Friday, August 14, 2009

Windshield Shade Solar Cooker

I would really like to see solar cooking become as common as using a slow cooker but I realize that the cost of a solar oven can be off-putting. Like I said in my previous post, I started with a low cost solar cooker, then upgraded to a Global Sun Oven after a year. By then I knew solar cooking was not just an experiment but something I'd be doing on a regular basis. I decided to go back to experimenting with an inexpensive option to encourage people to give solar cooking a try.
I must admit the Global Sun Oven has spoiled me a little. It is designed so well that it's almost foolproof. The windshield solar cooker is not as easy to use. The instructions said to set it on a bucket. I didn't think it made any difference what kind of surface you put it on and I didn't have a spare bucket so I used a small metal table. At first it blew around in the wind and the temperature barely made it past 200º. By mid afternoon I got the brilliant idea to anchor the back with some clothes pins. This made all the difference, stabilizing the windshield shade so it would be more exposed to the sun.
The split pea soup I made turned out fine in the end. It took a lot longer than it would have in the Sun Oven, that was mostly because of the wind. With my clothes pin modification the cooking time should be shorter. I'll keep experimenting with my homemade solar oven but I will use the Sun Oven for our main course.

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