Sunday, August 4, 2013

Should you cook frozen items in your Sun oven unattended all day?

I have been on vacation since July 24th.  Yes, I really have and I have both rested and worked during that time.  This past week, I worked along beside  my Sisters who all happened to be in town.  My parents have purchased a new home and my other sisters, who are part decorator, descended upon thier home to help make it worthy of being featured on the Parade of Homes....not that anyone has asked:).

What may my role have been?  I was a mover, organizer, companion, chauffeur, and basic laborer.  This is because I just don't think as creatively as they do, and I am perfectly fine with that.  I tend to be more of an analytical thinker....they are more creative.  This arrangement just works for us.

My sisters also have an interest in preparedness and food storage.  One day, I volunteered to cook my Sun oven.  They had heard of it but had not seen one up close.  I decided to do something very easy....Roast and vegetables.

As you can hopefully see in the picture above, I used a Cooking Magic Bag. I just love these things.  I placed sliced onion on the bottom and then halved little new potatoes and added baby carrots.  I placed a frozen roast on top and sprinkled onion soup mix on the roast.  The bag was closed up, a black napkin was placed inside of the pan before bag of food was placed on top of that.  This dark napkin helps to attract the sun as the pan underneath was a disposable aluminum pan that would reflect the heat away.

I then began to show my family members how to align the Sun Oven with the sun by aligning the circles of light on the two indicators that come with the device. This appeared to be a bit enlightening for my sisters as they couldn't understand what these little 'white things' were for initially.

I intermittently went out to check the oven and had to move it and realign the little circles of light as the sun moved over head.  I used a frozen roast on purpose.  When I attended the class to learn how to use the Sun Oven, several participants state that they put frozen items in the sun oven in the morning before they leave for work and eat the prepared meal when they returned home. did it turn out?

This is the finished product.

I sliced the roast and it was cooked through.

How did it taste?

Well, my father was raised on a cattle ranch and considers himself to be somewhat of a connoisseur when it comes to beef.  He traditionally has a jar of Chili Sauce (that he and my mother can each year) ready to put on....everything. Imagine my surprise when he not only said the beef was good, but also when he did not put any Chili Sauce on it!

What did I learn with this?

Well, I learned a couple of things.

  • I would hesitate to leave the Sun Oven unattended with a meal inside of it for the entire day.  I found I needed to make little adjustments every few hours. Plus, we went shopping for a while. As I was unfamiliar with the 'shade' pattern that my parents new home made as morning faded into the afternoon, my little device was shaded when I came home.  I quickly checked the food and it was very, very hot still.  I was lucky.....
  • I would cut up my vegetables into smaller chunks. They were cooked, but firm.  I didn't add any liquid as I knew this was a closed system.  I was counting on the juices from the frozen roast to be the liquid in the bag. There was liquid, but apparently it did not steam as I thought I should.  
  • This device creates some buzz.  A neighbor came over to see what we were doing.  My Dad tried to give him the 10 cent tour as we were all inside the house except him.  A couple of days later, the neighbor asked if it worked. My sisters answered for me...a resounding yes.  
  • This worked well as it was really hot this past week.  My parents new home heats up when the oven is used.  So, we could have this meal without heating their home.  I would do this again in a heartbeat!


texspuds said...

What kind of sun oven is this and where is it available? About what do they run cost wise? Thx

The Little Red Hen said...

This is the All American Sun Oven. If you search the web they run from between $270.00 and $350.00 depending upon the accessories you order with it.

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