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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So has anyone built/have one? What are its limitations in cooking? Can it not cook some items? How long do some dishes take to finish?

I just saw the National Geographic documentary/show called Doomsday Preppers online and one family had this and I never heard of it before.

Thx for any info. As a fun prepping activity I think I might try to build one of these this month.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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I've built a few. I find that the box type ovens cook more evenly that the panel and parabolic types that focus the sun onto the cooking pot.

You can get some ideas here: http://www.solarcooking.org/plans/
This is very similar to the one I prefered: http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/radabaugh30.html

They cook very well in summer down here in the south. Not so much in the winter. I doubt if they'll be of much benefit up north.

Takes a bit longer to cook in them because they don't quite get to normal oven temperatures. But you can simmer in them, bake breads, etc. It just takes a little tinkering to get the timing right.

On the same note, take a look at solar dehydrators too. You can build a large unit for little money that will process fruits, veggies, meats, etc., in bulk.
 

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Blessed
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We have a solar oven that we bought. All we have actually done in it was put water in it and the water got VERY hot. This was in April.

I have played around with where it gets the hottest and have gotten my oven up to 350F.

Suzanne
 

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I just bought one from Amazon for $260 shipped. It's a global sun, but I have not had a chance to use it yet..I watched a few youtube videos and it looked pretty neat. It will be my primary source of cooking when the time comes..I'd imagine you could probably build one for about $50, which I will eventually do anyway..I imagine that I could use it for a bargaining item so I will keep it even if I build a larger permanant one for the yard. It is also easy to hide so the neighbors will not wonder why I have/need one..
 

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Bad Dog
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We have used a global sun oven for a couple years now.
Its easy to use, gets up to about 350 or so. you do need to move it to follow the sun about every hour for best results.
It does keep the food pretty moist even when cooked for hours. It does not work to well if partly/mostly cloudy or in winter.
definately worth the cost and a good prep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone! Its useful to know that the max temp is a good 350 degrees. It doesn't get very hot where I live but in my current house, we seem to get the most sunlight in our city. If I could afford solar panels for our roof, it would be good in our area.

I also appreciate the specifics of cooking a whole chicken in 3 hrs. That seems like a good time from an oven I can build myself.
 

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Wild Edibles Expert
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Thanks everyone! Its useful to know that the max temp is a good 350 degrees. It doesn't get very hot where I live but in my current house, we seem to get the most sunlight in our city. If I could afford solar panels for our roof, it would be good in our area.

I also appreciate the specifics of cooking a whole chicken in 3 hrs. That seems like a good time from an oven I can build myself.
Food starts cooking at 185F, so the idea that a solar overn only gets to 350F is thus someone inferior isn't true. I have built three solar ovens and bought one. The one advantage the purchased one has over the home made ones is that it is more efficient thus works better in the winter. I use mine year round and cook a couple of chickens a week in mine.

 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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Thanks everyone! Its useful to know that the max temp is a good 350 degrees. It doesn't get very hot where I live but in my current house, we seem to get the most sunlight in our city. If I could afford solar panels for our roof, it would be good in our area.

I also appreciate the specifics of cooking a whole chicken in 3 hrs. That seems like a good time from an oven I can build myself.
While my first homemade version was probably not as efficient as it could have been, and my next one will be better, I did find that the peak temperature wasn't the average temperature unless you adjusted the oven frequently. As the sun moved out of optimal alignment, temps dropped pretty quickly.

I don't know whether most of the heat loss was through the glass or whether improved insulation would have solved it. But I couldn't hold 350 degrees without frequent adjustments.

So it pays to experiment and learn to recognize when the food is done because cooking times varied greatly depending on a lot of things such as strength of sunlight, how often the oven was adjusted to the sun, etc.
 

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At Sugent
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I cook french bread, 2 one pound loaves at a time, or a standard cookie sheet of cookies. I have cooked 6 pounds of baby back ribs all at once, many times.
There are plans available to build solar ovens that really cook like your regular oven, 12 months of the year, at least here in Northern California. If there is a clear sky, you will have at least 300' even if the outside temp is 45' and the wind is blowing.
 
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