Sun Oven question

Discussion in 'Alternative Energy' started by Lisa in WA, Jul 16, 2006.

  1. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

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    I just got my new Sun Oven and I'm using it today. I can't believe how quickly it heats up! One question I can't find an answer for on their web site though: Can you bake a pie in the oven and if so, what can you line the oven with to prevent spillover? Apple pie spillover has to be one of the hardest things to get off and I cwertainly don't want to have to use anything caustic on the oven surface. ALuminum foil won't work..how 'bout white parchment paper? I think it will reflect the light back and it won't heat properly. Any ideas from Sun Oven owners?
     
  2. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    lisa,never worried about spillover,how bout just putting a pan under the pie plate?
    Why wont foil work,does it really lower the temp inside?

    Good question.Did your pie not work?

    BooBoo
     

  3. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Whether or not you could bake a pie would depend on the time of day and amount of sun. It probably wouldn't get as hot as you normally bake a pie at (isn't is usually 400 degrees or so?) but if the day is sunny and you keep the oven pointing into the sun, it should bake okay.
     
  4. jefferson

    jefferson fuzzball in the Cascades

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    Deeper pan or less ingrediants would work
     
  5. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

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    I haven't tried one yet. I was imagining the mess an apple pie makes and wanted to avoid it. I talked to the folks at SunOven today and they said not to use aluminum foil. It will reflect the sun's rays out of the box and reduce the temp inside. But, while waiting for my bread loaves to rise this am I experimented with white parchment paper and that didn't affect the oven temp. I haven't had it hit 400 yet but it was at 375 when I put the bread in.
    After the breads done...meat loaf and baked potatoes. This is kind of fun....
     
  6. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Yep,it is fun isnt it.Do a pot roast,excellent.

    BooBoo
     
  7. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

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    I just took two loaves of honey oatmeal bread out of it and they are beautiful and golden brown. Happy family tonight!
     
  8. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Im thinking its the trapped humidity that makes the bread so good,but not sure,there has to some reason though.

    BooBoo
     
  9. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Do we have a web site for the Sunoven people? Professionals have rules regarding shilling ............we ain't professionals!
     
  10. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

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  11. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I suppose simple answers are the best answers :bash: :bash: :bash: :)
     
  12. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

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    Quit your complaining! I had to run outside and take the meatloaf out of the oven :D
     
  13. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    Thought I would do a quick calculation on how much energy it should take to bake a loaf of bread.

    http://www.bakingandbakingscience.com/formula.htm

    Rougly speaking, I think a loaf of bread loses 13% of its weight during baking. There is a lot more going on than evaporation, but I think that is where more of the heat ends up. So we will neglect fermentation of yeast and browning of crust and weight loss in the form of carbon dioxide and just assume it is 13% steam. It takes about 1000 BTU/per pound to produce water vapour. On top of that the steam that escapes is superheated to 450 degrees or so, but that is still about 1100 BTU/pound. So lets just say 150 BTU/pound of finished bread. This works out to just 1000 watt-hours for 20 pounds of bread. I am not sure how much an electic oven or wood stove uses, but I am sure it is way more than that. Judging by the size of these solar ovens they are mot that efficient either, but at least the sun is free even if the ovens are not. In a cold climate it makes sense to do most of your baking in winter, where you can recover the heat and humidity. I imaging those little beadmakers are more effcient, Perhaps 500watt-hours for a 2 pound loaf. That works out to an efficiency of about 20%. Not bad. To perform that well a solar oven would have to be able to bake a two pound loaf in about 1 hour using a solar oven with a projected area of 2.5 square meters, or one square meter for 2.5 hours. I could see making yourself one to use in summer, but if I was to spend money it would be on a solar hot water heater, or a solar electric panel, that would generate usefull energy more continuosly, rather than just when I wanted to bake bread in summer.

    Winter Bread:
    egg 1
    salt ½ tsp
    fresh berries 13 oz (by weight)
    sugar 2 Tbsp
    lard 2 oz
    flour 3¾ cups
    yeast 7/8 tsp

    This is inspired by the bread made by the Cree who live around Hudson's Bay, which since time immemorial was made of equal parts fat, corn flour and berries, moulded around a stick and baked over an open fire. True winter fare for anyone who spends all day outdoors, combining energy and vitamin C. Most sweet fresh or dried fruits may be used, unless they contain sulphur dioxide as preservative. If you use dried, such as currants, use 1 cup and add water to total 13 fl.oz.

    Of course for a solar oven you should change the recipe and call it Summer Bread.
     
  14. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

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    Well luckily for me I already have a good working solar power system and I don't need to buy any more for it. Plus my family loves fresh baked bread and a cooler house in summer so it's very useful to me. I guess it's all in your perspective.
    My bread took an hour to bake for two loaves in the Sun Oven.
     
  15. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Seems super efficient to me since it uses zero fuel,and runs about 300-400 degrees during baking,depending on my clouds and shadows while cooking.

    booBoo
     
  16. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    I am seriously considering getting one (especially with them on sale now) myself to cut down on our summer propane cooking bill. The only thing stopping me is that I dont think I could cook enough in it to feed all of the kids and my wife and I in it, Perhaps we could cook one meal or supplement with it, seems like it would take awhile at that rate though to pay for it self. I could buy a huge dump truck load of seasoned hard wood for $300. I like the idea of cooking with the sum though and they are suppose to last atleast 20 years right?
     
  17. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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  18. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    here is another one for $250
     
  19. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I know that this has been mentioned in other threads, but there are numerous designs for solar ovens ("Sun Oven" is a registered trademark), some of which work just as well as a purchased unit. However, what you are paying for is convenience and long life. The home-made versions that we have built from cardboard, glass, aluminum foil, glue and string work well, but are awkward to use, easily damaged by moisture, etc. Our purchased unit is 12 to 15 years old and still works well inspite of some dents in the aluminum reflectors.

    An advantage of a solar cooker is that it doesn't heat up the house in the summer, and that has been a real advantage the last few weeks!

    http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/radabaugh30.html
    http://solarcooking.org/plans.htm
    http://solarcooking.org/

    If ours was destroyed or stolen, we would replace it with a new one. I am sure that I could duplicate it out of metal, fiberlass, and wood, but it would take enough time and effort that I would just buy another one. If I were to make one, it would be bigger, maybe with a larger reflector for more heat, but then it would need to be watched more carefully.

    One nice thing about the Sun Oven is that overdone baked goods don't turn black and burned if left in for a few extra minutes--the seal under the glass cover keeps moisture in and keeps things from drying out too quickly.
     
  20. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

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