We bought a Sun Oven a few weeks ago and have been dying to try it out. Today we had clear skies, sunshine, and free time from any other obligations.
We decided to make a simple hamburger stew that included common ingredients we had around the house. This is something I usually make on top of the gas stove. I did brown the hamburger first and drained the grease before adding the other ingredients.
The instructions for the Sun Oven recommended using thin walled pots that have a dark finish. We used an enamel ware pot that came with a camp set. You can get them in the camping section of most stores. The ingredients I used were:
hamburger (browned and drained)
three cloves of garlic minced
chopped onion, carrots, potatoes and green pepper
celery salt (I prefer fresh celery but I didn’t have any)
beef bullion cube
chopped zucchini ( I had some I froze from our garden)
canned or frozen corn
A little dried Thyme, parsley, rosemary and a bay leaf
about a teaspoon of Worchestershire sauce
a sprinkle of dried red peppers if you like a little spice
water to make a broth
I believe thats it and of course any kind of stew can have whatever you choose. We put all the ingredients in the camp pot and placed it into the Sun Oven. The oven has a temperature gage and you can control the temperature by following the sun. Full sun will give you a temp of about 350 degrees. It doesn’t matter if it is summer or winter. We let the stew cook for about 4 1/2 hours. Sonny checked on the placement of the oven about every half hour to make sure it was in direct sunlight. Letting it slowly simmer allowed all the flavors to come out and mingle together. The outcome was a tasty one pot meal. Add a slice of homemade bread and you have a delicious dinner on cold evening.
You don’t have to slow cook everything. You could heat up a can of soup, or bake a casserole. I am anxious to try baking some bread. For some it may seem like a toy, but when you live off grid using a crock pot is a no, no. I see this as a good tool to use in the summer when you need to use the oven but don’t want to heat up the house. I think it is a good use of the suns power instead of using electric or propane. That’s not to say I will cook with it everyday but I believe it could become a normal mode of cooking on sunny days.