So far I have made zucchini bread (twice), minestrone soup, a small loaf of wheat bread, and cannellini beans. Yes, I am loving my new toy. On a really sunny day it can do 300 degrees for as many hours as the sun is bright, but with patchy clouds it does about 250. Due to our "June Gloom" morning cloud cover, I can't start cooking until about 11:00 a.m., as thick cloud cover reduces temperatures to 100-150 degrees, but even then I can still get a main dish cooked by dinner time. Near as I can tell, if something can be cooked in a crock pot, it can be cooked in a solar oven. The main disadvantage to the solar oven is that I have to keep repositioning it throughout the day to follow the sun, so I can't just "plug it in and forget it" the way I can with an electric slow-cooker. And I am having trouble remembering that 200 degrees is quite hot enough to burn my fingers. I've done it twice now, maybe that will be enough to learn my lesson.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Gonna Be a Bright, Sunshiny Day
I put off buying a solar oven for two years. Yes, I know, you can build them. I tried that. But either my concept or my skills were deficient. The cardboard box cookers that boy scouts make for camp do work, but if you accidentally leave them outside over night and a heavy mist falls on them, they are toast (no pun intended). I wanted a really sturdy solar oven that would stand up to occasional negligence, and that was gonna cost upwards of $200. No way I was going to save enough money on cooking to make up for that kind of cash outlay. So I waited until the opportune moment.