Chapter 33: How to Build a Pot Cozy

A pot cozy is a great way to keep your food warm, and it allows you to carry less fuel.

They are simple to make. Here are the basics of what you will need and how to do it. You will need some insulation, like Reflectix that you can find at Lowe’s, Home Depot, and other home improvement stores. I found a 16” x 25’ roll for $13.50. You will need metal tape, like Reflectix. The roll I bought was 2” x 30’ for $3.50. You will also need a metal straight edge, a felt tip marker, scissors or an X-acto knife, and your cook pot.

Start by cutting the side of the cozy. When you measure the height, leave some extra if you want to put the top and bottom within the side insulation. Plan ahead and make the circumference large enough to include the bale (pot handle) or cut it more snugly and make cutouts where the bale attaches to the pot. Connect the sides of the cozy with your metal tape. I tape inside and outside.

Using your pot as a guide, mark and cut the base of the cozy. Connect the base to the side of the cozy with a number of small pieces of your metal tape, overlapping each piece just a little.

You can do the lid at least 3 different ways. Some kettles have a small lip on the lid that lets you place your insulation just inside that lip. You can make a handle with a piece of your metal tape on any of these styles.

The second way is to cut the top like you did the base and place it just inside the side wall. The third method is to cut the top just larger than the sides, and then add a side wall to your lid so the top slips over the sides of your cozy. You can make it come down just a little from the top, or you can make it come down over the entire cozy to form a double wall. If you leave extra height when you cut the original side of your cozy, you can double the top and bottom, too.

On one cozy that I made for a ¾ quart kettle I doubled everything and the total weight was still only 1.5 ounces. A 12” by 12” piece of Reflectix insulation used for a sit pad would be .8 ounces. The entire roll of insulation (16” x 25’) is 1 pound 12 ounces. A 6’ 3” length, or ¼ of the roll, would be 7 ounces. That could be useful for hammock campers.

You can also make cozies with closed cell foam. Some people use the foil from solar car window reflectors.

You can easily make a light foil pouch to keep freeze dried meals warm. Just tape the sides of a 10” x 10” pouch, and leave a couple of inches for a flap. You can add Velcro tabs to make opening and closing easy.

For a live demonstration of how to make a pot cozy, see our video #33 at: