Solar Oven Society

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

1) How long does it take to cook food in the Sport?

Most foods cook in 2-4 hours, depending on the angle and quality of the sunshine. There are foods that do take longer, such as large cuts of meat, dried beans or rice cooked in water, etc. Some quicker-to-cook foods can be added to the solar oven after harder-to-cook foods have been cooking for some time.

2) How long does it take to get my solar oven once I order it?

Usually ovens are shipped within a few days of your order. Delivery ranges from 2- 7 business days anywhere in the continental United States. We do ask that you allow up to 4-8 weeks for delivery in case of delays. If you have not received your solar oven within two weeks, please feel free to contact us.

3) Do I add water to foods cooked in the Sport?

A. Not when cooking vegetables, meat, poultry and fish. They contain enough water to cook properly without additional water. This produces great tasting, healthy food that retains the nutrients. Everyone who tastes vegetables cooked in a Sport solar oven is surprised at how delicious the flavor is when no additional liquid has been added. Vegetables contain a small amount of natural sugar that, in solar cooking, is caramelized to release a full, rounded, slightly sweet flavor we often do not experience with regular cooking methods. We encourage you to try carrots in your Sport and see if you agree!

B. When cooking grains, beans, rice or pasta, water must be added to re-hydrate them. An efficient way to do this is to preheat the water in the solar oven for 20-30 minutes before adding the dried material.

4) What does it mean to “pre-heat” the solar oven?

Preheating can be done by placing the empty oven facing the sun. Do this while you are preparing your food. Within fifteen to thirty minutes, the pans and the oven will be very warm. Food can then be added to the pots and the cooking process begins more quickly.

5) How do I care for my Sport?

Clean the lid with clean water and a soft cloth. You do not want to scratch the lid. Scratches will minimally interfere with the sun shining through it. There are Novus plastic polishes available to polish the lid if it does become badly scratched. Clean the inside with clean water with some dish soap, if necessary, and dry with a clean cloth. The pots can be cleaned normally

Be sure to wipe out any excess condensation that may gather in the bottom of the cooker. Store your Sport in a dry, safe place where it will not be scratched or dented.

6) How long will my Sport last?

Properly maintained, your Sport will give you many, many years of cooking pleasure.

7) Where can I get recipes for cooking in my Sport?

We suggest you use your favorite crock-pot recipes and make any necessary adjustments for the solar oven. Check our recipe section where other Sport cookers share their culinary discoveries, and send us your favorite solar oven recipes.

8) How do I bake breads, cakes and cookies?

The Sport will cook these foods, but it will not brown them like a traditional oven. For cookies, we suggest you use the reflectors, pre-heat your oven and place the cookies on a black cookie sheet (the floor of the oven measures 9 ¼ x 17 ½ inches) that fits the Sport. Cooking times will vary, depending on the angle and quality of sunshine. Generally cookies will take about 1 to 1½ hours depending on cookie size and sun angle. You will have to watch the cookies to see when they are done, but refrain from lifting the lid to check on their progress as that will let all the warm air out and slow the cooking time. Cakes can be prepared normally and will take approximately 1½ to 2 hours to cook. Breads take from 2to 3 hours.

9) Should I stir food while it is cooking?

No. Stirring to prevent scorching isn’t necessary because the temperature of the food rises evenly; there are no hot spots. It is almost impossible to burn food in a solar oven. Additionally, each time you open the oven and the pots, you let warm air escape and cool air come in. This slows the cooking process.

10) Why is there a layer of thin plastic taped on the inside of the Lid?

This specially designed plastic taped on the inside of the lid produces an air gap that helps insulates the oven. Please do not peal this off, as it will reduce the effectiveness of your oven.

11) Does the Sport Solar Oven work without reflectors?

Yes, the Sport reaches temperatures of 210-270 degrees Fahrenheit (F) when placed in full sun and will cook most food in 2-4 hours, much the way a crock-pot slowly cooks food. In equatorial parts of the world, temperatures can reach 300 F. When the angle of the sun is lower (early spring, late fall and winter in the U.S.), the Sport can be placed on its back in order to be at a better angle with the sun. (Smaller, dark pots will be needed for this angle).

12) When do I use reflectors?

In the early spring, late fall and winter or on partly cloudy days, the reflectors will increase solar gain and speed up cooking. Reflectors can raise the cooking temperature up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and will cook food faster.

Because we have chosen plastic for durability and weatherability (especially in developing countries) some warpage of the plastic can occur with the use of reflectors. We recommend you discontinue use of reflectors when the thermometer registers temperatures of 300 degrees F or higher.

13) Can I cook year round in the Sport?

Yes, if you have clear sun. If the air temperature is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, you will want to use reflectors to increase solar gain. The Sport does not cook food in cloudy weather or at night. It takes longer to cook food if there is a strong wind, and the air temperature is cold. When the angle of the sun is lower, in early spring, late fall and winter, IT IS A DISTINCT ADVANTAGE to set the Sport on its back. This creates a steep angle to the lid (60-degree) allowing more sun into the solar oven. Smaller dark pots are required when the Sport is used in this position. When the sun is more overhead, as in the summer time, use the Sport on its floor, placing the lid at a 30-degree angle.

 

Cooked potatoes in pot

SOS Sport is great for cooking vegetables

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