Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Testing the powers of the solar oven in the middle of winter

The weekend just gone gave me a chance to test cooking in the solar oven in mid winter.  Here in Orange trying to find the combination of a not too frantic weekend and the abundance of sunshine has been rare - so I gladly snapped up the chance to get out the solar oven again when I had the chance.

Although having a shorter cooking window compared to summer and having to move the solar oven three or four times I was able to get a meal and a bit underway in four hours of sunshine....

First, I nearly completely cooked another Indian style meal in our solar oven... I just had to finish the meals in the conventional oven inside for the last half hour.. we added some poppadoms and ......

Cooking in the solar oven at the same time as the Indian food was a packet of four bean mix - prepared beautifully so that the next day I could turn them into baked beans.  To bake the beans I used our conventional oven because the clouds came in - but they were a welcome treat after soccer.

Our baked beans had local bacon, organic chopped tomatoes, and a dash a Worcestershire sauce ... served on crusty bread it was great.  The kids even judged it better than the supermarket bought canned baked bean.


  1. Hi Marita.

    Looks delicious!

    I was wondering about your solar oven only last night. Have you been happy with it? I'm tempted by the model you bought due to its price and size. I love that it looks small enough to easily take on camping trips. But if it's nowhere near as efficient as the more expensive Sun Oven I might wait and save a little longer? Have you been able to compare its efficiency with any other solar ovens? Do you know whether you can dehydrate fruit in it by propping the lid open?

    Thanks :-)

  2. It's been cold and cloudy in Orange over winter - with limited chances for a good few hours of sunlight in our back yard... so I have to say we have not been using the sun oven much but it was fun to get it out again.

    I have not compared it to the Sun Oven or other solar ovens... but in the warmer months it was doing a good job cooking a range of things. I am thinking I might get a thermometer to check out its temperature etc over this summer.

    No I have not tried drying fruit etc in the solar oven - would you need a vent to let the moisture out to get better drying?

    It would still be bulky on camping trips but it is robust - and you may have to hang out at the campsite all day to chase the sun...

    For winter here I am thinking of trialling a thermal cooker - maybe even making one - where you heat the meal to start the cooking process and then put it into an insulated box to cook.