Cooking in Cold Weather
I had thought that over the Christmas holiday, while I was off work, that I would do lots of solar cooking. But that was not the case. First, it was holiday vacation time and there were lots of things to get done. But, this past week, we have had almost unprecedented clouds, rain, cold weather, and even a few snow flurries. I can’t even remember the last time there were snow flurries here in Mesa. Of course, the Superstition Mountains look lovely this time of year with a beautiful white snow cap.
On New Year’s Day, the sun was finally shining again, even though it was cold. I have read that it doesn’t matter if it is cold outside (solar cookers are used on top of mountains!), only that there must be sunshine. Today was a perfect day to test that theory. I decided to put out the solar cookers.
It was only 31 degrees outside when Rod put the GSO out to pre-heat. But after about half an hour, the oven temperature had risen to 250 degrees. The oven eventually reached 300 degrees. (outside air temp had risen to about 41 degrees by noon). I put a quick and easy Blueberry Pineapple Crumb Cake into the pre-heated oven. The cake baked for about 3 hours, a little longer than I was expecting.
Rod put out the SOS Sport at the same time. He put it in the winter position with the reflectors, but forgot the thermometer. I put a double recipe of Swiss Steak in the Sport. It cooked about 5 hours, about the same time as it does in the summer.
So although it took a little longer for the temperature to rise in the ovens, and a little longer for the cake to bake, both the GSO and the Sport worked quite well in the cold weather.