Solar cooking is an incredibly easy way of using the rays from the sun to cook your meals. There are a couple of things that you need to get right but solar cooking is not at all hard to master.
With solar cooking you can bake, boil and steam without ever having to use your normal stove. And the best bit about it? You can use your solar cooker all year round.
There are a few different solar cooker designs available such as the GoSun and the SunFlair Mini but the idea is the same. What happens is that the reflective areas direct the sun’s rays into an insulated box which can reach temperatures of up to 400°F.
This may sound like the most obvious tip out there but in order for your food to cook properly, your solar oven must always be pointed towards the sun. Keep checking the oven during the cooking times and make any needed adjustments to maximize sun exposure.
Stop Checking the Food
I know it can be very tempting to constantly want to check on the food but you must avoid doing this. Every time that you open your solar oven you are letting out much needed heat. The more you open the solar oven, the longer you will be waiting for your meal.
What About Stirring?
So we have said that you shouldn’t keep opening your solar oven so what do we do when we need to stir the food? Many recipes clearly state that we should ‘stir frequently’. We don’t actually need to worry about stirring the food at all.
When we use our gas or electric stoves at home, there is a risk of burning the food or it cooking unevenly which is why we stir it. Because solar cooking uses ultra-slow heat, this isn’t an issue for us.
When you first learn to cook you start off by learning simple recipes before progressing. The same should also be done when learning to cook with a solar oven. Start off with some simple recipes to get your timings and everything else correct. There may be a few failed attempts but that is just part of the process.
Use a Thermometer
Many solar cookers come with a built-in thermometer and gauge that will allow you to have much better control over the temperature. If your model doesn’t have one already, we recommend that you buy one separately.
If you plan on taking your solar oven with you when you go hiking then you need to be aware of elevation levels. The thinner the air is, the lower the temperature at which water will boil. In general this will lengthen the amount of time it takes to cook things, regardless of whether you add water or not.