Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Cooking with Sun Oven
My first attempt at cooking with my new $25 dollar sun oven was wonderful and I am definitely hooked.
I decided to do basic potatoes, carrots and chicken thighs. I also added onion, celery, salt, pepper, seasoned salt and a few pats of butter for flavor. The chicken thighs on top were frozen when I started the meal.
Through some research I heard that it is safer to have frozen chicken when you start in the morning and eat in the evening. That way it doesn't have safety issues in cooking with the sun.
I added the seasoned salt to the top of the chicken for flavor (the skin is still on the chicken). I also realized that I didn't need to add any butter because the juices from the chicken was enough flavor.
At the end of the day, the meal was cooked, moist and yummy. All with the power of the sun.
Next I tried Rice Roni. I heated up butter, added the rice let it cook for a while, added water and the season packet. It cooked thoroughly but was VERY starchy. We didn't like it all stuck together and starchy. I wonder if I heated the water first and then added the Rice Roni if that would have worked better. We ate it, but I didn't keep the left overs.
Trial and Error while I am learning for Emergency Preparedness .... Before the emergency.
Next I tried Brownies while we were at church. I placed the sun oven in a spot I thought would be in the sun. However, when we came home the sun oven was in shade and totally cooled down but partially cooked. I moved it to the sun, but it didn't have time to heat up at 5pm to finish cooking. So I heated up the oven in my home and finished cooking them.
Best brownies I have ever had .... VERY moist. I'm sure it would have worked if it had been in the sun the whole time. More trial and error.
Yesterday I made Beef Stew. As you know, I don't store anything in my food storage that I don't rotate. I purchased a case of Beef chunks and Chicken chunks from the LDS Cannery. I use a couple of cans each month. The LDS canned meat is SOOOOOO much better then store brands. I couldn't handle store brands at all and ended up donating them to the food bank.
Anyway.... on with the meal. I am also a great fan of packaged gravy (etc.) for fast meals like this.
I started with potatoes, carrots, onion, celery, 1/2 cup barley, beef chunks and two cups of water and two brown gravy mixes.
The last hour, I added fresh peas from the garden, left over beans and corn.
I also added some Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Very yummy!
I have fallen in LOVE with the sun oven. It is amazing!
I decided I needed more then one pot and have ordered more. I ordered an 18" roasting pan which hopefully will fit bread and cookies for baking in the sun. I'll try that when they arrive. Plus, I'd like to cook dinner and dessert at the same time. I also would like to cook hamburgers in one pot and baked beans in another pot - as another example.
Today I am going to cook whole potatoes. Put them in the fridge over night and make potato salad tomorrow. Lots of possibilities!
I am addicted! It is such fun to know I can cook with the power of the sun. It is AMAZING!
One other bonus that I love .... you can't smell it cooking while in the outdoors. One of my concerns with emergency cooking is the smell. It's like waving a red flag to every neighbor that I have food during an emergency .... causing risk to my safety. I've thought about this a LOT, being a single woman. If there is sun outside ... I can cook and heat up food for my family in safety ... either at home or hidden away in the mountains. It is a great item to add to your 72 hour kit and food storage.
It is such a frugal item too. Using NO electricity and keeping the house cool at the same time.
I also love that it was so inexpensive. I could purchase 12 kits for the price of one of the $300 dollar sun ovens and I am sure it works the same.