Am I cool or just a weirdo? You decide.

The subject is this: I bought a solar oven.  I read a novel a few months ago about Iran launching nuclear weapons above the U.S. that created an Electro-Magnetic Pulse.  This EMP caused the entire country to completely lose power permanently.  It instantly threw us back into the mid-1800’s, technologically-speaking.  Having the vivid imagination that I do, especially about end-of-the-world scenarios, I freaked a little.  I not only bought a Volcano Stove and a year’s supply of charcoal, but I thought I should hedge my bets and have a back-up plan. Hence, the solar oven.

I did a lot of research and found a pretty cool (I mean hot) solar oven.  Apparently I’m not the only kook out there since the S.O.S. Sport Oven that I wanted was back-ordered for two months. I finally got it last week and decided that I needed to try it out before the collapse of society, so I whipped up some chocolate-chip cookie dough. (Any excuse I can think of to make some!)  Here is the solar oven on its own.


It doesn’t look like much. It’s mostly heavy-duty plastic. The technology is basically the same as your car getting hot on a summer day. It uses UV rays, not actual heat from the sun, so cooking can be done anytime it’s sunny, even if it’s cold out. I bought the optional reflector which increases the times the cooker can be used (morning, late afternoon, cloudy days, etc.) It also gets the oven hotter faster.

According to the thermometer inside the oven, it went from 75º to 300º in 20 minutes. Not too shabby. The directions say not to get the oven hotter than 300º or else it will melt the plastic. I let most of the heat out when I placed the cookies inside, so that wasn’t a big issue. (The cookie tray was a little bigger than the floor of the oven, so it was balanced precariously on the sides of the oven. It kept slipping down in back. But it still totally baked the cookies!!!

The cookies were done in 20 minutes. Only a few minutes longer than they take in a conventional oven. It’s also strange to use potholders since it’s basically just cookies in a black box. So you might just forget to use them altogether. Ask me what happens then! Let me just say that 300º is 300º. Ouch!

Oh, and by the way, the cookies were scrumptious.

My oven is by S.O.S. Solar and with the reflectors and shipping it was about $200. Cooks Illustrated magazine actually tested solar ovens a couple of years ago and this was their favorite. There is a link on the site to see the Cook’s Illustrated testing results on the CBS Early Show.

I’d also urge you to look at this . SOS is actually a non-profit organization that is trying to get solar ovens to the poorest areas in the world. If you think solar ovens are completely dorky, you must read it!

| Filed under Preparedness

11 thoughts on “Am I cool or just a weirdo? You decide.

  1. I think “weirdo” is a very strong term. “Vivid imagination” might be more fitting. Everyone will be rushing over to use your hand-cranked grinder and solar oven if your worst fears become a reality. I admire your extreme planning, in any case.

  2. something tells me that solar oven won’t work in MN when it’s anything below 40 degrees farenheit, which is 9 months of the year…We’ll have to just build an old fashioned fire.

  3. Brilliantly dorky! Love it. We are kindred spirits. I have this on my wish list, but will have to wait cause my husband thinks I am crazy. A website you might want to check out…

    They have manual powered mini-generators and solor lanterns and stuff.

  4. i’m gonna go for “weirdo” on this one–but who’s gonna be crying when the apocolypse hits and you’ve got things baking in your solar oven and all i’ve got are christmas decorations?

  5. well Texas surely is a good place to test out the solar oven. I feel like 20 minutes is a long time to wait for yummy cookies…but I guess if the world is ending, I would wait longer for a chocolaty treat.

  6. Call me crazy, but I think if the Iranians launch a weapon at us that kills off all sources of power, baking cookies might me low on my list of priorities. Maybe.

  7. So if you are a weirdo for buying one of these, does me wanting to build one of my own make me a super geek? Jennie, being the great sister she is, actually bought me a book outlining schematics for building this, and many other great solar devices (including a solar water purifier). The book is called Solar Energy projects for the Evil Genius. Highly recommended.

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