The concept of heating your food without the use of fire is nothing new. The US military has taken advantage of flameless heaters in their MREs for decades now. All you need is a little bit of water in order to get your food nice and hot. Though, until recently it would seem that no one thought to use this flameless heating technology to facilitate actual cooking. I would have figured that companies here in the US would think to expand on the flameless heating since this country is so centered around efficiency and convenience. But it would seem that South Korea beat everyone to the punch, and in a pretty cool way.
Old Faithful Flameless is the company that sells the Geyser, or the Flameless Portable Cooker. The Geyser has only been present on the American market for about a year now, so it is still pretty new. They are only available on their site or Amazon, but the intent is to get them on shelves.
Chang-Gi Park is the inventor of the cooker and has the product marketed in Korea as the Walking Cooker. Old Faithful Flameless saw the promise in this product and decided that the American market could benefit from this new and interesting flameless cooking technology.
HISTORY OF FLAMELESS COOKING
The idea of flameless cooking is actually not that new. Basically all we are doing is manipulating a chemical reaction in order to generate high levels of heat. It would seem that the concept of heating food and COOKING via chemical reaction has been around since the 1800’s. Here is a link to a site that talks a little bit about an old patent from 1856 and how quicklime was used to actually cook food, instead of just heat it. In the late 20th century, we started seeing heaters being used in our military rations, but it didn’t seem to ever reach the level that we are seeing now in the Geyser.
WHO WOULD WANT THIS?
If you take a look at the box that the Geyser comes in, you will see that they list several situations where this product would be advantageous.
In my opinion, there are many situations where this product could save you alot of pain. There is no need to block wind or rain, or get a perfectly level surface. The doesn’t put off light, or any odor, and the heater packs weigh next to nothing. For me, I think this is a product that any outdoor enthusiast could appreciate. How about you hunters that want to make coffee and a meal in your blind? Or those of you that may get stuck having to make a meal in the middle of a storm while camping? How about cooking while on a boat fishing? With this product, everything can safely be done in your tent or on the move. It is not affected by wind, rain, or motion, and it can be used indoors. There are many reasons to own one, but of course it is on the end user to decide.
WHAT ARE YOU GETTING?
As it states on the box, this product comes with the cooker(Outer cooking pot, inner cooking pot, canteen), an insulated carrying bag, 5 flameless heaters, and a pot grabbing tool(not listed). All of this will run you about $120. Replacement flameless heaters will run you about $15 for 10.
I will leave it up to the individual to decide if the price is right for this product. My opinion is that this product will end up carrying its own weight and really pay for itself if you are a hardcore outdoors enthusiast or hunter. Perhaps even those that live on the road for work will find this to be useful. But value is on the individual to define. Personally, I have spent more money on less useful things.
The Geyser flameless cooker is made up of four total components that each have an important role to play in this system. All these components are designed specifically to maximize the efficiency of the flameless heater packs. Though it may seem complex, it is actually so simple in nature that one would wonder why it took so long to develop this kind of product commercially. Though, as stated before, there had been exploration into flameless cooking, but it just never reached the level of commercial production.
Insulating Carrying Bag
As the name states, this is an insulated bag with a carrying handle. The camouflage pattern is modeled after the South Korean camouflage pattern, which would make sense because this is a product of South Korea. The inside is well lined with cushioned Mylar to keep the heat in and maintain it, even in cold temperatures.
The divider in the bag is held in by velcro and can be easily removed. If you remove it for the cooking process, you could use the space to heat something like MRE entrees. But I think the divider actually helps keep both the canteen and the outer cooking pot independently insulated, which can be preferable.
When the cooker is in use, you will notice very little heat coming through the bag. It is very well insulated and retains heat very well as long as the bag stays zipped up.
Outer Cooking Pot
The outer cooking pot is basically the big pot where all the flameless action happens. This pot, as with the others, is made of tough 304-type stainless steel. It is a very well sealed container with 4 clamps and, as with the other pot and the canteen, it uses food-safe silicone for sealing the lid.
Since all the action starts in this container, meaning that there is alot of heat and pressure, it has two different pressure release valves right next to each other.
The little orange piece is a piece of food-grade silicon that acts as a pressure release if you are going to just use the outer cooking pot and not connect it to the canteen. Right next to that is a spring loaded valve that connects to the clear hose on the canteen.
Inner Cooking Pot
The inner cooking pot is where all your big cooking happens. It takes the brunt of the heat in order to facilitate cooking. This container is tightly sealed with a rotating lockup system that keeps the lid tightly locked. And again, you will notice that it uses a silicon seal to keep it watertight during the cooking process.
The inner cooking pot fits inside the outer cooking pot with plenty of room to spare because the heater pack will end up swelling and pushing the inner cooking pot up as it does so.
The canteen is where the excess steam is used to heat water or other liquids you may wish to have heated. The lid houses the coil system, the steam hose, the beverage plug, and the waste water reservoir/plug. The lid is sealed using the food-safe silicon and two tight clamps that ensure the canteen remains waterproof.
The canteen can hold and heat up to 28 ounces of liquid comfortably, even with all the room that the heating coils and waste water reservoir take up.
The two orange silicon plugs on the top of the lid are for waste water and for the canteen itself. The waste water plug is the bigger of the two and has a small hole at the top so that the excess steam can vent out.
The canteen also features a convenient folding handle, much like those seen on military canteen cups. This will help when you need to pour out your waste water and pour your beverage.
This tool was not listed on the box, nor was it mentioned in the instructions because it is a new addition to the package. This little tool quite simply serves two purposes officially. First over all it is designed to be used to get the outer and inner cooking pots out without having to use your hands.
It also works well for opening the clamps by prying them open. You don’t want to touch the clamps when the pots are freshly finished cooking.
Overall it is a very simple tool and it serves as a very nice addition to the package.
When the system is all put together in the bag, you end up with a very efficient cooking system that can cook rice, meats, eggs, pastas, etc.
On their website, Old Faithful Flameless has an ebook where they have quick and easy recipes to help give you an idea of just how versatile this cooker is.
HOW TO USE IT
Using the Geyser is very simple, but it can be confusing if it is your first time. Luckily the instruction pamphlet is well illustrated and explains how to use it very well. For that reason, I will just provide you with the instructions here so you can have a look for yourself at how easy it is to use.
One detail to note is that you can easily discard the heater pack without worry. Other than that, just wash your equipment with some soap and water, and you are ready to go again. The stainless steel sure shows every little bit of greasy, nasty human finger print when you handle it. If you have bad OCD, this may end up keeping you occupied for a time.
As far as I was able to gather, there is not really a warranty for this product, per se. From what I know, Old Faithful will take care of you the best they can if you have any issues to include defects or odd breakages. After spending time with this product, I couldn’t really find any areas of the product that gave me concerns about the overall durability. My best advice I can give you is to look over the product, making sure all the silicon seals are intact and there is no damage to the cooking pots or canteen.
For what you are getting, this product does very well. It is versatile, and it actually thoroughly cooks food and heats water in under an hour without any need for monitoring.
The product is made of some very tough stainless steel, but it is not incredibly thick. If it were much thicker, it would weigh more than it does now.
The product weighs very little and takes up very little space. The product is very easy to use and works as advertised.
Paying $120 on an unfamiliar product can seem risky to many out there. In my mind, the benefits outweigh the initial investment. Perhaps the product would be more attractive if it could be obtained for under $100. The question is how much are you willing pay for peace of mind and convenience in inconvenient situations?
Overall Rating– 14/20
The product in this review was provided by Old Faithful Flameless. I am not under any written, verbal, or suggested contract to give this product a good review. The opinions stated here are my own and do not reflect the collective views of my fellow writers or that of Spotter Up as a whole.