Saturday, August 1, 2009

Geocities is closing.....

so this site... will soon no longer exist.

I can't figure out how to reverse the order of my posts without completely redoing everything, so the best way to read the posts here is to scroll down to the very bottom of this page and work your way up.

Solar oven chex mix........

Solar cookies.........

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Please disregard the fact that this cookie sheet needs a seriously good scouring. No recipe available for these cookies because we just used a package of cookie mix from the grocery store.
The cookies were done much faster than I thought they would be. They were done in about 15 minutes.

Snack time! Come and get it!

Solar Gingerbread..........

I forgot to keep track of time but I believe it took about 2 hours for these to get done. I waited until I had a little bit of cracking on the top of the gingerbread. In the future I will remember to rotate the pan half way through the cookig process because I did still have one slightly gooey edge on these.

Voila.....................Finished Product

A complete solar meal........

Very Exciting!

Solar smashed potatoes........

Rough chop and just a little water added.
Three hours later, with only one stir midway through and we have nice tender potatoes.
These came out really good. Everyone enjoyed them. I just smashed the potatoes with a little, onion powder, salt, butter, milk and small spoon of horseradish (shhhhh nobody knows about that). I then popped it into my spare solar oven without a reflector to stay warm.

Solar Greens............

I cheated a bit on these. Instead of fresh greens I opened a couple cans of greens and chopped a couple pieces of bacon to toss in. Cooked in the oven for about 2 hours. Delicious!

Solar Roast Chicken and Vegies........

Dark pots help absorb heat. I found these at Kmart.

The cast of characters.

Ready to hit the oven.

And just a few hours later.

Nice tender vegies.

Dinner is served.

Solar Meatloaf........

Just a basic meatloaf recipe. Placed in the solar oven at noon and plan to check it in a couple hours and possible rotate the dish in the oven.

Great results!. I left the meatloaf in the oven for about 3 hours and it came out great.


A very nice box oven

Solar Dehydrator

Wiki Solar Cooking

Yahoo Groups Solar Cooking

Solar Cooking Plans

An interesting wall oven

Cooking with the sun

Youtube solar oven videos sort through... he has some great stuff

Many more great links

Wooden Solar Oven........

I have finally gotten around to building my wooden oven. It was definitely a challenge for me because I don't know anything about woodworking. There are a few things that I plan on changing but I will work on things over time.

I did have more pictures leading up to this stage but sadly I accidentally deleted them from my camera.

Basically I just built a box with 3/4 wood. It is slant faced meaning the front is lower than the back of the box. This keeps me from having to tilt the box into the sun. I just have to reposition the box a bit during the day to receive the best sunlight.

After making the box I lined it with styrofoam insulation. Then I cut pices of cardboard to fit in the box, covered them with heavy duty foil and then glued them into the box.

The back door was cut from the back of the box before I worked on the interior insulation and foil etc. Hinges at the bottom and a latch at the top will allow me to put food into and out of the oven without having to move the hot glass on the top of the oven. The back door ended up with a slight gap on the sides of the back door so I simply glued some pieces of wood over the gaps. The wood can not extend any lower than the bottom of the door or it will not open.
I chose a nice dark olive green to finish up the outside of the oven. A dark color for the exterior is supposed to help absorb heat.
Glass is now installed on the oven. I chose 1/4 inch thick glass because 1/8 inch just seems too flimsy. I also laid awood trim over the top edges of the glass for a finished look and to help seal the edges. I haven't put the caulk around the glass yet. That is my weekend project.

My very first test run with my reflectors I reached a temp of 345 degrees!!
I did decide to go ahead and make this oven fairly deep. I can fit a couple of my smaller roasting pans or my large roasting pans with great result for all.

Cardboard Version.........

I have been interested in solar cooking for a long time. I have done a lot of surfing on the internet to get as many ideas as I can. My first solar oven is made of cardboard. Almost every day I look at my oven and change something or add something or tape something or staple something or just say a simple prayer that it won't fly away in the wind. I am having serious issues with my reflectors. They just dont want to stay where I put them so I have to work on the design of those for sure. For ideas or instructions on building solar ovens visit the links that you see at the bottom of this page.I have learned a few lessons so far. Masking tape doesn't hold up in the sun at all so I am looking for a solution to that. Also I won't try to cut my own glass any more. It is just too difficult. I will have glass cut to my specifications next time. My first prototype is also a little too deep so I placed a few bricks in the bottom and put a cookie sheet on top so that when I place my cooking containers inside they are closer to the glass. I have also found that the reflectors are very helpful. The maximum temp I have hit without the reflectors is 200. With the reflectors I have hit 325. Unfortunately the reflectors also turn into sales if there is any wind. I learned this because I had an oven that toppled over and spilled all the rice and water, probably ruining the box. If that solar oven dries out and is usable I will remember to put bricks in the bottom for extra weight.