What I've learned from 1 month of solar cooking...
by Mary Beth
Well, I really can’t believe it’s already been a month of solar cooking. I know that sounds trite, but it’s the truth. It’s gone by fast, and before I keep going, I wanted to take a moment to record what I’ve learned. I’m sure it won’t be earth-shattering for seasoned solar cooks, but it’s what has been new for me.
1. New Solar Ovens have a “new oven” smell. Yes, it permeates the food. Clean your solar cooker by putting just water in a pot in it with a bit of vinegar or dish soap till it all steams up, then wipe it out. You need to do this every so often even after the smell is gone to keep it clean.
2. You need to oil the wood on the Sun Oven. I haven’t figured out with exactly what yet, but I know I need to do it.
3. Cook soups, stews, meat, and pretty much anything else with a lid on.
4. Bake uncovered.
5. Shiny cookware won’t work unless you put a black cotton tea towel over it. Caste iron does great, as does any glass cookware.
6. Cook times don’t matter much for soups or meats. They matter a lot for baking.
7. Rice turns out well.
8. Pasta works if you heat the water out in the solar oven and then bring it inside and just soak the noodles in it.
9. The angle of the sun matters. Keep the oven pointed at the sun to keep the temperature up. Mornings cook better then late afternoons. Cloudy days quickly become the bane of your existence.
10. The thing can tip over. If it’s windy, put some bricks on the side of it.
I’m excited to keep learning how to cook in the oven and how to use it to cook the food my family enjoys. Be sure to check back!