Essential Set Flameless Cooking BDL-100
The food heatless cooker without the tumbler option from Barocook:
Barocook Rectangular Flameless Cookware System, 28-Ounce
These are the 50 gram heat packs you need to cook in the larger cooker. (The 20 gram size for the coffee/soup/tea tumbler is linked above in this post)
Magic Cook 50g Refill Heat Packs for Lunch Box x (Pack of 5)
Sorry this post didn't end up to be as polished as I'd like, but I have zero time for product reviews right now and I was feeling guilty for not doing any lately! Life is throwing me some other curve balls right now... but I'll be back.
Meanwhile, I hope you found my rambling and photos somewhat helpful... meh, it's just the coffee talking again!