I sometimes forget that there are readers who are new or fairly new. It seems like so many of you have been around for a very long time. It’s great when I think about how many of you have been around through Chad’s high school and college years . . you probably are the reason I made it through those crazy years! Some of you have been around since we lived in Kentucky, then Missouri, and now Texas.
Anyway, I mentioned the solar oven yesterday and was surprised at how many readers wrote me wanting to know more about it.
This is the model I use, but mine is the three years ago model! Here are some previous blog posts that you can check out if you’re interested.
Looking back at those old posts, here are a couple of things that caught my eye:
- Look at the grass in those older pictures, mostly taken in June and July, and look at the grass in yesterday’s post . . we have green grass for the first time in so many years.
- The Solar Oven Chicken post (I think that’s the one) shows my old countertops. Made me smile and love my solid countertops even more.
I’m sure this is included in some of those older posts about the solar oven but if I were looking at buying one, these are the things I would want someone to tell me:
- Obviously, you need lots of sun and you need an area where there is no shade at the time of day you’re most likely to be cooking. If you’re in an area where there are often clouds, even on sunny days, the solar oven isn’t going to work so well. When a cloud passes in front of the sun, the temp drops like a rock. It comes back up quickly but it does drop and it can make it hard to plan when a meal will be done.
- If you’re in an area where there’s lots of wind, the “panels” are a bit flimsy in the wind. I think we have a LOT of wind and there are only a few days when I feel like it could be risky to use the oven but be aware that wind could be a problem.
- You need a safe place to put it. I’ve read about some people who put their oven out in the front yard, filled it with dinner, went out to check on it and the whole thing was gone. They’re very portable.
- It is recommended that you use dark metal cookware . . graniteware is recommended.
- It folds up and can be handled as soon as you’re done cooking. The outside and parts you have to handle do not get hot.
- Mine reaches temps of 350º to 375º but it can be turned so the sun is hitting it at a different angle if you want to cook at a lower temp. We have quite a bit of sun here . . most all the time.
We’ve had our oven now for three years and I use it oven — summer and winter . . just so there’s sun. In the summer, I use it mostly when I don’t want to heat up the house with the oven or even the crock pot. It makes me feel good to stick a chicken in there for 2 or 3 hours and know I’m not spending one dime of energy to get dinner ready.
There are no mechanical or computerized parts so I don’t see it ever “going out” but if it did, I’d replace it immediately. That’show I determine if a gadget was a good investment . . how long it would take me to replace it if I had to do so. I highly recommend the solar oven if you feel it would work for you.