Friday, October 15

Which Pots, Pans, or Jars, are Best to Use in Solar Oven

Which Pots, Pans, or Jars, are Best to Use in the Solar Oven?
 Recently, a reader asked me for help in selecting the correct size of pans to use in her Global Sun Oven(R). Below is the round 3-quart roasting pan with cover that works very well in the oven. There's plenty of room for your meats and vegetables and it's already dark, so you don't have to worry about heat reflection. Without handles on the sides of the pan, it can be a little tricky getting it out of the oven when it's hot. This pan is the reason I invented my SolarWear(tm) and it works like a charm.

3-Quart Graniteware Roaster
This 4-quart granite ware stock pot also works beautifully in the solar oven and is perfect for stews and soups and, of course, it's the one I used for my Roasted Chicken Stuffing in Cabbage Head recipe. 
Chicken Stuffing in Cabbage Head
The standard loaf pans are hard workers, too. You can use them side-by-side or stacked and easily feed a family of 4-6.  As I've told you, before, there are no hot spots in a solar oven, so you don't have to worry about placement.  You can see them working side by side for our Fourth of July meal, Solar Ham Loaf Patties and Tomatoes with Summer Squash.
Standard Loaf Pans Side by Side
Having shown you these very basic pans, there is no limit to what you can use, if you can remember just a few things:
  • Don't fill the pans more than 2/3rds full.
  • Preheat your solar oven to at least 225F and use room temperature ingredients.
  • Have something [dark towel, SolarWear(tm)] over the top of the vessel to prevent reflective heat. 
With the SolarWear(tm) Casserole Set, you can use any tempered glass or metal pan you already have in your kitchen.  The quart- and pint-sized covers will fit any tempered glass jar. The handles make it faster, safer, and more efficient for placing and removing items from the solar oven. Heat loss is minimal and cooking times stay fairly close to conventional timing.

The Solar Oven in the Winter 
Winter cooking with the solar oven requires just a touch more focus on what you're doing because the sun's trajectory changes. Try to plan on using the mid-day hours (10:00 AM to 2:00 PM) for denser meals. Here is an article about cooking a main meal in January with high winds and a temperature around 30F! The biggest problem is making sure there are no high fences or trees to shade the oven if you're not home to reposition it. Other than that, a solar oven is a year-round worker.
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