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Old 08-09-2009, 12:44   #1
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Solar Ovens

I am wondering how well solar ovens would work while cruising. We are gearing up for an extended cruise aboard our 43 ft catamaran. I love the idea of being self-sufficient and using less propane, but I am worried about the reflectors in the wind. On a cat, I will have more deck space and less rocking issues. Does anyone have any experience with solar cooking? I read an article in Cruising World about a woman who uses one. She said it is great to mix up a one pot meal and have it ready when she gets back in the evening. Any input would be appreciated.
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Old 08-09-2009, 13:14   #2
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I've heard of them but know nothing about them (other than the obvious!) I also love the idea of being self-sufficient and will follow this thread with interest...
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Old 08-09-2009, 13:25   #3
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I once witnessed a cake baked in a solar oven. It took hours and hours and must be kept pointing accurately at the sun. On land maybe, on a boat? I really doubt it would work..
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Old 08-09-2009, 14:44   #4
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When I lived in Colorado I watched a few demos of solar ovens. They seemed to work, but as noted above, they were not quick at all. The ones I saw were kind of rudimentary and took up a lot of space (the reflectors). Not sure how the UV power of the sun would compare in the thin air at 8000' above sea level where I saw the demonstration to where you would be using it presumably at sea level. On a cat I could see potential use while underway, especially in the warmer climates but can't fathom the successful use on a monohull unless at anchor in very protected waters.
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Old 10-09-2009, 20:59   #5
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I would plan on using it while on the hook or at a dock. I see it being like my crock pot - put the ingredients in in the AM and come back hours later for dinner. Do you remember the make of the ovens you saw? I've been looking at the Global Oven. My main concern is if the reflectors will hold up in the wind.
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Old 10-09-2009, 21:06   #6
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cool idea, but...

[QUOTE=Ready2gosoon;329284] I read an article in Cruising World about a woman who uses one.

I haven't read Cruising World in a looooooong time, but I'm willing to bet that the woman in that article was cooking in a far lower latitude than you are.
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:50   #7
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Alternative to a solar oven : Check out the COBB BBQ - serves as a oven as well - developed in S-Africa and a very efficient multifunctional piece of equipment - stays cool on the outside - it's a hype overhere - don't know if the COBB is available elsewhere.
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:03   #8
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The “Global Sun Oven” might not work well on a moving boat (even at anchor), which would perturb the focus, and is large enough to present a storage challenge. At over $200, it seems (to me) a little expensive for an “occasional use” appliance.
Sun Ovens Solar Cooking - Sun Oven, Solar Cooking | SunOven.com

The "Cobb Cooking System"is available worldwide.
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:22   #9
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Solar Oven

America's Test Kitchen just tested and reviewed solar ovens. The bottom line was some work well under ideal conditions for specific foods. They aren't a good substitute for propane yet. They're fairly bulky and require uninterrupted sun to maintain temp.
You can read the entire review by going to americastestkitchen.com and search for "solar cookers". Some areas of the web site are for paid members but many are free. It requires a logon register which is very easy.
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