Saturday, June 26, 2010

It's a matter of.....Solar Cooking

It's like June?  Actually, I received a gift for Christmas...that I finally tried out today.  I have wanted to use it for some time, but either weather, schedule, or just forgetfulness got in the way.  Just as an introduction, I tried to use this type of cooking at Girls Camp with a pattern I found that was designed by BYU for refugees to cook with.  So, I made one.....and dragged the solar cooking device all around the campsite as the feathery clouds were interfering with ....melting the dipping chocolate for our Chocolate-covered Strawberries!

What is this?  It is my Tulsi Hybrid Solar Oven.  Yes, Hybrid.....see the power cord?  It can be plugged into a power source on "low", and "high" if you need the extra 'boost' as in the case of the feathery clouds.  My biggest concern was assuring that the Solar Cooking kept food hot enough to be safe, and not let the temperature fall below that safety zone.  This Oven can be powered by a car battery, solar panel, inverter, or just a good old outlet.  It comes looking like a suitcase with all the following things inside:

It comes with 4 dishes with lids that are black on top and bottom on the outside.  It also comes with a temperature gauge, and a hot pad.  In the initial picture of the unit, you can see the side panels that can be used if you want to concentrate more sunlight into the unit.

Here you can see the glass lid that lifts allowing you to place your food inside. 

I made some whole wheat dough to try cooking the bread in the device.  Note to self for next time....only put half as much dough in the pan.  You will see why later.  By the way, these are mini loaf pans.

Place your unit in direct sunlight.  I lifted the lid and placed the loaves of bread inside.

I forgot to put the temperature gauge in (it was just a few minutes)  See that the temperature is less than 100 degrees.

After 15 minutes, the temperature gauge had risen to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remember that "lesson" I needed to recall?  The bread rose so high that it flattened out on the glass above it.  It still cooked, but has a funny shaped to the top.  The device states that with solar power alone, it takes 2 hours to cook the bread.

I then wanted to see how it did with a different food.  If you recalled a few weeks ago, the focus was soups and chili's.  I took one of the pints of Chili I canned and placed it into one of the smaller pans.

Into the oven it went.  I am sure it wasn't great that I opened the oven to place the chili in....but the world didn't end when I did it.  While the bread was cooking I could smell it inside my house as the window was was great!

At the end of the second hour, condensation was forming on the glass lid, indicating that the food was done.  Here is the chili, it was steaming hot.

I tried to capture the temperature of the Chili, but I should have done it the moment I opened the container.  It registered just under 140 degrees after a few minutes.  You can also see the loaves of bread.  They are not 'hard' like bread sometimes is when it comes out of the oven.  It is moist and soft.

So, here is my lunch....and it was really good. 

Advertised benefits:

 The literature that comes with the unit states that is has the following benefits: 

  • There are no moving parts,
  • Saves energy and time,
  • Can be used night or day (hybrid function),
  • It is eco-friendly with no igniting fluids or flames,
  • It cooks 4-5 dishes at a time. 
  • Food doesn't burn, char, or boil over.
  • Sets up in seconds and can by used by anyone, including children or handicapped individuals
  • You use little or no oil or water to cook foods.
  • Foods are more moist as water does not evaporate away.
  • Cooks up to 4 lbs of food at a time.

Lessons learned:

1.  It does not require fuels unless you choose to use the hybrid function.

2.  You can cook in the winter and in the summer.

3.  The well is smaller than the well known "Sun Oven", so if I make bread in it, I need to use less dough so that it can cook without touching the glass lid.

4.  It is easy to set up and clean up.

5.  It is easily portable and is the size of a small-medium suitcase.

To learn more about this device, you can go to  It is manufactured in India, but it was shipped from New York to our home.  It is compatible with our standard electric power system.

It was fun, easy, and I plan to use it when we go camping, when I feel like it, or when we have no power.  It is another option for your Emergency Preparedness plan.

Look into it!


Anonymous said...

I've checked their website and cannot locate prices or the order form. Can you advise on this?

The Little Red Hen said...

You may actually have to contact them. I believe this cost about $285.00 if my memory serves me well. However, contact them by email and they are quick to respond.

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