Solar Cooking for the Mainstream Chef
If you would like to go directly to my online Shop to purchase solar cooking items, click here. You will find solar cooking information there, in addition to the Global Sun Oven®, SolarWear™ and my solar cooking book A Month of SUNdays - Solar Cooking at Home. Clicking on the pictures and/description below will also take you directly to the online shop, where you can fill your cart to your heart's content!
I use the Global Sun Oven for all my solar cooking, so I'm offering it to all mainstream chefs so that you can get started as soon as possible on your solar cooking adventure! It is a well-designed, attractive, 21-pound manufactured product specifically designed for solar cooking, providing cooking temperatures as close to conventional cooking as can be and well worth the purchase for those of you still a little nervous about solar cooking your food in a homemade oven.
You can find instructions on how to build your own solar oven all over the web, but your cooking times will be almost double conventional times, unless (and, that's a big unless!) the builder is a skilled craftsman who understands exactly what they want to accomplish. It's not rocket science, but the oven must be sturdy, safe, weather-proof, and have a tight seal to cook your food. A friendly carpenter can build an oven to your specifications for under $50, an oven that can last for generations. That's a lot of free cooking!
Once I discovered Solar cooking, I was hooked. My electric bill for my little home (1200 sq.ft.)dropped a good $50 a month, my kitchen stays cool, and I'm saving the environment. All recipes were prepared as if for a standard conventional oven, -- no special ingredients -- so imagine my delight when I discovered they were even more scrumptious. And, for those of you who say you don't have time to cook in the sun, it is truly no different from planning a slow-cooker meal.
One of the best-kept secrets of solar cooking is that you can prepare meats similar to those served in high-end restaurants right in your own home -- sous vide cooking -- and not have to worry about constantly watching and maintaining simmering water temperatures. Portions will come out evenly cooked from side to side without texture loss and you will be able to cut them with a fork. I'll be showing how to do a solar oven adaptation of sous vide cooking in my second solar cooking book coming out next spring. Solar cooking has entered the mainstream.
Do you want to bake bread, make stews and casseroles, anything you cook in your conventional oven -- blanch, poach, preserve, roast, sauté, steam, and sterilize your food, can be done for FREE just from using the sun's energy.
Cooking in a solar oven retains more moisture in the food then cooking in traditional oven, so you'll need less water in your recipe. For slow cooking, place the ingredients in the solar oven in the morning, turn the oven towards the midday sun, enjoy your day, and return to a hot meal, ready to serve. Staying home? Use your oven as you would a conventional oven. Cook morning till night -- for free.
Eating out is expensive. As more and more families face the hardship of the current depression, preparing meals at home has become a strong money-saving first step. Solar cooking would be the perfect second step. According to the United States Energy Commission, cooking with a conventional oven and stovetop generates 10% to 12% of your household energy bill. Solar energy is FREE. 55% of your energy bill is a result of maintaining temperature control in your home, a temperature that fluctuates with your cooking. With solar cooking in your energy-saving arsenal, power surges are greatly reduced and you can see the savings on your utility bills almost right away.
North America has more than enough sunny and slightly overcast days to make solar cooking financially worthwhile to you. Once your solar oven is built and/or purchased, you'll start reducing that 12% energy cost. With care, most ovens can last up to 20 years. Think of what that savings would mean to your budget!
You're not going to save the planet just by solar cooking, but it will make an impact. Mixing microwave cooking with solar cooking is the most efficient way to incorporate this viable energy-saving method of cooking meals that is not only great for the planet but -- FUN!
If you still have questions about solar cooking, check out this FAQ.
SolarWear™ - 'the little black dress for hot bake ware'
Using the solar oven every day, I quickly discovered that standard potholders and oven mitts were too cumbersome for a sure grip on hot pans and heavy, hot, jars that were DOWN inside a very hot oven. (350° is 350°, regardless of fuel used!) Fear of getting burned, myself, made me realize that if I wanted mainstream American chefs and their families to use a solar oven (and, I wanted that with all my heart), well, I should do something that would remove that fear, making solar cooking safe and efficient. And, I didn't like having to add an additional fifteen minutes to my cooking times to make up for heat loss whenever I opened the door to add or remove items. Not having to stand over a hot stove left me plenty of time to get the inventing part of my brain to work!
After much trial and error, SolarWear™ was born! Now, it was possible to place and remove full, hot, jars in the solar oven without fear of getting burned. Thrilled with that result, I then discovered that heat loss was so minimal that there was no need to tack on an additional fifteen minutes to the cooking time for each time I opened the oven door. Even conventional ovens lose about 25% of their heat every time the door is opened.
With practice, it is possible to remove an item quickly, close the oven door to retain heat, stir or add ingredients to your food, then return it just as rapidly for continued cooking! I was on to something. The next discovery was finding that it was now possible to carry up to four (4!) jars at a time, if necessary, without fear of burning or dropping. A real time saver. NOTE: While possible to carry the hot jars safely, it's still very prudent to use a tray for transporting hot foods back-and-forth.
By giving bake ware 'the little black dress,' it was no longer necessary to paint jars black to absorb solar heat rays. I timed both my painted jars with those in SolarWear™ and there was no discernible difference in cooking times. From solar oven to table, church suppers, or picnics, it's a safe, secure, way of transporting hot foods without worrying about spillage, too.
Having conquered the jars, I decided that I wanted to use my own bake ware and tempered serving dishes, so the SolarWear™ casserole and pan carrier was next on the agenda. It's perfect for your favorite tempered open-topped serving dishes. And, you can comfortably use the full width of the solar oven with any 12" wide tempered dish! Simply place your food in the dish, cover with tin foil, cradle in the carrier bottom and place the SolarWear™ cover on top. Voila! Dinner is served with no mess and no fuss.
All recipes below are included in the A Month of SUNdays - Solar Cooking at Home cookbook.
A must-have book for all eco-conscious families! Reducing fossil fuel consumption is the red-hot topic for the 21st century. Did you know that solar cooking produces an immediate positive impact on both your pocketbook and your environment? While waiting years to recover costs of creating an eco-conscious home, you can actually see the savings on your utility bills within the first few months of solar cooking. Solar cooking costs? = nada, zilch, zero!
No longer considered only for campers, classroom demos, and vegans, solar cooking offers everyone an immediate, viable, method of preparing your family's food. The author has written A Month of SUNdays - Solar Cooking at Home for all of us to discover how using the sun's energy is a practical and effortless method for preparing delicious meals and protecting our environment.
Starting with foods and condiments already on your shelf, you'll discover how easy it is to adapt all your family's favorite recipes to solar cooking! With temperatures well within traditional standards, solar cooking allows you to prepare your family favorites and do your part to keep America green. Offered as merely another way of preparing delicious meals for your loved ones, solar cooking is the only method that is totally off the grid. Solar cooking is no different from choosing to use a crockpot, smoker, or grill, to prepare your meals -- except, solar cooking is FREE!
In A Month of SUNdays - Solar Cooking at Home, you won't find instructions on building your own solar oven. Mainstream chefs want attractive appliances next to the grill, smoker, or barbecue. The recipes in this book have all been prepared using a commercially-built very attractive solar oven specifically designed to hold cooking temperatures that closely match those of a conventional oven. Insulation not only helps in cooking your meals but retains enough heat to keep your food warm for hours after cooking. A bonus for chefs who work all day and want to come home to a tasty meal ready to eat!
You will find both everyday and gourmet recipes to help you discover just how delicious food can taste when cooked by the sun, in addition to tips and techniques used by the author for preparing everything from soups to desserts that will encourage you to make solar cooking a normal and natural part of food preparation in your home.
More importantly, you can actually see the energy savings on your utility bill! Don't wait years until the business world can find solutions for saving your planet's fossil fuels. As an individual, you can start, right now, by incorporating solar cooking into your family's way of eco-conscious living. Enjoy a healthier lifestyle while doing your part to protect the environment for future generations.
8.5" by 5.5" coil-bound to lay flat
96 pages, printed on 60-pound paper
Two pages of recipes in color
More than 12 pages with black-and-white photos
Tips and Techniques section for new solar cooks
Checklist for easy solar cooking
Guide to cooking times for easy meal planning
Original recipes meant to be easily converted into your menus
NC Residents must pay 7.75% sales tax.
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