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My Solar Oven | Cooking with Sunshine

LTM's small farm is completely off the grid. Her family uses solar and alternative power sources for lighting, cooking, animal fencing, etc.

Solar Ovens for everyone

I imagine most parts of the world would be suitable for solar ovens. Cooking with sunshine is so effective and easy.

To my way of thinking, every home should use a solar cooker for at least part of the year.

  • People who live off-grid like I do need to be creative about cooking. Winter meals are taken care of when we have a fire raging in our wood-burner stove, but we work hard to keep our homes cool during summer. Cooking with sunshine eliminates the need for generating extra heat indoors.
  • Power blackouts can shut down modern kitchens. Without power, how will you prepare meals? You may be happy with sandwiches for the first day ... but what if the power outage is lengthy?
  • Looking for a way to save some dollars on your electricity (or LPG) bill? Access to the sunshine in your garden is free.
  • Eager to cook healthy meals and avoid cooking with fats, or boiling the life out of your vegetables?
  • Rather be outdoors enjoying the sunshine or playing with your kids instead of slaving over a hot stove? lol. I love pottering in my garden and occasionally wandering past my solar oven to 'check how dinner's going'. :)
  • If you are a doomsday prepper who stores mountains of food, how are you intending to cook it?

Solar ovens cook food for free

When the sun is shining, solar energy is free for all to use. My solar cooker is perfect for harnessing the sunshine and fresh food cooked with solar energy tastes great.

Find a spot in the sunshine protected from wind and set up a solar oven. The ideal position is in a paved courtyard or where accidental heat spread to the surrounding area will not cause damage to table tops or surrounding garden.

Every now and then I need to raise or lift the lid and perhaps spin my oven a little to catch the strongest sunlight, but the resulting meal is always worth the effort.

My solar oven in action

Lasagne with a small loaf of herb bread is a common combination in my solar oven. And the cost of powering the oven? Not one cent!!

Lasagne with a small loaf of herb bread is a common combination in my solar oven. And the cost of powering the oven? Not one cent!!

When using a solar cooker in the hot summer sun, the reflected heat must hit the oven face not the surrounding earth. Dry summer grass can potentially catch alight from the increased heat, a lot like starting a fire with a magnifying glass.

If you are cooking with sunshine, be responsible and aware.

Cooking chicken, rice and veges in a Tulsi solar oven

Cookware for solar ovens

The best cookware for solar cooking is black. Over the years I have accumulated a diverse range of black cookware.

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My Tulsi solar oven came with a set of four small stainless steel tubs painted black with black painted lids. The little tubs are not fancy to look at but they are great for cooking vegetables and other dishes.

I love to bake bread and my solar oven happily accommodates my bread rolls and smaller bread tins. I have to be careful not to put too much dough in the bread tins though because there is limited height within the cooking area. If the bread rises too much I'll potentially have it stuck to the glass.

As a general rule it is much better to use smaller containers than one large one, even if it means splitting a large casserole or soup into multiple containers. Quite apart from the height restriction it takes less time to heat and cook a smaller volume.

Bread anyone?

Black based pans and bread tins are essential in a solar oven.

Black based pans and bread tins are essential in a solar oven.

Homemade bread

Breads baked in my solar oven are lighter in colour than those baked in the traditional gas oven.

Breads baked in my solar oven are lighter in colour than those baked in the traditional gas oven.

Cooking within Sustainable Communities

A growing number of sustainable communities are being established by design, but many sustainable communities simply develop around like-minded families.

The electricity grid reaches our pocket of the world, but my family chooses not to be connected to it. The five homes we visit most often in our local area are also completely off the grid.

Our community shares ideas and tools for sustainability.

I am the longest user of solar power for cooking and provide tips and the benefits of my experience to others, just as those with lots of experience building and using pizza ovens have been extremely helpful when my husband and I decided we wanted to learn more.

Pizza ovens and wood burning stoves are great in the winter when you need the additional warmth they produce, but you can't beat cooking with sunshine during summer months.

Sun-dried tomatoes

Loading up my Tulsi solar cooker to sun-dry my organic tomatoes!

Loading up my Tulsi solar cooker to sun-dry my organic tomatoes!

Buy your own Tulsi solar oven

Complaints about Tulsi solar ovens

I have had my Tulsi solar oven for over six years. I've never written a review about it until now but I have seen both positive and negative reports on the internet.

The negative reports complain about things like not liking the lock on the front and having to replace the screws in the hinge at the back of the unit.

Interesting that I've never found complaints about the taste of the food or the ability of the Tulsi solar oven to deliver hot meals without costing one cent in power which, to my mind, are the key factors for consideration. :)

A number of reviewers complain that the ovens would be far more impressive and less 'shoddy' had they been made in America instead of in India. They are complimentary about the food, but complain because the black paint has become damaged on their cooking capsules.

My experience with the Tulsi solar oven

Well, my solar oven gets quite a workout here in Australia and I have nothing to complain about.

Yes, we had to replace the screws that came loose in the hinge that lifts the glass cover to allow you to put the food in place, but it wasn't a big deal. We used the same screws.

We've never had to worry about the actual box itself or its lid with the mirror inside. Hard to believe, but even the sticker on the front is still in good order. Perhaps the longevity of the product has something to do with how you look after it.

Regarding the black paint around the outside of the cooking tubs and inside the base of the box, I still have all the paint in place. (I don't toss my painted tubs in a dishwashing machine, I don't use a rough scourer on any of the surfaces and I don't allow the tubs to rub against other pots and pans in the back of my cupboard.)

I treat my solar oven and the cookware I use in it with respect because I am very grateful for the way they perform. Does that make a difference? I guess perhaps it does.

Reviewers rarely mention just what they expect from a product. If you expect your stainless steel cooking utensils that are covered with black paint to cope with the same kind of treatment you give plastic or ceramic dishes, you're bound to be disappointed.

I am happy to contribute to the Indian economy just as I am happy to buy good products from anywhere in the world. I actually I cook quite a lot of Indian food in my solar oven. Makes a wonderful curry.

Tulsi Cooking Tubs

Black strips on the sides and totally black lid. Stainless steel inside. The cooking pans that came with our Tulsi solar oven are still in good condition years later. :)

Black strips on the sides and totally black lid. Stainless steel inside. The cooking pans that came with our Tulsi solar oven are still in good condition years later. :)

Different types of solar ovens

My Tulsi solar oven works just as a solar oven ought to and I am happy to recommend it. My one regret is not buying the Hybrid version made by Tulsi. I wasn't even aware they had one at the time.

I spotted the 100% solar version in a store here in Australia and bought it. Living in a very h-o-t part of Australia at the time, it was perfect.

Now that I live in a region with four seasons including a winter with frustratingly short daylight hours I can see great benefits in having a solar cooker that can be plugged into the power on cloudy days.

I don't know which other companies make a similar hybrid solar cooker but unless I hear of something absolutely brilliant for a similar price, my next purchase will be another Tulsi.

Whichever brand you choose, solar cooking is always free. :)

Solar ovens and a Sustainable Future

If you don't yet have a solar oven, I suggest you start saving to buy one. They are a tool to help provide us with a sustainable future, and protect us from all kinds of vulnerabilities - including economic collapse.

Solar ovens are weather-dependent so you may not be able to cook with sunshine every day, but the days you do will be a real treat!

Not as cheap as some other brands ... but All American.

© 2013 LongTimeMother


Lorelei Cohen from Canada on July 16, 2018:

Your solar oven looks amazing. I used to camp quite often and would have loved this. Maybe in the future. With how warm it gets in my area there is generally always a summer campfire ban due fire worries. The oven would help out in those times.

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on April 07, 2018:

I've been cooking with my solar oven for well over ten years now, Larry, and I'm sure people were using solar ovens long before I bought mine. Once the initial expense of the purchase is out of the way, there's no need to pay for electricity or LPG so any time the sun is shining brightly you can cook your meals for free. Lots of people would welcome that option, I'm sure.

Larry W Fish from Raleigh on April 06, 2018:

Wow, solar cooking sounds like an amazing way to go. It would be great for certain parts of the US. Solar power is really taking off, why not solar cooking. An interesting article, enjoyed it.

Nell Rose from England on October 13, 2015:

How amazing! sounds like a great way to cook for free! not sure if it would be good over here in England, maybe for three months or so, but after that I would be waiting all day! lol! interesting stuff, thanks, nell

Marlene Bertrand from USA on July 27, 2015:

You present excellent reasons for owning a solar oven. I am convinced that I should do as you suggest and save up enough to get one. I love the idea of cooking without incurring additional costs. I was not aware that there were sustainable communities that we could tap into. That sounds like my kind of thing.

Robert Morgan on July 25, 2015:

I have to say I love your solar oven. I lived in East Africa for a period of time. Most of the women in the rural villages spend a large percentage of their time gathering wood to make charcoal. It's devastating to the environment. I have thought many times, how wonderful it would be to put together a program that included training the women the women to not only use the oven's, but to make them in the villages. While I was there I brought in treadle sewing machines from China and had the women in one village start a little cottage industry of making school uniforms. I wish I had known more about solar ovens then. Blessings, to you and your family. Bobby

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on June 26, 2015:

G'day Gus. My solar oven is designed to allow excess heat to escape a little, but for the most part I don't ever have to worry about the temperature. I put the food in ... and I take it out when I'm ready to eat. Everything seems cooked to perfection. No need to concern myself about adjusting the temperature etc. The only reason I use a thermometer is to check it is hot enough - never with the fear it will be too hot.

Sometimes, for instance if I want to dry herbs, I leave the top partly ajar to prevent it becoming too hot. Although, in recent years I haven't bothered putting herbs in the solar oven. I simply hang them in paper bags under cover in summer, and high over my wood-burning stove in winter.

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on June 26, 2015:

Put a solar oven on your wish list, Hendrika. I believe you'll love it!

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on June 26, 2015:

If you know how to make solar ovens, Ben, I suggest you put one to work around your home. I get genuine enjoyment from cooking for free - and there's health benefits associated with solar cooking as well. :)

Thanks for the positive feedback.

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on June 26, 2015:

Hello Dolores. If you have hot sunny days, you could do lots with a solar oven. They are surprisingly affordable, and incredibly useful. :)

Gustave Kilthau from USA on June 19, 2015:

Howdy LongTimeMother - I enjoyed reading your solar cooking article, but nowhere in it did I find information as to how you can control oven temperatures. Cooking some things want high heat - other things, not so much. I made a solar box one time that blew the end off of a laboratory-type thermometer with the high heat inside after about ten minutes in the sun - more than 500 degrees, F.

Gus :-)))

Hendrika from Pretoria, South Africa on June 19, 2015:

I am not too sure what I can get in South Africa, but I am going to start saving for one. We have lots of shunshine and very unpredictable power with all the load shedding we have here so it sounds like a fantastic option for us.

Ben Zoltak from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on June 19, 2015:

Fantastic! I used to make parabolic dish solar powered ovens when I taught science to junior high kids in Milwaukee, they loved it, although ours, being open and not enclosed, didn't work nearly as well as this! I just love it, super cool voted up and well done!


Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on June 19, 2015:

This is such a cool product! I've heard of people making these types of ovens with wood or even cardboard lined with aluminum foil but this one is so neat and tidy. Several years ago, we experienced a power outage for 4 days. It was hot as the hinges of hooha, 100 degree days. And we have an electric stove. Sure could have used one of these solar cookers!

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on June 14, 2015:

The best solar oven for Canada is likely to be one of the hybrid ovens, aesta1. They run on solar power ... but can also run on electricity when needed. They use far less power than a conventional solar oven and can run off a generator.

I wrote more about them in my most recent solar oven hub. (And I've also written about my personal choice of generator, if you'd like to know what I think makes a brilliant off-grid generator.)

Electricity is expensive ... and unreliable. Especially during weather extremes and natural disasters.

I hope you get a chance to try solar cooking some time soon. :)

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on June 11, 2015:

I would really like to have one of these especially when we are in countries where electricity is really expensive.

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on May 21, 2015:

Hello Buildreps. In Holland, you'd need the hybrid solar oven that can also be powered by a low level of electricity. (I wrote more about them in my hub about '5 top tips for solar ovens' if you're interested.)

My off-grid internet connection is a very slow, very annoying satellite connection. My computer, modem etc is powered by my solar batteries. Power is not the problem for the internet ... but the limited amount of data and the slow speed of satellite - despite paying for the top level service - can be very frustrating.

ADSL is not available on local phone lines. I am, like many others, waiting for the Australian government to improve internet service to rural areas.

Buildreps from Europe on May 21, 2015:

Wow, that's an amazing thing! Never heard of this kind of oven, although it's so logical :) I live in Holland and I think this invention is only usable a few weeks per year here. Very interesting article, and nice to see that you're living off the grid. Btw, what kind of internet connection do you use?

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on May 19, 2015:

Stick with me, Glenn. I'll introduce you to all kinds of tricks and tools associated with living off the grid. lol.

Yes, the black on the pots helps absorb and retain more heat. And the paint used in a Tulsi is lead-free. Another bonus!!

Oh, and wait until you taste solar-cooked food. Delicious!

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on May 18, 2015:

I never knew solar ovens like this existed. I found your article very interesting and informative, with lots of clear information about using it. I noticed how the top lids of the individual cooking pans are black sought they absorb more heat from the sun. A lighter color would reflect the heat away. This is a great idea.

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on May 18, 2015:

Hello Susan. Solar oven technology just keeps getting better. In time I suspect every home will have one. I hope my new article helps explain why. :) Thanks for the visit.

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on May 18, 2015:

Published as promised, Babbyii.

Let's see if your dad might want a solar oven of his own now. lol. Even in Alaska!

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on May 14, 2015:

Sometimes it's hot enough here to fry eggs on the sidewalk, but I honestly have never considered a solar oven as a tool we really should use occasionally. Very interesting read. Thanks!

Barb Johnson from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula on May 12, 2015:

Lol. OK, I'll wait until you publish the new hub.

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on May 12, 2015:

Hello, Babbyii. Don't rush to buy your solar oven just yet. I'm working on a new hub that will probably inspire your dad to ask you to buy one for him at the same time. lol. Give me a couple of days. :)

Barb Johnson from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula on May 10, 2015:

This is one awesome article. Thanks for sharing a great way to cook and save $$ at the same time. I'll have fun looking for one that works for me. Will be a bit of a challenge here in Alaska though. I can hear my Dad now, 'Can you get any cheaper girl?'

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on May 07, 2015:

Yes, you can bake bread with a solar oven, poetryman6969. I love using mine to achieve the seemingly 'impossible'. lol. The more creative, the better!

poetryman6969 on May 07, 2015:

I never imagined that you could make break with a solar oven. It is more versatile than I thought.

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on May 06, 2015:

Hi peeples. I've never tried making one, so I really don't know how effective the home-made solar ovens can potentially be. I do know a couple of people who have home-made solar ovens however. Not as reliable as mine, but they certainly manage to cook in them.

When it comes to making cakes and breads, I have to be careful not to put anything in the Tulsi that will rise too high. Some of the other solar cookers seem to have more 'head room' than mine, but I have adapted my cooking methods to accommodate the Tulsi.

The other day I came across a bunch of cooking pans that I think will be brilliant for solar cooking. Can't wait for next summer to try them out! When I get some spare time I will take some photos and create another hub so you can see what to look out for. :)

Peeples from South Carolina on May 06, 2015:

I so want one of these. I was looking online at ways to make my own, but they just don't look as effective as this. This would be very neat for making cakes and breads. Do you think it would be possible to make a solar oven as effective as your tulsi?

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on April 23, 2015:

I've never been to Northern Michigan or Northern Ontario, Deb, so I'm the wrong person to be asking.:)

I did notice that one of the solar cooker companies shows their solar oven in operation in the snow ... but I pack mine away for winter.

DebMartin on April 19, 2015:

Would love one of these but I'm not sure Northern Michigan and Northern Ontario are warm enough, even in the summer. Thoughts?

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on April 09, 2015:

I packed my solar oven away today, S-o-t.

In my part of Australia, the weather has turned cold so I can cook on the wood-burner stove etc. Lucky you in the USA ... moving into summer. If you get the chance to buy a solar oven, I strongly recommend it. Not only do you get to cook without paying a power company, but you don't have to make the inside of your home even hotter at meal times.

I don't know how you feel, but there's a limit to just how many salads I like to eat in summer. :)

Emily Tack from USA on March 25, 2015:

I love this idea! This is the first time I have read much about solar ovens at all. Very interesting!

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on March 22, 2015:

A summer kitchen outdoors is a great idea, Cynthia. Good luck with your solar oven. :)

Cynthia Hoover from Newton, West Virginia on March 13, 2015:

Voted up! I had wanted to read this a few days ago but my son is being super clingy (Daddy got flooddd out for a few days so now I can't leave his side). Love love love this! Although I will most likely make a solar oven (tight budget) I love the way you approached reviewing you oven and sharing your experience. I love making my own bread and even though my gas is free to cook with it sure heats up the house in the summer! I tell my fiancé all the time I want a "summer kitchen" on the porch!

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on March 03, 2015:

Absolutely, peachpurple! We are currently ending our summer here in the southern hemisphere so I'll be packing my solar oven away again in a while. We get enough sunshine to use it sometimes during the colder months, but it makes more sense to stay indoors where it is warm. :)

peachy from Home Sweet Home on March 02, 2015:

impressive, you are cooking with solar?

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on February 01, 2015:

Good luck with your rebuilding, Anne. Here's a few hints for your off-grid kitchen design. Hope they help. :)

Anne Harrison from Australia on January 28, 2015:

An interesting hub - we're in the process of rebuilding, and are aiming to be off grid as much as we can. Thanks for the inspiration

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on January 13, 2015:

lol. It is good to have a wishlist, Cynthia. Gives us something to look forward to. :)

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 04, 2015:

Wonderful review LongTimeMother-- I also live in British Columbia, Canada, along the Coast, where we are lucky to have a couple of months of sun every year (I'm exaggerating, of course, but not much). However, I would love to have a solar oven, and I think one with dehydrating accessories would suit me very well! On to the wishlist it goes! ~Cynthia

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on December 13, 2014:

There are many designs to choose from these days, colorfulone. I have never made a home-made solar cooker although I've met folk who have. One thing we all agree on is how nice the food tastes - and how wonderful it is not to spend money on power! Thanks for your feedback. :)

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on December 07, 2014:

One of these days I would like to get a nice solar oven like the one you have. I do like using the power of the sun for cooking and baking outdoors, and have only used a cheap one. Great hub!

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on December 01, 2014:

I don't think you'd want one like mine on your boat in rough weather, GetitScene. If you don't think you'll ever get around to making one for yourself, you could try a Sunflair Portable Solar Oven - the one I linked to near the bottom of the article. It is collapsible and doesn't seem to have any breakable parts.

Mine doesn't take up much room to store but I have a house ... and a shed ... and I've never had to worry about everything falling off the shelves. lol.

If you do happen to try the Sunflair Portable one, please come back and share your thoughts about its performance. I have a relative who lives much of each year on a boat now that he's retired. :)

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on December 01, 2014:

HA! Good the solar oven thing is out then ;)

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on December 01, 2014:

Hello GetitScene. The obvious advantage to an esky with a plastic face on a boat is it is likely to survive even the harshest treatment. If you are going to bounce around in bad weather, I'd back the esky over my solar oven and its glass. I remember those 'reading aids' from the days before the internet ... when old folk used to keep one near the phone book for the fine print.

Sadly, the esky will no longer keep your beer cold though. :)

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on November 26, 2014:

I came back to look at this hub again because I'm getting closer to having a solar oven on my boat and wanted to look at what you had written again. I just met a guy (calls himself Solarman by the way) who made one out of a small cooler (eski we'd call it in Australia), lined with tinfoil and a screen on the front that is a magnifying 'glass'. It's actually made of plastic and is a reading aid that you can get at book stores. He says it works great.

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on September 02, 2014:

Hello C MarieWeber. We are in the first days of spring again in Australia so I'll be retrieving my solar oven from its winter home in the shed within the next few weeks. Time for more stress-free, energy-saving cooking. I enjoy it immensely. :)

C_MarieWeber from Wichita on September 01, 2014:

I've never heard of this. This is such a great idea!

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on July 20, 2013:

Thanks, Dreamhowl. If you are having one of those summers where you could cook bacon and eggs on the roof of your car, you could easily prepare a feast in a solar oven. lol.

Jessica Peri from United States on July 20, 2013:

I've never heard of solar ovens! With the summer we've been having, I'm sure you could use one everyday with no problems. Thanks for sharing this, and voted up!

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on July 20, 2013:

Thanks for sharing this hub, DrMark1961. I like to think more people will discover how easy it is to cook with solar power. Have you written about your nutrition project in Morocco? I'll have to go looking and see if you've written a hub about it. I would love to read more. :)

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on July 20, 2013:

Hi Natashalh. Hawaii should be a perfect place for cooking with the sun. Good luck with it. :)

Natasha from Hawaii on July 19, 2013:

Cool! I've thought about using a solar oven, but I never have. Since I'm currently living in Hawaii, I think it would be a good place to try! I like that you looked at the pluses and some complaints that folks have with the oven, too.

Mark dos Anjos DVM from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 19, 2013:

I used to make these and give them away as gifts to women in my nutrition project in Morocco over 25 years ago. It looks like the technology is a lot better now and you are able to cook about anything. Nice review and photos. Voted this up and sharing!

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on June 20, 2013:

That's good news, AliciaC. You'll find lots of recipes on the internet once you get your own solar oven. There's a lot of us using them these days. Make sure you remember when you are moving the pots and trays around it is HOT in there - despite the absence of an on/off switch. lol. :)

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 19, 2013:

Thank you for the interesting and very useful information, LongTimeMother. I love the idea of cooking with a solar oven! I'm going to do some research to see what models are available in my area.

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on May 02, 2013:

Hello Rachamallu. It is getting colder in Australia as we move into winter so I will be packing it away until next summer. Which country do you live in? The Tulsi solar oven could be anywhere in the world. :)

Rachamallu on May 02, 2013:

Great Hub!!! I hav d exalt same ovenfrom Tulsi d works GREAT!!! Un believable what

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on April 19, 2013:

lol. Only a matter of time, MarleneB. Good things are worth waiting for. :)

Marlene Bertrand from USA on April 19, 2013:

What a great review. You have me anxiously awaiting the day I can invest in my own solar oven and start baking in the sun.

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on April 11, 2013:

Hi GetitScene. Good to see you again. Thank you!

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on April 10, 2013:

Subscribed to your excellent hubs.

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on March 21, 2013:

Ah, Thundermama. You've been converted. Yay!

I love my Tulsi. It is so compact and light and easy to use. Remember though, there's the hybrid version as well as my basic version. Make sure you're ordering the one you want. My type is cheaper, but it is no use in the nighttime.

Not such an issue if you're not yet off the grid, I guess. :)

Catherine Taylor from Canada on March 21, 2013:

Another great hub! I have long contemplated getting a solar oven and I think this hub has pushed me over the edge.

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on March 20, 2013:

Oh, Alise-Evon, I never thought of that! If the day comes when I buy a hybrid, I will remember your warning. I have been guilty of occasionally putting hot pyrex dishes on something way too cold and cracking them. :)

Lasagne is ideal for solar cooking. I also cook indian curries, mexican dishes ... there's lots of scope for creativity. Thanks for the vote up.

Alise- Evon on March 20, 2013:

When I looked at your picture at the top of your hub, I thought, "Boy, that kind of looks like our solar oven," then I read on down, and I was right! Although, I must admit, we have the hybrid- unfortunately I cracked the glass trying to use it indoors last fall- I think I brought it too soon out of the cold sunporch and did not let it get to room temp. and used it on high? (It can get pretty hot when it's in electic mode.) Prior to that, though, I have used it several times outside baking diffeent kinds of bread, and cooking rice and beans. You inspire me to try "fancier" things- haven't tried lasagna yet- this summer.

I also love the sun for sun-drying fruits and vegetables.

Voted up and useful.

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on March 13, 2013:

Hi Vickiw. I also have to worry about bush fires so on really hot days I am careful not to let the mirror reflect onto dry grass. I am hoping the worst of our fire season has passed, but I am still determined to complete the new rammed earth wall to provide additional protection to my fire bunker a.s.a.p. - just in case. (Oops, better take more photos to update that hub. lol.)

My wood burning stove is in the kitchen, and great for winter. Can you move your wood burner oven indoors?

Thanks for visiting. :)

Vickiw on March 13, 2013:

Hi LongTimeMother, wow, I found this to be so interesting. Like Torrilyn, I had never heard of such a thing! I have a wood burning oven in my backyard, but it's use is limited, because we have really awful bush fires in this area, and there are restrictions. I will definitely investigate this though. I love alternative energy sources. Great Hub!

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on March 02, 2013:

Hello, torrilynn. If you live in a sunny climate, solar ovens are a great way to save money. I think many more people will cook with power from the sun in the future.

I will have a look at some of your hubs and see what you are writing about. I'm sure I can learn something new from you as well! Thanks for your comment. :)

torrilynn on March 02, 2013:

Hi LongTimeMoter, very interesting and unique hub

that I have never came across of until now. I never

even heard of a solar oven until I came across your

hub. thanks and voted up.

Tonette Fornillos from The City of Generals on March 01, 2013:

Wow, brushing the loaves with salty water gives a crunchier one - this is new to me, I'd love to try this, thanks. The only baking masterpiece I can show off is baking bread in a dutch oven, it's to me something extraordinary being made outside of the oven, lol. I wish I can also try the solar oven, one day I hope:=)

Yes, he made his own because he's into building solar ovens for business. Thanks again, LongTimeMother, these are great tips, thank you. Best wishes and happy weekend! -Tonette

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on March 01, 2013:

lol. The crust depends a lot on preparation. Brushing the loaves with milk gives a nice solid crust. Brushing the loaves with salty water gives a crunchier one.

I have never made a solar oven. Good for your boss!

Tonette Fornillos from The City of Generals on March 01, 2013:

Hi LongTimeMother,

For such a home with the resources of a solar oven makes you a woman we all have to salute! Other than the great savings is a healthy and green way to prepare food. The first time I heard of solar ovens was from my boss in Boston, who also made his own solar oven at home. I never knew breads baked in a solar oven are lighter. Does it have the same crust as traditional baking offers? This is a very interesting hub, I would love to share this to everyone. Thank you this "green' hub. Loved it.

LongTimeMother (author) from Australia on February 24, 2013:

Yes, Simple Joys, it sure is. The solar oven is brilliant for me because I live off the grid. I have lots of ways to save power in the kitchen, but nothing beats the solar oven on a sunny day.

I am very impressed that you made your own!

SimpleJoys on February 24, 2013:

We made a sort of solar oven from insulated boxes, plexiglass, and reflective shields using those silver emergency blankets. It does work, but nowhere near as good as a commercially made oven. I haven't used it for a while and your article inspires me to dust it off and try some more. I was getting pretty good with cornbread and casseroles. Isn't it great to do something with little or no cost?

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