A Woman's Perspective On The Times We Live In


February 21, 2013

Product Recommendation: Sun Oven

     I've been wanting to share my latest piece of sustainable living equipment that PLW and I purchased last Thanksgiving.  I've waited to experiment with it, and the last little cold snap of our Texas winter gave me the perfect opportunity.  It was the ideal time for a pot of chili in my new Sun Oven.
     This convenient and easy-to-use solar oven answers all my concerns about a grid-down scenario and the capabilities of cooking.  Used in conjunction with my Deadwood Stove (for grilling or frying), I can accomplish all my baking, boiling and steaming with the Sun Oven.  Reaching temperatures of 360º - 400º, this oven is versatile and efficient.
     Because temperatures rise slowly and evenly, you get more subtle and natural flavors from cooking with the sun.  You never have to worry about your food burning; it's nearly impossible to overcook food and it keeps your food moist and flavorful.  You don't have to worry about lighting a fire.  You can even put frozen food in the Sun Oven in the morning, place it where the sun should be half way through the day, and you will  have a cooked meal by dinnertime.
     It's as easy as unfolding the reflectors, aiming the Sun Oven towards the sun, placing your food in the provided enamel cook pot on the interior shelf, closing the glass lid and latching it down.  It will cook anything that a conventional oven can cook (except fried food), and reaches temperatures comparable to that of your electric or gas stove.  There is a CD with recipes that accompanied my Sun Oven, but after a cursory glance at them, you can just follow your normal recipes; there is no special preparation.
     There are actually two ways to cook in a Sun Oven. If you refocus the oven to follow the sun every 25 to 30 minutes, cooking times and methods will be similar to cooking with a conventional stove or oven. Or a Sun Oven can be used for slow cooking, much like a crock-pot.  And that's what I did with my Chili.  You can see the steps below:
I fried my hamburger meat on my Deadwood Stove
and transferred it to the enamel pot .
I added 8 ounces of tomato sauce, 16 ounces of water,
and a can of drained pinto beans.  I then added onions,
garlic, cumin, oregano, chili powder and
some diced jalapenos -- all to taste.  Because PLW likes
his Chili "meaty", I also add one of my canned jars
of roast beef to the mix.  It adds a richer taste and
a nice texture to the Chili.

I put the lid on the enamel pot, close and latch the glass lid,
and let the sun do its business!  The oven slowly climbs in
temperature (you can see the temperature gauge in the upper
left of the glass lid).  The Chili will eventually come to boiling
and you can then refocus the Sun Oven to receive less rays
and leave the Chili simmering.  It will never burn!
     Furthermore, the Sun Oven has been designed to cook multiple items at the same time.  It can accommodate baking two loaves of bread at a time, or several flat pans can be cross stacked to bake separate layers for items like granola or cookies. Two small stackable pots can be used on the leveling tray. The leveling tray can be removed to increase the usable area inside the Sun Oven and allow larger pots or pans to be used. (It is important to note that if the leveling tray is removed, pots and pans should be placed on a trivet, not on the floor of the oven. To cook evenly, there must be air flow all the way around the pot. A trivet will allow air to pass under the pot and ensure even heating).  
     But I can't overemphasize how easy it is to use and to store this oven!  The reflectors fold up to lay evenly on top of the oven, and latch in place.  There is even a convenient handle to carry the oven, which measures 19 x 19 x 11 and weighs only 21 pounds.  I will tell you that it is a little pricey.  Ours cost $375.  But because of its versatility and efficiency, I know I will think it is worth every penny in a crisis situation. I highly recommend this product and think you will find it a worthy addition to your emergency preparedness.

Ecclesiastes 5:18     "Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is for one to eat and drink, and to find enjoyment in all the labor in which he labors under the sun all the days which God gives him—for this is his [allotted] part." 




     

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