Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Solar Ovens

In our family's journey toward greater self sufficiency one of the goals I have set for 2012 is to build at least one solar oven. I first learned about them while reading a blog years ago and always found the idea of cooking with the power of the sun kind of intriguing but never got around to it. But while I was going through The Survival Podcast show archives a week or so ago I heard Jack Spirko mention a guy up in Canada who built one and in February, during the dead of Winter but on a sunny day, with temperatures in the lower 30s this guy cooked a rack of baby back ribs. Granted it took all day to cook them but they came out perfect!

I had always considered a solar oven to be kind of a Summer thing that would be useful on a hot sunny day. Maybe when out camping if there had been a rain and all the wood was wet so a fire couldn't be built. Or another alternative to charcoal and propane grills to use for cooking in case the electricity went out for an extended length of time. But this guy did it on a cold day! Now I'm hooked. I have been digging deeper into these solar ovens and learning more. There are some sites that sell  ready built ones but they seem kind of pricey to me and I love learning by doing it myself. Plus, I've read where some have been put together with cardboard boxes, newspaper, aluminum foil and a piece of glass. So if a rudimentary but working model can be made with so little material that's a pretty handy skill to have in a SHTF scenario.

There are even some sites that have recipes for items you can bake in your solar oven which I will include in my Resources at the bottom of this post. Jack says he likes to use Marie Callender's Cornbread Mix and bake cornbread muffins in his. Well worth a try I'm thinking! After the solar oven I want to try making a solar food dehydrator to preserve some of the excess that we might get from the garden this year if things go well. It should be fun, inexpensive and a good learning experience for myself and the kids. I'll post pictures and maybe a video in the future as I explore this. Check out some of the links I have been researching to learn more:


How To Make A Solar Oven on eHow  A nice 13 step instruction article.

Sun Oven International Recipes Page Quite a recipe list!

Making and Using a Solar Oven on Backwoods Home Magazine Someone on the TSP Forums posted this link and it has a pretty good looking, basic cardboard box design that might be a good starting point.

Plans For Solar Cookers on

Do You Want A Solar Oven? A lot of video tutorials about Solar Cookers and a good chance to see some of the designs in action.

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