by Mary Beth
Well, we made it. It's been 6 months. I haven't been able to cook in the solar cooker everyday, and it has definitely gotten more difficult now that it is so hot here, but I have used my Sun Oven as my sole oven for the past 6 months. And yes, I have learned a few things:
1. It's not the heat, it's the angle of the sun that cooks the food. Point the cooker at the sun. If it's overcast, forget it.
2. If you live close to the equator like I do, you may need to put a brick under the front of the cooker to get it to point directly overhead at midday. Otherwise it won't get up to temperature properly.
3. The Sun Oven holds up to weather brilliantly. I have applied linseed oil to the wood once or twice, and I clean it out with water and dish soap or a bit of vinegar occasionally. Otherwise it works great!
4. Don't leave it outside pointed at the sun - it heats it all day whether you use it or not.
5. Baking in the solar oven requires some finesse. Using it to boil water, or cook pasta or rice takes a hot oven. If you can't get it up to temperature, don't try that day.
6. Cook a few things in your oven and clean it out well before you start eating what it makes. There is a "new oven" smell in the beginning.
7. If you make cookies outdoors and live in the city, your neighbors can smell them. Just saying.
We will continue to use our solar oven, as we still don't have a working indoor oven. I'll keep posting as I find new outdoor recipes. I'm waiting until our current monsoon storms are oven so I can try making "bites" for the kids (banana and oat balls).
Thank you to everyone who has helped out and supported my solar experiment! Please feel free to follow me here or at www.solarcookingchallenge.wordpress.com
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