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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Solar Cooking

For those of you looking for alternate energy sources, I highly recommend acquiring a solar cooker. They are easy to use and fun! It's so great to let "chicken in a pot" sit outside for 4-5 hours and turn into a fantastic meal--all without hardly any effort on my part.

I've been solar cooking now for many years, using the Solar "Cook-It", that can be found at http://www.solarcookers.org/catalog/cookit-p-44.html. It's wonderful to use, and so easy. I wrote an article about it for Backhome Magazine a few years ago because I felt so strongly about its capabilities.

The best use I've found for using the solar cooker is to slow cook meats. Although it can cook any type of food, meats are the food items that take the most energy to heat, so I use mine when I want to cook whole chickens and roasts. What a great way to cook in the heat of summer without using gas/electricity and heating up the whole house with an oven.

I highly recommend buying or making your own solar oven and using using it as often as possible during the summer. Just think what it can be like if there is a power outage during spring/summer/fall lasting long enough that it affects the ability to cook breakfast, lunch or dinner. If it's clear outside, and not very breezy, you can use the solar cooker. Cold weather in the winter doesn't necessarily prevent it, although you may find the solar cooker needs more insulation, sun tracking, more time to cook, etc.

The other great thing about this and other solar cookers is that they can be duplicated at home. You can find directions on how to make solar cookers here: http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/solarcooking/images/5/57/CooKit_plans_detailed.pdf. They are not difficult to make and are so satisfying to use. Try it and let me know what you think!

Ldswoman@yahoo.com

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