Hay box is a simple low cost fuel saving device developed by the Department of Home Science Extension, Home Science College and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu Agricultural Univeristy, Madurai. It is a thermally insulated box which resists the flow of heat from the inside to the outside of the box and thereby saves and stores thermal energy for cooking or heating material. Hay box uses locally available agricultural waste like husk and hay.
Fabrication of Hay Box
Box of dimension - Length : 45 cm, Breadth :45 cm, Depth : 45 cm. Box may be of wood, carboard box, bamboo basket or small cement tanks.
Insulating material - Hay / paddy husk / wood wool / saw dust
Cardboard box is kept ready
Fill the box with Hay
A pillow of jute almost of the box size should be taken and filled with Hay
Method of Cooking (Ex. Rice )
Take washed rice in a vessel. Add double the amount of water in the vessel.
Place it in the fire for 10 minutes.
Make a space for it in the centre of the hay box.
Remove the vessel from fire and place it in the space made in the hay box. Place the hay pillow over it.
Rice gets cooked within 45 minutes in its own heat (is kept warm for 5 - 6 hrs.).
Care is to be taken in keeping the hay clean without getting soiled by soot or cooked foods. Drying of hay in the sun for an hour or two every fortnight is to be done.
Safe and simple handling.
Cost effective and easy maintenance
Minimum cooking time - This method of cooking requires minimum time of boiling and cooking food items.
Keeping temperature - The required temperature of foods cooked using hay box can be retained for 6 hours. The temperature of rice cooked and kept in the hay box for five hours was maintained at 61°C while that of rice kept outside was only 35°C.
Superior quality foods - Items prepared in this device will have superior quality in flavour, colour, texture, taste when compared to foods cooked by other methods.
Meagre nutrient loss - As the cooking medium is completely absorbed by the food material, the nutrient loss is minimum.
Saves Resources - This technology helps to save fuel, money, labour and time and prevents health hazards. Fifty eight per cent of the cooking time and 44 % of the money spent on fuel were found to be saved. The temperature of rice cooked and kept in the hay box for five hours was maintained at 61°C while that of rice kept outside was only 35oC.
Source : Department of Home Science Extension, Home Science College and Research Institute, TNAU, Madurai-625 104