Monday, June 25, 2012

Solar Cooking Weekend

With tons o Texas sun I decided to do all cooking over the weekend with solar. I got off early Friday and did my first solar meatloaf which was as good as my energy using house heating oven would have done. Saturday I did solar turkey thighs. I decided to try a potatoe dish. So into the black painted jar and late afternoon I drained them, put them in a small loaf pan with bacon, ranch dip, and cheese. I covered it in foil and back into the solar oven. It was served with the turkey thighs and it was Mighty Tasty! Sunday was solar St. Louis style pork ribs. Hmmm.. Ribs..!! With not as much solar heat with it being cloudy I ended up topping them off on my little gas grill for about 10 minutes per side. This added some bark char and after adding some sauce they were good to go.
Of course each morning forecast was for full day of sun but every day some clouds rolled in by mid afternoon. I have added a few more floor tiles painted black which seemed to hold in the heat as clouds rolled by.
Picture is of a previous cooking. The oven know has tiles bottom, sides, back, and front with a lot thicker polycarbonate window. It hasn't melted yet with some temps up to 260.
I am proud of and enjoy my solar endeavors. I know Sandy is pretty happy about it cause she gets to eat all the good food. At least in her eyes I am her Master Chef / BBQ Pit Master!


Chris Miller said...

I really need to jump in and get to building us a solar oven. It sounds like you're having great luck with yours. And St. Louis style ribs?!?! Being from St. Louis I can tell you there are none better. I don't care what the Texans say. Oops....:)

Now a question for you.... are there any plans out there for a solar smoker?? I used to own a super efficient cookshack electric smoker that could go all night on a 2 oz piece of wood. Maybe it would be worth it to just dedicate a few panels and batteries to such a beast? I need to look into this now....

Looks like the model I had has a 4.2 amp, 500 watt heating element. Ouch.... not really great when you're off grid and cooking a brisket for 12 hours. =/

Chris Miller - One Family's Journey To Finding True Happiness

JP said...

Chris, Solar smoking is out there.
I would like a nice store bought solar oven but with less than $20 in mine if it ain't broke don't fix it. I did some more ribs yesterday for the 4th.
I saw on a show where Alton Brown made an electric smoker out of an old foot locker. I want to say his ideal temp was 200 and it smoked fine. I have tried putting some wood chips in the bottom with minimal results. In most solar cooking you usually keep the food covered which would make it hard to get smoke to the food. Do an internet search and there is a lot of stuff on ‘solar smoker’.