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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Solar Oven Nemesis

 This summer has been very hot here in North Carolina.  For days at a time, it has reached 99-104 degrees.  There is no way I will turn on the electric oven in my house, because that would just make the air conditioner work that much harder.

So I have been trying to use my solar oven a lot.  I look outside, and see a sunny sky, and decide its time to bake something.  The problem is, by the time I have put the solar oven outside to preheat, and mixed up the batter, CLOUDS HAVE FORMED.  It makes me so mad!

One day last week that happened, and I had to bake the carrot cake batter in a Coleman oven on top of my Coleman grill.  (I'll put that in a different post.)

Another day it was half sunny, half cloudy.  I decided to test the solar oven and see how it would work when the sun kept going away.

I put a small pizza stone inside the solar oven to get hot.  (You can see it, it is the beige thing under the cake pan.)  I think the pizza stone helped the oven to stay warm while the sun was behind the clouds.

Then I put a tortilla with shredded cheese in the solar oven.  The oven only got up to 160 degrees, but the cheese was nice and melty.  (Note:  If it had been completely overcast, the oven wouldn't have heated up at all.)

What I learned:  The solar oven won't get up to the optimum temperature of 300 or 350 degrees when it is cloudy, but if you can get intermittent sun you can still heat things up.

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