Using the power of the sun’s natural energy, using a solar oven is an easy and a smart way to cook. If you already have a solar oven you already know the benefits of owning one which include even and thorough cooking and zero risk of fires. All solar cookers or ovens work with the same principle of heating food up with the energy from the sun, but there are four different types of solar ovens on the market including Box Cover Ovens, Solar Kettles, Parabolic Solar Cooker, and Panel Cooker. Each one has its own pros and cons with the function of the design. Read below for useful tips on how to troubleshoot your solar oven.
1 - Keep Your Solar Oven Clean
It’s always a smart idea to keep your cookware and appliances as clean as can be, but some solar ovens need to be optimally clean to work. For instance, a box cooker will need a completely clean and transparent top lid to fully cook.
2 - Sometimes a Parabolic Solar Oven needs some Adjusting
These types of solar ovens are ideal for those who need to cook a lot of food at a given time at a higher temperature, but sometimes a parabolic solar oven needs a little bit of adjusting for optimal cooking so make sure you’re ready to move or turn it to the sun’s brightest direction for best results. One more crucial fact about the parabolic solar oven: due to the fast heat this produces you should never leave it with young children or animals unattended.
3 - Solar Ovens Work Best in the Sun
Can you use your solar oven in the winter or on overcast days? Yes and no. You can use your oven in the winter during peak hours when the sun is out; just make sure that it’s angled right. There may also be a few times where you have to turn the solar oven every so often for best results. As for those who live in frequently overcast areas (such as the northwest), you may want to invest in a solar hybrid oven that works with both the sun’s natural energy and electricity.
4 - Remember Safety First
Although most solar ovens are pretty safe for general cooking or baking, you’ll still need to take a few safety precautions. You’ll want to wear a pair of good sunglasses with UV protections and a good pair of oven mitts. Solar ovens will get just as hot as a conventional oven just at a slower pace.
5- If the Solar Oven isn’t Cooking Fast Enough
Because solar ovens must convert the sun’s rays into energy and cook, solar ovens are not really ideal for those days you’re pressed for time. Here is one tip to help cook even faster- remember to use to solar oven during the prime of the day (a good tip even for long summer days) from the mid-morning to early afternoon. Another tip is to cook smaller meals because they will heat up even faster.
You cannot get much more eco-friendly than using a solar oven and keeping it in good condition is key.