Solare cookers

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by Asatrur, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. Asatrur

    Asatrur Well-Known Member

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    Our local prepping group in Colorado got together today to build some solar cookers. We had temps of mid 60s with cloud cover and high winds, which made it challenging to get things hot, but managed to get one up to 125-130 in 20-30 mins before the winds wanted to send our ovens sailing. Here are some pics
    2 box ovens
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    Parabolic oven
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  2. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    Thanks for posting the pictures.

    I've just started to look at solar cooking ... picked up a new book. lol
     

  3. JustAPrepper

    JustAPrepper Active Member

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    How did that oval one work out? Looks like with the right pot/pan it might work pretty well.

    We have a Sun Oven that I use a couple times a week. The only thing I don't like about it is the inside is very small and it's hard to find pans that will fit it. I happened to have some granite ware in my camping stuff that fit it well and found another little pan at a thrift store. Other than that, I LOVE it! But, planning a full day's worth of meals is tricky with only one oven so I'd like to get some kind of secondary oven...can't afford another Sun Oven at the moment.

    I have some pics of things I've cooked in it if anyone wants to see them. Kind of gives you an idea of just how versatile they can be.
     
  4. DJgang

    DJgang I put SAs on IGNORE!

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    I was thinking about painting some of my quarts jars with black paint. They are narrow and you could fit more stuff in the sun oven..do you think?

    this comes as a suggestion of a lady I found on YouTube,Wendy Dewitt, she LDS and all her food storage system revolves around solar cooking.

    Anyway, I haven't cooked in mine yet. It was my first huge prepping buy a few weeks ago and I am sure the kids would love to try it out.
     
  5. Asatrur

    Asatrur Well-Known Member

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    If you mean the parabolic one, we did not have a chance to test them out due to time and the weather, but when our group reports back the findings, I will post them here.
     
  6. JustAPrepper

    JustAPrepper Active Member

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    I think you're really going to enjoy it.:) We've cooked bread, a Pork Roast, all kinds of things as well as several desserts. Just a tip on the roast...I have a Polder Remote Thermometer. The meat probe is on a long wire that attaches to the unit. Stick the probe in the meat, set the unit alongside the oven and you can watch it until the meat reaches the desired temperature. That way you don't have to keep opening the oven to check the meat.

    I'm familiar with Wendy. She has a free download available called Everything Under the Sun if you're not aware of it. I printed it out and have it in a binder. There's all kinds of tidbits in there as well. Definitely worth the paper and ink to print it.

    I haven't painted any of my jars yet but have thought about it. I need to ask DH if he can recommend a certain kind of paint that might work better than others. Just added that to my list of Never Ending Things To Do.:D
     
  7. JustAPrepper

    JustAPrepper Active Member

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    I'll be looking forward to the post. I really like this design.
     
  8. JustAPrepper

    JustAPrepper Active Member

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    After reading this thread I remembered an old thread I had seen on another board so I went searching for it. No wonder I liked the Parabolic one so much...Plans for Solar Cookers -- The Solar Cooking Archive

    I went and found the car shade at Walmart. They had two kinds, Regular size, which was very thin and Jumbo size, which was quite a bit thicker. I kept running scenario's through my mind trying to figure out which one might work best and ended up with the Jumbo. My thinking was with the Jumbo one I might get a larger cooking area and the thicker material might last longer. It cost me around $8.

    I didn't take the time to sew Velcro to it because I wasn't sure it would work so I used Binder Clips. I struggled for almost an hour trying to get the thing together without the clips popping off. Looking back, I think the Regular size and the thinner material would probably be easier to work with. Because it was a little breezy that day I set the Cooker on the ground near the shed so it would have some protection from the wind and used a towel and small rack (so the weight of the pot wouldn't puncture the Shade) to put the heavy pot on.

    I ended up doing two tests with it. I filled my large black Granite Ware pot full with two gallons of cold water from the tap, put the lid on it and set it outside at 2:30. I checked the temps every 30 minutes. The water wasn't heating as quickly as I thought it should so I went back to the link and re-read. What I missed was the pot in the link was raised on a rack to get reflection on the bottom of the pan. The only thing I had large enough to hold that much weight was the roasting rack I use for Turkeys and at that time set the Cooker up on a table. By 5pm the highest temp I reached was 111 degrees.

    The next day I tested again. Same pot, same water, but it was room temperature at this point and not cold tap water. This time I did NOT use the black lid that goes with the pot but instead covered the pot with plastic wrap to allow the sun to penetrate and heat off the interior black surface as well as the reflective heat from the shade. Set it out at 2:30 (same time as the day before) on the table and roasting rack under almost identical conditions as the day before and by 5pm I had water temps of 122 degrees.

    I'm not sure I can call this an "oven" at this point but I'm definitely impressed with it's heating ability. Two gallons of water is quite the load, and I did that intentionally. I wanted to *work* this contraption and see what it could do. For $8 but I can definitely heat water and use this as a way to *warm* other foods if I need to use the Solar Oven for actual baking or cooking.

    I have since painted four Quart Mason Jars with black paint and tried to cook some Chicken Broth using some leftover Wing Tips. I started it much too late in the day to make it safe to eat but it DID get plenty hot, just needs to be finished off on the stove top to kill off the nasties.

    Also, don't get misled by the shading in the last photo. I was trying to move in a position so as not to get glare on the camera. There was plenty of reflection.

    I'm calling success on this one. Maybe not for baking just yet but it definitely heats. I'm gonna keep playing with it and will report back with my findings.
     

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