I recently answered a question from a former Pennsylvania National Guard soldier about his U.S. Army surplus M59 field range.
Tom currently uses the M2A gasoline burner inside the field range cabinet to heat a large pressure cooker while canning food (pictured to left).
"I have been using this set up for canning," said Tom on the Royal Tine camp cooks forum. The benefit is "no heat and little mess in the kitchen."
Tom would like to use the large 10- and 15-gallon stockpots to make "gallons of tomato sauce at one time." He asked Royal Tine readers how to use the double boiler.
The answer to Tom's dilemma comes from the April 1996 edition of the Army Field Manual 10-23: "When you need a double boiler, put 21 liters (22 quarts) of water in the 60-quart pot. Place the pot in the cradle. Put a 40-quart pot in the 60-quart pot and then cover the 40-quart pot."
A double boiler is used to cook delicate sauces, soups and chocolate dishes that easily burn under direct heat.
Although the cook can buy specially manufactured double boilers, any two pots can be used as long as they nest together. In the field range, the 10-gallon pot is designed to nest inside the 15-gallon pot. .
Water level is poured into the larger pot to just under the bottom of the smaller or upper pot. Boiling water shouldn't touch the smaller pot.A tight-fitting upper pot prevents steam from escaping
The two stockpots were part of the standard outfit with the field range. Modern equipment has since replaced the M59 in U.S. military field kitchens.
Note: I'll post a picture of the military double boiler as soon as I can acquire one.
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