Yippee - we finally finished it last week.
I think it'll need adjustments though. I suspect the lid isn't tight fitting enough. Hmmm ... and I don't think that bit of coathanger wire will hold up the reflector for long when the Wellington wind gets going! But all in all, my children and I are quite pleased with it.
I've written about our beginner efforts at making and using solar cookers for World Sweet World magazine. Hopefully that'll be in their spring issue.
As a basis for our box cooker, we used the instructions in Cooking with Sunshine by Lorraine Anderson and Rick Palkovic - a detailed and comprehensive book. There are also instructions for making box cookers and other types of solar cooker here. (Take a look at the Cob Solar Oven - it's beautiful.)
I've been feeling impatient to try out our newly made cooker - but there are weeks and weeks to go before we'll have enough sunlight to do it. Then just last night I was reading about heat-retention cooking, and it dawned on me ... In its off season, our solar cooker can double as a haybox cooker.
A haybox cooker is just a box that's well enough insulated to retain cooking heat. You start your pot cooking on the stove, and once it's boiling nicely you take it off the stove, snuggle it into your haybox cooker, and leave it to keep cooking in its own retained heat. No extra energy needed. There's a lovely article about haybox cookers here.
Although the walls and base of our solar box cooker are well insulated, the lid isn't, so to use it as a haybox cooker I'll also need to find something thick and and insulating to wrap around and over the pot before I put the box lid on.
I think I'll have a go at this for tomorrow night's dinner. Hope my son isn't needing his swanndri ...
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