Solar cooker

Know of a stove that has some Character about it for one reason or another, post it here.
churro
Posts: 208
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:00 pm

Solar cooker

Postby churro » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:08 pm

I made this solar cooker from plans I found here: http://solarcooking.wikia.com/wiki/Fun-Panel

Here's mine:
IMG_3998.JPG


This one is cardboard surfaced with aluminum tape (home depot), but I made a second one from corrugated plastic (home depot) surfaced with mylar decals from an auto parts store. Both work great, provided there is sun and it's not too windy. It works about like a crockpot, though you can bake in it, too. Bread won't get browned all that well, but cornbread and cake work perfectly. You can even make hard-boild eggs with no water! Just pile in the eggs, put the pot into a turkey roasting bag, rotate the pot once in a while and in 30 minutes or so they are perfectly done. I also like to make pulled pork in it- braised to perfection in about 3-4 hours. Ribs work well, too. Freeze-dried meals come out hot and perfectly hydrated in about 20 minutes, and rice takes about 30-40 minutes.

The reflector could be made from a car windshield shade or that mylar bubble wrap (insulation available at any home repair shop) to make a more portable version, and either could serve double-duty as ground insulation, too. I have used the big pot from my msr blacklight cookset with the thermometer-knob from a backcountry oven set, so this definitely has potential for backpacking. It will definitely boil water, so you could sterilize drinking water in it, too.

Kids love this thing. My brother-in-law was highly skeptical, and I overheard him saying something about botulism, but became a convert 20 minutes later when you could hear the pork sizzling inside it. He went home and made one with his kids a few weeks later.

For windy days I use a giant pyrex bowl instead of a turkey bag. The weight helps keep it steady.

User avatar
zelph
Posts: 15743
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:53 pm

Re: Solar cooker

Postby zelph » Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:19 pm

Gee, that turned out total nice. I had no Idea there were so many different meals could be cooked like that with solar.

I'll go back and read it again to see if it has to be moved every hour or so.



Slow cooking safety

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/shared/PDF/Slo ... thttp=true
"Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained" stove store = http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

churro
Posts: 208
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:00 pm

Re: Solar cooker

Postby churro » Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:41 pm

Thanks for the link on food safety, Zelph. Definitely worth a read before you us a solar cooker.

User avatar
zelph
Posts: 15743
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:53 pm

Re: Solar cooker

Postby zelph » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:50 pm

churro wrote:Thanks for the link on food safety, Zelph. Definitely worth a read before you us a solar cooker.


It's what you said about your brother-in-law that prompted me to do a search on slow cooking :D

Kids love this thing. My brother-in-law was highly skeptical, and I overheard him saying something about botulism, but became a convert 20 minutes later when you could hear the pork sizzling inside it. He went home and made one with his kids a few weeks later.



Long ago I once cooked a turkey with low heat for a few hours. I was told that was dangerous, could cause growth of airborne pathogens or something or other. About 8 years ago I was growing hosta plants invitro/sterile conditions on agar. I had read up on it and was warned about airborne germs floating around all the time in our environment. If a black fungus grew on the agar I was instructed to burn the entire petri dish with the growth inside it to be sure the growth was killed to the max :o During the growth of plants I never experience the black fungus they warned about....lucky me ;)

A side note: recently I ate a slice of tomato that had been on my counter top for at least10 days. It looked good so I proceeded to cut a slice and pop it into my mouth, chewed it a few times and felt little prickly things in my mouth.......the seeds had sprouted :o :o :o whodda thunk it!!!!! I saved the rest of the tomato, wrapped in a paper towel, moistened it and set it in a warm spot so they could continue to grow. I'll get some potting soil and start a mini grow box somewhere :D
"Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained" stove store = http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

churro
Posts: 208
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:00 pm

Re: Solar cooker

Postby churro » Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:54 pm

Yeah, I found a ink on "solar canning", but opted not to post it here. I just can't believe it's been done enough to have any reliable data on the safety of it. It's one thing to cook a meal and eat it hot, another to eat in six months later. I like the concept, but without a reliable way to determine what temperature it reached and how long it stayed there...well...

User avatar
zelph
Posts: 15743
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:53 pm

Re: Solar cooker

Postby zelph » Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:04 am

churro wrote:Yeah, I found a ink on "solar canning", but opted not to post it here. I just can't believe it's been done enough to have any reliable data on the safety of it. It's one thing to cook a meal and eat it hot, another to eat in six months later. I like the concept, but without a reliable way to determine what temperature it reached and how long it stayed there...well...


Wow, sounds risky to the max.

I need to keep my mind focused on what type of material would be best for me to use to cover the cardboard. Need to salvage something :mrgreen:
"Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained" stove store = http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

churro
Posts: 208
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:00 pm

Re: Solar cooker

Postby churro » Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:14 pm

Either aluminum foil or mylar will work. The original plans I used called for foil glued on with white school glue, but I think spray adhesive would be easier to use. The mylar decals and aluminum tape I used were great, but expensive.

User avatar
zelph
Posts: 15743
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:53 pm

Re: Solar cooker

Postby zelph » Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:21 pm

Maybe I can get an emergency blanket at kmart and use spray adhesive to stickit to the cardboard.

http://www.casablancasupply.com/84-X-52 ... -SRB-1.htm
"Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained" stove store = http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

churro
Posts: 208
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:00 pm

Re: Solar cooker

Postby churro » Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:53 pm

I was thinking of getting a space blanket, some spray adhesive and a closed-cell foam camping pad. The configuration of the fun panel is such that it would sever nicely as a 3/4 mattress. There should be enough material in a full length pad. To ensure that it folds correctly, I ithought I'd try scoring the foam 1/2 way through along the fold lines. If I get around to this soon I'll post some results. It'd be nice to have a camping pad that could double as a solar cooker/snow melter/water boiler.

I really think this idea has some merit for lightweight backpacking. It doesn't need to take up extra space or be a purpose-built item, but could take the pressure off your fuel supply (so to speak) when conditions permit. And even on partly coudy days it will melt snow or pre-heat cooking water. The solar cooking people out there seem to stress the everyday use, but I'm more of a make-it-out-of-something-you-already-have,-carry-if-it-serves-some-other-purpose-and-use-it-as-necessary kind of guy. Does that make me a complicated man?

User avatar
zelph
Posts: 15743
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:53 pm

Re: Solar cooker

Postby zelph » Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:18 pm

I
It'd be nice to have a camping pad that could double as a solar cooker/snow melter/water boiler.


Yes, dual purpose works well for all backpackers, campers, outdoorsies :D

I ithought I'd try scoring the foam 1/2 way through along the fold lines


It would be nice if you could score the pad with a router that had a "V" cutter in it to relive the pressure at the scores when bent. 1/4" deep or so.

I'm sure a lot of backpackers would "plan" their meals and water purification around the solar cooker. When you have it "in hand" it's like having money in the bank. ;)

but I'm more of a make-it-out-of-something-you-already-have,-carry-if-it-serves-some-other-purpose-and-use-it-as-necessary kind of guy. Does that make me a complicated man?


No, it makes you healthy, wealthy and wise :D

After it's attached, Slit the mylar space blanket to coincide with score lines so it flexes when bent, no stress on the adhesive ;) Apply grommets where the cord attaches to the 2 points that hold the cooker to it's arched shape.
"Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained" stove store = http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/


Return to “Stoves With Character”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest