August 25, 2020

Solar Cooking: Brown Rice

I haven't done a solar cooking post in a long time, but then, we haven't had consistent sun this summer. Most days have been sunny in the morning, with clouds rolling in during the afternoon. That's helped with the heat, it also means I haven't been able to use my solar oven. The other day, I took a chance and made some brown rice.

1 cup brown rice & 1 pint bone broth + enough water to make 2 cups liquid.
My 1-quart pyrex casserole dish is perfect for 2 cups of solar cooked rice.

You can't see it, but the broth is bubbling away. Oven temp is about 325°F (163°C).
Solar cooking does require checking the angle of the sun and adjusting the oven.

Timing with solar cooking is less precise than on a stove. We had a
few passing clouds, so total cooking was about an hour and a half.

Perfect brown rice using no electricity, and I kept cooking
heat out of the house. It doesn't get any better than that!

If you're interested in experimenting with solar cooking, you can find ideas and DIY plans here and here.

Solar Cooking: Brown Rice © August 2020


daisy g said...

Fabulous! What a great addition to the homestead. Love using Mother Nature whenever possible. What's the best thing you've ever made in your solar oven?

Leigh said...

Daisy, I have to say that everything I've cooked in it has a fantastic flavor. I don't know why, but somehow sun cooking heightens the good taste. I think my favorite things to make are eggs, especially frittatas and omlets. Yummy! But bread is pretty easy to bake in it too. I'll have to do a blog post on solar baked bread next time we get some sunny days!

Cockeyed Jo said...

I can remember summers past when I was able to cook whole meals including bread and rolls in my solar oven. That isn't the case this year. Way too much rain and overcast days. I have been using my rocket stove and oven more. That's the great thing about this weather, no lacking of sticks to burn.

Leigh said...

Jo, you must have a really nice size solar oven! As you can see, mine is more one item at a time (unless it's a small meal). But it's true, there's been way too many cloudy days for solar cooking. Not that I mind the cooler temps!

You should do a blog post on cooking with your rocket stove and oven. Dan and I have been discussing that very thing.

Mama Pea said...

PER-fect rice! Solar cooking and baking . . . what a skill to have. Not as environmentally sound as your method, but I've been bringing my covered pot of brown rice to a boil on the kitchen stove (gas), turning it off and letting it sit for about 1-1/2 hours and finding it done . . . and still warm for a meal.

Ed said...

You should ask your local utility company to pay you for using your solar oven during peak load times!

wyomingheart said...

Great info, Leigh! Knowledge is true power, and you have just shared a wealth of knowledge with us. We have never even tried to solar cook anything, but I can assure you that we will be honing our skills on this! Thanks ! Get a great week!

Boud said...

When my son was small we created a solar oven together from a large wooden shallow box, tinfoil and a sheet of glass. He was so thrilled with it. We found that it had a moderate temperature, great for slow cooking. Best pork chops ever.

The only disadvantage was that when we did meat he had to stand guard as it began to smell good because of interested neighborhood dogs! Great memories, thank you.

Leigh said...

Mama Pea, that's another great idea. And it reminds me of something else I've just learned about, the haybox cooker. It's basically an insulated box that holds a pot of rice, soup, etc., which has first been brought to boil and finished cooking in the box. I've shown it to Dan and he's going to make me one. It will be good for days when there is no sun!

Ed, ha, ha. I wish I could but my utility company is less than enthusiastic about alternative anything. :)

Wyomingheart, it's a really fun way to cook. Well worth experimenting with for an alternative means of cooking.

Boud, that's so funny about the neighborhood dogs! But all those good smells certainly do fill the neighborhood when you cook outside. I tried a homemade cooker at first, and later bought a Sun Oven. I like it because it can reach 350°F and higher, so things cook pretty quickly.

Goatldi said...

I think perhaps the heightened flavor is the illusive camping effect. We usually find this on camping trips. There is just something about cooking outside that makes everything taste better. 😊

Fiona said...

Isn't rice cooked in a good bone broth so much better than regular rice. We have been debating a propane grill/Smoker for outside cooking or a solar oven. Your oven did a lovely job of the rice.

Leigh said...

Goatldi, there is something to be said for that!

Fiona, the solar oven is excellent as long as you have sun! So you still need a backup. On the other hand, propane cooking requires propane! So you either need a source or another backup.

Cockeyed Jo said...

Leigh, I've actually made two and they are big enough to stack pots in. Normally I could set them on a bistro table by the barn and cook but the cockeyed weather is preventing that.

Leigh said...

Jo, we need a blog post with pictures! Yes, the weather truly is cockeyed lately. Not cooperative for outdoor cooking, that's for sure.