People are always amused when we tell them we cook with solar. Partially I think they are a bit embarrassed because they really have no idea what we are talking about. Or maybe they just think, oh yeah another flaky idea that doesn’t work.
The fact is that we use our solar oven at least twice a week and often much more. In a previous post I showed how we made a nice pumpkin pie for a thanksgiving, and this time I wanted to show how we are using the solar oven to make a really good slow cooked pork roast leg. This cut is meaty and a less marbled than others so cooking a little slower will loosen it up.
First we rubbed the entire roast with a combination of herbs from our garden and set it in a regular enamel roaster with a little water. Then it was simply put into the solar oven and oriented to the sun. Its very low tech. The oven is essentially an insulated box with a tight fitting glass door and some light reflecting concentrator fins to help focus more sun into the cooking chamber. It has an adjustable leg at the back you use to prop it up to better face the sun. You keep an eye on it as you cook and reorient the east west tracking as the sun passes across the sky. After a few hours of cooking, we added some fresh potatoes from the farmer’s market making a very traditional meal – meat and potatoes. One more hour and we had a great dinner in the middle of summer using no electricity and added no heat to our house. If you are interested in using solar energy in different ways, subscribe to our blog to keep in touch.