Solar Oven WORKS!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Hip_Shot_Hanna, May 20, 2006.

  1. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    My DH built a solar oven for me (I wanted one years before I even met him!) It's been showing around 250 degrees with an oven thermometer inside, so today was the first day to cook in it..

    I put a boneless chuck roast in my cast iron dutch oven and set it inside the solar oven at half past noon. At five o'clock I took out a perfectly cooked roast, moist, tender, falling apart, and had plenty of drippings/juices to make gravy too. Wooooooooo Hooooooooooooo! I love that this cooked for free, and didn't heat my house up for four and a half hours while cooking (since the temps here are in the middle nineties today!)

    I feel .. VICTORIOUS! hehe! Tomorrow, I'm going to put my oven thermometer inside the dutch oven and see how hot it gets in there.. since I've only been measuring the temp outside it. (but inside the solar oven) Maybe it gets hotter in there than I realize.. maybe I can even BAKE BREAD in it!

    Oooh.. who knew that things like this could be like a small adventure?
     
  2. kitaye

    kitaye Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations! I'm still in the learning stages of these things and it is good to get first hand info.
     

  3. Tabitha

    Tabitha greenheart

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    sounds so wonderful. :)
    I've been wanting one and now I feel so inspired.
    Maybe tell us how he made it, kind of materials etc.:)
     
  4. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    Materials
    1 Screen door glass panel ( about 2 feet6 in square )
    1 plywood box about 10 inches deep ( made to fit the glass )
    a sheet of 1/2 in insulation board cut and glued to the inside of the box and painted black
    reflector "wings ", made from the same sheet of plywood , 2,6 across the botom 3feet 9 across the top 18 inches high again covered with the insulation board shiny side out to act as a reflector for the sunshine , ,
    it needs tweaking as it seems to top out at 260 degrees , modifications are pending lol
     
  5. Rowdy

    Rowdy Well-Known Member

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    http://solarcooking.org/plans.htm

    Here are plans for several different types.
     
  6. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    oooh how cool is that???

    now hubby has a new thing on his Honey-Do list.. hehe
     
  7. nehimama

    nehimama An Ozark Engineer Supporter

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    Thanks for the kick in the rear end. I've been "planning" to make one of these for about the past 18 months. Just haven't gotten around to it yet. I need to just do it, eh?

    NeHi Mama
     
  8. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Makes super bread too,for some reason better than in the house.

    Also the roasts,why are they sooooo good in the solar oven,I dont know,but they are super.

    Love our sunoven brand oven.
    http://www.sunoven.com/

    I agree, it took several posts here before I finally got a solar oven,trust me on this,you WILL love it.
    JUST DO IT,LOL!

    BooBoo
     
  9. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    Next stop: Outdoor Adobe Oven?

    donsgal
     
  10. BillyGoat

    BillyGoat Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I want to make one also. Have have read info on them in the past and have some different plans in some books we have.

    I am also going to order a dutch oven and start practicing with that.

    Now I would be able to practice with the dutch oven and the solar oven...can't wait, but we are getting our house finished up to sale, so it still may be a while yet.

    I ought to get them before summers over though and take advantage of this hot Tx. sun!! LOL
     
  11. Rowdy

    Rowdy Well-Known Member

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    As for using the dutch ovens...

    It took a bit longer in my box cooker to use my dutch oven; it took awhile to heat up the cast iron. I used cheap metal pans, for a cheap camp mess kit painted black.

    I forgot how much I loved the solar oven. I guess I'm going to have to build another.
     
  12. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    Hey you! Get outta my head! That's pretty eerie, because I SAID that yesterday... :sing:
     
  13. Gideon

    Gideon Well-Known Member

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    Have been toying with the idea of glueing reflective Mylar to my old 8 ft TV dish and placing a small "oven" at the convection point. Anyone ever tried it? Have seen pictures of large ones but will this work? ---Oh yes, congrats on your oven box. An old friend made a passive heater out of a dual paned door,insulation panel,and black painted plywood. She attached it to the south side of her home and made a 4"X12" opening top and bottom. Amazing how much heat it generated. Gideon aka 06
     
  14. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    That is great work, Hope you cook lots of good food in it,I plan to make one someday. good for you.
     
  15. Rowdy

    Rowdy Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but be VERY CAREFUL with it! A parabolic cooker that big can be dangerous. Always wear very dark glasses when using the cooker, and even then do not look directly at the focusing point. Also, it can be a good idea to point the thing out of the sun when reaching into the cooker, as that it gets _very_ hot at the center of a large parabolic cooker.

    If it is one of the larger dishes with the motors to move it, you can design it to track the sun, making cooking eaiser.

    I used to have a link on how to do this very thing, but I cannot find it, if I do I'll post it.
    Okay, this is not the link I wanted, but has some good photos of things cooking on a parabolic:solar cooking
     
  16. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    Goes to show that Great Minds *do*think alike LOL

    donsgal
     
  17. Suburbanhmstedr

    Suburbanhmstedr Well-Known Member

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    I bought a sun oven about two months ago, and have been thrilled with the results. My favorite meal is a vegetable lasagna I made up while clearing out some of last season's veggies. My neighbors, who think the "kids next door" are a bit amusing, can't get enough of the solar oven, or the brownies and lasagna that wind up on their doorstep.

    In case you want to try the lasagna:

    Your favorite tomato/spaghetti sauce
    8 oz. low fat ricotta cheese
    1 cup shredded zucchini and onion (I shred them together during the growing season, and freeze, then drain quite a bit of the water after defrosting).
    1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
    Basil
    Oregano
    Garlic
    (I've been known to substitute frozen homemade pesto when I don't have enough spices on hand).
    No-boil lasagna noodles.

    Mix everything except noodles and sauce together. Pour a bit of sauce in the bottom of a black casserole dish. Spread one noodle with the cheese mixture, place in pan, repeat until out of noodles or cheese mixture, whichever comes first. Pour remaining sauce on top of layered lasagna, top with lid, put in solar oven for about 1 hour (mid-day -- roughly 350 degrees).

    I'd love to read your recipes, please post your favorites!
     
  18. PBPitcher

    PBPitcher Well-Known Member

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    Please forgive the ignorance that will probably be portrayed in this posting, but now my interest is peaked!

    Is there any way to control the temperature inside a solar oven?

    How do you know how long to cook food in it?

    Is it used exactly like a regular oven?

    Are there certain things you should and should not cook in one?

    If you live in a climate with changing seasons (i.e. Ohio), can it only be used for certain seasons?

    Thanks all - this will definately be something I research more into!
     
  19. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    Since mine only has hit 250 degrees, I have only used it to cook a roast so far - I assume if you wanted it to cool off a bit you could turn it out of the sun slightly, but that might be too much change. Also, you learn that you just cook things slower but longer. However, I know folks have baked bread, cookies etc as well.

    Roasts and other meat dishes can cook for hours. The most practical way to deal with the length of time needed is to keep checking on your food - if it's bread, look at it and see if it's browning, etc.

    ? Not sure what you are asking here. You cook the food inside a pan, pot, some folks even use canning jars.

    Maybe someone else will have an answer for that.

    In Ohio, you can assume that winter will not be suitable as the temperature is too low outside, though someone may know better. Obviously, it's not suited for rainy days either.

    YW, and good luck!

    HSH
     
  20. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Sun Oven claims it will cook with snow on the ground,as long as its sunny.I havent done that yet,but I dont doubt the claim at all either.

    You cook by time,not heat.I suppose you could adjust the heat by turning out of sun a bit,so to answer question,its not like a regular oven at all re: temp control

    BooBoo