Solar Cooking

solar-cooking_edited-1-682x1024What’s so hot about a solar cooker?

  1. You can make one yourself
  2. There’s no open flame so you can use this oven during a total fire ban but be mindful to watch that the reflection won’t start a fire.
  3. No fossil fuels are used nor air pollution generated. There are no running costs but you do need to be gentle with the glass.
  4. The meal is sealed in the pot so no nutrients escape. Slowly cooked food is also more nutrient dense.
  5. No stove heating up indoor spaces on a hot summer’s day.
  6. Ultra low-maintenance cooking: stirring rarely needed during cooking, as food almost never burns or sticks!
  7. No stirring, checking or timer required. You can set and leave it and just turn the oven to face the sun every now and then.
  8. Portable
  9. Very few moving parts (just a hinge on the door) so less can go wrong or need replacing
  10. Easy to clean, the oven is just wiped out if there is an unlikely spill.

The Solar Oven is ideal for wet foods like pasta sauces (but not the pasta unless it is lasagna), curries, soups. Essentially you are using a technique like Sous-vide or poaching. The oven can be used to cook sago or rice but you need to monitor these to ensure they do get cooked but not over-cooked. We put a thermometer in the oven as we cook.

The ideal food types to cook in a solar oven won’t be compromised by overcooking and if under-cooked by poor sunlight you can finish them off in your microwave or conventional oven.

  • Crusting won’t happen. The lasagna won’t get a nice cheesy crust on top. even if your dish is open, the whole oven is sealed and holds in the steam.
  • Large particles rise even though we don’t stir the foods. For example, if you are baking a custard or sage with shredded coconut, the coconut will form a layer on the top.
  • The fibers stay intact. This can be a novel eating experience. You will get a whole mushroom still whole but fully cooked, not mushed.
  • Unsealed baking clouds the glass. The efficiency of solar oven is reduced by the amount of air that can circulate within. Once air circulates it has the chance to cool off.
  • Use a little less water than you usually would because very little water will escape.
  • Use a little less spice as these are not impaired by the cooking process so are more powerful in a closed container.

Join us for our upcoming workshop on Solar which will include a demonstration about solar cooking.