Chill food without electricity with the flowerpot fridge

Household Hacker
Tuesday, 10th January 2012

Here is a video version of how to make the world's cheapest and easiest refrigerator from two terracotta pots. It uses minimal resources and runs completely without electricity. It's called a zeer pot, or the pot-in-pot and was rebirthed by Mohammed Bah Abba, who put the laws of thermodynamics to work for mankind.

Patrick Whitefield previously posted a solution here on describing how to make this simple device but here is a visiual/auditory how to with the added advantage of some temperature testing on a hot day in the USA at the end. You'll be suitably impressed at how cold this design gets.

Wonderful! We'll never go camping for more than a week without one.

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Maddy Harland |
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 2:07pm

Helen Evans wrote on our Facebook page: "I made one of these last summer. The video omits the fact that the cloth needs constant re-wetting to work in those temperatures - this is OK if you have plenty of water but is sometimes an issue in hot countries. I tried a terracotta saucer on top as well to try to slow evaporation but of this reduces the cooling effect. A dripping tap might have worked but water is too precious here.

Dampness in the pot encourages rot in fruit and veg after a day or so, so wrap or box these to keep them dry. It is not cool enough for meat or dairy products. I made one this last summer but ended up only using it for beer! No complaints there but the pots do now have plants in them ...... ;-)

Joey Ostos |
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 9:28pm

What if you made a hole to bury it in to act as an insulator?

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