What if you could harness the power of the sun to cook delicious, homemade meals for your family, even in the most challenging of times? Wouldn’t you like to explore a solution that not only saves energy but also offers a sustainable way to prepare food? A solar oven might just be the answer you’ve been seeking.
When asked which solar cooker oven I recommend, I always mention the Global Sun Oven. It’s the very first solar oven I owned and it shows plenty of wear and tear. It’s more expensive than other versions, but its designers came up with creative solutions to common issues that made solar cooking more challenging than it needed to be.
Now there’s a new kid on the block: the All-American Sun Oven solar oven cooker. Here’s my experience cooking with it.
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Features of the All-American Sun Oven
When it comes to solar ovens, the All-American Sun Oven stands as a testament to a well-designed solar appliance. I appreciate how it makes harnessing the power of the sun for cooking easier than ever.
One of the most noticeable upgrades is the oven’s increased size, now 20% larger. It can bake two loaves of bread side by side or easily handle a 9×13 pan, which is the most popular size baking dish, at least in my house!
Higher Temps / Reduced Cooking Times
Another improvement lies in the oven’s glass door, boasting a thicker construction and an improved sealing gasket. These enhancements work together to offer higher cooking temperatures and, more importantly, reduced cooking times.
According to the All-American Sun Oven’s official website, cooking times are similar to those of a conventional oven. For example, this updated model can roast a 2 1/2 pound roast in just 1 hour and 20 minutes, and whip up a chocolate cake in only 35 minutes.
A Favorite Feature
Once I learned how to align the Sun Oven with the sun in order to maximize the cooking power of the sun, it was easy, but the All-American makes it even easier with an E-Z Sun Tracker. With a glance, you can determine if your oven is situated properly. Since focusing the oven to the sun is important in cooking times and temperatures, this help your food cook more quickly.
2 Cooking Experiences with the Sun Oven
Now on to my review of the oven’s performance. Let me share a couple of experiments.
On a sunny afternoon, I placed two raw eggs on the leveling tray in the oven. The oven was hot, right at 350 degrees. (Did I mention the built-in thermometer?) No directions were given regarding the length of cooking time, so I just figured I would break open an egg after 20 minutes to see if it was fully cooked.
To keep a short story short, the egg was perfectly cooked! There was no dark green ring around the yoke to indicate over-cooking, and the entire egg was soft but definitely hard-boiled. Impressive!
My second experiment involved a frozen chicken. The president of Sun Oven, Paul Munsen, says that he puts a frozen chicken in his Sun Oven in the morning, along with some seasonings and vegetables, and the chicken slow cooks all day long until it’s perfectly finished by the end of the day.
Well, my chicken was well and truly frozen on the morning of the experiment. I kept it simple, just spreading a bit of olive oil over the chicken with a sprinkling of salt and pepper, and popped it in a covered baker. It went into the Sun Oven a little after 9 a.m. I was running errands all day long, so I didn’t check on the chicken until 4:30 that afternoon.
Result? It was fully cooked and ultra-moist. Wow!
A Solar Oven for Preparedness
Living in the sun-soaked state of Texas, having a solar cooker makes perfect sense for my prepping needs. When (not if!) conventional energy sources aren’t available, I can still prepare hot, homemade meals for my family. It’s another layer of off-grid cooking methods in my toolbox. Two is one and one is none, remember? Homesteaders, you may also find it of interest.
However, it’s important to note that solar cookers use the brightness of the sun not hot air temperatures to cook and bake. Clear winter days are no problem for the Sun Oven. The difference really lies in the amount of cooking time available–more in summer, far fewer in winter.
If you’re contemplating the purchase of a solar oven and wondering which one to choose, let me make it easy for you: the All-American Sun Oven is undoubtedly a winner. Its remarkable design and outstanding performance make it a top choice for any aspiring solar chef.
Frequently Asked Questions
Unfortunately, the All-American Sun Oven is only available in the contiguous United States. You can explore other commercial options or try your hand at a DIY Solar Cooker.
To maximize efficiency, make sure to preheat the oven by letting it sit in the sun for at least 15-20 minutes before placing your baking dish inside.
I’ve got you covered! Learn how to get started with solar cooking.
If you hate cleaning your oven, you will love the Sun Oven! Moisture will likely collect during the baking process of most foods, but the only cleaning necessary is a quick wipe down of the oven’s interior when you’re finished using it.
Yes! Because it cooks at temperatures similar to a regular oven, you don’t need special recipes or to adjust your favorites.
Depending on where you live, you likely incur your highest energy costs during either the summer or winter. If you utilize the Sun Oven on a regular basis during just those months, it will likely pay for itself in one season. There are absolutely no other costs involved once you make the initial purchase. To get more bang for your buck, use the Sun Oven as a food dehydrator, and to boil or pasteurize water.
Do you own a solar oven? What do you think of them?
Originally published June 23, 2013. The promotion running at that time has ended.