If you have woken up thinking of cooking something special today, the time is right for you.

And even if not, you might be thinking of how to best use your solar oven to achieve delicious results.

If you have skipped my previous e-mail, here’s a link to the DIY article teaching you how to assemble your own free energy oven.

Due to it being extremely lightweight and portable, you can enjoy the ‘luxury’ of tasting thoroughly cooked oven meals even in the great outdoors.

Just picture it, an amazing view, a delicious meal, what more could you ask?

Don’t believe my words without trying to cook something inside your solar oven first. So to complement your knowledge, today I’ll be teaching you how to best use this device to achieve finger-licking dishes.

  1. First thing first. You’ll require a recipient that blocks sunlight. Use black pottery to achieve the best results. The top covering should be of same color and should fit the pot tightly.
  2. Now you’ll have to find the perfect cooking spot. As you might have guessed, the oven requires a great deal of sunbath to reach the appropriate cooking temperatures. For that you’ll have to place it on a dry, leveled surface without any shadows creeping by.
  3. It’s time to place the pot(s) inside the solar oven. If you have multiple dishes, then make sure to place the ones requiring more time and heat towards the back of the cooker, while the fast cooking ones should be placed near the front. Place the lid on the cooker and you’re almost ready to go.
  4. Orientation is also part of the process. The better the sun’s access to the reflector, the faster the cooking time. One important aspect is to have the shadow of the oven directly behind it.

Although it’s not mandatory to move the cooker once the shadow is progressing, keeping it behind will accelerate the cooking process slightly. Do this if the weather is not looking in your favor or if your mouth is watering and you wish to feast earlier. Otherwise, you should leave the oven in place for at least three to four hours.

If it’s noon and you want to harvest the sun’s energy for a delicious dish, you should orient the cooker with the front side eastwards (where the sun should be midmorning). If you have multiple pots, a good idea would be to place them within the cooker as early as 9-10 a.m.

If you’re doing this in the evening, readjust the cooker with its face westwards (where the sun is during midafternoon). However, for best results, you should place the dishes as soon as 1-2 p.m.

If you have some really slow cooking dish, or if the clouds are messing up the cooker’s heat, you should place the solar oven facing west; more precisely where the sun is up during early afternoon or at noon. Leave the cooker sealed for the entire duration of the day.

  1. Take care of the reflector using the adjustable string so that it directs light directly on the inside pots.
  2. Now all it takes is patience. The food doesn’t require stirring since the heat inside won’t reach that of conventional ovens.
  3. Depending on the weather that day, the food should be ready anywhere between 5 to 12 hours. Don’t forget your pot holders when removing the dishes! Use the solar oven as an alternative to reheating food or for maintaining it warm.

Since the oven is mostly made out of cardboard, it requires diligent maintenance and safe storage. You’ll have to always keep the glass clean, and always keep the oven inside a dry place on some kind of support so that humidity and other external factors won’t take their toll.

If you’re lacking food ideas, you can start with sausage and beans, bruschetta, omelette or even a pizza.

Start with these basic recipes before advancing to others more complex.

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