When the weather is hot outside many people will try to avoid having to turn on the oven or stove to do any cooking in order to keep the heat down in the house.
When its cold outside most people do not think about cooking their food over a fire or on a grill out in the back yard, since they would prefer the extra heat in the house.
In an emergency situation though many will not have the luxury of choosing where, when or how they cook, they will have to do so by any means possible. So, the more prepared with more cooking options one is; the better off will be your situation.
I would like to look at one particular method of cooking in the winter that most people would not consider very reasonable.
Solar Cooking in the winter would seem to be contrary to any common sense judgment.
Why would one want to solar cook outside when one can use their wood, gas or electric stove/oven inside, to give additional heat to the home, while accomplishing the necessary task of daily cooking?
I would like to offer one main (and very good) reason why one would choose to solar cook even in the winter.
The first and biggest reason would be to save and conserve your expendable and limited fuel supplies, whether they are propane, wood, charcoal, generator or any bio-mass fuel source.
When you are without the traditional convenient means of obtaining and replenishing your regular supplies of electricity, wood or gas; all of the daily fuel needs of a household will quickly diminish your stores of fuel you may have accumulated for these important needs.
Many people who stockpile and store fuels take in to account only the need to cook with such, but they do not consider that they will also need to heat water for bathing, cleaning, washing as well as fuel for heating their current living quarters.
These needs will quickly deplete your stores of fuel and leave you with few options to meet your basic needs.
On the other hand, solar is an unlimited supply of power for a variety of uses and needs and especially so for cooking. Of course all you need is a bright sunny day. And, in the winter many places do have a certain amount of those bright sunny days, even in the northern climes.
With a modern, well built solar cooker(s) one can cook all of their food effectively and quite efficiently.
Cooking in the winter can be accomplished very easily, though it requires more condensed and tighter planning and execution to do so due to the shortened days and limited availability of sunshine. Your ideal time for cooking during the shorter winter days will be between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM, even though one can stretch those times somewhat depending on what is being cooked and what kind of solar cooker is being used. (Summer time will permit solar cooking from as early as 8:00 AM to as late as 6:30 PM)
Of course the further north one lives the shorter the days (available sunshine) will be in the winter.
Some people wonder about the outside or, ambient temperatures effect on solar cooking.
It can be 15 below freezing and if you have a well designed, built and insulated solar cooker; it will attain temperatures of 350 F and more.
Where I live, I have solar cooked probably 300 of 365 days a year, year around.
This last October, up through January, I have been able to solar cook almost ever day, whether it is a small item or meal or a full course meal.
Of course some winters are stormier and cloudier than others, and when they are, on days that are cloudy; then is when I will use my traditional methods or expendable fuels for cooking.
Right now solar cooking is an energy and money saver for our family.