I have contemplated getting a Global Sun Oven for a few years now, but I tend to lean toward the frugal side of things, and I always thought I should just make a solar oven. I recently decided, if I haven't made one by now, it's probably not going to happen. My time is divided in many different directions as it is. So, I ordered one. And, while the initial investment seems steep, the savings over time from not having to turn on the oven and causing excessive running of the air conditioner will pay off.
The beauty of a solar oven is you can use it like a slow cooker. You simply point it in the direction where you expect the sun to hit it face on by midday. Throughout the day, the reflectors catch the sun and direct the energy to the oven throughout the day. Because the oven is not pointed directly at the sun the whole day, the oven temperature does not get as high or maintain as long. Or you can speed up the process by rotating the oven to follow the sun throughout the day. For the past few hours, I have been monitoring the temperature without moving the oven, and it has maintained approximately 250 degrees. Most slow cookers range from 170-300 degrees roughly converted from the wattage they use. Anything below 165 degrees opens up the danger of bacteria and food-borne illnesses.
Today, after following the cleaning instructions, I decided to take it for a spin. I pulled some frozen cookie dough balls out and let them sit on the cookie sheet for a few minutes to soften. I really should have preheated the oven, but I didn't and put the cookies in at around 170 degrees. The oven temperature steadily rose to about 300 degrees by the time the cookies were done. It took them 40 minutes to bake, but I know I could have cut that time in half by preheating. Also, I slightly overbaked them. I like my cookies chewier and these came out crisper than I like. I definitely need some practice using the oven. Overall, they baked up beautifully, and I'm so pleased!
I just put some carrots in to cook for supper to which I hope to eventually add some leftover chicken from last night to warm through. The sun keeps going behind the clouds, so I will keep an eye on the thermometer and see what happens.
Happy solar cooking,
P.S. Never buy anything from Mom's Green Earth.
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