Hay box mark II

Building on the blog posted just over a year ago on how to make a hay box the following snaps show an alternative design which has proved incredibly effective in slow cooking food placed inside a cast iron dutch oven and left inside it for the day.

The real improvement was a polystyrene box with lid which allowed around 8’’ clearance all around the small (4l) dutch oven – this dead space can be insulated with the traditional hay, woollen jumpers or just about anything else you’d think of using to keep something warm.

Between the polystyrene box and the custom made outer ply box is roughly 2” dead air space which further reduces loss of heat through conduction.


Baton, ply and polystyrene box all reclaimed from dry waste skip.


Baton frame tacked around edge of ply sheet.


Inside edge of baton match outside dimensions of polystyrene box.


Baton framing of ply sheets repeated for first side wall – screwed securely to base.


Second side wall.


Check to see that polystyrene box fits snugly inside.


Third wall attached – screwed securely to neighbouring walls as well as the base.


All four walls attached.


Polystyrene box and lid fitted inside ply box – width of baton determines dead air space.


A heavy cast iron pot is ideal for this type of cooking.


Hay box ready to receive hot cast iron pot.


Hot chicken casserole placed inside hay box.


Pot insulated with fleece and woollen jumper.


Polystyrene lid replaced.


Ply lid replaced.

The dimensions of this particular hay box are just about perfect to be used as a small table around the house or can even be upholstered/ painted to be used as a comfy stool. Make sure you do a good solid job on the framework if you intend to sit on it!

Adam Logan.






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