Solar oven cooking with my new Sun Oven

Post script on my Sun Oven solar cooking experiment. It worked perfectly! The Greek beef stew was tender and delicious, and the rice in the pot below the stew was perfectly done. I think if I make that recipe again, I’ll use ketchup instead of tomato paste, and maybe increase the wine to half a cup.

I learned a bit about solar cooking too. If it isn’t done by 4 pm, you might as well give up, because the temp really starts to drop when the sun isn’t directly overhead. Best times to cook are probably 10 am to 2 pm. Also, when the solar oven is good and hot (350), the lid steams up a lot, which drops the temperature. I had to keep opening the oven to wipe off the condensation from the lid. Hard to say which dropped the temp more, the condensation, or opening the lid. Anyway, it worked.

Yesterday I cooked a pot roast in the solar oven, but conditions were partly cloudy due to a marine layer (one of the benefits of living near the Pacific Ocean–natural air conditioning). Unfortunately, I didn’t get started until 12:30, and thus missed most of the time that the sun is directly overhead. The temp in the oven peaked at 270, but went down to only 150 by 3 pm. That won’t even boil water. I had to finish up the pot roast in the regular oven for the final hour of cooking. It came out fabulous! That may have been the best pot roast I’ve ever cooked. I used up the last of my Kyoto red carrots for this dish. Wish I had had some potatoes to put into the pot.

If you want to see what others are using from their garden or preserved foods from their garden, visit Robin at “The Gardener of Eden” on Kitchen Cupboard Thursdays.

Solar Oven Pot Roast

2 lb chuck roast

1 onion, sliced lengthwise into strips

6 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

1 pkg dehydrated onion soup mix

1/2 C red wine

Put ingredients into a covered pot in order given. Cook in a solar oven for three hours at 300-350.

About Lou Murray, Ph.D.

I'm a retired medical researcher, retired professional writer/photographer, avid gardener, and active environmentalist living in southern California. I wrote a weekly newspaper column on environmental topics in the Huntington Beach Independent for many years. I also supervised environmental restoration projects and taught at the Orange County Conservation Corps before retiring in the summer of 2016. This blog chronicles my efforts to live a green life growing as much food as possible for my husband and myself on a 4,500 sq ft yard that is covered mainly by house, garage, driveway, and sidewalks. I am also dedicated to combatting global climate change.
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7 Responses to Solar oven cooking with my new Sun Oven

  1. Cathie says:

    I am jealous! My husband has been longing for one for years, I might have to give in this Father’s day!


  2. Alex says:

    Thanks for your interesting post. You can find some other great sun cooking recipes on our site at; we are also setting
    up a forum to discuss the finer details of solar cooking at . Thanks again for an interesting article.


  3. Many people have discovered that solar cooking and baking is more than just a science project or clever novelty. Cooking with the sun can be fun, but it can also save money while decreasing your carbon footprint. Sun ovens use the free unlimited energy of the sun to cook or bake. rather than the normal (gas or electric). Nonrenewable energy resources, such as gas, electric, coal or wood, not only cost money, they all pollute our atmosphere, whereas the sun is free energy and pollution-free.


  4. Hi Lou,
    I’d love to interview you for an article about solar ovens. If you are interested, please contact me. Thanks!


  5. joanne rasmussen says:

    I love your recipes with the solar oven. Thank you! We’re going to purchase one and wanted some input.


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