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Saturday
Mar052011

Autumn solar cooking

I admit I hadn't been to the Farmer's Market for a while, but when Saturday dawned in glorious sunshine, it was time to remedy that. As well as enjoying the obligatory market breakfast roll and cuppa, and chatting to the various people you run into there, we picked up some great veg from the lovely folks of Willowbank farm in South Albury. 

Once home, I put the solar cooker and baking dish out to 'pre-heat' and grabbed some supplementary veg from our garden.

The cooker was a toasty 110 degrees celcius inside in less than an hour. By then I had chopped up Willowbank carrots (which were enormous, to say the least) and butternut pumpkin, along with our own potatoes, garlic and beetroot. I added a bit of olive oil and a few herbs and tossed the lot together.

Into the oven went the pot of veg. I adjusted it a couple of times to maximise sun exposure and three hours later we had wonderful solar roasted veg!

Yup, it's that simple. For the record, the ambient temperature was around 25 degrees during cooking. More importantly, it was a cloudless blue sky and the cooker tracked the sun as it moved across the sky. This is perfect solar-cooking weather.

Inside the cooker, the temperature averaged between 105 and 110 degrees during cooking. And if the truth be known, the veg were probably ready sooner than the three hours they had in there. Because food doesn't burn in the solar cooker, you can afford to forget about it to some degree. So I got a bit carried away with the gardening but it didn't matter.

The cooker is made from two cardboard boxes (one inside the other) with scrunched up newspaper insulation, aluminium foil, an oven bag 'window' and wire supports the top reflector. I was going to link to a previous post with more detail, but have just realised it was in a permi8 update pre-blog, so perhaps more on that another time!

Solar cooker cooking; shed construction in the background

 

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