The subject is this: I bought a solar oven. I read a novel a few months ago about Iran launching nuclear weapons above the U.S. that created an Electro-Magnetic Pulse. This EMP caused the entire country to completely lose power permanently. It instantly threw us back into the mid-1800’s, technologically-speaking. Having the vivid imagination that I do, especially about end-of-the-world scenarios, I freaked a little. I not only bought a Volcano Stove and a year’s supply of charcoal, but I thought I should hedge my bets and have a back-up plan. Hence, the solar oven.
I did a lot of research and found a pretty cool (I mean hot) solar oven. Apparently I’m not the only kook out there since the S.O.S. Sport Oven that I wanted was back-ordered for two months. I finally got it last week and decided that I needed to try it out before the collapse of society, so I whipped up some chocolate-chip cookie dough. (Any excuse I can think of to make some!) Here is the solar oven on its own.
It doesn’t look like much. It’s mostly heavy-duty plastic. The technology is basically the same as your car getting hot on a summer day. It uses UV rays, not actual heat from the sun, so cooking can be done anytime it’s sunny, even if it’s cold out. I bought the optional reflector which increases the times the cooker can be used (morning, late afternoon, cloudy days, etc.) It also gets the oven hotter faster.
According to the thermometer inside the oven, it went from 75º to 300º in 20 minutes. Not too shabby. The directions say not to get the oven hotter than 300º or else it will melt the plastic. I let most of the heat out when I placed the cookies inside, so that wasn’t a big issue. (The cookie tray was a little bigger than the floor of the oven, so it was balanced precariously on the sides of the oven. It kept slipping down in back. But it still totally baked the cookies!!!
The cookies were done in 20 minutes. Only a few minutes longer than they take in a conventional oven. It’s also strange to use potholders since it’s basically just cookies in a black box. So you might just forget to use them altogether. Ask me what happens then! Let me just say that 300º is 300º. Ouch!
Oh, and by the way, the cookies were scrumptious.
My oven is by S.O.S. Solar and with the reflectors and shipping it was about $200. Cooks Illustrated magazine actually tested solar ovens a couple of years ago and this was their favorite. There is a link on the site to see the Cook’s Illustrated testing results on the CBS Early Show.
I’d also urge you to look at this . SOS is actually a non-profit organization that is trying to get solar ovens to the poorest areas in the world. If you think solar ovens are completely dorky, you must read it!