Cooking With A Sun Oven

All American Sun Oven

My new sun oven!

Cooking with a solar oven is not hard to do as long as you have plenty sun. All day sun is best too. I bought the All American sun oven last year. Once I had used it a couple of times it was pretty easy. The only problem I have with it is that is big and awkward and takes up too much space when not being used. For a while I had it on my kitchen counter but space is limited in my small kitchen and could not afford it the space. I now have it in the bottom of my canning cupboard. So instead of taking up the space when not being used, it is difficult to get to it when I want to use it. My cast iron cookware collection is in a large Rubbermaid container in front of that cupboard. It has to be moved to open the cupboard and cast iron is very heavy. Needless to say, I am not making good use of the sun oven until I can figure out a better spot to store it.

 

Meatballs in Sun Oven

Meatballs cooking in the sun oven.

The All American is big, but lightweight, so cooking with a sun oven is something you can do pretty easily. Mine came with the Dehydrating and Preparedness Accessory Package. It surprised me that so much stuff was included in the accessory package and the quality was excellent. For the most part the sun oven is a good buy. If your power was out and you had sunshine it would be easy to set it out and let it cook. There is a little gauge on the front that helps you keep it in the right place to catch the sun. You have to keep your eye on it though. The accessory package included the dehydrating and baking rack set, two pots with lids that can be stacked in the oven and two bread pans. Includes the oven thermometer also. Even though their information says it will cook up to 360-400 degrees Fahrenheit, mine has not gone up that high. Usually 350 degrees is about the best I can do. It works though and cooks a lot faster than I expected.

 

Cooking Eggs in Sun Oven

Cooking eggs

I have made our breakfast in the sun oven, but if you eat early you will  have to change your schedule. I had to wait for the sun to be able start cooking. I wanted to try it anyway. I heated up my cast iron skillet in the sun oven and it cooked fine. I also tried baking eggs in my Pyrex glass custard dishes and it came out perfect. Cooking bacon in it was a bit messy when I tried to turn the bacon over and when I took it out. I hated having bacon grease spill in the bottom of the oven. Since I got it I have made a variety of different foods and it always did a good job. It is nice having your meal cooking all day outside and just checking on it or turning it toward the sun every now and then. We will all of a sudden start smelling the food cooking. Fast! Did I mention how fast it actually cooks? It is great for roasts and ribs. I have cooked both and we couldn’t get over how tender and tasty everything turns out.

Beef Rump Roast in a sun oven

Cooking a roast with the sun!

Cooking with a sun oven is something that comes in handy if you have an emergency of any kind and have no power. You can even take it with you when you go camping. I realize there is much more to this All American Sun Oven and that I have not even scratched the surface of its potential. It is on my list of things I need to work on so I can make it a bigger part of my cooking routine. I forgot to mention that with this oven is also included a 600 eCookbook with your purchase. I just use my regular recipes and adjust them as I see needed. Baking pumpkin bread in it was easy and very good. Came out perfect too.

Pumpkin bread in the sun oven.

Pumpkin bread in the sun oven.

 

katlupe

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole

I write this blog based on my experience living an off-the-grid life as a modern homesteader. Some of the links you may click or products I recommend may or may not compensate me for including them in my post. Be sure to read my disclosure page if you are concerned about that. I am currently an Amazon Associate and have placed links to an Amazon product in this post that I will be compensated for it you click the link and purchase this or any other product on Amazon today. Thank you if you do!


Grinding Whole Coffee Beans

Lupe ShopKrups Electric Coffee Bean Grinder

Grinding whole coffee beans in a grinder gives your coffee a whole different taste and aroma . We started doing it last year when I purchased this Krups Electric Coffee Bean Grinder from Amazon. It can also be used for grinding spices too, but if you do that, you probably should have one exclusively for coffee beans too. It has a 200-watt motor and will grind about 3 ounces of coffee in 3 seconds. The instructions say that it has a large capacity and can grind 12 cups of coffee, but I am not sure about that. I usually put 3 tablespoons of whole beans in at a time and grind them. Then do that several times to fill a small pint canning jar with the ground coffee. I have not kept track of how many tablespoons I use for each pot. I make the coffee every night before we go to bed, so in the morning it just has to be put on the stove and perked.

Lupe Shop

The Krups Coffee Bean Grinder has stainless steel blades and inside. Like I said above, it can be used to grind spices and grains as well as the coffee beans. The lid is designed so it can’t be started without the lid on it for safety reasons. Good thing too! I found it to be easy to use, but I get tired of standing by the counter to use it. I finally got smart and dragged my stool up to the counter so when I use it, I can sit down. You have to press the button down and hold it while it grinds. I would have preferred a on and off switch, but this works.

Lupe Shop

Whole Coffee Beans in Krups Grinder.

I never fill it up to the top so I am not positive how that would work. I did not want to ruin my beans, even for this post. I have been purchasing organic beans and the coffee does have a much better flavor. I do not know if that is what the difference is or if it because I am using beans now instead of pre-ground. Many people only grind the beans just before they make the coffee. I don’t do that, because my husband puts the coffee on in the morning when he gets up and is getting our wood stoves going. I am fortunate enough to wake up to the aroma of fresh perked coffee! Yes, I know, I am quite spoiled! Still, Krups says, “In fact, coffee beans lose 40% of their aroma in the few minutes following the grinding process.” So I could be missing out on some of my aroma.

 

Lupe Shop

Fresh Ground Coffee Beans

There you have the fresh ground coffee beans. Now you can grind them finer than I do. I do not use a filter in my coffee pot, just the filter that is part of our coffee pot. I looked at the reviews on Amazon and cannot agree with all of them. I do not see that you have to use a paper filter and I don’t. One reviewer said it was too loud. Of course it is a loud, it is grinding beans for goodness sake! I am not one for loud noise either, but shoot, you are only grinding it for a few seconds. Another reviewer said when you pour it out of the grinder, not every drop of the grounds comes out. That is correct, but for me that is such a trivial matter………though what I do is to wipe it out with my clean finger into the coffee grounds basket on the coffee pot. Mine is usually pretty clean and then I wipe it out with a paper towel. The reason it does that is due to the oil in the coffee beans.

 

Lupe Shop

Enjoy!

 

I recommend the Krups Electric Coffee Bean Grinder. I use it myself and have been very happy with it. It is a good buy and not real expensive. As of this writing it is only $15.99 on Amazon. Buy one and get a bag of organic coffee beans to go with it. I think you will like it.

 

kat;lupe

Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole

I write this blog based on my experience living an off-the-grid life as a modern homesteader. Some of the links you may click or products I recommend may or may not compensate me for including them in my post. Be sure to read my disclosure page if you are concerned about that. I am currently an Amazon Associate and have placed links to an Amazon product in this post that I will be compensated for it you click the link and purchase this or any other product on Amazon today. Thank you if you do!


Presto Pressure Cooker Has Improved Our Healthy Meals

Presto Pressure Cooker

Presto Pressure Cooker

 

Presto 01370 8-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker is the pressure cooker I chose to buy back in June of 2013. I had never cooked with one before, but remember my mother using one for many years as I was growing up. When she would come home from work, she’d get the food started in the pressure cooker, then go change her clothes. By the time she was done with making the salad, and I had set the table, the pressure cooker was done cooking. Very quick and we always had good meals.

Presto Pressure Cooker

Brand New!


I purchased my Presto  pressure cooker from Amazon and I have been very happy with it. It was my birthday present to myself this year. Since we do not use a microwave, and don’t feel they are safe to cook with, using a pressure cooker allows me to prepare healthy foods…..fast! I can’t believe how quickly I can put a roast on the table. Not only that, but it is fork-tender. My husband loves the meals I have been preparing! I love Presto’s products and trust them. This particular items has a 12 year limited warranty on it. They have other sizes as well as electric ones and styles available.

Pressure Cooker Steamer Basket

Steamer Basket For Pressure Cooker

The steamer basket sits on a little trivet that is on the bottom of the pressure cooker. You then put your food into this steamer basket. Add the amount of water for your recipe. It is usually 1-2 cups of water or other liquid. Then put the top on and you are ready to cook. I turn the heat up on high until it pressurizes. You can tell when it does that by the little plug on top sticking up. It will make a noise and you will see the steam pouring out. That is what you want, a steady stream of steam.

Pressure Cooking Pot Roast

Pressure cooking pot roast

Once your food has cooked for the set time you can either “force it” to release, or just wait till it releases on its own. Most of the time, I let it release on its own. If when you check it, it is not done, you can start it back up again. I have to admit, I have not had to do that yet. It is is always done when I check it. At first, I was a bit nervous using it. My husband helped me through it and at least I never ruined anything. Not yet anyway!

Pot Roast Pressure Cooked

Pot roast all done!

Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker is available on Amazon. And yes, I am an affiliate of Amazon’s and will receive a commission if you go there and make a purchase. And if you do, “I thank you, very much!” I appreciate it.

 

Disclosure: I write this blog based on my experiences of having bought and used the items reviewed here. Some of the links you may click or products I recommend may or may not compensate me for including them in my post. Be sure to read my disclosure page,  if you are concerned about that.

 

katlupe

Copyright © 2013 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2013 Kathleen G. Lupole

Update: 2015


Old Time Quality Cookware Still Made Today

 Pyramid Toaster

The Pyramid Toaster

Quality cookware is hard to find in most discount stores. U.S.buyers are complaining constantly about products not made in the U.S. Bad quality products coming from other countries, especially China. Of course, if the manufacturers insist on them using inferior materials, it is not the fault of the factory workers. That is a whole other story though. There are some products manufactured right here in the U.S. that is getting some attention though. Buying good quality products that last for years is worth every penny you spend. Get out of Walmart and you will find better made products.


Jacob Bromwell is a company that offers excellent quality cookware with a guarantee that is unheard of anymore. A Lifetime Guarantee! One of things that has drawn me to this company is that they manufacture cookware that is considered old fashioned. For my home, which is powered by an alternative energy system, this type of cookware is essential. Each item is made to last and for me that is most important. Not just the electric products either. They also have cookie sheets, flour sifters, food processors and other items for the homemaker. If you like to cook from scratch these are essential items that you need and you need them to last. You probably would not have to replace them ever.

 

Toaster

Easy to use! Just keep an eye on it!

The pyramid toaster is a useful item, even if you are not using it for camping or live in an off-the-grid home. During power outages when the power is off for a period of time, making your toast on a gas stove burner comes in handy. It may not be the same as an electric modern toaster, but uses no electric and the bread is actually toasted and very good.This is what we have used for toast since 1999. I wrote a post about it, Our Off-The-Grid Toaster on my blog, Homesteading on the Internet.

 

 

Another quality cookware product I like is Jason Bromwell’s popcorn popper. Most people use these in a fireplace or over a campfire. And that is a good way to use them. I like to use our popcorn popper on our gas stove burner and it works just fine that way. My husband makes our popcorn on our wood cook stove and it comes out perfect! A nice thing to do in the evening for fun. Check out their site and I am sure you will find a lot of items that you thought were gone forever.

 

Disclosure: I write this blog based on my experiences of having bought and used the items reviewed here. Some of the links you may click or products I recommend may or may not compensate me for including them in my post. Be sure to read my disclosure page  if you are concerned about that.

 

katlupe

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole

Updated 2015