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Food grower
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tested out my new Sun Oven today. Absolutely love it. I have built solar ovens for years out of cardboard and aluminum foil. I have taught countless sixth graders how to make their own sun ovens as well.

But on my wish list this year was the Sun Oven which is a commercial product. It costs about $250 which is no chump change, but I really do like it. It is much more efficient and portable than solar oven prototypes I have built in the past.

Today's inaugural cooking was Jiffy brand cornbread. Super easy to cook up in about the same time as a conventional oven once the solar oven is preheated...





 

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Tested out my new Sun Oven today. Absolutely love it. I have built solar ovens for years out of cardboard and aluminum foil. I have taught countless sixth graders how to make their own sun ovens as well.

But on my wish list this year was the Sun Oven which is a commercial product. It costs about $250 which is no chump change, but I really do like it. It is much more efficient and portable than solar oven prototypes I have built in the past.

Today's inaugural cooking was Jiffy brand cornbread. Super easy to cook up in about the same time as a conventional oven once the solar oven is preheated...





can you get the bread to brown evenly? how olng to cook a pan?
 

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Food grower
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There is browning around the edges of the cornbread, its just hard to see in the picture....

basically, it cooks like a regular oven, but it does take a bit longer to preheat the oven.

Especially in January.

I was cooking at around 300-325F today.

My past experiences with solar ovens are they are very forgiving, that is, they are a lot like crock pots on the high setting.

And whatever is cooked in them, the food is very moist....
 

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Food grower
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thats a great way to cook. was the outside of the oven hot on the sides and bottom or is it insulated? do you think it would cook without the glass in the summer?
The exterior shell is just warm to the touch is all, it seems very well insulated.

And yes, I am thinking if I can reach 300+ degrees in JANUARY, then I will definitely need to cook this summer with the glass lid vented, or even point the solar oven so it is not directly facing the sun, just a bit off-center from full sun exposure.

I have slow cooked ribs to perfection in my previous home made solar ovens in the warm months of the year and I did have to divert the oven from direct exposure. And the only problem I had with the homemade oven when cooking meat was that it attracted the attention of fire ants that smelled the protein being cooked. Luckily I had the ribs in a pan that was enveloped in a reynolds oven bag tied off on one end so they could not gain access to the food.
 

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Food grower
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We use a cast iron skillet to cook cornbread in our Sun Oven. Heat the skillet just like you would in a conventional oven before adding the cornbread mix. Yes, it will brown the cornbread. Actually, we haven't found anything that doesn't cook well in the Sun Oven.

Great idea!

I want to get a set of cast iron cookware and/or enamelware that will fit into the sun oven.
 

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The main item to watch is the condensation on the inside of the glass. One thing that makes the oven so efficient is the way it is sealed. However, the moisture will really reduce the temperature if you don't wipe it off. We just open the glass and quickly wipe the inside of it with a paper towel.

I would not recommend opening the glass to regulate the temperature; this will allow the moisture to evaporate and dry your food. Just turn the oven away from the sun a little to regulate the temperature.

GP
 

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At Sugent
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You would not believe how well solar ovens can work.
You can build one that can cook THE SAME as your regular oven. Up to 400 on a clear day.
Hot enough to cook 2 one pound loaves of french bread, or a whole chicken. In real time.
 

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I have the same solar oven, got it on ebay for $87 plus shipping, it was supposed to be damaged and used. But, it was brand new, I had to pull the plastic covering off the reflectors. The wood piece that the reflectors mount to had been pulled off, it must have been a store floor model. So, 4 bolts and I have a new oven.
I then bought a turntable (like a lazy susan) and mounted it between two plywood pieces and bought a small 5RPM motor (ebay) and a solar tracker (ebay) and used a couple of solar panels that I had hanging around the house. Now the thing tracks the sun up to 180 degrees, and the power is solar as well (the solar panels are mounted in the front of the oven so it is always facing the sun). All I have cooked in it so far was a loaf of bread. I will mount a digital thermometer probe so I can measure the pot or pan temp instead of just using the stock thermometer. I do have to manually adjust the vertical angle, but that is only for that day.

Also, I did not like that hokey vertical bar adjustment with the push button, so I used two 3/4" pvc pipe with a vertical slot and ten horizontal slots to one side. Then a 1/2" piece of electrical conduit with a screw that slides in the height I select. Since they are on two locations in the oven back, it is easier and provides more stability.

I tried to insert a couple of pictures, but can't figure how to use the url identifier as they are just jpeg files.
 

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I did create an album and got two pictures of the oven with the tracker and motor, but can not get it to load here. The album name is a1bigtuna's pictures, maybe someone out there can look it up, I don't know how or where to look now. Still learning this system.
 

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Grandad Prepper

It is an easy thing to do . Two pieces of 3/4" pvc and cut slots vertical for the movement adjustment up/down setting. Then cut slits left or right for the "detent" or holding position. Conduit 1/2 dia fits inside just right and then just add a screw to the pipe and you have 10 different elevations. The tubes are held in place with 3/4" pipe holding bands (all Home Depot) so two of them on each tube and wala, it is a lot easier to adjust.
 
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