Friday, April 10, 2009

The Solar Oven...make one today!

A friend of mine pointed out a great article recently all about solar ovens. Apparently these have been around for a long time. The Peace Corps had started promoting them in the 1960s as a way to assist folks in the third world with their cooking and safe water needs. They have since caught on with everyone else from campers and hunters to environmentalists and the simply curious.

Keep in mind that a solar oven will get close to 300 degrees if properly constructed. This is hot enough to cook potatoes and carrots as well as bake bread and boil water. Many things can be cooked in solar oven. I am making one to hang out my window in Paris.

I suggest as a first attempt in solar cooking something very simple. The humble yet honorable baked potato.

Interested in making your own solar oven? All you need are a couple of cardboard boxes (one should be able to fit in the other with at least an in inch or so of space all around), aluminum foil, black paper and some crumpled newspapers. Get that all together. Line the bottom of the smaller box with the black paper to absorb heat. Then, line the inner walls of the small box with foil. Now, put the crumpled paper in the bigger box to act as heat insulation. Place the smaller box inside the big box now. Place a sheet of plastic wrap or even an acrylic sheet over the opening. Using the large box flaps that you would normally close the box with, now line those with foil to reflect more heat into the box. you are done! Now if I have completely confused you, go here for more details:

Give the solar oven a try...I am making one just big enough to cook my beloved baked potatoes!

Bon apetit!