Cooking Your Biscuits With a "Pizza Box Solar Oven"
Want to cook your biscuits with a solar oven? You'll be amazed at how easy this project can be. Campers and Boy Scouts often make their own solar oven using a pizza box and aluminum foil.
It's a great idea for campers and a fun project at home where kids can get involved in solar cooking. Using everyday materials to build a solar oven can lead to discussion of why solar energy is so important.
Teaching kids to make biscuits in a solar oven is good training. Our children will be dealing with energy problems in the future - problems we've helped create.
Young minds more easily grasp the foundations of energy conservation and the need to protect the environment and preserve our natural resources.
Building a Solar Oven
Before you can cook biscuits in a solar oven, you need to build an oven. Take a pizza delivery box and line the entire interior with aluminum foil (shiny side up).
You need to fix the pizza box so the lid stays in an upright position. To do this you can use a piece of wire or a twig wrapped in foil to prop the lid at a 90 degree angle to the bottom of the pizza box.
If the foil lining does not want to stay in place on the upright lid, punch small holes in the foil and the lid and secure the foil with a small piece of wire.
Place the box so the sun shines directly on the foil surfaces. It will warm up quickly. Put the biscuits directly on the foil of the bottom of the box and let them bake.
It will take about 30 minutes longer on a hot sunny day to cook biscuits in a solar oven than it will in the oven in your kitchen - but it won't cost a penny for the energy used.
Expand Your Solar Oven Recipes
Once you have mastered biscuit cooking in a solar oven you are ready for bigger and better things. You can find a variety of plans for building various solar cooker designs free online.
The basics are simple. You need a solar oven that collects sunlight and efficiently reflects it to a surface that will turn that sunlight in to energy by producing heat.
Remember that black or dark colors absorb heat energy while light colors reflect sunlight's UV rays. Absorption is what you want so cooking pans must be black or dark metal when cooking with a solar oven.
Because solar cooking may occur at a lower temperature than a standard oven, cook in smaller portions. You can make meat loaf easily in a solar oven.
The only adjustment is to make small meat loaves in a dark muffin pan rather than the larger loaf pan you would use in your kitchen.
No matter what you cook in a solar oven, you must have a dark lid. This may be a pot lid that fits the pot you are using but can also be a dark roasting pan that fits over the muffin tin or flat cooking surface that holds the food.
Campers and hiking enthusiasts have taken to solar cooking in a big way. With two small solar ovens a camper can prepare a full breakfast.
Bacon fried in one solar cooker is removed and onions and green peppers sautéed in the same pan. Then scrambled eggs are added while you cook biscuits in the second solar oven and keep the bacon warm there as well.
Cooking in a solar oven is a relaxing experience. The food cooks slowly so there's no worry of burning or over cooking. The solar oven acts much like a crock pot where foods cook over several hours of time.
The resulting meals are not only great tasting but vitamins are not destroyed by high heat so the food cooked in a solar oven is both tasty and nutritious.
You can use your solar oven to make a leftover dinner when camping. If you cooked chicken or beef in your solar oven all day yesterday you can use the leftover meat today just as you would at home in your kitchen. Mix some vegetables with the meat and add a sauce or gravy.
Add biscuits to the top of the hot stew to finish of a casserole fit for a king. While dinner is cooking you can hike, nap or explore to your heart's content all day and have a great meal waiting when you finish your day's adventures.
Cooking biscuits in a solar oven may sound strange if you've never tried it. Solar cooking is easy and fun and by preparing foods you are accustomed to eating, you can quickly adapt to this environmentally friendly solar trend.
Make sure to check out our guides on various renewable energy sources and how they work in practice!