Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Solar cooking in the winter!

I've had some people tell me solar ovens just won't work in the winter.  So I tested it.  The answer is, they do!  I put both of mine out for 20 min & then checked the temp.  The SOS was 260 degrees, & the Global was 275.  Not bad considering it was under 30 degrees outside.
Now there are some things to consider or plan for winter cooking.  Obviously you're going to get less sunny days, or sometimes only a few hours of sun.  I've been watching my backyard, & because of the angle of the sun, & my neighbors houses & trees, I only get about 4 hours of sun back there in the winter, that touches the ground.  I could get more if I start the ovens in the front yard in the morning.  So I probably can't put a frozen roast out there to cook all day like I can other times of the year.  But there are plenty of other things I can do.

I put small biscuits in the SOS.  One thing about it, if you use the "winter angle", it's space to put things is smaller, so you have to have smaller pots or trays.  The biscuits were cooked all the way through in 20 min.  A whole loaf of bread would take longer, but if you get 1 1/2 hours of sun you could probably have the bread all cooked, including pre-heating the oven.  It would take less time to "can" the bread in jars (see previous posts on this).  I would recommend doing this if you were relying on your solar oven, so that you would still have something to open on cloudy days.  But this is all easily doable & plannable!

Since I didn't have all day to cook beef stew (and I was in a beef stew mood), I put in a jar I'd already canned myself.  I put it in the Global in the black pot that comes with it.  This was only a pint jar (I was by myself that day), so there wasn't a lot of it.  It was heated through in 25 min.  Yummy!!  So I'm going to keep in mind that if I have very short periods of sun, anything I bought or canned myself can be heated in my solar oven.

I also think that things like rice, pastas, etc could be quickly cooked in short sun periods in my solar ovens.  That gives me enough options to keep us fed with some hot meals with a bit of sun.  If I filled the oven with jars of bread, I could probably with a couple hours of sun get enough bread for my son & I for a week or two.  And maybe with a longer sunny day, can some cookies as well!  mmmmm
  All without having to store any fuel!  I LOVE my solar ovens!

Email me at singlemomprep@gmail.com if you're interested in buying a solar oven!  It's my favorite prep item!

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