A Sun Flair Solar Oven Cook-Off!

    My kids are suddenly really into cooking and science in the kitchen. While to be perfectly honest sometimes I can’t stand having anyone underfoot in my tiny area, I LOVED cooking as a kid and want to foster that love for my own kids. Plus there are so many lessons to learn between chemistry, math, measuring and experimenting.

    We were given the opportunity to try a couple SunFlair Solar ovens this year and I jumped at the chance. What a great way to show an alternative use of energy in a really green way AND get us out of the kitchen and into some open air! Plus, we have attempted to make our own solar ovens again and again and have been largely unsuccessful for more than just melting crayons any maybe producing a little heat. I was looking forward to the guess work taken out for me and being able to really test how they WORK!

    A SunFlair Solar Oven Cook-Off!

     

    The kids and I did a little cook-off. We each chose a couple recipes and spent a lot of time preparing and then letting them cook. Learning to really be success using a solar oven is a little bit like learning to cook again. I have really no idea how long things will take to be done. It was a lot of experimenting, trying, and trying again.

    Truthfully, this experiment/cook-off is far from being done. Both the kids and I have a handful (or more) of other recipes we would like to try. And we want to retry the ones that failed the first time.

    We were cooking in both the Sun Flair Mini and the Sun Flair Standard. While the kids quickly claimed the Standard, I insisted on mixing things up a bit too. We wanted to be able to really make a decision over which oven we preferred.

     

    Quick List of What We Noticed Right Away:

    • Both ovens maintained exactly the same temperatures – we were really surprised about that!
    • You can’t fit a cookie pan or something in the smaller one
    • If bread, etc. is rising, you have to account for the space it will take up as it expands
    • We agree with the suggestion from Sun Flair to reduce the amount of liquid in the recipes by nearly half. Traditional recipes need more liquid to account for moisture loss. That doesn’t happen in the solar ovens.
    • The ovens are very light, pack well, and are easy to haul around
    • You, of course, have to be watching the sun and making sure the oven is staying pointed towards it as the sun moves for successful cooking. This can be tricky if you get busy and aren’t paying attention…

    A SunFlair Solar Oven Cook-Off!

     

    The Cook-Off

    The kids decided to make chocolate chip cookies and homemade cheddar crackers.

    I made homemade mac and cheese and some bread.

    We both attempted banana bread.

     

    The cookies were definitely the winner. They took about 2 hours to cook and were delicious right out of the oven. We kept waiting for them to brown (which they didn’t), so they were a little crunchier than we are used to, but still a win!

    A SunFlair Solar Oven Cook-Off!A SunFlair Solar Oven Cook-Off!A SunFlair Solar Oven Cook-Off!

    The cheddar crackers were good….but a new recipe and the kids weren’t crazy about them. We managed to dodge rain clouds and they finished in time to float around in some soup. I think we should have just cooked them a little longer, but we ran out of sun (a hazard when you’re using solar ovens….)

    A SunFlair Solar Oven Cook-Off!A SunFlair Solar Oven Cook-Off!A SunFlair Solar Oven Cook-Off!

    The Mac and Cheese was dinner this weekend. It works really well. They told me it didn’t look that good….but tasted great. I was thrilled that I could just pretty much dump everything in and stir and come back to it in 3 hours for lunch.

    A SunFlair Solar Oven Cook-Off!

    The bread would have worked great, but we left the lid on as they suggested, and it billowed out and then sunk. Next time we’ll leave the lid off! It was tasty, though!

    A SunFlair Solar Oven Cook-Off!A SunFlair Solar Oven Cook-Off!

    The banana bread was really the same problem. Next time less liquid, no lid and more sun!

    A SunFlair Solar Oven Cook-Off!

     

    Do we think Solar Oven cooking is worth it?

    Yes, definitely. It’s the perfect thing to bring camping, along with some cookie dough, of course. Homemade cookies without having to use any energy except the kind given to us by the sun!

    We will be continuing to try, continuing to perfect our recipes and continuing to learn.

    Again, I think it’s a perfect homeschool lesson (and a great challenge for me, as a cook!)

    We do think that it’s worth it to just get the Standard Size. The Mini is nice and compact, but it’s not a HUGE difference between the two of them and we really appreciated the extra room in the oven.

    The Deluxe Solar Oven kit makes a great gift! ($164.99 and everything you need)

     

    Sun Flair Ovens

    We were very impressed with the ovens themselves. They are very lightweight, but also obviously made of quality materials. We had no issues with the zippers, setting them up or any of the included pans (Roaster and Silicone pans).

    Check out the Sun Flair website for more tips, recipes and to purchase!

     

    Pin it!

    A SunFlair Solar Oven Cook-Off!

     

    Sun Flair generously provided us this gear in order to facilitate this review.  However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own. You can find my full disclosure here.  

    © 2016, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

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