Alternative Cooking: Solar Ovens : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Everyone, even in places with minimal amounts of sun, can make use of an inexpensive cooking solution that people use in developing countries around the globe: the SOLAR OVEN.

I have experimented with them, and they work amazingly well! You can make your own (there's even a kid's project with a pizza box version!)

Try these links to get started.

-- Sara Nealy (, June 27, 1999


This is for all of you folks who want alternatives or additional methods to "Cooking without a Woodstove."

BTW, cookies, bread and Teriyaki Duck were the items we did for the experiment. Cooking times were incredibly short, based on what I expected (once the oven had reached 300 degrees). The cookies only took minutes.

-- Sara Nealy (, June 27, 1999.

I agree - solar ovens are GREAT. I started with the cardboard cheapy and it works fine - but didn't survive being left out in the rain. Now I have a more permanent one. You can make them REALLY cheap, or buy one for $20 from these folks. They also have a reusable pasteurization indicator (you can use your solar oven to pasteurize your water) for $5.00. Solar ovens are great in the summer (so you don't have to heat up the kitchen), so get one soon and start practicing.

Easy to use. No fuel. Can be used even in cold weather - as long as the sun shines of course. Lightweight (the cardboard one), so good for camping. Can be used as a timer oven by aiming it where late afternoon sun will hit it - so you can set it up with a frozen hunk of something before you leave for work, and come home to a steaming hot dinner - and a cool kitchen.

-- Linda (, June 27, 1999.


Made my first box solar oven this week and baked a coffee cake yesterday (great) and chicken today. I put 12 chicken thighs in a 9x12 glass pan with salsa on it and after 4 hours it was almost done. I transferred it to my dutch oven on the stove top for another 20 minutes and it was falling off the bones. I guess I need to follow instructions and separate food into several smaller containers (painted black) instead of putting it all together. Still very pleased with the results - knew I was pushing luck. Am planning on making polenta/cornmeal mush tomorrow and frying it to go with dinner. I love this whole concept!


-- Kristi (, June 27, 1999.

THanks for this stuff. I printed it all out. Who knew?

-- Mara Wayne (, June 27, 1999.

My solar oven doesn't seem to want to exceed 250. How can I improve its' heating capacity? It has a glass top and is lined with mylar space blanket material. The inner cardboard layered box is encased in particle board. There is an aluminum plate inside painted black. The reflectors are also covered in mylar.

-- marsh (, June 28, 1999.

Marsh, take a look at the FAQ page on the earlier referenced solar cooking site -

Basically, they point out that food containing water can't get hotter than boiling point anyway - any instructions that say more are just to reduce cooking time by getting to boiling point faster, or to brown food.

Best wishes, Don Armstrong

-- Don Armstrong (, June 28, 1999.

Another benefit of solar ovens, besides the fact that they require NO FUEL, is that they can be left to do their job while you do yours.

Unlike more traditional cooking methods, solar ovens are left to cook a meal while people are out working in the fields. When they return, sometimes 12 hours later, the food is ready. That's how solar ovens are used in developing countries. A handy thing, too, because we'll all be busy learning the many new skills we'll need if things really go South!

-- Sara Nealy (, June 28, 1999.

Thanks Don ! I was worried that it would not get hot enough to keep whatever was cooking from developing botulism or other nasties. I guess I made a slow cooker - lol. Hope I get the same results from my solar dehydrator. That temp. is just about right for drying foods.

-- marsh (, June 28, 1999.

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