Tom Rutledge

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since Apr 15, 2012

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Recent posts by Tom Rutledge

Can't stop running into awesome 12VDC things....  and  , which apparently has a 12VDC option.

I have one of the originals packed away, it worked last I knew it was just a bit small for my needs.

I have no personal experiance with the current crop of products ( thought the website is being a bit... wonky for me ), I hear good things from a nomad I watch on youtube.

Might work out for you.

Good luck.

4 months ago
I'm a big fan of Bob Wells at the youtube channel CheapRVliving.

And they just posted : Cook in Your Car! 12 Volt Electric Oven Cooking in Any Vehicle! Cooking & Warming with NO Propane!

At the end he messed up the units a bit.   The cooking probably took about 250 watt  hours, or 22 amp hours on a 12vdc system.   That'd be a lot of hurt on a lead acid system.   On a LiFePo, system i'd probably be fine.  Extra fine if you can do it while the sun is out on a few 100 watt pannels.

Bob also mentioned 'wrapping it up' e.g. like a hot box / hay box cooker.  

The given solution depends on situation and budget both in the longer and shorter term.

A $50 cooker that ends up eating $200 batteries every year or two due to deep discharge... not the best plan in the long term, and sometimes you need to do what you need to do.

5 months ago

Bethany Dutch wrote:Saw this link here:


Or - my brain wants to say I remember reading something years ago about some sort of cooling system using ammonia that caused a chemical reaction with SOMETHING that made things chill or freeze. Any thoughts?

There is an Einstein Refrigerator.   Want cold?  Just add heat.... (cough)  rocket mass heater... (cough,cough), or maybe a solar thermal collector.

The idea of having a buy once cry once heirloom quality cooling system.... glorious.  
5 months ago

For higher total money quantities :

At one of the higher money thresholds,  I'd say a version for people who use metric measures.  
Maybe a second level for plans adapted to a EU, or Chinese market.
Get wheaten labs one of them fancy combustion gas measuring thingies
Get wheaton labs one of them fancy thermal imaging cameras.

rewards :
Stickers / plaques / art for backers RMHs, or RMH dreams.
  "I ❤️ RMH"
  "Windfall for heating!"
RMH top safe mugs / tea / coffee sets or drinks.
Possibly a set of trivet that are RMH barrel top safe, and keep stuff on top at _less_ than a raging boil.  

I'm enamored with the idea of a RMH samovar.

a 20 minute egg timer, so that I can figure out when to go check on the heater.

a 20 pack of 'just light this thing' eazy rocket mass heater starters like the compressed wood logs that go in some fireplaces ( something more non ick though ).

I'm very chuffed. Thank you.
I've had about... a dozen instant pots.   I like them a lot, and tend to give them away.

I'm not familiar with the 'burned pot' message.  

When i'm using the Saute seeting it'll sometimes say 'BURN' or something like that when it's getting to hot or it things I've done something wrong.

The stainless steel really more like 'less staining that raw iron'-steel.  

A bit of water and steam in the pot for cleaning probably wont hurt.  Heck, try pressure canning it for 1 minute.  I'd stay away from soaps as they might cause bubbles and cause venting issues.  Maybe some white vinegar.
6 months ago
If there's a real Truckstop around where you live, go take a visit over in the Trucker parts area.  There's always interesting 12 volt stuff there.

12V DC cooking is going to be a bit rough as the standard plugs can only pull 100-200 Watts safely.  

Hot water is sorta like one step of cooking, a 12V DC heating element for a hot water heater would be useful.   There are on demand or not 12V DC kits for that.

There are apparently some DIY sous vide rigs for the googling.

I have a 12V DC LiFePo bank ( they are getting much more reasonable now a-days , and don't off gas when charging so they prefer to be in the house rather than in a vented compartment out in the cold.   I use it and an inverter to run an instant pot and a rice cooker, today I ran them at the same time... it was lovely.

Price wise, converting 12V to 120Vac ( always get sine wave inverters, it's just for the best ) is getting cheaper and cheaper.
6 months ago
To Long Didn't Read; flights seem to be about 1/2 as fuel => CO2 usage as driving a standard gas car.  

Rhiannon Drake wrote:


Paul wonders if flying is not better than driving; he has seen a statistic of 5 gallons jet fuel per passenger on a flight, vs an estimated 150 gallons gasoline for driving a similar distance.  He thinks better data is needed about carbon emissions from various modes of transport.

If you’re going anyway, the jet plane might not be as much as you think.


This we can expand on and be more clear about.  states

CO2 emissions from a gallon of gasoline : 8887 grams / gallon
CO2 emissions from a gallon of diesel : 10180 grams / gallon

I recently drove across the US and racked up ~2050 ish miles at about 23.4 MPG, or about 88 Gallons of Gas.  Or about 777 Kilos of CO2, not the greatest i'll admit.

From :

I also recently flew across the US and racked up... 1800 miles or so, going to and from the same locations. ( with two layovers... )  The flights were on older yet full of passengers and they claim an equivalent MPG of ~ 60 ish.  so.... about 30 gallons of fuel, and about 305 Kilos of CO2.  

On the one hand, the drive also moved a seveal ton vehicle with me ( that was the entire plan btw).   The drive cost maybe $300 in fuel, and a maybe $250 for lodging, and maybe $100 for road snacks.   And that costs about as many dollars as the flight and such did.

I'm a bit brutalist in the cooking department.

Sear / brown / lightly render the pork pieces great, then fry up some added onions and salt.   When that's all good enough, add water, some cabbage , maybe juice of a small lemon and a turnip or two.

Slow cook for a long time until it the meats are tender and falling off any bones.  Add some fresh diced onion and maybe cilantro if that's your thing, and serve.

Over rice or maybe add some hominy.  


I should make some pork soup soon...
10 months ago

Anne Miller wrote:

I understand that many recipes can be cooked in the Instapot without adding any other equipment.
Though I wonder if the pans I already have will work.  I have two stainless mixing bowls that will fit inside the Instapot and all my Corningware will fit inside.
What have you bought or have that works well with the Instapot?

( stream of contiousness, not quite coffee'd yet, thank you in advance for the accomidation )

First off I'm an evanjelical instant pot pusher.  Not for money mind you, but for ideals and saftey.  

I have purchasd at one time or another, basicly all the different types of add ons.   I have mostly given them away to new instnat pot owners.  I recmoend getting an all in once set of all the sillicone things, egg trays, steamer baskets, whever.  See if they work for you then pass the ones that do not on to others.  This clears up the fomo that you might get dithering over it.   The isntant pot can save a pile of money.  I used some of the saved money to get all the things to prove I don't need them _and_ that you arn't missing out.

The ones that I use are a steamer basket ( currently one that was in the kitchen before the instant pot showed up but ifts well enough)... A few extra silicon sealing rings, so I can have rings used for spices and seperate ones used for bland things like yogert.  That's it, that, and a sillicon lid for the fridge is all I use.  An extra pot might be useful for the logicstics of cooking.  E.g. Slow cook something for the day, then swap in another pot for quickly steaming some veggies or potatoes or something.

I do use the instant pot for light canning.   at 11 PSI check your tables for times and what you can do with it.  For steaming I do use the included wire rack.

Speaking of steam diverters.  Especially if you have one of the versions that can be programed for specific heats,  Some tubing that goes from the steam output port ( take off the thing that looks like a jiggler, and there's a nice hollow metal post that tube can be clamped to ) to whatever receiptical you can find.  

Why?  Because you have just made a still for making water safe, really really safe.   Some tube, and a hose clamp or two is enough.  Use copper if you are worried about reactions, off gassing or want hgiher throughput ( there is a lot of energy in steam ).

I hear good things about the 6 qt air frying lid.    I'm trying one out now.   It'll never be as good as a real oven, an oil fryer, or a rocket stove pizza cooker, and that is not the nitch I'm shooting for.   I can see it being @#$@#4 perfect for less hasttle off grid tater tots in 20 minutes.  ( assuming there are some solar pannels and big batteries around ).  FYI : 200 g of tots, @ 400 degrees for 9 minutes for less than 0.20 KWH.   Or about 1500 watts when running.  ... so technically I guess a kill-o-watt or equivilant ( Poniie PN1500 Portable Micro Electricity Usage Monitor Electrical Power Consumption Watt Meter , have been good to me and are what I'm using now ) would be a good addition.

Happy instanting !

1 year ago
Various 'free-cycle' websites,  local community emailing lists like next door or old school mailing lists.


Craigslist!   Charge $10 for one or two for $9. :)   ( mostly as a publicity stunt / getting the word out )


With the current pandemic most of my go to solutions havn't been.

I would tend to leave a set of permaculture playing cards when I went to someones home, or traveled somewhere.

I figure leaving a permies book next to a Gideon's bible might be just fine.

Coffee shops was mentioned.  I'd second that... if there were coffee shops to lounge in.

Diners and donut shops sometimes have a spot for the daily papers...

Church lending libraries.

I think waiting rooms of various kinds might work.  Any place that has a People magazine is fair game.