Solar Substitute Cooking for a cloudy day
by Joyce Lee
Grover Rocket Stove
Living in a high arid desert in the SW corner of Utah, I have plenty of perfect and almost perfect opportunities to Solar Cook whenever I want too.
However, there was one day this past week that presented me with clouds as grey and thick as pea soup almost. Since I live off the grid and refuse to cook with propane, I really depend on my sunshine for Dinner!
I had planned on making Potato chips and Calzones on my Parabolic Cooker so luckily I have my perfect and easy to use Solar Substitute that I got from Nathan Parry called a Rocket Stove. He sells 2 or 3 different models and mine is called the Grover Rocket Stove. Its Rugged and easy to use so it allows me to cook wonderful things on a day the sun fails me.
I started by soaking thin slices from 3 small potatoes in ice water for an hour. It removes the starch and makes them crisp up easier.
Meanwhile I got a fire going in my rocket stove,( about a half sheet of paper wadded up and set on a bed of small Cedar twigs and 1 match dropped in the center)I selected a few small sticks about 1/2 to 1 inch to get the fire going really hot and then I used small logs about 2 inches diameter to keep feeding the fire throughout my cooking adventure. It only took about 5 minutes to get my oil hot enough to begin.
I fried a pan full of chips at a time till they were lightly browned, a little bubbly, and dry looking on the top. Fished them out and drained on paper towels and then added a little salt and pepper. Yummy!
Then I put a 12 inch Cast Iron Dutch Oven on to heat up really good. When it was nice and hot inside I put the calzones in (chopped up canned ham, tomato sauce, basil and Parmesan cheese in a biscuit crust.)
After about 10 minutes, I flipped the Calzones over to cook another 10 minutes and they were nice golden brown and done. Nice Dinner despite the lack of sunshine!
Great to hear your Rocket Stove adventures as well.
Even though our main focus is all things solar cooking, we do have to admit that the sun cannot shine 24 hours a day everywhere and all the time, so we do consider the highly efficient Rocket Stoves to be probably the next best thing to a solar cooker.
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