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Have you ever cooked with the sun? It is amazing!
No need to heat the house, make a mess in the oven, worry about burning your food, or paying for yet another appliance that uses electricity.
Plus … it is fun!
As long as you can see a shadow, you can cook in a Sun Oven!
Below is what I made for dinner.
You can use any type of beef or chicken for this, and any type of veggies you like. Amounts depend upon the size of your oven/cookware and the number of people you are feeding.
My Sun Oven of choice is the All American Sun Oven. Although I am providing a link for you, I was not an affiliate at the time I got my Sun Oven and paid full price for it.
Getting ready to cook:
note: Be sure to preheat your oven by setting it in the sun and aligning it, before you prep your food.
The first thing to do is to carefully choose your cookware. Unless you are making bread, cinnamon rolls, etc., you need to pick cookware with a lid. Darker is better as it will absorb the heat and not reflect back out. I love my cast iron for normal cooking and baking, but it is very heavy and thick and takes longer to cook in a sun oven. You can use it, but be aware it will take (in my experience) 3x longer.
Stainless steel cookware is another favorite but not for a sun oven, as it will reflect the sun instead of absorbing the heat, so I chose dark granite ware cookware. The one I used here came with my Sun Oven but I have purchased additional pots from Amazon. They are thin, heat evenly and are perfect for this type of cooking. They clean up super quick as the food does not seem to stick to it. I got mine here.
Choosing your meat:
I chose a chunk of beef. No, literally! I told my husband to simply pick up “a chunk of beef” that looked good, and if it was too big, I could simply cut it down and use that for another meal. It fit perfectly though and no cutting was needed. Sorry, I can’t remember what cut was chosen, but it really does not matter when cooking in a Sun Oven.
I Seasoned the meat on all sides (usually choose to marinate but did not plan ahead this time) and placed it in the bottom of the double stacked cookware with onions and peppers.
This is the seasoning I used but your favorite seasoning or marinade will work great!
No liquid is needed, but you can add whatever is leftover from a marinade.
Next, I filled the top portion on the cookware with various veggies; onions, peppers, green beans, garlic, small potatoes, and carrots. Then I added a bit of the seasoning that I used on the meat and some pats of butter. The butter was not necessary, but I love the taste. So, why not? 🙂
note: Most important is that the double stack cookware sits tightly together. If not, the sun oven will steam up and it will take longer to cook. So don’t overfill the cookware.
Next, I placed the lid on, and into the Sun Oven it went.
I checked back every so often to realign the oven with the sun, using the little alignment holes … super easy! This is not necessary, you can set it up and leave it all day like you would a slow cooker, but on this particular day, the clouds were rolling in and out so I knew I would not have full sun all day. Aligning it every so often helped it to stay at a constant temp and this only took about 2 1/2 hours to cook it well done.
After a couple of hours, I checked the meat and veggies and tested the temp with my nifty infrared thermometer. Get one here.
The meat was well done (the way I like it) and the veggies were perfect, not mushy. If you prefer rarer meat, simply check it earlier and remove it when you choose. There is no set recipe and timing for the Sun Oven.
All of the juice you see was from the meat and veggies. The butter on the veggies had melted and was covering them. YUM!
You can easily make gravy from the drippings and serve with bread or rolls. You can pretty much cook anything in the Sun Oven that you would cook in your regular oven. I am loving this way of cooking!
Do you have a Sun Oven? What are your favorite things to make? I’d love to hear your experience and would love to share some ideas! 🙂
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