Monday, August 23, 2010

The Ultimate Multi-Tasker...My Mobile Solar Oven

Last month, in the midst of our heatwave of  "Aught Ten", I decided to try something totally out of the box.

This box.....

Meet my newest kitchen gadget.......

My new solar oven...aka as a 2003 Dodge Car/Oven Multi-Tasker!

Why not put the heat that builds up inside to good use since I wasn't using the car that day?

So I set to making up some chocolate chip cookie dough and plopped it onto an aluminum foil lined cookie sheet and placed the sheet on the dashboard of my car in full sun.

I also placed my oven thermometer next to the pan so I could check the actual temperature inside the car.
Pan and thermometer safely inside the car, I shut the door at 11am. and told the kids hanging out at the house that day not to open the car for ANY REASON!

Here's the pan after an hour baking.....

And here it is a couple of hours later.....
The dough has spread out and each cookies is ringed by liquified butter.....yum!lol

Two more hours and we have this.....
The butter has reabsorbed(or evaporated?)and the cookies have plumped up slightly.

And here is what we got after 6 hours of solar baking.....

They are paler than normal since solar doesn't 'brown' stuff like a regular oven but they are cooked and hard.

Since my oven thermometer never registered more than slightly hotter than 150 degrees, I did throw this pan of cookies into the normal oven for a good 5 minutes after snapping this photo.
I know....kind of defeats the whole purpose of the off-the grid thing, right?lol

My recipe had raw egg in it and I didn't want to risk the chance of a salmonella chaser with the chocolate chips so a few minutes above 180 degrees was worth doing.
The next time I will try a no-egg recipe instead now that I know my mobile oven's flaws in the temperature department.

And the verdict?
The kids gobbled these babies down and declared them delicious!

Next time how about a pizza too and a pitcher of sun tea?



  1. Amazing!! Sun tea will definitely work. When I visit my parents, we always stick a pitcher of sun tea out to brew on the deck in full son and it is not even that hot. In the car, it would brew right up.

    Would the pizza dough brown at all or would it stay white?

  2. Neato!

    More than once when I was a working woman did I toss a foil-wrapped burrito or burger on the dashboard in the morning so it would be nice and warm for me by noon.

    I've heard of guys on the road crews heating cans of beans or stew on the engines of their heavy machinery, too.

  3. I think I once saw Alton Brown work a similar theory. Hmmm. I think I might have to try this on a hot work day!

  4. Use large Mason jars for soups in place of your crock pot. You can paint the bottom half of the outside of the jar with flat black paint to help absorb and retain the heat.

    Pretty much you have a great little slow cooker on wheels!

    You may want to figure out if you need to move your slow cooker as the sun moves to get maximum absorption.

    Two thumbs waaaaaayyy up! Go Sluggy!

  5. You are soooooo cool! I priced out solar ovens and they aren't cheap. So now I know what to do with the dead focus!

  6. COOL! or rather HOT!
    I used to do that in high school! Pick up a microwavable burrito from the convenience store in the morning, throw it on my dash of my hot little Pinto. By noon, it was piping hot!
    Maybe that explains my IBS symptoms during that time... (just kidding!)


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