Friday, July 19, 2019

Summer Cooking: The New Solar Oven

Here is my latest "cooking gadget"-- An American Sun Oven -- solar oven.  It is some swanky item and it has been on my mind for a long time.

So I ordered it.

And then my husband and I were ill with a virus for about a month during which there were many beautiful sunny days, but we didn't have the energy.

Hahah... energy.  The one thing that the solar oven brings to mind is energy-- from the sun!  Solar energy.

Yesterday I opened the box and took it and all its accouterments out and laid them on the kitchen table.  I re-read the manual and watched the video online.

We took it into the backyard and learned how to adjust the leg so that I could follow the sun at the right angle.  I learned how to "focus" the incoming sun as well as position the oven properly.  I learned how to shut the various 'clasps' so that the heat would not further escape.

I made up a delicious baked bean dish so we could use the beans this weekend for burritos or perhaps Haystacks (that famous Adventist Salad where you pile lettuce, nacho chips, and a bunch of salad stuff in a "haystack" shape and then put baked beans and cheese on top). (fake cheese for us vegans).

I had fun running in and out and watching it cook, re-positioning it for the sun, etc.


But as the the afternoon wore on (I didn't start the cooking process until noon), I noticed that the temperature went from 350ish down to around 200 degrees Fahrenheit.  I couldn't see what had gone wrong.  I also noticed that sometimes it seemed like there was a wind (it is a windy day) blowing inside because the little swinging rack was gently swinging away. 

And because it looked so delicious at 4:30, I decided it was done.  But when I tried the beans I was disappointed to find out that they were still very firm.  So I put it in the regular oven to finish it off.  We will see what we will see.

I think I need to get out there earlier as they casually mention 8:30 AM in their talk about the recipes.  Earlier in the day, and hopefully, with NO wind in the chamber (at one time the glass window was all steamed up).  I believe that the clasps probably need to be tightened up with a screw driver and untightened when the food is done.  Perhaps cool air was leaking in through the front as well.  I will have to do some looking to see if that is what was happening.

I am not feeling defeated.

I will be back with some successful recipes.

You can watch for them by signing up with me on Pinterest and Instagram where I will notify you of any successful solar cooking (and other vegan recipes, etc.).

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