Solar Cookers: What Can You Cook In A Solar Oven?

solar cooker recipe ideas

Briefly, the solar cooking technique started in the 1870s, as a discovery that solar heat energy is sufficient for heating and baking.

The solar cooking technique involves a receiver in the form of a panel and the oven. The receiver absorbs the sunlight and converts it to heat while the pot emits the heat for cooking.

Solar cookers apply the insulation principle where the inside traps the sunlight using black paint.  This color works magic in minimizing conventional loss and improving the retention of heat.

For more ideas on solar cookers and the type of foods for the solar oven, follow each subsection below. You’ll get further insights into foods to prepare and clean the solar oven, plus simple maintenance procedures. 

How Useful Are Solar Ovens In Survival and Emergency Situations?

rest by the solar oven

Still, you are not convinced on why you have to ditch the gas or electric cooker?

It’s imperative to learn the usefulness of solar ovens.  Research and word of mouth tell that solar cookers have a comprehensive advantage over typical energy sources. 

Ideally, solar ovens don’t emit dangerous emissions into the atmosphere. In the aspect of time, solar heat energy takes less time to harvest and use compared to the process of using fossils.

Perhaps, the concept is not sinking yet.  Maybe it’s better to look at it from this perspective. In the protolithic period, humans relied on plant and animal remains as primary sources of energy. The practice led to mass deforestation and the extinction of wild species. 

Science reckons that these historical practices’ culmination is climate change characterized by cyclical seasons and devastating conditions for plants and humans.

Therefore, solar cookers are a useful way to conserve the environment and make the planet a better place for future generations.  It stops the depletion of the natural flora and fauna and leading to a better world.

Uses of solar ovens in emergencies

Okay, no one saw this coming, but the truth is solar ovens are valuable during emergencies. Essentially, solar ovens have many benefits such as water purification, preservation of fruits and vegetables, and providence of reliable energy during these climate change periods.

Besides, solar ovens have a unique sterilizing capacity that is practical and convenient medical practice. Again, solar energy can run pressure cookers that can help provide quick ready meals during emergency rescuing missions.

Further, solar ovens are convenient in heating the room during cold seasons, saving lives for the sick, the young, and the elderly.

What Type of Food Can You Prepare In a Solar Oven?

vegetables in solar oven

The solar oven has the same capacity to cook as the stove, gas, or electric cooker.

It works perfectly for the indoors and the outdoors events creating a fun-filled cooking experience. Again, solar ovens are portable, creating an exceptional cooking experience around the beaches, parties, and the desired destination.

Nevertheless, solar panels do not support crispiness compared to electric cookers. So do not expect to cook a meal that requires drying up or achieving caramelization. Nonetheless, check below the types of food cooked in a solar oven.

Top 4 Foods You Can Prepare In a Solar Oven

Kick start the solar oven experience with the following special foods.

Peanut butter chocolate chips cookies

peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

To prepare peanut butter chocolate chips cookies, use the following ingredients.

  • ½ a cup each of tapioca flour, unrefined sugar, and salted butter.
  • 1 cup each of dark chocolate chips and salted peanut butter.
  • 1 tbs each of vanilla extract and molasses.
  • 3 eggs

Procedure  

Using the ingredients, make a dough that is a bit gooey or soft, depending on your preferences.  Next, preheat the solar oven at 300 F. Prepare the baking surface using the buttered spoon and then bake for 30 minutes to one hour.

Baked beans

beans in solar oven

To prepare baked beans using a solar oven, use the following ingredients to smoothen and have an experiential taste.

  • Gather dried beans depending on the expected servings. An estimate of 2 cups is enough for the solar oven.
  • A medium diced onion
  • Filtered water
  • 2tbs of olive oil
  • Tomato paste (1 can is sufficient).
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves.
  • 1tbs pinch of salt

Procedure

Soak the dried bean overnight at room temperatures. Next is preheating the oven at 300F. Concurrently, mix olive oil and diced oil until translucent. Drain off the water and add the filtered water plus other ingredients. Then bake for more than 6 hours, checking at temperature variations for well-baked beans.

Chocolate cake

cake in solar oven

To prepare a chocolate cake using a solar oven, follow the procedure below:

  • ½  cup of coffee, water, or milk
  • ½ cup of vegetable oil/ softened butter.
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 11/2  tbs of baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 11/4 cup of sugar

Procedure

Ensure the day has sufficient sunlight. Cream the bowl, add eggs, sugar, and cream butter. Use a separate bowl to mix other ingredients and stir using water and milk. Add butter to the bowl and pour the mixture to bake at 300F for about 45 minutes.

Solar oven-baked salmon

salmon from solar oven

Preparing baked salmon is easy and convenient using the solar oven.

  • 1tbs each of freshly squeezed lemon, olive oil, and flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Minced garlic cloves
  • Pepper and salt
  • 1-12 ounce of salmon filet

Procedure

Marinate the salmon filet using the flat-leaf parsley, olive oil, and squeezed lemon. Add the coating and refrigerate for about one hour. Concurrently, preheat the sun oven at 300F, cover the salmon filet with aluminum foil on both sides, and place it on the pot. Cook for about 45 minutes and then serve with the preferred meal.

How Hard Is a Solar Oven To Clean?

cleaning solar oven

It’s easy and convenient to cook using solar ovens, but another essential question to ask yourself is that; is it hard to clean the solar oven?

No, it’s not hard to clean the solar oven.

Give the solar cooker a thorough cleaning using over the counterstain or grease removing detergents or use environmentally friendly procedures that are safe for the household, finances, and the environment. Such cleaning procedures include;

Baking soda

This detergent is an excellent stain remover. Spritz baking soda on the stained solar oven surfaces or use damp cloth sprinkled with baking soda to scrub the stains off. Baking soda is very advantageous for removing persistent stains and unpleasant smell.

Lemon juice

It has the capacity of turning the solar oven sparkling clean. Add lemon juice to the cleaning water and scrub off the dirt to restore the oven sparkle. Lemon juice is a good cleanser for other kitchen utensils too. Either dumped soaked, added to the water or sprinkled, lemon juice works excellently in maintaining a solar oven.

Vinegar

This is another excellent kitchen stain remover, very excellent in greased and stained surfaces. It’s okay to doubt the cleansing properties of vinegar, and the way forward is to test a patch on the greasy or stained surfaces. It’s a straightforward mechanism of proving the power of vinegar.

Easy step maintaining the solar oven

solar oven at home
  • Always clean the inside and the outside of the solar oven after use.
  • Shelter the solar oven against rain.
  • Dry out the wet solar oven in the sun
  • Always repaint the black paint to retain the heat-absorbing capacity.
  • Clean using stain removing detergent or environmentally friendly cleaners such as vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda.

Bottom Line

Solar ovens are not only convenient and efficient but also offer an eco-friendly and portable cooking experience. 

Besides, sourcing for solar ovens is convenient since you can do it yourself or purchase in the local stores.

The purchased solar oven is a bit expensive but works better because it’s built with the best functionalities of converging and retaining heat energy.

The efficiency of solar ovens comes with simple and straightforward heat. The results are better during summer, although the experience is spicy when at the park, beach, or family events.

Solar ovens are advantageous for the environment, animals, and humans. Thus, it’s high time masses start embracing the influential role of solar cookers. To preserve the solar panels, use the easy maintenance and cleaning steps above.

Remember to scrub the greasy surfaces using lemon water, baking soda, or vinegar. Alternatively, use the over counter detergent that works perfectly for your kitchen to remove the grease and the stains. Wash off the stain every time after use. Dry off the solar oven in the sun before storing it for further use.

Have you used solar cookers before? What can you cook in a solar oven?

Share your experience with the solar ovens. What are the best meals for the solar cookers, and which maintenance strategy do you use?