Does condensation on a solar oven lid affect the cooking time?

by Ike
(California)

Hi Nathan,
Love my Sun Oven. Question: Do I periodically need to remove the condensation from in side the glass plate? I was cooking a soup with a lid on the pot and the condensation covered the entire inside of the glass. From the outside it seemed to be reflecting back a lot of light. What say you.
Thanks,
Ike


____________________________________________

Greetings Ike,


I am glad to hear that you are using your solar oven already and even enjoying it as well.
I am sure you will get much use and satisfaction from it as you get more familiar with its capabilities.
Also, Do use our website pages for reference and help whenever you feel the need for such.

Your question about condensation comes up quite often and I will have to say that it is not a large factor with regards to the effectiveness of the solar oven.
In my experiences I have notice that it can have a slight diminishing effect on the temperature, by about 5 degrees more or less, but I never let it concern me that much.
If you find that it is very difficult to see into the glass and you cannot even read the thermometer temperature then you can open the door of the oven for about 2 seconds to let the steam dissipate and then quickly close it back up in order that you do not lose much of your heat.

Some people will use a rubber squeegee that they keep on hand to quickly wipe the moisture from the underside of the door and then they quickly close it up, thus requiring all of maybe two seconds to do this. The same can be accomplished using a rag as well.

I would not do this though more that once or twice over a period of four to six hours since it is not vital to the cooking ability of the solar oven.

* One other note I thought I would bring to your attention with regards to cleaning and upkeep of your solar oven.
I find it is helpful to clean the interior of the solar oven every six to 10 cooking occurences in order to reduce the accumulation of lots of different food smells and odors in your oven.

When you are finished cooking on any given day, leave your oven in the sun and take another of your cook pots/pans and fill it about half full of water along with three to five drops of dish detergent and place the pot inside of the oven and let it steam inside for a few hours and then using a rag (with some tongs) wipe and wash out the interior of your oven a couple of times and then rinse it and let it sit in the sun until dry and then you can store it away until the next time you are ready to cook.
This should help to minimize an accumulation of moisture adhered food smells inside of your solar oven.
...there is nothing like eating a solar cooked cake that has the faint smell and slight taste of bacon acquired from the day before's batch of bacon cooked in the solar oven.

It does no harm, but it is a little different eating a cake with such a flavor. ;)

I hope this is helpful to you.

Nathan
Admin.

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Sep 09, 2011
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Tea Cloth
by: Brad

Some people use a tea cloth between the lid and container, to absorb the condensation before it gets to the glass.

http://solarovenchef.blogspot.com/2010/06/big-batch-of-bolognese.html

I have not tried this trick and never worry about the condensation. Opening the lid loses more heat than the condensation blocks.

Sep 07, 2011
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Suggestion to clean oven window
by: Anonymous

I think it's a very common experience with Solar Ovens and it does affect the temperature slightly as Nathan stated.
Opening the oven for even a short time will drop the overall temperature somewhat and lengthen the cooking time.
One suggestion I'd like too offer is a glass wiper using magnets. I've never really tried it myself. It's just an idea.
If you can affix a pair of strong encapsulated magnets to both sides of the glass lid you can use it to wipe off the condensation without opening the lid. Of course the encapsulation material for the magnet would have to be food safe and able to withstand the oven temperature without scratching the glass. Maybe a Teflon material or something that doesn't out gas?
Don't use neodymium magnets because they permanently loose all magnetic ability when heated.
My 2 cents worth...

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