What is a Wonder Oven (AKA Wonder Box)?
My neighbor loved my new bean bag, but when I told her it actually cooked food she thought I was crazy. This little cushion does more than just look pretty, it keeps Hot things Hot, or it can keep Cold things Cold.
Basically, you get your food boiling for a few minutes, snuggle it right down into the center, and then put a cushion on top. It continues to cook your food without any power and the best part is, your food doesn’t burn!
You can also throw in ice cream and when you pull it out 4 hours later, it will still be frozen! You can make one with the instructions below, or buy one online. I just wonder how I survived so long without it :)
Wonder Oven SUPPLIES:
- FABRIC – 2 1/4 yards (56/60″ wide) or 3 1/4 yards (42/45″ wide) of Soft Cotton or Broadcloth Material (100% cotton recommended). Try not to get anything too thin, stretchy, or use any material that might melt :)
- To use different fabric for the top and bottom you need:
- Top: 1 1/4 yards
- Bottom: 2 yards
- To use different fabric for the top and bottom you need:
- PATTERN – The pattern used can be found HERE.
- SEWING SUPPLIES – Scissors, Sewing Machine, Thread, Pins, & Sharpie (to trace pattern)
- DRYER SHEETS – Used to wipe things down to help decrease static.
- BUCKET/GALLON CONTAINER – These will help to pour and measure beads into the wonder oven.
- FUNNEL – This will be placed into the opening in the wonder oven to help fill it with beads.
- FILLER – Small Beads (Polystyrene) are one of the best fillers to use, because they’re great insulators and can be easily washed. These can be purchased online HERE, or you can pick some up at Houston Foam! People have also used Wood Shavings, Hay, Shredded Foam, Shipping Popcorn, Wool, Feathers, Leaves, Shredded Newspaper, Saw Dust, Extra Kids, etc. So really anything you have lying around that won’t mold or burn up should work!
Which Filler is the Best? There are so many options when it comes to filling the wonder oven, but according to this experiment, the small 1/8 inch size beads retained heat the longest. “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 is their experiment results on a time/temperature graph (click to make it larger):”
You have all your beads, now what?
Follow the instructions below and you will be cooking in no time. Hopefully my instructions make sense, but if not head over HERE for even more pictures and details! Good luck!
Or, if you are ready to get cooking, here’s a great place you can just BUY A WONDER OVEN!
Wonder Oven INSTRUCTIONS:
1- DRAW PATTERN ON FABRIC
PATTERN – The pattern used can be found HERE.
Make sure your fabric is folded so you will be able to cut 4 out at the same time. Once folded, put the pattern on top and trace around it.
2 – CUT PATTERN OUT
- Cut out 4 top pieces
- Cut out 4 bottom pieces
3- SEW TOP PIECES
- Take 2 of the pieces and place them right sides together.
- Pin and sew them on all the sides with the dotted line (located on pattern).
- Double Stitch if you want a stronger seam.
- Do the same with the other 2 pieces except LEAVE A SPACE on one side (as seen on pattern), so that you can turn and fill the pillow later.
4- SEW TOP PIECES TOGETHER
- Fold over the top half of the fabric and repeat for other set.
- Place both sets right sides together and sew them together.
5- REPEAT STEP 3 & 4 WITH BOTTOM PIECES
6- PULL OUT FABRIC
- Pull inside piece thru the turn/fill hole and now you have a flat pillow.
7- GET READY TO FILL
- Wipe down the cardboard, scoop, bucket, your hands and arms with a dryer sheet. This helps stop the static electricity that develops with the Styrofoam.
- Make the funnel and insert into the small opening/fill hole that was left.
8- FILL WONDER OVENS:
10 Gallons per Wonder Oven
Use a 1 gallon container and scoop the following into each piece:
- TOP – 4 Gallons of Beads
- BOTTOM – 6 Gallons of Beads
You can also measure the beads into a bucket and pour it all at once inside the funnel.
9- SEW UP THE FILL HOLE
Sew up the hole you used to fill the wonder oven.
By now it may look like it decided to snow inside your house. Get the kids and run around in it, then hand them vacuums and brooms to help clean-up.
Congrats, you are now DONE!!!
Storing Your Wonder Oven
You can purchase a 20 gallon Rubbermaid box to put your Wonder Oven in to help store it. Some Wonder Oven instructions call for 19 Gallons of beads which makes it more full, but we recommend only 10 gallons. It allows for bigger pots to be used, and it also conforms to your pot easier.
Having a box or basket to put the Wonder Oven in will help give it some shape and make sure to keep pots nice and snug inside!
When cooking there can be some condensation that forms. Our fabulous instructor found that when she used a thin metallic sheet, like an emergency blanket, it helped to decrease the condensation.
All she did was use the blanket as a barrier between the wonder box and the pot that she was cooking with. This will also help with keeping your Wonder Oven clean.
Cleaning Your Wonder Oven
The Wonder Oven doesn’t need to be cleaned often, but if there are some spills or odors you want to get rid of you can.
Just wash your wonder oven with some hot water and soap, and then dry it on a clothesline.
I will post more about how to use your wonder oven and some yummy things to make (so make sure to enter your email above to get them), but in the meantime, make sure to check out these great resources!
It’s sad when my kids have to jump on top of whatever I’m taking a picture of to get attention :) I wouldn’t recommend turning your hard work into a bean bag, so make sure to keep it somewhere safe!
Buy a Wonder Oven
And remember, if you want to just buy one for yourself or as a gift here’s a great place to get them – Wonder Ovens For Sale!
You can press the Print button below to print off instructions to be able to refer back to, or to put in your Food Storage Binder :)