Some of the most useful solar oven information is how to use them in conjunction with normal grills and ovens. Owners of more compact solar cookers, like the GoSun Sport or the new GoSun Go, will at times need to cook more than their cooking trays can allow. After all, many of the items we choose to cook for meals at home involve more total volume than the vacuum tube. However, a solar oven can be an opportunity to reduce your energy consumption and make food with a fraction of the effort required over a stove top. In order to integrate solar cooking into your life, you don’t have to eliminate your conventional cooktop or oven, and your solar cooker can still get lots of use. Here's some solar oven information on how to use them with conventional cooking devices.
1. Start a tray of veggies in the GoSun when you begin baking a main course.
Often, when you put a main course in to bake in a conventional oven, it’s natural to start some veggies steaming in a microwave or on a stove top. However, if you start off the cooking process by putting veggies in a solar cooker and then bake the main course indoors, you save the energy it would have taken to cook veggies.
2. Make a tray of muffins or breads to accompany a stir-fried dish.
GoSun Sports and other sun cookers make great baked goods like cornbread, rolls, or muffins. Rather than turning on your conventional oven and heating the house up in the process, use the solar cooker for your bread-making needs. This is especially easy if you have the nestling silicone cups for the Sport tube; cleaning is a breeze afterward. If served alongside a stir-fry that is made on a stove top, you reduce the total energy used substantially and still generate a large meal.
3. Put your standard grill next to your GoSun and barbecue.
If you are having a lot of folks over, pulling out a conventional grill and a GoSun at the same time is a great idea. The hot dogs and bratwursts will get nice and juicy in the GoSun, while hamburgers and corn on the cob roast up well on a larger surface. You’ll have more food and you won’t have to run the grill for as long, so the total energy usage is still lower. You don’t need to rely on a solar cooker for the whole meal to get a great benefit from it.
4. Consider dishes that can be served alongside a salad.
As the weather heats up, it becomes so nice to not have to turn on any kind of indoor oven or stove. Consider how you can use your GoSun for a side dish or some chicken while you whip up a hearty salad with plenty of veggies, seeds, and nuts to top it off. You can have a wonderful meal without ever turning on an oven just by relying on a combination of GoSun-cooked hot food and big leafy salads.
We hope this solar oven information was useful. In many cases, it is possible to use solar cooking for all aspects of a meal, but when you want more food or more convenience, you can still use one. Solar ovens give you the chance to set and forget parts of your meal while lowering your bills and your energy footprint. It isn’t an all-or-nothing move: you can choose ways that work for you and your family to incorporate a solar cooker into your routines.
This article is part of our larger resource on solar ovens. For a comprehensive explanation of how to get started with a solar oven, click here.