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My First Time

by BC
(St. Louis, MO)

One should not first cook in one's solar oven, without properly cleaning it first, I found. I prepared my Sun Oven for cooking by steaming 3 cups of straight white vinegar for 2 or 3 hours. After being blinded by the reflectors, I nearly burned myself when I opened up the cooker. It gets hot in there! And I didn’t have even close to a perfectly sunny day. I cannot say what temperature the oven reached because of the steam running down the door, but I think it got over 300 degrees.

After the steaming, I continued to follow the first-use directions by scrubbing the inside with the vinegar. Then I let it air dry all night with the door open.

The next day, I was prepared to make my first meal. Early in the morning, we had some light storms in the area, but they quickly dissipated and the sun rolled in with intermittent white fluffy clouds moving by. We were out running errands in the morning, so when I got home, I stuck the Sun Oven outside to preheat while I made initial preparations for my first meal ever in my solar cooker: Chili! As soon as that was ready to go in the solar cooker, I brought it outside…only to see an overcast sky had moved into the area! Very little sun (if any) made its way through. My cooker was barely over 150 degrees when I stuck the pot in it. I don’t mind saying I’m a bit peeved! This is a terrible beginning! It is really looking like it could rain, and then I’ll have to bring it inside. It really wigs me out when a plan does NOT come together!

Later that day…

I had to bring in the solar cooker; the sky was threatening rain! The temperature gauge barely registered 120 degrees. I finished the meal up on the stove. It didn’t take too long because the meat had already been browned, but overall, the whole experience was not how I had planned my first foray into solar cooking! But I haven't given up...stay tuned for further installments!

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Jul 09, 2014
by: BC

I always check the weather report's hour-by-hour forecast...but it's never what is actually happening outside! LOL

Jul 07, 2014
Been there, done that...
by: James Simmons

It's not rocket science, but requires a little reliability from those rocket science weather people.
I recommend you check your local latest (reliable) weather report before starting any cooking venture in a sun oven.
Summer in Idaho weather where I'm at is pretty much a norm, hotter, and even hotter so I worry more about a power outage and not having air conditioning more than I do being able to cook in the sun.
If you have limited sun, cloudy days or maybe you need to aim your oven more frequently, maybe you need a sun tracking device. I've posted a blog on this website that might give you some ideas, but haven't seen much interest in it so far. Good luck and don't give up.

Jul 06, 2014
Sorry to hear of your experience
by: Jim La Joie

It happens to all of us. Solar cooking is an art and a science and you just need experience to overcome these events. Lean what you can from the event (you got plenty of heat in the early part of the day). Cook when you can.

Jul 06, 2014
Solar cooking
by: Cal Griggs

Welcome to the wonderful world of solar cooking. We have all had these experiences which you describe. So hang in there.

Once you can get about 3 or 4 hours of sunshine, even partly cloudy days, you will be amazed what you can do with your new cooker.

Just remember, we are "Using the sun today for a better tomorrow".

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