Back in the good old days, in 1986, one of my distributors talked me into getting a" Burns Sun Oven" so I brought one home to test. The first reaction at home was "what am I going to do with this" and "now do I have to set up an outside kitchen". But it wasn't long before we started to use it every sunny day. And there is a lot of sunny days here in the southern California desert. Solar cooked food seems to bring out the natural flavors. Of course the other benefits include cost savings and no fire hazard if you are camping in the national forest with a ban on open fires.
The "Burns Sun Oven" has been replaced by the "ALL AMERICAN SUN OVEN" with an improved inside tray that allows larger cooking utensils and a easy to use focusing device. Try it you will like it.
Before cooking in the sun oven, clean off the wings and window with glass cleaner or similar product, and point oven toward the sun. If you watch the shadows your sun oven makes and keep the angles of the shadow squared off you will get the best results. This is preheating just as you would do in any oven before baking. Your sun oven should be at least 300 in about 20 minutes. While the sun oven is preheating prepare your food that you will be baking.
The following are some tips and some of our recipes our family eats. We use foods in season. Love to eat left overs and change them. We just kept track of what we cooked in our sun ovens over a period of time and recorded them here:
Preheat sun oven with a cast iron pan for a heat sink and get up to at least 300.
Put one cup of brown rice in a casserole dish with a lid, preferably a clear pyrex type or smoky color or a black dish. This is to prevent light reflecting back out of the oven such as a shiny steel or aluminum dish with a lid would. Cover the rice with water to one inch over and add some salt, then cover. Place in hot sun oven to bake for nearly an hour or until all the liquid is absorbed. This rice will be very fluffy tender, not sticky nor stuck on the bottom.
2 cups dry Anasazi beans
Cover with cold water, one inch over top of beans Salt, black pepper, oregano ,chopped onion and 4 cloves garlic, 2 tbsp. oil or butter Bake in preheated sun oven at 300 or better for about 2 hours or more. These particular beans do not need to be presoaked, and they cook quickly.
Variation: I sometimes add a large can f tomatoes, stewed, whole or chunky sauce and 1tsp. allspice and 1 tsp. of cumin.
Preheat your sun oven to at least 300. While it is heating, grease 9 x 11 casserole and put some beans or chile in bottom, take a tortilla and lay it flat. Put one large spoonful of beans over tortilla and spread over it, then roll tortilla up and lay it in the pan. The pan can hold about 9 of these enchiladas. When pan is full, take more beans and spread over top of all the enchiladas and sprinkle white Mexican cheese over the top of all. Place in your hot sun oven and bake until bubbly and cheese is beginning to brown.
THREE BREADS FROM ONE DOUGH Heat 3 cups water to 120 to 140 Pour hot water into large mixing bowl and when cooled slightly add1 envelope dry yeast1 tbsp. sugar The yeast will grow and when it is spongy, add4 cups good flour4 tbsp. butter or good oil1 tsp. salt small shake of Cardamom Stir all together and add enough further flour to make a great pliable, not sticky dough. Set aside to rise in a warm, non-drafty place until the dough is twice it's original size. Butter 3 baking pans. One could be a loaf pan, a medium cookie sheet, and a 2 qt. round Any baking pans can be used; these are suggestions only. Shape some of the dough into small dinner rolls and place on the cookie sheet to rise. Put brown sugar in the bottom of one pan and roll balls of dough in brown sugar mixed with some white sugar, shake of cardamom and place the sugared balls in the pan and stack them in a layer 2 or 3 high depending on the size of the balls .The last dough, flatten the dough into a rectangle, spread the leftover sugar mixture on this and roll up jelly-roll fashion. This can be cut into cinnamon rolls and baked, or left as a giant roll and placed in a baking pan. Bake in preheated sun oven at least 300 or more. The baking times will vary because of the thickness of the breads, but these will brown nicely and baking times will be close to conventional oven times. Say 30 minutes or 40 for the dinner rolls, about 40 minutes for the sugared cinnamon balls. and about 40 to 50 minutes for the large roll, less if you shape them into individual cinnamon rolls. Enjoy!