The sun oven is a great tool for cooking outdoors without fuel or electricity. The only energy a sun oven requires is sunshine! That’s what makes this a great option for cooking when the power is out, as long as there is sun, even in temperatures as low as 10 degrees. The sun oven is the easiest way to harness the power of the sun to cook, bake or boil foods. When used correctly, the sun oven can reach temperatures of 360° to 400° F in as little as 20 minutes. Solar cooking with the sun oven can be achieved in everyday cooking while in your backyard, at picnics, during a camping trip, or in the event of a power failure.
Place the sun oven in direct sunlight, in a location that receives at least 4 hours of sunshine. Put the food in early and don’t worry about overcooking. You can place as many pots in the sun oven as space allows, just remember that adding more may require longer cook times. After you put your food into the cooker, aim it so that its reflector is directly where the sun will be when you want your meal to start cooking. The food will start cooking before the sun reaches the full-on position and will stay warm after the sun’s direct rays leave it. During partly cloudy weather or when filled with more food, you may want to move the cooker to follow the sun once or twice during the day to take advantage of the best heat. On a hot summer day, you may begin cooking easier-to-cook foods, particularly fish and greens, as late as 5:00 p.m. There is no need to stir your food until you take it out at mealtime. Putting a brick or two inside the oven will slow down cooking initially, but will help retain heat so that your food will stay warm after the sun no longer shines on the oven. Don’t forget to use hot pads when handling the oven. Dark pans work best in the oven. Sun ovens can also be used to dehydrate food.
A variety of foods can be made in the sun oven. Using the power of the sun, we’ve made banana bread, orange rolls, homemade bread and roasted a chicken. The options are limitless!