Editors note: The response to this post has been so great that the manufacturer has offered all our readers a special discount… Use this special coupon to save $70 on your Sun Oven purchase, and share your results!!
We’ve been anxiously anticipating the arrival of the slickly-designed All American Sun Oven for months, and jumped right in to trying a few recipes on day 1. First up, a boxed cornbread mix doctored with fresh jalapeño from the Cuba Farmers Market. The oven was pre-heated according to instructions and the batter was put in a Pyrex pan at 100 degrees at 10am just as the sun peeked above the treetops. (I did lightly grease the pan with a little coconut oil according to the package, but I’ll try going without next time.) An hour later, the oven temp hadn’t budged because the sun decided to rise a little more slowly than predicted. 😉 After repositioning to a sunnier locale, we saw some immediate action with the temps quickly rising to 200, and then 300 degrees. We cooked for another hour just to be sure of doneness (food doesn’t burn in the Sun Oven). The result was a moist and delicious accompaniment to go with our favorite canned Ranch Style Beans.
Next up was my ‘famous’ hash brown casserole. A really simple dish made with prepared hash browns. (I used reconstituted shreds here since we no longer buy the Simply Potatoes in a bag from the grocery fridge.) Mix with diced onions, a well-drained can of RoTel (or diced fresh tomatoes and roasted green chiles), shredded cheese, scrambled farm fresh eggs, mayo (or sour cream), and salt and pepper. (I also sometimes add cooked meatless sausage or real bacon crumbles to the top before baking, depending on the occasion.) I used the black enamel 2-qt. dish and cover that came with the oven kit, and we had a beautiful meal for dinner in just under a hour. (We got lucky with the timing on this one since the clear skies quickly clouded up ahead of the evening rainstorm.)
To continue putting the Sun Oven through its paces, we tried drying these gorgeous late-season peaches and apples that we also picked up at the farmers market. First peeling, thinly slicing, rinsing in lemon water, and thoroughly drying, then placing single layers on parchment, we filled 4 racks of fruit to dry at 125-150 degrees starting around 11am. (We needed to regularly position the cooker behind the sun to maintain the lower temps- cloudy days are great for drying.) After checking in after 6 hours later, we determined we needed one more round of sunshine. After drying on the 2nd day, we had a nice little supply of long-lasting dried apple bits to keep on hand for making trail mix or other recipes. (Having the one oven tied up for three days to finish the peaches is really making us seriously consider buying a second!)
While we are not making ourselves out to be the offgrid kitchen masters of the Fouch-O-Matic variety, I must say that having the All American Sun Oven around here at Sahalee is going to be a total game-changer. Not only will we be able to enjoy a wider selection of menu items for daily meals, but we’ll also be able to preserve some nutritious produce for the winter. With there not being any expense for gas, wood or charcoal fuel, we’ll also end up saving a little bit of money at the end of the day, too.
Finally, the Sun Oven mission to bring healthy and environmentally-conscious self-sustainable cooking technology to developing communities around the world certainly makes our meals taste that much better. With more people to feed and less fuel available on the planet, solar cooking helps to meet basic needs with very little energy and can even create cottage industries for improved livelihoods. You can read more about their innovative programs at https://www.sunoven.com/around-the-world/programs/.
Hmmm… I’m thinking of trying a little chocolate cake next!! What do you think?
SPECIAL BONUS: Food porn from our Instagram feed that shows off what we are doing on the charcoal grill these days… Enjoy!!