Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sun Oven saves the day

The Sun Oven is a versatile tool. It can bake banana bread, roast a butternut squash, cook a lasagna or quiche, and turn brown rice into moist perfection. Normally, I appreciate it for the way it keeps my house cool in the summer and for it's zero carbon emissions.

But lately, it's been doing more than that. It's been saving my bacon.

I currently have no functioning kitchen sink, dishwasher, cooktop, or oven. Because my family is in the middle of a remodel in which we are doing half the work (general contracting, prepping cabinets for paint, painting, and tiling), it's proceeding slowly. Despite the remodel, we are still living and cooking at home. But how to make a variety of healthy meals without a cooktop or oven? The answer is: the Global Sun Oven.

I've been able to use it on almost every sunny day that we plan to eat at home, and what a blessing that is! About two-thirds of the days have been sunny since our remodel began, and I've re-discovered the variety of things that the Sun Oven can cook:

- Rice for rice and bean salads, burritos, a good side for anything
- Chili, stews, soups
- Quiche and cheese -and-egg dishes
- Beans
- Potatoes (baked or cut up for potato salad)
- Roasted vegetables / ratatouille

Of course, it's cloudy today. Looks like we may have hummus sandwiches for dinner!


Chile said...

That's great, Hausfrau! I was just telling some folks last night that I use mine a lot this time of year. (Not today, it's totally overcast here, too.)

I'd really like to find a fresnel lens, though, to make a solar oven with directed heat that would allow me to do sauteeing and stir-fries. That kind of quick cooking is still done in the kitchen, although we do have plans for an eventual rocket stove that may be able to do that with tree trimmings.

Peak Oil Hausfrau said...

Thanks Chile. That would be cool, let me know how that goes! I'm still planning to make one of those box cookers like you made. I think that would be a great combo in the case that the sun went behind a cloud after the GSO had already gotten the food heated up.

Theresa said...

I have ordered my Sun Oven and am just waiting for it to arrive! I can't wait to try out some of the things you mention here. I left it too late to get the benefit of our summer sunshine, but we have sunny winters here and I'm looking forward to see what the Sun Oven can do on those days. Thanks for the ongoing inspiration about cooking with the sun!

Peak Oil Hausfrau said...

Hi Theresa! I hope you like your Sun Oven, and hope it works for you in the winter. Try some easy things first (things that cook quickly) to get the hang of it. If it doesn't give you great results, though, try again in summer! The first few times we tried weren't the best - but we found out quickly that using black pots with black lids was important.

Theresa said...

I do have a black pot with a black lid, which I will use - thanks! I have tried some solar cooking before with a crazy contraption I cobbled up myself, so I'm sure the Sun Oven will work better than that!

Diane said...

I use mine all the time as well. I got brave last weekend and actually baked cookies in it (I don't have a baking tray small enough, so I did them six at a time in a skillet!). They came out great, although softer than from the regular oven. But when it's 100 degrees outside, who cares, lol?! Cookies are cookies.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought for you Hausfrau...you can purchase small stackable cookie sheets from Sun Ovens International (the company that makes the GSO). That way you can make cookies a dozen or two at a time.

Kate said...

I'm a little jealous of the sun oven! I made the mistake of turning our oven on the other day in the afternoon and our house increased in temperature by 6 degrees. Our air-conditioning stinks!

I'll never make the same mistake again.

It's great to finally 1. have a comment on my blog and 2. to know there are other OKC (or Oklahomans in general) who blog about the environment and sustainable living issues. Thanks for popping in.

rferrell1 said...

hello Frau. I think I have my home made solar cooker about ready to try a real recipe. After testing it's temp. with an oven thermometer for a couple of suny days, yesterday I cook 4 potatoes, just to make sure it gets hot enough. I put my black covered pan inside an oven bag and it worked. When i removed the lid at 3:30 yesterday, a puff of steam greeted me. Was going to do lentils today, but the rain.
thanks for your blog