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FAQs

Cleaning

Is it possible to use a dishwasher to clean the Shuttle Chef?

The inner pot and lid are contructed from 18/8 stainless steel and as such are fine washed in a dish washer. However, the outer container (being vacuum insulated) should not be placed in a dish washer and because it does not come into contact with the food for consumption it is easy to keep this clean by gently wiping with a damp cloth.

Cooking small meals

Is it possible to cook a small meal as sometimes I do not have enough ingredients to fill a whole pot or I may just want to have enough for one or two people?

If you are using the one pot Shuttle Chef you can certainly cook a smaller meal, however it would only retain it's core temperature above 60 degrees (food safety standards) for less than 6 to 8 hours. Therefore you could prepare a smaller meal in the morning to eat at lunch time or at lunch time to eat at dinner (say 4 hours later). Or you can bring the inner pot back up to the boil 4 hours later so that it would have another 4 hours before dropping below food safety standards.

If you are using the two pot Shuttle Chef you can always cook a smaller meal (even half the normal quantity), so long as the second pot is 3/4 full of boiling water or a liquid based meal such as a soup. This will still provide a high degree of retained heat from the two hot inner pots and the liquid of the second pot.

Cooking styles

Do I need to change the way I cook to be able to use the Shuttle Chef to cook the sort of meals my family is used to?

You do not have to change the way you currently cook...any of your favourite crock pot, slow cooker or one pot recipes are perfectly adaptable for use in the Shuttle Chef.

Dimensions

What are the dimensions of the Shuttle Chefs so that I can see how it will fit in my caravan?

The RPC 6000 Shuttle Chef is 26 cm wide across the handles ands is only 30 cm in height.
The RPC 4500 Shuttle Chef is 26 cm wide across the handles and is only 25 cm in height.
The 6 litre inner saucepan is 21 cm high and 19.5 cm wide
The 4.5 litre saucepan is 16 cm high and 19.5 cm wide
The 3 litre saucepan is 10.5 cm high and 19.5 cm wide.

Discoloration

The inner pot has become discoloured with a rainbow type effect on the outside, how do I clean this off?

As with all stainless steel saucepans the heat from a stove element can create a heat stain on the outside. This can be easily cleaned with a mild cleaner and in particular a stainless steel cleaner.

Note: you should not use any abrasive powders or coarse cleaning pads as this will scratch the outer surface.

Frying foods 

Do I need to fry my meat and onions before putting them into the Shuttle Chef?

Because the Shuttle Chef has such a heavy sandwich base it is possible to fry your foods inside the inner pot without any problems... you can even brown your meat prior to adding any vegetables or stock.

However, many people prefer to use a frying pan for this process before beginning to cook in the Shuttle Chef and either way is acceptable.

Heating elements 

Are the inner pot suitable for use on an induction heating element?

The stainless steel inner pots have a carbon steel plate sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel on the base and as such are perfectly ok for use with the Induction cooking stove tops.

High heat 

My electric stove top seems to operate at a much higher temperature than my caravan gas stove, will this effect the way I can cook with the Shuttle Chef?

The stainless steel inner pots are of a similar construction to most high quality heavy based saucepans and are capable of handling the normal high heat of an electric stove without buckling.

Keeping things cold 

Can I use the Shuttle Chef to keep things cold and for how long?

The Shuttle Chef outer container, being vacuum insulated, is the finest container available for keeping things hot or cold... in fact Thermos guarantee it.

The Shuttle Chef will certainly retain a cold core temperature for a similar period as it will retain a hot core temperature. If you were to chill the inner pot down to a low temperature first you can be assured that it will even keep ice frozen for many hours.

Safe temperatures for food

What is the safe temperature range for cooking food?

Hot food should be kept at 60 degrees or over and cold food should be kept at 5 degrees or less. Between the temperatures of 5 and 60 degrees, potentially hazardous food is susceptible to growing bacteria, resulting in stomach upsets or food poisoning.

Thermos's guarantee is that you cannot buy any other product of the same size or type with better hot or cold keeping performance. However, any Thermal Cooker has its limitations and whilst 8 hours is a conservative figure, we have been extremely concerned when customers tell us about leaving the meal for up to 24 hours. This is definitely not safe. Certainly the more liquid in your meal the longer it will stay hot, and we know we have safely left meals for 10 hours plus and it has still tested at well over the 60 degrees. We would suggest though, if you wanted to leave food for longer than 8 hours and are uncertain, it is worth getting a food thermometer to ensure it is still at a safe temperature.

The following is taken from the Food Standards Australia website www.foodstandards.gov.au

The following are examples of potentially hazardous foods:

  • raw and cooked meat or foods containing meat, such as casseroles, curries and lasagna;
  • dairy products, for example, milk, custard and dairy based desserts;
  • seafood (excluding live seafood);
  • processed fruits and vegetables, for example, salads;
  • cooked rice and pasta;
  • foods containing eggs, beans, nuts or other protein rich foods, such as quiche and soy products;
  • foods that contain these foods, such as sandwiches and rolls;

Cooling potentially hazardous food

If you cook potentially hazardous food that you intend to cool and use later, you need to cool the food to 5 degrees or colder as quickly as possible. There may be food poisoning bacteria in the food even though it has been cooked. Faster cooling times limit the time when these bacteria are able to grow or form toxins.

The standards require food to be cooled from 60 degrees to 21 degrees in a maximum of two hours and from 21 degrees to 5 degrees within a further maximum period of four hours. If you don't know how fast your food is cooling, use a portable thermometer to measure the warmest part of the food - usually in the centre. For more information about the use of thermometers, see the fact sheet "Thermometers and their use with potentially hazardous food"

To chill food quickly, break it up into smaller portions in shallow containers. Take care not to contaminate the food as you do it.

Reheating previously cooked and cooled potentially hazardous food.

If you reheat previously cooked and cooled potentially hazardous food, you must reheat it rapidly to 60 degrees or hotter. Ideally, you should aim to reheat food to 60 degrees within a maximum of two hours to minimise the amount of time that food is at temperatures that favour the growth of bacteria or formation of toxins 

Staying hot

How long will the Shuttle Chef stay hot enough to eat for?

The outer vacuum insulated container only loses approximately 3 to 4 degrees per hour, therefore if the inner pot and its contents were close to 100 degrees (boiling temperature) when they were placed in the outer container and the lid was not opened, you can expect the contents to remain above 60 degrees (food safety requirements) for 8 to 10 hours.

The same as a good quality Thermos Flask - the length of time it will retain a core temperature is dependent on the amount of contents inside the pot. That is, if the pot is less than at least 75% to 80% full, you could not expect it to retain core temperature for the same amount of time as it would if it were full.

Two pot cooking

Can I cook two different meals at the same time using the two pot Shuttle Chef?

The two pot Shuttle Chef is ideal for cooking either a split meal such as curry and rice, meat and vegetables, pasta and sauce or to cook a main meal and a dessert at the same time.