Solar Cookies?

Chocolate chip cookies in an oven

Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Regular Oven

I am interested in solar cooking for several reasons. One is that energy prices may continue to rise and secondly it’s another back-up plan in case of emergencies. Granted, one would need a clear day during or after an emergency for it to work. But, taking a tip from Annie in song, eventually the sun will come out. I had done some reading about sun ovens and came across reviews like this one cited from Cooks Illustrated. Being frugal, the cost of either of the two ovens in the article seemed a little higher than I wanted to go. Although, I was tempted by the Sport oven made right here in Minnesota, I started looking into making one myself for less.

I found this video on youtube for a design spawned from a solar cooking group on Yahoo. The video was posted by a Canadian guy named Ken, who actually has a trilogy of attempts on youtube perfecting this design. This is the final successful attempt.

Some reviews of ovens said steamed glass was an issue that prevented seeing the thermometer once it gets hot. This design seems to correct the problem, so I emailed him to ask whether he would share the plans. He emailed a parts list, instructions and plans. He was gracious and helpful, giving tips on how to tweak the design further. I opted to buy cheaper mylar blanket material instead of the greenhouse supply type. There is probably added UV protection in the greenhouse material, but I wanted to give it a try with the mylar blanket first. (Thanks Ken, Phyllis and… Ginger!)

Sketch of Ken's solar oven parts

Rough Sketch of Parts Used in Solar Oven Ken Made

I hope, one of these days, to get it together and try it out. In the meantime I’ve added a helpful link I came across. It’s a UV index forecast for cities in North America that is updated daily. Just enter a zip code or check the map here for a handy UV reference to supplement local weather reports. And I’ll bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow… there will at least be another forecast.

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