My husband recently found some really cool instructions for making an inner tube solar cooker. I got to thinking about the concept and decided to do some in-depth research on these puppies. I found there are all types of solar cookers out there. However, they all work on the same principle -- capturing the sun's heat and focusing that heat onto a cooking vessel filled with food. YUM!!
Given a location of at least 6 to 8 hours of continuous sunshine, hopefully we would all be able to make a solar oven with just a few very basic items.
Things you will need:
- Aluminum pan with lid
- Black paint
- Three-foot square of plywood
- Inflated inner tube from a car tire
- Three-foot square of glass
- Paint the exteriors of an aluminum pot and lid with black paint. The black paint will absorb the heat from the sun and expedite the cooking process. Allow the paint to dry completely. Clean the interior of the pot thoroughly. The size of the pot you use should correspond with the size of the inner tube. Car tire inner tubes range in size from 22 inches to 32 inches. The pot should fit easily into the center. The Pot, with the lid on, should not exceed the height of the inflated inner tube.
- Determine the location for your solar oven. The location should have six to eight hours of full sun exposure. It should also be placed away from children's play areas.
- Place the square of plywood on the location. The surface should be flat; you may wish to use a table to ensure stability.
- Place the inner tube onto the square of plywood. You can add a bead of glue to the underside of the tube to fasten it to the plywood.
- Fill your cooking pot with the foods you wish to cook such as a soup or stew, rice and vegatable dish, or potatoes.
- Place the cooking pot into the center of the inner tube with the lid on. Place the piece of glass over the inner tube and cooking pot. The glass traps the hot air radiating from the heated inner tube, resulting in a solar-powered oven.
- Allow the appropriate number of hours for cooking time. A solar oven reaches temperatures of 225 to 250 degrees. At these lower temperatures, foods take longer to cook -- approximately twice as long as with a conventional oven.
- Before serving the food, use an oven or food thermometer to check the internal temperatures of the foods to ensure they are thoroughly cooked.
I'm looking forward to finding some great recipes to try out -- once my honey makes us one of these!!!