The idea of cooking with the sun has long fascinated me. Who hasn’t heard the old idiom of a day so hot you can fry an egg on the sidewalk? As a child, I took those words to heart and once attempted to sear fish on a sizzling metal slide. Now as an adult, I live in Montana in a home with no air conditioning, and the thought of turning on the oven on a summer day sends me back to the idea of cooking outside with the sun, this time using a proper solar oven.
In it’s most rudimentary form, a solar oven is a black box with a clear lid and possibly reflectors to focus the sun. Besides being a completely environmentally friendly option that requires no fuel, one of the best aspects is it doesn’t heat up the house. It’s also a more forgiving method. I tend to be a distracted cook, particularly in the summer when I wander out into the vegetable garden and dash back inside to the smoke alarm.
To start, I tried to build my own solar oven out of a cardboard box using instructions similar to these—though without much success after I inhaled way too much black spray paint. So I ditched the DIY route and got a Solavore Sport, a small unit that easily fits into the car or can be set on the picnic table while I work in the garden.
My first experiment was a batch of chocolate chip cookies using my go-to recipe I’ve made countless times in my kitchen. Even on a warm day with high overcast skies, they took two hours to bake, coming out tasty, though I was missing that touch of browning that gives cookies that crispiness I love. Read the entire article here