The Global Sun Oven is the solar oven I have and have used fairly successfully for a few years.
I have successfully baked chicken, potatoes, casseroles, cakes, cookies, cornbread . . pretty much anything that can be baked in an oven can be baked in a solar oven.
The dishes I have trouble with are those that take a steady, constant temp to cook evenly . . mainly yeast type breads. The temps in the solar oven can fluctuate due to a passing cloud and the temps in my solar oven rarely rise above 350º. I can count on maintaining a fairly constant 325º so long as there are no clouds.
The positives to using a solar oven:
- It is extremely lightweight. The panels fold down, hook and I have no probably carrying it around from place to place. It is bulky enough that I wouldn’t want to carry it through the woods, down to the river or wherever, but it’s plenty easy to carry from the porch to the front yard.
- The minute you’re done cooking, just fold it up and take it back to its storage spot. There’s no cooling down necessary.
- On a sunny day, it gets nice and hot and does the job with absolutely no power except the sun.
- Almost anything that needs to bake or be heated up could be cooked in the solar oven.
The drawbacks to using a solar oven:
- You must have an unshaded, completely open area where the sun shines directly through. Even on a hot, sunny day, one little fluffy cloud comes waltzing by and the temp will drop from 325º to 250º or less almost instantly. It will come right back up once the cloud passes but if there are many clouds, the cooker isn’t effective. This also means that if you live where there are fewer sunny days, this isn’t a good option for you.
- You have to have a safe place to put it. When I was researching the solar oven, I was surprised at how many people said they had theirs out in the front yard, with dinner in it, and it was stolen! If there was a crisis and people were hungry and looking for food, having a solar oven sitting out in plain view is probably not a good idea.
- The inside of the Global Sun Oven is fairly small. Dishes can be staked but it will not provide enough space to cook a meal for a crowd. I can easily bake a whole chicken, add a couple of potatoes, a couple of ears of corn but that about fills it up.
A solar oven is definitely something I want to keep in my cooking arsenal but I live where there’s plenty of sun and a safe place to use it.
For the linkup or in your comments, please write about any ideas you have regarding the solar oven, or ideas you came up while cooking your dinner tonight, as to what you would do if you were preparing this same meal and trying to do without power.