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.

barbckn4

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.

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A rough and stressful work week got you down?

stressful work week, computer stress, girl stressed at work

Oh what a work week I had!

Yes, feeling like just another rat in the race and in need of peace?

monks from Thailand, buddist monks, peaceful monks

Needing 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.

first aid kit, rescue kit

This compact, complete kit can help in an emergency!

 

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What can’t you cook with your solar stove? Maybe you’ve found yourself “lost” with where to go with your solar cooking. You have tried this dish or that one, baked breads and some soup. So , what’s next?

After all, there are so many ways to use one. Also, you should consider the different  solar cooker designs. Is it  parabolic, evacuated tube, box cooker or panel cooker? If you have several models, then the fun really begins with your solar powered ovens. Maybe you use several and prepare a great solar feast for family and friends. Of course, that’s another relevant concern; the number of folks that need fed on that bright sunny solar cooking day.

2 solar cookers, duel solar ovens

Two solar ovens make double the food

Use your solar cookers in different ways. You can bake, boil, steam and dehydrate many kinds of food with them. Perhaps you have concerns over healthy food choices, or want to prepare vegetarian meals. You can do this with a solar oven. Most double box solar ovens work similarly to a slow cooker (crock pot). It may take hours to to prepare solar cuisine in them, but usually, it’s well worth the wait, because the foods cook in their own juices. The result is great flavor!

With a parabolic cooker, your soup or meal may take only a few minutes! You will need to be a wary solar chef and keep your eye on the meal as the sun rapidly cooks the food. The evacuated tube model cookers are wonderful. Your meal usually doesn’t take more than an hour to prepare in good sunshine. Hotdogs, vegetables, and other light foods may only need a 30 minutes or less. You can easily warm up leftovers in these very efficient models. The really great thing about your outdoor solar oven, is that it becomes your way of being “green”, without much effort.

Portability is another important factor in using your solar cookers. Some box cookers weigh many times as much as a few evacuated tube cookers and panel cookers. So, if you are hiking or camping, weight may become an issue. Maybe you are a survivalist; a “prepper”. So many of these folks are using solar cookers and solar ovens because they realize how practical they are in an emergency situation.

Oh yes, it’s easy to get confused about the direction you want to take with solar cooking. Why? Because there are just so many wonderful choices! Follow your own path to making some great solar dishes. If you really get “lost” out there, maybe you only need a better compass.

Find the right direction to take in whatever you're doing.

Find the right direction to take in whatever you’re doing.

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Yes, we forgot again! We got carried away with our solar cooking and missed our favorite TV show. Well, that’s easy  to do when you have a passion for getting out your large solar oven much earlier in the day to prepare a delicious meal. While the sunshine helps cook the meal in your outdoor solar oven, you become distracted by doing chores around the house; perhaps a little trimming, mowing the lawn, picking up some groceries, or even taking out the trash.

When it’s done, simply take the cooking pot comes out of the solar cooker with your ready made meal. You’ll only need to serve it up to waiting family and friends.  If you think “sharing” is such fun on social media, just wait until your dinner guests enjoy the food from the solar powered oven!

Sun Focus Solar Electric Oven

The Sun Focus’ large chamber cooks large meals.

Solar Cooking is just an easy way to help create a Green Lifestyle and help save the planet. Remember, no fossil fuels are being used; simply sun/solar power. It’s so fun that it’s no wonder you can catch us doing it about anytime there’s a sunny day.

However, if you are a survivalist/hunter, and you’re trying to catch something (snare) here’s a place to find a great little snare.

 

 

 

 

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As an avid solar chef, sometimes it is really difficult to find that time for your solar- powered passion. Then, once you have found a few hours on a sunny day to create your newest delectable solar cuisine, it seems like the day just flew bye. It did! So, the answer is to “milk” out that time, that is; make the most of it. This way, everyone will have a better time.

Mexican Rice in Sun Oven

All American Sun Oven’s  Mexican Rice

To better utilize this cooking “event”, try taking only a few minutes during the week to plan your solar meals. It might be a weekday or the weekend when you do this. It will depend on your schedule. We are all busy people these days. Remember to jot down with the planned meal, any essential ingredients that you may need to pick up at the market.  If you already like to cook, solar or otherwise, your cabinets and refrigerator are probably stocked with most needed items. Also, as mentioned in our previous posts, consider checking the weather report for the week to better plan your set up time for the solar cooking.

GoSun snow cooking

Kielbasa & Veggies from a GoSun Snow Day

 

 

 

 

One other way to enhance the solar cooking day is to consider the solar ovens to be used and know how many will be at the table. If you have more than one oven or cooker, you can cook up a storm! Of course, depending on the other factors we have mentioned, which solar cooker you use for what food, can make a difference.

multi solar ovens, 2 solar ovens

Serious amount of food made by 2 great solar ovens

For those survival enthusiasts who cannot get enough “milk”, try out this stuff to get you through it.

 

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Maybe you are not the type to build your solar oven. Want to get one that eats sunshine like a carnivore eats meat, and that is inexpensive, as well as very reliable? If so, take a look at the Solavore Sport. It comes as a kit with about all you need to get started except the food. Thousands of people across the world are enjoying the benefits of using it as an outdoor solar oven. It is a very portable solar oven, so survivalists and campers/backpackers love it. It has helped countless third world inhabitants remain safe from the hazards of smoke inhalation while cooking meals over an open fire.

This large solar oven is really a wonderful solar oven design. It has a large cooking chamber and allows for much food to be prepared on the given sunny day. Temperature in the chamber can easily reach 300 degrees F, without the use of reflector! It is a very well insulated double box solar oven. The Solavore can be your solar oven AND grill. So much food can be made in it!

Meat dishes, desserts, breads, soups and loads of other great meals can come out of the Solavore.

solavore baked apples, solavore soup

Beans & Wiener Soup with Solavore baked apples

With a Solavore Sport Solar Oven, it’s an easy way to enter and win in the Green Lifestyle.

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With the large cooking chamber and rapidly climbing interior temperature, the All American Sun Oven only needs a little good sunshine to make a superb meal.

We have been wanting to try a recipe we adapted from the Solar Cooking Adventures book by Jackass Jill, for Layered Enchiladas. So, with care and a few minor changes to the recipe to suit our tastes, it all came together great. Some passing clouds extended our cooking time to 5 1/2 hours, but it was well worth it. You’ll have to ask our friends that shared the meal with us.

So, here’s the recipe: 1 lb hamburg (less fat is better=less grease), 1tbsp minced garlic, 1 tsp crushed red pepper, 1 small can of tomato paste, 1 onion chopped (as finely as you wish), 1 large can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp salt (optional), 9 corn tortillas (multi-grain works too, we’ve tried them), 1/2 tsp oregano (Mexican is good), small handful of chopped cilantro or parsley, 2 cups of shredded cheese ( we used “fiesta” mix, but cheddar works well).  First, mix the diced tomatoes, onion and garlic together in a large bowl. Next, add in the other ingredients EXCEPT the hamburg & cheese. This done will be the sauce. In your 3-quart pan, spread a tbsp of cooking oil, then put down the first layer of 3 tortillas. Next, put on 1/3 of the hamburg, 1/3 of the sauce over it, then 1/3 of the shredded cheese. Just repeat for the final 2 layers. We sprinkled a little additional cheese on the top layer. Cover with the lid and place into your solar oven. In decent sunshine, your tasty meal should be removed in 4 – 6 hours.

Yes, it all came out hot, spicy and delicious!

enchiladas from sun oven

Delicious enchiladas from the Sun Oven

 

 

 

If you like your food picante; that is, a leetal spicy, you probably like your water that way too. When you need hot water and you enjoy the green lifestyle, solar water heaters can come to your rescue. Surprisingly, with the correct parts, they are easy to assemble and use.

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For some, cheese is the world. Others can take it or leave it. Others want to move others cheese around…so they say. We find using cheese in solar cooking to be very useful. The dish you may be preparing in your solar cooker, has some cheese in it. And, just as in a conventional oven, allows it to melt its wonderful flavor into the other ingredients.

Whatever the main dish is, so many do better by adding cheese. You know, it’s as simple as cheese dogs vs. hotdogs. If it is quesadilla, chili con carne, baked lasagna or tuna casserole, the cheese sometimes just makes the dish. All these cheese masterpieces can be as easily prepared in a solar oven, as in a conventional oven. Cheese is really great for the vegetarian meals as well; think broccoli and cheese soup. This time of year, the real benefit of using your outdoor solar oven is just that. It’s outside cooking the meal and there’s no need to fire up the conventional oven and turn your kitchen and maybe house up several more uncomfortable degrees! And, need we mention it, you are doing your part of living a greener lifestyle, since the solar oven is a solar powered oven; no fossil fuels are being consumed.

 

monterrey jack for solar cooking

Monterrey Jack Cheese enhanced these Solavore Sport Mexican Stuffed Peppers

What egg dish isn’t improved with a little cheddar or your favorite cheese?

eggs and cheese solar cooking

Eggs, mozzarella, spinach & pork sausages by GoSun

 

 

 

 

 

What about you survivalists? Add some cheese to the dehydrated food mix and make the meal a bit more palatable. The solar cooker won’t mind at all.

cheese solar cooking

Chili & Maduros con queso from the solar cookers

Here’s a few other great cheesy dishes you can prepare in your solar oven: Chili Mac & Cheese, Layered Enchiladas, Hot Bean Dip, Bean Nachos, Baked Florentine, Mexican Rice, Cheesy Rice & Veggies….and the list goes on. For more specific information and recipes look these books up. For you survivalists that might think this is tough, please find this cheese as satisfactory.

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What a great old song! It makes you feel like dancing! Oops, (another great oldie) another unintended pun. But, these feelings arise when you are in your element and busy solar cooking. What is better than having all your ingredients together and setting up the solar cooker(s) on a beautiful sunny day? Sure, it can be Winter and cold outside, a bit breezy or maybe even a little cloudy, but the serious solar chef is dauntless under these conditions. The solar meal must be made!  The Solar Flare parabolic style solar cooker is a great little solar cooker design. Very light and extremely simple to set up, the Solar Flares (recommend you use 2) can make a decent amount of food for a few people. You can use it camping or hiking, and be able to enjoy warm food, maybe some soup and veggies, when you stop to eat. The Solar Flare heats up very quickly in good sunshine.

solar baked potatoes, solar flare baking

Solar Flare busy on a lovely day baking potatoes

 

Yes, no matter the season, as long as it is a sunny day, it is the right season for solar cooking. Just Fall into the fun!

all season solar cooking, solar autumn baking

The Solavore bakes in the Fall

 

 

 

 

 

These commercial solar cookers make the solar chef happier, since they are often easy to set up and transport by backpack, RV, camper or donkey! The Solavore only weighs about 10 pounds and can easily be strapped on a backpack. It makes a lot of food and, like the other solar cookers, can be used year round.

So, get out there and start solar cooking to do your part to save our earth! Anytime there’s sunshine will do!

And, by the way, in case you are somewhere and you really do feel the Earth Moving Under Your Feet, you may want to check this out: Surviving an Earthquake

 

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We have mentioned this in prior posts, but since a member of our solar cooking group recently brought it to our attention, it’s a good topic to revisit.

THE WEATHER. Certainly you’ve heard the one about the weatherman having the best job in the world since he never has to worry about getting the forecast right. Well, those of us who have done all the prep work to get our solar meal ready often find ourselves at odds with him, right? Sure, a “partly cloudy” day can mean 20% cloud cover, or 60%, so your cooking time for a box cooker can vary a great deal under those “predictions”. Sometimes storm clouds appear much faster than anyone anticipates.

weather problems, solar cooking and weather

Quick, grab the solar oven, it’s gonna rain!

So, what’s the solar chef to do? Well, do your best. Make it a habit to watch your local nightly weather report. Want something even better? If you have a smart phone, try downloading a free app. Yes, like most things, some are better than others. PCMag.com recently did a great review of weather apps, and is a worthwhile read. No phone ? If you have access to a computer and the Internet, of course you can check out the apps and numerous sites in that way. We use a few and can recommend them: “weather underground”,” the weather channel”, and “weatherbug”. Each site has its various attributes, advantages and disadvantages. Some, and we’re not just including the 3 sites mentioned, are large and more technical sites. This affects download times and your device, and ultimately, your time.

storm and solar cooking, rain and solar cooking

Yikes! Today’s solar cooking is finished:(

In any case, whatever site you decide to use, we suggest getting one with a clear local radar picture. Why, you ask? Well, depending on how much time you have to contribute to your solar cooking, on a particular day, having some idea of how close a rain, snow or windstorm might be to your cooking site, is a good thing to know. Essentially, a weather radar picture will affect your planning /cooking schedule.

If you are hiking and camping, or are the survivalist type, you may already be prepared for oncoming bad weather. A good emergency kit or backpack should always contain a decent weather radio. This tool,  will help keep you out of danger, and may allow for your uninterrupted solar cooking on the trail. Of course, the weather radio will still be a handy item wherever you do your solar cooking; the beach, backyard, or patio.

weather and solar cooking

Not every day is the perfect solar cooking day…

Some folks sometimes forget that, although the elements of rain, snow, wind & hail can affect your cooking, the seasons do not usually matter. Only a sunny day is needed for solar cooking. Check out this video from January.

Just remember to include the weather in your thoughts, before you set up your solar oven for the day. Weather it’s just passing clouds, a few raindrops or a tornado, it can affect your solar cooking fun 😉

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