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Tricks I've learned from using my Sun Oven

Shelf Reliance Mom: Tricks I've learned from using my Sun Oven

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tricks I've learned from using my Sun Oven

Sun Oven Brownie Pans

The Sun Oven is one of my top 5 favorite emergency items EVER! I love that I don't have to pack fuel for it (as I am currently living in an itty bitty apartment that would outlaw the storing of fuel) and it works anywhere there is Sun, even in the winter!!! It doesn't matter if you have snow on the ground as long as its not a cloudy day. 

If you start cooking food when the Sun is first coming up, you can actually cook a few meals within the day as well as heat bricks to keep you warm at night...see below. The Sun Oven keeps food so juicy and warm, unlike the conventional oven which tends to dry thing out, due to the window that traps all of the juices inside. Just a special note that you'll probably want to make sure your pans are covered with lids so all of the condensation doesn't end up on the glass since those little droplets will make it difficult to see the thermometer gauge to see if you are maintaining the correct temperature.

Something I also did for my sun oven is bought some high heat paint (the kind you use on barbecue grills) and painted a few of my mylar glass jars (*on the outside, not the inside, that would be poisonous :P) in order to let the jar soak up more heat to boil water with greater ease.  I also painted a few bricks, since bricks tend to hang onto heat, that I can put under the tray that holds food so it will help maintain the heat if a cloud were to pass by which would typically make the temperature drop. Since I live in sunny Las Cruces, that tends to be less of a problem so it typically comes in my handy for me when I am getting something out of the oven and putting something new in. The bricks help it not take as much time to reheat to the correct temperature. And, if we were living in a true emergency and didn't have electricity or gas we could fill the Sun Oven with bricks after we were done cooking our meal to trap in all of that heat, then use them to warm our bedrooms (or as I've heard if wrapped in a special type of cloth, you can put at your feet to keep your children's little toesies warm). PS. If you know which type of fabric would be good for this use, you should leave a comment at the bottom because I'm currently trying to plan for that as we are planning on doing a winter campout to test our 4 season tent and stove.

Another reason I love my Sun Oven is you can kind of set it and forget it. If you are going to be gone for the day but would still love to come home to a hot juicy meal, the makers of the Sun Oven just suggest that you set the Sun Oven facing the area that will get the most sunlight in the day, pop your food in, and come home to a crockpot-esque kind of meal. Because it doesn't dry food out like a conventional oven, it allows you to cook something for hours without burning the food. Also, because the glass traps the heat and pressure, food stays nice and warm for hours even after heavy Sun has gone leaving you able to decide when mealtime will be without having to plan times exactly and precisely. One time I put ears of corn directly on the tray in the morning and forgot about them until about 6 pm. They were still juicy and warm despite the forgetful cook.

I'm sure you get it by now, but I LOVE THE SUN OVEN!!!

If you are just getting started and are noticing that your 9x13 casserole pans won't fit, you should check out the Sun OvenRoasing Pan. Shelf Reliance also sells a brownie pan which can also serve as a cookie sheet or can cook your casserole baked goods with ease.

If you can't afford accessories right now, I personally have had a lot of success with my 8x8 Pyrex dishes as they are the correct height that I can stack 1 on top of another and get twice the cooking done. The only problem with this route is that I don't have a lid to trap moisture in so I often get condensation on the top of the glass when I go this route. I know you will love your Sun Oven....I do!

Are you a visual learner?  Click here to see step-by-step videos from the masterminds at Global Sun Ovens.

*This is a blog where you can see a picture of two soup cans which were painted for cooking purposes.  I painted mylar jars because I am not sure that the linings in the cans are safe since many times it has BPA.  You can decide what is best for your family.



At November 8, 2011 at 7:43 AM , Blogger Tiffany Daumueller said...

I got feedback that I forgot to mention that the Sun Oven also works great as a dehydrator. All you do is leave the lid slightly tipped open to let the moisture out.

Someone else also suggested that when using their mylar jars, they leave the lid loosely on to reduce condensation. Do not tighten it or the pressure will build causing the jar to explode. That will leave you and your Sun Oven a little unhappy to say the least ;)

Please note that painting the jars black does make the process go faster, but not by alot so this is best when there are fewer hours of cooking left. The earlier you start in the morning, the less cloudy it tends to be. Optimal time frame for cooking is 11-2 but it can actually cook between 10-4 where I live. Make sure you take yours out to practice!

It is suggested that you have 2 so you can cook different sides rather than just one main meal. I've had success with having my main meal in one dish then fitting 2 mylar jars beside it. I only have a family of 4 though, so plan according to your family size.

At November 8, 2011 at 9:38 AM , Blogger Misty said...

This post makes me SO excited to try a sun oven. I've never used one before! Thank you!

At November 8, 2011 at 1:56 PM , Blogger Tiffany Daumueller said...

Thanks Misty. Its alot of fun once you get started. I was so hesitant to try it at first but once I took the plunge I realized it was just the same as cooking in my oven except it didn't heat up my house- That was a HUGE plus during the summer!


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