Disaster Week with my solar cooker

by Mary Beth

I have tried to post this several times, but I keep having disasters of solar cooking experiments. Alas, I think this will have to be a “worst of” list instead of a tale of lovely recipes…

Worst cooking events of this week:

4. We tried to make lentil joes. My husband used the “fire roasted” tomatoes instead of the regular ones and then tried to solar cook it. The lentils did eventually cook, but it took longer than expected and the resulting dinner was spicy!

3. Tortilla soup – we tried to solar cook this with regular diced tomatoes since the fire roasted ones got used the day before. It was overcast on and off all afternoon though, so we ended up cooking it on the stove. Plus, we were unable to make the crispy strips that go on it, so it was bland from beginning to end.

2. Chicken - We tried to boil a chicken outside in the solar cooker and make broth. However, it is apparently monsoon season. It is really difficult to solar cook in a monsoon. Again, the chicken ended up indoors on the stove.

1. Pumpkin bread - I had made this recipe before in the slow cooker and I wanted to try it outside in the solar oven. I did, and it was awful! After an hour it was still so under-cooked that it was inedible.

Weekly rating: disaster. Better luck next time. Perhaps I should stick with baking cookies?

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Jul 23, 2014
Keep on going
by: Anonymous

If solar cooking was easy any body would do it and be successful. If you want to do anything good or worth it in the world you will always have bad days and good days. Don't focus on the bad days only learn from them and move on.

I don't see anything you have done as failures, its only ways to not solar cook. Keep up the good work!

Jul 22, 2014
dont give up!
by: joyce lee

There's a song that goes " Don't give up, don't let it get you down"!
Monsoon season is tricky even for veteran solar cooks. Its possible though. You really get to know weather patterns for your area really intimately when you've solar cooked a few years. This time of year I put my cooking out as soon as the sun rises above the mesa about 8:00 a.m. and I use props to prop my sun oven on to get a better angle so by 9:00 its heated to at least 300 and I can start cooking.
Admittedly during monsoon season some mornings are already clouded over but a lot of mornings here are clear till about noon or later. If I'm really on the ball I can get rice or other whole grains cooked for salads later or I make a loaf of bread or bake potatoes or fried chicken to put in the refrigerator for later when I can make a meal without heating up anything.
Hang in there and don't frustrate yourself by putting things out to cook when its already overcast. You will be able to judge that more easily with experience.

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