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Peanut roasting with a small picture-frame solar cooker

by Dr N K Srinivasan

Using two cardboard boxes, with Styrofoam insulation between the boxes...I covered the inner box with glass glazing--using a picture frame without the picture ,of course..12 in x 10 inches I taped the frame with sealing tape on one side so that I can lift the frame to open like a lid...i used a steel enameled tray, from a medical supplies store blackened with poster paint..[The Styrofoam (one inch thickness only)does not come in contact with inner chamber.
Four reflectors were made with cardboard ,pasted with Reynolds kitchen aluminum tilting arrangement,;but I do keep wooden pieces to tilt the solar cooker about 20 degrees...
I am in Bangalore,India, with latitude 13 deg North...We get plenty of sunshine,sometimes with passing clouds after 2 PM..much cooking in the mornings from 11 AM to 2 PM---mostly rice and vegetables...I use this regularly to roast peanuts in 1 to 2 hours in batches of 250 grams.--it tastes delicious and uniformly roasted to golden brown color.
I did have much problem with sealing air leaks...Once I sealed the top of the box on four sides where the glass frame sits ,things happened...I could get easily 110 degrees C, in about 30 mins. in the month of Jan...
I made it small so that it can be easily moved about and kept in the sunny balcony too, instead of garden space at the back of the building.
I intend to use it for peanut ,cashew and almond roasting ,because I am not sure how hygienically the packaged nuts in supermarkets are prepared.


Greetings Dr. NK Srinivasan

Thank you very much for contributing your solar cooking expertise and for sharing with our site visitors.

Also, I compliment you on your written english, you write very well.

We are happy to share your peanut and nut cooking process using your home made solar cooker.
It goes to show that you can cook, roast, steam, stew and do almost any kind of food with a solar cooker.

I will have to try some of my own nuts and seeds in our solar cookers...I'll admit I hadn't thought of doing that since raw nuts are not as available here as they are in other countries.
Our nuts are usually already roasted and processed by the time we get them.

I appreciate your description of your solar cooker and how you built it...very helpful information for others.

I would invite you to share of photo or two of your cooker, and peanuts being roasted if you have access to a digital camera...if you have one otherwise don't trouble yourself.

Thank you again for your submission.

Nathan Parry

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Great idea
by: Anonymous

It is so good that you can roast your own nuts like this. I used to work in a nut processing factory and you would be surprised by how sloppy the packers are. There were flies, wire, string and many other pieces of trash in the nuts that were approved for sale. In one case, a USDA inspector was watching a packaging operation, the metal detectors were kicking out the packs with wire in them and she was letting them go. I couldn't believe this. They had packaged pecans that had what looked like sawdust in the bottom of the bags (beetles), these were emptied and repackaged.
When buying nuts, always look at the bottom of the bag when you can and if you se what looks like saw dust, don't buy them. Oh, and I quit in a week.

by: Shellie

I am impressed with your brilliantly homemade solar oven! Thanks for the detailed description. I look forward to hearing more from you regarding your experiences. I find it so exciting that others, such as yourself, despite so far away from me are using the same rays from the sun as me to solar cook their food!

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