Monday, October 4, 2010

Solar Cooking- Rained Off.

 After a break from blogging about solar cooking,  I set the sunoven out today to cook some brown lentils for Meatless Monday.
 With record 100º+ temperatures for the last month,  and the sun shining brightly, no need to check the weather forecast right? Wrong! Thirty minutes after the lentils were started, dark clouds moved in, blocking the sun. The sun oven had to come in and the lentils finished on the stove. After another thirty minutes rain was coming down heavily! Combined with some really strong wind, it was enough to knock the power out in some parts of the city.

 It is always good to get some rain, but I really hope the sun will be shining on the 6th, when I will be solar cooking on Weds as part of earth lunch hour; an idea to cook healthy and earth friendly lunches around the world in a 24 hour period, starting in Japan. Sounds like fun and I am happy to participate. As long as everything goes right, lunch will be solar cooking from 12 noon to 1pm Arizona time. I might even check the weather forecast beforehand.


  1. Welcome back! I hope you had a wonderful vacation and a well-deserved rest from blogging. You were missed. Earth lunch hour sounds like a great idea, and if the weather cooperates, I'll be using my solar oven as well.

  2. Definitely, welcome back! How was Italy? Have you started your book? Missed you! Come visit when you can... A Thunderstorm! Wow... Didn't think you got any rain out there...

  3. What a pleasant surprise to see you posting again, solar chef!

    I've used your site as an information resource a few times over the past few months.

    peace, shamba

  4. Solarchef, I recently turbo-charged my sun oven by adding three aluminum taped, foam boards, which wrap around my solar oven (same model as yours). Effectively, I almost doubled the reflective area, and gained 100-150F. It was so easy that you'll wonder why you never thought of it before.

  5. do you know if anyone has ever used their solar oven to dehydrate? the following people wanted to know.!/foodstoragemadeeasy

  6. @rosarychaplet - It can be used for dehydrating. I've only used to for drying tomatoes, but I would think it would work with just about anything you'd want to dehydrate. I have even heard of people using it to make jerky; I can't stand the stuff, so I've never even attempted to make it myself.

    To use the Sun Oven as a dehydrator you simply prop glass lid open using the metal latches and keep it focused away from the sun to maintain a lower temperature.

  7. Glad to see you still working with your oven, and I must say that you would do well to add a reflective insert for your oven. You'll gain 100F easily, for around $9 in materials (foam board, aluminum tape) and it will change your cooking logistics forever. I posted the information and photos on

    but they have not featured it yet. When they do, I'll link it. While I was playing around on their site, I bought a...

    solar parabolic cooker, and this completes my arsenal of solar products. Solar oven. Solar burner. Some homemade cookers using the All Seasons Solar Cooker template....done. Best of luck to everyone that has adopted these methods.

  8. What Italian and no Solar Polenta?
    I am Tyrolian. I have have been using my solar cooker since this June. Polenta is a staple for me with it.
    I use the Following:
    I call this Solar No Stir Cheddar Polenta
    1 Cup Corn Meal
    3 Cups water
    tsp salt
    tsp Olive oil
    tsp butter
    half cup graded cheddar.
    Mix all together in a bean pot Stir up once really good before putting in the cooker.
    My solar cooker only goes to about 250 F and takes 4-5 hours.
    If yours is hotter it may take less.
    Comes out nice and creamy and perfect without all the stirring constantly on a stovetop.
    Guss Gott.

  9. Hi, nice blog. I haven't been solar cooking as long as you, so I'm looking forward to trying some of your recipes and ideas. I live in Mesa, AZ and also have a solar cooking blog at Txazlady

  10. I just finished reading your entire blog over 2 days! Thanks for heaps of good recipes, ideas & inspiration.
    It's mid-Spring down here in New Zealand, time to kick off solar cooking for the year :) Always an exciting time for me (honestly I get stupidly excited when the sun gets warm enough to cook with!).
    Looking forward to trying out your ideas, especially the vegetarian meals. Yay :) Thanks!

  11. This is so wonderful idea. Solar cooking is wonderful idea. By using this we can save the electricity. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful blog. Thanks so much.........

  12. Solar Oven Chef,


    What a wonderful website... My name is David Chalker. My company's name is the Sun BD Corporation. The Sun BD Corporation is the importer of the Tulsi-Hybrid solar oven. Perhaps you have heard of it. As you have discovered over your year of solar cooking it is not possible to solar cook daily due to cloudy weather conditions. However, the solar electric oven solves this dilemma allowing for year round cooking using minimal amounts of electricity on the days when solar cooking alone is not possible.
    The Sun BD Corporation is introducing a "NEW" solar electric solar oven this coming spring called the SunFocus solar electric oven. The SunFocus has been specifically designed so you no longer have to tilt or use a swivel tray that can tip over. The SunFocus spacious cooking chamber is large enough for all type of cassorole dishes, baking pans or for multi-level cooking.
    I invite you to view a picture of our "NEW" solar electric oven at our website.

    Last, if you have the time, I would be very interested in your own impressions of our "NEW" SunFocus solar electric oven. We also have a solar (only) SunFocus version coming out at the same time.

    I can be reached via cell phone at 1-315-651-8821 or email

    David Chalker
    President - Sun BD Corporation

  13. Hello!

    What a wonderful website. I'd like to email you directly to ask about a solar oven collaboration but couldn't find your email address. Could you please get in touch with me at

    Thanks very much!


  14. This is really very nice blog i like it i am totally agree with your ideas..

    Thank you for post..

    Garden center Milwaukee

  15. I have had the Tulsi Hybrid Solar oven for about 3 years, and have been fairly happy with it, but I wish the construction, quality and cooking capacity would have been better. I just got the SunFocus Solar Electric Oven yesterday, and I can't wait to start using it. I really like how much cooking space there is, the quality is wonderful, and it's made in the USA!!! The thing I like about the electric aspect is that I use a lot less electricity than if I used my wall oven. It saves me money in the winter, I can still cook if there are clouds or rain, and the electric mode will make the best, juiciest pot roast I am sure. I have the HotPot solar cooker as well and love that too. It did a wonderful job on a whole chicken. Dave the inventor of the SunFocus did a top notch Job with it! If you contact him give him Coupon Code: "JennCria Ranch" and he will give you 5% off of the SunFocus and/or HotPot. His website is If you go to YouTube I will be doing some videos later experimenting with my Sunfocus. Just type the word JennCria in the search bar.

  16. Superb blog .... I know a few people that have done fairly well for themselves by investing in smaller but more secure companies................ ...... solar panels cost