Since Bev has asked, I’ll add my own experiences with my Sun Oven…which I adore! As I’ve mentioned (I’m sure) I love my Sun Oven. We were somewhat new at this type of thing so we just bought what we believed was the best and at the time we had the funds to do so.
So far we haven’t taken it camping because we don’t want to leave it unattended…someone might think it would be a good thing to put in their truck or the trunk of their car and you never know about racoons. I’ve also not cooked in it during the snow etc….yet, but have been assured by the manufacturer and others who have, that it cooks just fine although you may have to rotate it to keep it in the direction of the sun.
As for my experiences, I’ve just set it on top of a small table in the back yard, without any legs to tip it forward etc., and then let the sun do it’s thing. I haven’t had to rotate it or anything, just let the sun shine in :-)
I’ve only used my graniteware in my solar oven, but have got a couple of small bread loaf pans that are very dark colored and I plan to try them out for bread. I use several different sized roasters with lids, and since I use graniteware in our RV I have several pie tins, plates, cups and a coffee pot. Everything will fit into my solar oven except my coffee pot, but that’s okay…it’ll cook quicker on the outside grill :-)
The picture at the top is of a raw pork roast that I put into my solar oven along with vegetables etc. that took about 4 hours to cook thoroughly and was absolutely fork tender & so moist you wouldn’t believe it, but I’m sure it wouldn’t have burned if I’d left it all day. The only thing I’ve learned is that I DO NOT have to add water. So on this particular occasion, I just took the juice that it created and made gravy out of it.
Because of my solar oven, our Coleman 2-burner cook stove with an oven that fits on top, and lots of propane, and a single burner butane stove (like they use in chinese restaurants etc.) I’ve been slow in approaching other sources of cooking. We do plan to purchase a StoveTec-type stove though because we believe it would be safe to use inside with gel candles, t-lights, votive candles etc. It’s also easy enough to move outside to burn wood or charcoal, perhaps even some wood chips.
Either way we look at it, solar is about the cheapest source of cooking and supplementing your heat there is. Right now, we’re not too interested in providing electricity via solar. The Roost is small enough and not situated in the right direction, for us to install panels on it’s roof…and in a SHTF situation would be a signal that we have some sort of power, as well as if we set up panels outside they’d probably get stolen or deliberately damaged. Same for our solar oven, don’t want to set it out even at the Roost where it could be stolen.
As a ps…we also own one of the “oil less” cookers (electric) that’s also another great addition to your cooking alternatives and can also dehydrate…as long as you have electricity of some sort. What’s that old saying? “try it you’ll like it.”
p.s. if you like the idea of cooking with the sun, but are on a “DIY” budget, check out this awesome DIY solar cooker.