In discussing the use of solar energy the next idea is “how to use the sun to cook food”. Just think, you do not have charcoal, kerosene, or propane and you need to cook for your family. The solar oven can be placed on an outside surface (table, ground, roof, deck, balcony etc).
The concept is to start early. Put the food in the Solar oven early like 7, 8 or 9 am. Morning hours are typically better for cooking than the afternoon. Dew and humidity that evaporates form and collect into clouds in the afternoon. Also the sun is rising in the morning which increases energy versus the afternoon where the sun is decreasing energy. Dark colored pots with dark colored lids are required for solar cooking. Several small to medium sized pots are better than one large pot.
The solar oven also offers the option of doubling the amount of light energy entering the oven by using reflectors. This means the oven gets hotter faster. The reflectors are intended for areas farther from the equator with lower angles of sun and/or higher elevations ( like SLC).
Food cooked at lower temperatures are more flavorful, tender and nutritious. All foods cook at 180 F or more. For the best flavor and nutrition slower cooking without the reflectors is best. Can I just say, this is an amazing way to ensure you have cooked food and the use of free energy to cook the food. The solar oven can also purify water, which will be discussed in the next blog.