Sure, we all enjoy the warmth and joy that Summer often brings us. But, for many of us here in Pennsylvania, Autumn is the signal for the upcoming hunting season. Not everyone is headed out into the woods for game, so this is dedicated to those who like a short hike, or maybe do some camping on an “Indian Summer” day or weekend. Breaking out the solar oven to make some stew is a fun goal.
In our area, campfires will be aglow many nights in the near future, and even in many residential backyards. Lots of folks will attempt to cook food over these smokey fires without even considering the multitudes across the globe that do that daily to feed their families. “Preppers” usually have a better grasp of that whole concept. That’s why solar cooking can help everyone.
With lots of sunny Fall days ahead, this time of year is wonderful for solar cooking. Today we’re showing you our recipe for solar beef stew. More care is needed to refocus the oven and usually a little more cooking time, since the sun’s rays are longer and the angle lower. But, rest assured, your solar oven will still work very well without using wood or any fossil fuels to cook a great meal.
So, here’s our recipe for a simple and delicious solar beef stew:
Just thoroughly mix this altogether in the 3 quart stoneware pot: 1, 2-2 1/2 lb pkg of stew meat, 1 chopped medium onion, 1-1 celery stalks, 1-2 carrots, 2 cubed small potatoes, 1/4 cup of beef broth,1 tbsp Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp red pepper (or black), 1 tsp paprika, 2 tbsp olive oil (or cooking oil), 1 tsp worcestershire sauce, 1 small can of cream of mushroom soup. Let stand alone in good sunshine for about 6 hours. Refocus the oven periodically to keep temperature up and cooking time shorter.
And, don’t forget the goodies & go-alongs! Fall is a great time to make various breads, muffins and cakes in your oven.
The versatile and fast GoSun Solar Stove is great for cooking so many foods. If you enjoy your meats, you’ll love how rapidly the GoSun does up steaks.
And it does a great job with pork as well. No worries about under-cooked meat with the GoSun Solar Stove!
Sausage and kielbasa are also GoSun Solar Stove family favorites! Simply delicious and usually ready in less than an hour.
Or, maybe you’d like another Dog Day afternoon before Fall. The GoSun does hot dogs in 25 minutes (with good sun).
Because of the GoSun’s evacuated tube technology, it can reach high temperatures in no time at all (5ooF) in good sunshine. Its advantage is that it will still cook your food on a mostly cloudy day. It simply takes longer to reach cooking temperatures…but, it works!
Had too much meat? The GoSun does a wonderful job with baked vegetables. You vegetarians take a look!
The GoSun’s light weight, under 10lbs, makes it an ideal hiking and camping companion. It comes with a carrying case, but can easily be strapped onto a backpack. Like other solar ovens and cookers, it just needs a sunny day to perform. Take it where ever you like. To the beach, the mountains or camping. Or, like your back patio, where ours usually winds up. Cooking with the GoSun is simple and, most importantly…fast!
So, just relax and use your GoSun Solar Stove to your advantage on your next sunny day!
Not sure of what to cook in your technologically advanced solar cooker? Fear not! It comes with a handbook full of ideas. Of course, you can always “stop” here, because we normally have something with the GoSun listed every week or so. High temperature, high powered, it’s hard to be disappointed by anything you cook in the GoSun Solar stove. It’s a go anywhere, anytime type of solar powered stove, with a wonderful solar oven design. You, family and friends will be amazed at what delicious foods can be prepared in this solar cooker.
No matter the season, the GoSun Solar Stove only needs some sunshine to cook your next tasty meal.
Hey, maybe you just want to do the Chicken And the Egg. The GoSun does them very well . Crispy, yet moist wings and baked eggs are both simple tasks with the GoSun Solar Stove.
Of course, the eggs are a cinch. Just put them in the tray and let the sunshine do the work! Takes about 45 minutes to an hour for tasty baked eggs.
So, get eggstatic about your GoSun. Have a doggone good time!
Solar cooking is one of the best things that can happen to you. Yes, you can perform healthy cooking, as well as, preparing meals that might not be the best for you. Just like you do now with your conventional oven or grill!
It only requires sunshine! Solar cooking isn’t complicated, and doesn’t have to look pretty!
And, since you’re buying the food you eat, it doesn’t have to cost very much. You’ll probably save some money since sun power is free energy and gas and electric, and other fossil fuels, can run into money. That’s all good for your financial health!$. It should be good for your spiritual health too. Believing in the Sun, will give you peace of mind!
Let’s look at the great things you can cook with solar ovens. Meals can be as simple as baked potatoes and boiled eggs. Using a solar oven is so easy, a kid can do it!
Like meat dishes, how about a healthy dose of solar barbecued chicken?
Maybe your a vegetarian, reducing your red meat intake, or just watching your waistline. Solar cooking can accent your health with any number of low calorie, or vegetarian meals. How about some Mexican Stuffed Peppers?
Most solar cookers don’t fry food (some do: see parabolic cookers), but if you consider most solar ovens as slow cookers, or, crockpots, then you can imagine all of the wonderful dishes that can be made.
Vegetarian stew is a favorite of our family.
Let’s not forget dessert! Maybe it’s not the healthiest part of the meal calorie-wise, however, it’ll satisfy many a guest and leave a smile on their face. A great way to give someone a good impression of solar cooking, wouldn’t you agree?
So, solar cooking really can benefit your health. It’s how you look at it that counts. If you’re interested in furthering your green lifestyle, take a look here.
Any solar chef, or, any chef for that matter, knows that all culinary exploits do not always result in success. This may be especially true if you are just beginning to solar cook with a new style oven. Basically, we all make mistakes sometimes, don’t we? So, we hope you get a few chuckles after seeing culinary failure at our expense.
Take it from this Solar Oven Guy, I have made my fair share full of mishaps. So, I thought I would display a few of my less successful trials. Hey, we can’t always be winners, right?
Depending on the solar oven design, all kinds of things can happen. The wind may take the parabolic for a little “sail” with the evening’s meal aboard it. Once, while using the Solavore Sport Oven, I forgot to clip the top and reflector on securely. It happened to be a windy day, so, when I returned to the house/yard a couple hours later, I found the top off to the side of the oven, the reflectors, collapsed onto the top, and, of course, cold uncooked food. It certainly took a bit longer to cook the meal that day, especially since I missed some of that “magic” time, between 10am and 2pm. However, the Solavore Sport still continues to be a favorite oven. It’s a large solar oven, but still lightweight and portable enough to take hiking and camping. It will hold 2, 3-quart pots easily which allows for cooking larger meals.
But there have been other culinary failures. Here’s one from a friend using the GoSun Solar Stove. The GoSun uses evacuated tube technology and is capable of reaching 400 degrees. So, it can burn food if left unattended for too long.
Oh yes, getting accustomed to the GoSun Solar Stove took a little doing for us. Here, is one trial of center cut pork loin that we first tried in the GoSun. I had an emergency at work and didn’t return to the solar cooker for nearly 3 hours. With a double box solar oven, that would not have been a problem, since they won’t burn food.
No, not charcoal briquettes, simply burnt solar pork loins!
And, it’s doubtful that anyone wanted a sample of these carbonized hotdogs!
So, there you have it! Hope it brought you a belly laugh, or, at least a smile. The truth is that care must be taken in using different solar oven designs. Of course, the opposite effect, is not getting your food cooked, or, it is cold. There are advantages and disadvantages to everything. The learning curve applies here!
If you really need to burn something (start a fire), those things are available.
Have you ever started solar cooking on what was supposed to be a sunny day, and then the clouds suddenly rolled in? Sometimes those clouds can dramatically drop the chamber temperature and extend your cooking time by many hours. Possibly, your hungry family members and friends that may be patiently standing by to witness great solar cuisine in the making, may decide to “walk” on you; captive audience or not!
A wonderful solar oven exists that will take care of the problem. Widely proclaimed as a Hybrid Solar Oven, the SunFocus Solar Electric oven, is really something! What else is great about this oven? It’s made in the USA!
This interesting solar oven design includes a low power consumption electric heating element hidden in its base. If clouds appear and hinder the normal solar powered oven design, a simple flick of a switch begins the electric cooking to start, and enables the thorough cooking of the meal. Who likes cold food, right? This is an ingenious design and prevents any uncooked solar meal. Watch the following video judge for yourself how well this solar powered oven works!
There is no question that having an electric backup system can be a true solar cooking advantage. Having the 3-in-1 switch to electrify the oven and help you finish cooking is quite handy. Or, maybe just have it on a short while until the clouds pass bye. What an ingenious feature!
Yes, we solar chefs love our sunshine. Unfortunately, it sometimes unexpectedly lets us down. That’s where the SunFocus Solar Electric Oven comes through. Of course, at times, even our electric power grid fails us. If that happens, whether at your camp, on the road, or on your back patio, a portable generator is a lifesaver.
Enjoy your next sunny solar cooking day!
Happy Labor Day solar cooking friends!
Using a solar oven or cooker, as many of us know, can save us time and money. It reduces our labor! No fossil fuels are used to prepare the meals since we use a solar powered oven, so it keeps your utility bill a bit lower. Another solar cooking advantage at this time of year, is using it to reduce your indoor temperature. It’s a solar outdoor oven! That will help the A/C bill. And, how hard is it to set up your cooker to make the meal? Most of them are a breeze, right?
Your typical solar oven is used very much like a slow cooker. In fact, many recipes used in slow cookers are easily adapted for use in a solar cooker. Check out how delicious these chicken breasts came out of the All American Sun Oven.
Hey, and while it takes little labor to make something like that, don’t forget the goodies! Our family enjoys brownies, so we prepare them quite often. That’s when the Solavore Sport comes in handy; you can prepare a decent sized meal, plus the dessert due to its large oven chamber.
So, if you haven’t yet, why not start using a solar outdoor oven, to ease up on your labor? If it’s not this Labor Day, how about Thanksgiving? Some solar oven designs can accommodate a turkey.
If you need a little more help, or inspiration, as to what meals to prepare, there are scads of recipes and books on the subject of solar cooking. Hope your next holiday is a sunny one!
At this time of year, zucchini is a garden favorite. We choose to consume our abundance of zucchini largely by soup making. The double box solar ovens come in handy when doing that, since the large oven chamber can accommodate a big pot. Of course, zucchini bread is always a welcome choice.
However, zucchini’s delicate flavor can be mixed with so many other vegetables and meats to create some amazing dishes. In an evacuated tube solar oven model, you can approximate a stir fry, in a parabolic solar cooker, you’ll have it.
On this particular sunny day, finding ourselves laden with a fresh zucchini or two, actually a lot of zucchini. You might say we had a raft of zucchini. So, we decided to make zucchini “boats”. It’s an easy way to use up the entire zucchini and a few extra ingredients and simple to make and bake.
Today we used the All American Sun Oven to bake the zucchini boats. Here’s the easy recipe:
Prepare the zucchini: First, cut off the ends of the zucchini, and then slice them in half. If they are longer ones, cut those halves across the middle so they fit into your solar dutch oven pot (3 quart “stoneware”). Slice lengthwise into the zucchini then make cross slices into it. Scoop out the chunks and save to make filing.
On the stove top, in a frying pan, first saute some garlic and diced bell pepper chunks, and black pepper, in olive oil, then add in a small skinned/diced potato, a few small diced carrots. The chunks of zucchini are then stirred in along with some spices, oregano and a catch-all “Italian Seasoning” and salt if preferred. Once all is softened, pour off the liquid (which you can use as a soup vegetable base), and add 2 ounces of your favorite salsa, and a cup of tomato sauce (we used Reggano’s). Stir all in and let simmer a few minutes. Then add in 2 ounces of finely diced pepper jack cheese and mix until melted. Next, simply spoon the filling into the “boats”, put the lid on your pot and set it into your preheated solar oven. After 2 ½ hours, the zucchini hulls were soft and about ready.
So, we sprinkled a cup of fiesta cheese blend to top our boats, and replaced them into the oven for another half hour. The temperature hovered around 250 degrees, and with some passing clouds, we found the zucchini boats were soft and ready to eat in about 3 hours of cooking time. They were absolutely delicious.
Having trouble keeping the bugs away while your zucchini and other plants grow? Here’s some help!
So, go have some fun…start cooking with the sun!
Did you know that many solar ovens are used to pasteurize water making it safe to drink? Yes, all over this world, especially in third world nations, solar powered ovens make potable water. The solar oven design shown below, is capable of making salty sea water drinkable! It’s a great concept…for sure.
But, did you know that most of your off-the-shelf, double box solar ovens can make your average water sample (not salt water) safe to drink? Yes, by placing the water sample into a stoneware pot, and using a WAPI (water pasteurization indicator usually included with most commercially available ovens), a solar oven, like the All American Sun Oven, will easily heat up the water to over 159 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is enough to eliminate nasty bacterial effects. If the water is naturally laden with minerals, like iron, it cannot do much about that. However, if you’re desperate for drinkable water, the WAPI and solar oven may be your answer. Watch this video below by Sun Oven guru, Paul Munsen, that explains how using that oven can help you with hot water and other water problem solutions with a solar oven.
Using solar ovens to help you with different water situations, may be too broad a subject to cover in this small article. So, we will plan to do more on the subject.
If you do not have a solar oven handy, may not possess the knowledge or resources to immediately construct one, there are other answers for these emergency water situations. In a water survival situation, preparation really counts. A filtration straw or water purification tablets should be kept in your “bug out” bag.
Stay “tuned in” for more about water purification in another article.
If you have a sunny day, and may be trying to eat more chicken versus beef, try making some chicken breasts in the solar oven. Chicken cooks very well in a solar powered oven. We used our large solar oven this sunny day to prepare some chicken breasts with a few seasonings and vegetables thrown in to create a superb flavor. Everything cooks in their own juices, and no water was added. Our All American Sun Oven, a large, double box solar oven, did a great job in preparing this meal. This video is a bit rough, but you can still see the results; a tender, well cooked chicken breast. Enjoy!
The great thing about the All American is that it really is just that…All American made in the USA! It is also extremely well insulated in design, so that even if a few passing clouds go by, this big solar oven tends to keep the cooking temperature up there.
But, as always, other solar oven designs also do a great job with chicken. For example, the next photos shows some recently” barbecued” chicken we made in the Solavore Sport Solar Oven. It was really delicious.
When cooking with an evacuated tube solar cooker, like the GoSun Solar Stove (below), you’ll want to keep your eye on it, as the higher temperatures achieved in this particular solar oven design, bakes your chicken thoroughly in a short time (usually less than 1 hour). In fact, the GoSun will still do a great job on a cloudy day…just takes longer, but will leave you something to “cluck” about..no joke!
Yes, you don’t have to chicken out of solar cooking. You too can become a survivor.
A rough and stressful work week got you down?
Yes, feeling like just another rat in the race and in need of peace?
Well, maybe not if sunny days are in the forecast and you have your solar ovens clean and ready for use. Your cabinets and refrigerator are stocked with the makings you will need for preparing your next solar dish, and you have a new recipe list begging for your attention.
Thank goodness your solar ovens are there to rescue you from going crazy! Solar cooking is such a passion for some of us, that when a sunny day is in the forecast, we cannot wait to get to our favorite cooking spot, even if it’s just the back patio. Of course, it could be just as easily on your boat, at your camp,or, on a wilderness trail. Yes, your “pressure relief valve” should be at the ready. It’s there to help you calm down and get your well-deserved peace! Your solar cooker might be the double box type, parabolic, evacuated tube, or panel cooker. No matter! It’s your ticket to the well of happiness. Load it into the RV, pack it with your tent, collapse it and put it in the backpack. Or, maybe just wheel it out on the cart to the patio. You know the way to your solar pleasure palace. Simply, “make it so”!
However you do it, let your solar oven “rescue” you on a regular basis.
And, if you get into real trouble and see a rescue in your future, find a solution here.