This section is from the book "Mrs. Allen's Cook Book", by Mrs. Ida C. Bailey Allen. See also: The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat.
The following points, however, may prove helpful to the inexperienced. The obvious way to cook cereals is over night. They should be brought to the boiling point, boiled fifteen minutes, and put into the cooker together with a vessel of boiling water, boiling prunes, figs, apple sauce, or any other food which demands all-night cookery. No radiators are needed. In cooking tough meats, as fowl, rolled flank and the like, better results are gained by using one radiator at 2500 and cooking over night; or for day cooking allow six to seven hours with the radiator heated to 325 °. Allow four hours for boiling steamed pudding or breads, in quart-sized moulds; two hours for pint moulds. In this case the pudding moulds should be set into the utensil, half-filled with cold water, brought slowly to boiling point and boiled for ten minutes, before putting into the cooker. Allow one hour, with two radiators, for baking potatoes, an hour and a half for cooking onions or turnips or cabbage, fifteen minutes to the pound with two radiators for roasting beef or lamb, and twenty minutes to the pound for pork and veal. For soup stock, stews, corned beef and pot roasts of any desired meats, allow from five to six hours. One hour is sufficient to bake three-quarter-pound loaves of bread, twenty-five minutes for biscuits, from fifty minutes to an hour for a medium-sized loaf of cake, and the same length of time as is allowed in the oven should be given to pies.
If a very large loaf of cake is to be baked, better results will be obtained if the second stone is not put in place for fifteen minutes after the cake is started. All articles to be baked or boiled must be set upon a wire trivet, rather than upon the stone itself, to prevent liability of scorching.
The fireless cooker is just as capable of retaining cold as it is heat. To this end it is invaluable for the freezing of mousses or parfaits - that is ices which can be prepared without stirring. To a quart mould of mousse, four pounds of cracked ice and an equal amount of salt should be added. Once packed in a fireless utensil and put in the cooker, it may be entirely forgotten till serving time, as there will be no necessity for repacking. About four pounds less ice is needed when the fireless is used. It may also be used to equal advantage for packing cream that is to be moulded or even kept over night.
There is no doubt but that too much magic has been ascribed to the fireless cooker, for there are times when it is much more convenient and quite as inexpensive to cook by the ordinary methods. It is often said, for instance, that the whole meal can be put in to cook and that the housewife can leave for an afternoon of shopping or pleasure and will find her dinner ready on her return. This can be done only if foods suited to this kind of cookery are used, and they must be grouped according to the length of time it takes the "longest" one to cook. To illustrate: It would not be possible to put in a pot roast of beef, potatoes and peas at the same time, for the potatoes and peas would be sadly over-cooked by the time the meat was done. In this case cabbage, cooked by a method demanding long cookery, could be served as a vegetable, the potatoes would have to be fried at the last minute, or reheated in some other way, rather than being prepared in the cooker, and the dessert could be a pudding, as steamed whole wheat, with dates, demanding about five hours' steaming.
It is not necessary to have a separate list of recipes for fireless cooking. All casseroles, stews, soups, all vegetables needing long-stewing or baking, all fruits, both dried and fresh, needing long cooking, all cereals, all braised and boiled meats, or fish, and all steamed breads or puddings are well adapted to this method.