Friday, August 21, 2009

Hot Solar Cooked Meals After Sundown

With Paul of Sun Ovens Int. in town doing demonstrations I'm learning a lot of new solar cooking tricks. My favorite is one that will allow us to return to having a warm dinner from the sun oven after sundown. Sun Ovens Int. is strongly committed to promoting solar cooking in nations where the primary fuel sources are wood and coal. Due to the amount of smoke inhalation during cooking, respiratory diseases are all too common among the women and children in these areas, and deforestation for fire wood is an underlying cause of many violent conflicts. Solar cooking could play a vital role in improving the lives of millions of people throughout the world. So what has this got to do with eating later in the day? Well, the people at Sun Ovens Int. realized that to reap the benefits of solar cooking the ovens must actually be used. In most of the world people consume their evening meal much later than we do in the U.S. It does no good to have a perfectly prepared solar cooked meal ready at 5p.m. if it is cold by dinnertime. The people at Sun Ovens Int. knew there was nothing they could do to change the dinning habits of entire countries, they had to find a way to keep the food warm until people were ready to consume it. Enter the Global Sun Oven. Unlike any other solar cooker on the market, the airtight chamber of the Sun Oven will keep food at a safe and desirable temperature for hours after sundown, as long as the glass door is not opened. This was the best news I'd had all week. Since I started my blog we had been having dinner earlier and earlier, to the point that I would get hungry again before bedtime. Now, I am happy to report, we will go back to dining around 7p.m with a hot meal straight out of the Sun Oven and hopefully those late evening snacks will be a thing of the past.
Tonight's dinner is Chicken and Rice. It's my favorite Chicken with Two Lemons but I cooked some brown rice along with it in the same pot. The juices of the chicken flavor the rice. Since the chicken will release so many juices you will need a lot less water. I used 1 cup of rice and 2/3 cup of water.


  1. Do you know about retained heat or haybox cookers? The way they work is you bring the food to full heat for about 5 minutes and then take it off the fire (or out of the sun) and insulate it well. I use a styrefoam box and 2 polyester/cotton pillows (way too lumpy to sleep on anymore) and the pot and dinner keep hot for hours and doesn't burn. So I bring the solar cooked dinner and put it in the retained heat cooker. and we eat at 7.

  2. I think you could combine the principles of retained heat with leaving the food in the solar oven. Fold down the panels and throw a heavy blanket over the oven to help keep the heat in.

    I also like using the oven to reheat leftovers and bought some graniteware "camping" plates at a thrift store for that purpose. To speed it up, invert a second plate over the meal on the first plate.