At the beginning of this semester course I picked up a sun oven. They’re simple to operate, use no fuel or electricity, and can be used all day whenever the sun is shining. I figured I’d try out a commercial model before building a bigger one. It’s been a great acquisition and I won’t run another long-term course without one.
It couldn’t be simpler to operate. You just put in what you want to cook, close the oven door, and point it at the sun. You can also lead the sun with the oven for a longer cooking time. By this I mean point the oven west of where the sun is shining so that as the sun moves across the southern sky it will eventually shine directly into the oven. We’ve gotten ours up to 350 degrees F twice, but have gotten it up to 300 degrees F numerous times on clear days. If you check out the product literature they’ll tell you that the air temperature doesn’t matter as long as there is abundant sunshine, and our experience backs that up.
Unlike some pieces of kit, these are useful both at home and in the bush. I highly recommend getting one and experimenting with it in the back yard. They’re not cheap (you can get them for about $280, shipping included, off of ebay), but they have no moving parts and nothing to wear out, so it will remain functional indefinitely.
If you visit us in Masardis you can see ours in action.