Valley Permaculture Alliance

Hi All,

I have to share this simple and super effective Solar Oven Design from Kathy Dahl-Bredine.
From, (http://solarcooking.wikia.com/wiki/Kathy_Dahl-Bredine)
"Kathy and her husband are Maryknoll Lay Missioners working in Oaxaca, Mexico with local organizations on sustainable development among indigenous and marginalized rural communities. Kathy works with the organization Niño a Niño (Child to Child), a group working to empower groups of children living in poverty to work together with their families on projects to improve their over-all health and well being. Kathy has been working on alternative energy, specifically solar cooking projects with the children and their parents for the past two years."


Here is her plan for the most effective and easy to do solar oven I've ever seen.

From http://solarcooking.wikia.com/wiki/Windshield_Shade_Solar_Cooker

Windshield Shade Solar Cooker

Kathy Dahl-Bredine developed the Windshield Shade Solar Cooker while experimenting with various designs of cookers to introduce in the indigenous communities where Kathy lives and works in southern Mexico. She hit upon an utterly simple way to make an instant portable solar oven. Taking a reflective accordion-folded car windshield shade, you can turn it into a version of the solar funnel simply by attaching little Velcro tabs along the long notched side.

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Comment by Liz & Dan on April 26, 2013 at 3:32pm

It's not mine, I first came across it in Cooking with Sunshine by Anderson and Palkovic.  It made cooking so much easier having the right size pan.  Pans that are too big really require a more advanced design in my opinion.  For instance, I cooked our Easter Duck in insulated Sun Oven brand solar cooker and it was the best duck I've ever tasted!  I would not have tried to cook the duck with the reflector panel shown above.  Not that it couldn't be done... maybe there are others who can do it.  Right now I've got rice cooking outside in the Sun Oven.  I pretty much only break out the reflective style cooker If I have more to cook than will fit in my big oven and then pick the easiest dish to cook (meaning the one that will quick fast and at lower temps).

Comment by Catherine, The Herb Lady on April 26, 2013 at 3:08pm

Liz that is a great idea!

Comment by Liz & Dan on April 26, 2013 at 2:24pm

I should also probably mention a word on the right pots to use.  The best results will be with light short wide pots rather than tall narrow or heavy cast iron.  Ideally you want something that heats up fast and has maximum exposure to the sun's rays.  If you don't have that kind of pot, try clipping two pie pans together like this:

http://www.mainstreamsolarcooking.com/2013_01_01_archive.html

Comment by Liz & Dan on April 25, 2013 at 10:34pm
I have certainly never gotten 350 out of this setup, but easily over 200 into water simmer/boil territory. Hence my recommendation for wet casserole type cooking at least to start. If you want those higher temps, I recommend double bagging the pot for better insulation and providing a wind break! I have not needed a higher temp range with this setup since I have a sun oven brand insulated oven that easily reaches 350 without extra fuss.
Comment by Sheryl on April 25, 2013 at 2:49pm

Okay, once I read the article >blushing<  I see that the inventor saw highs of 350 or so.

Comment by Catherine, The Herb Lady on April 25, 2013 at 12:39pm

Sheryl, when I get mine going I was thinking of using my meat thermometer to monitor temperature, that is a good question if, Liz, you got any certain temperature level, since you note 'low temps'.

Comment by Sheryl on April 25, 2013 at 12:35pm

Were you able to get a temperature reading when you used it?

Comment by Peggy Aarmstrong on April 25, 2013 at 12:00pm

Hmm I wonder if I put herbs in the bbq grill if they will dry out properly?  thoughts?

Comment by Liz & Dan on April 25, 2013 at 11:55am

Yes, it's really good for cooking liquidy things at low temperatures.  I haven't tried to do breads, cookies and things like that.  Cooks more like a crock pot for casserole type things than and 'oven'.

Comment by grrlscout on April 25, 2013 at 9:01am

Love it, and I'm totally going to try it. I like that it's small enough and light enough to take camping.

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