8 Best Uses for a Solar Oven
The solar oven has become a popular alternative for many campers and others who cook outside or away from home. Solar ovens may not be practical for all kinds of cooking, but some types of slow cooking situations are accommodated by this renewable energy oven. Here are some of the most popular uses for a solar oven.
With fresh vegetables or vegetarian dishes, there’s no required minimum temperature, which makes solar oven cooking easier. Try roasting peppers, squash, zucchini, mushrooms, or any combination of greens. Items like eggplant or potatoes are more difficult and may have much longer cooking times. Generally, the kinds of vegetables that can be eaten raw are the easiest to serve up out of a solar oven.
These days, customers in supermarkets can choose between raw, unprocessed meats and those that have been pre-cooked, cured or otherwise processed for longer-term use. When it comes to solar cooking, trying to fine-cook a tuna steak or pork chop may not be the best idea for beginners. However, a solar oven works well for precooked meats, since it is only used to heat up the food.
The solar oven can work well for slowly cooking various types of pasta without overcooking these delicate flour-based foods. Throw in some marinara sauce or other concoction of your choosing, and you’ve got an easy solar oven meal.
Natural Baked Goods
Since the solar oven has less precise controls, it’s a good idea to keep your baking recipes as simple as possible. Blends of flour and natural ingredients can do well, where advanced recipes including yeasts and specific heat chemistry may not be as successful.
Some of these nutrient-rich foods, commonly known as beans, can also be great solar cooking staples. Some of them will need to be pre-soaked if they are dried in order to facilitate a reasonable cooking time.
The hardy cabbage leaf in red and green varieties can be a good basic addition to a slow cooking solar recipe. Add some bits of pre-cooked corned beef, potato, garlic or whatever else is on hand and you can have a traditional Irish dish made in the sun.
Banana Based Pastries
In solar cooking, an old vegan trick comes in handy: substitute banana for some pastry ingredients to make it easier to get a good final result with the power of the sun.
Fresh herbs can be the perfect addition to a solar cooked dish. With a little less heat on them, a variety of green herbs from cilantro and basil to rosemary, parsley and oregano can all retain a lot of flavor and impart their respective tastes to a meal.
The above are some basic ideas for solar recipes that have a good chance of working out well. Experts recommend cooking in the morning hours, preferably between 9 and 10 am. Some practice will help beginners find out what kinds of cooking times are generally needed for their specific recipes and how lower heat will affect a dish.