I’ve been having fun baking with a solar oven. I have had the Solavore Sport Solar Oven for several months now but with an extremely cold winter and our daughter getting married in January and very little sunshine in central Oregon it has taken me till now to test it out.
The neat thing about solar baking is that you literally are just tapping into sunshine and solar heat to do the baking. Really a neat idea and though it tends to take more time than what we consider standard baking if you plan ahead it really is no different than using a slow cooker.
I wanted to test it with something our family enjoys, so I chose cornbread. Here is the recipe, and then let’s get on with how the Solavore Sport oven worked for me.
Corn Bread (Created by Kent Griswold)
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 cup flour
1/8 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 Tablespoons oil
1 cup milk (soy or almond milk can be used)
Combine dry ingredients in bowl and mix well.
Add oil and mix again.
Add egg to milk and mix with fork.
Stir into dry ingredients until just blended.
Pour into well-buttered pan.
My grandparents were German and they had a tradition with cornbread that was passed on down to my generation. Most people enjoy cornbread hot and with butter or honey and as a side dish to chili or soup.
Well not only is cornbread delicious hot but it is also really great cold the following day. My grandparents way of eating it was cold and on the dry side with a little milk on it to soften it up in a bowl covered with homemade applesauce or honey. If you have never tried it this way give it a go as I think you will enjoy it.
We call this way of eating cornbread our Griswold family tradition, but after doing some internet research I discovered that we aren’t the first ones to enjoy cornbread this delicious way. So you will probably want to double this recipe so you can enjoy the leftovers for breakfast!
Ok on with the review.
As with anything new sometimes it takes more then one try. First off read all the directions. I did not do this and the first time I attempted to make the cornbread I failed.
- Start early, it takes longer to bake then you might think. I started late on my first try.
- Read the directions. They say if baking something use the reflectors. I failed to do this and I ran out of sunlight and it did not build up enough heat to complete the baking because I did not use the reflectors. I ended up with the first try in the normal oven so as not to lose our good cornbread.
Second times the charm!
This time I started early around 1:30 P.M. with time to spare and the sun was right where I needed it for the afternoon.
I had read the instructions after my first failure and so figured out the reflectors and put them on. With the reflectors on the heat almost doubled. It soon was up to around 275 degrees.
A good way to tell if the oven is facing the sun correctly is to look at the shadow behind the oven. The shadow should fall directly behind it. So adjust as necessary.
The baking pan has a lid and I put it on it like you would do a dutch oven. The pan sits on the floor of the black plastic container. There is also a clear lid that covers the oven.
I checked it a couple of times as it baked as I did not wish to burn it.
Be careful as it is hot and when you open up the top steam will come out of the oven area around the pan. Also use a hot pad as the pan gets really hot.
I like my cornbread fairly well done. As you can see in the photo the cornbread is slightly browned and has pulled away from the pan.
Total time with the reflectors was 1 hour and 32 minutes. Longer than baking in a traditional oven at 400 degrees which at our altitude usually takes around 30 minutes.
This is a photo of the completed cornbread ready to eat. Cooking with the Solovore oven successful and fun. I’m looking forward to many more meals using just the sun to bake with.
If you own a tiny house and are considering doing solar cooking with the Solavore Oven, I would highly recommend you purchase the case for storage. You could easily put a hook on your tiny house and hang it out of the way when not in use.
To judge the size here it is beside Tiny House Expeditions home which I visited recently.
I have not mastered the art of videography but have also included a couple other video reviews of this oven by Deek of Relaxshacks and Steven from Tiny House Listings. Enjoy!
Check out the Solavore website for complete information.