So as I’ve written in a past post (Equipment For Self-Sufficiency), we bought a Solavore Solar Oven in summer of 2019 and it was promptly put into the tub (yep we have a deep tub on the boat). And unused until early May…when I was bound and determined to start using it for all types of food that we couldn’t cook in our regular oven….cause it’s still not working. IE: I have not fixed it yet…and may not. So I broke out the Solar Oven on a bright sunny day, intent on cooking an entire first meal for the crew in the oven. I chose a meal based on what we had on board and could be easily cooked in a solar oven…available by recipe in directions that come with the oven* and on the Solavore Website*. Tulum had a whole chicken left and rice and corn easily available, so I chose to cook these as part of our meal. Putting it all together, it seemed like a great meal and I had plenty of time left in the day with great overhead sun to cook the food. At approx 1230, I put the food in the oven and let er’ rip. Except….I made a mistake right when I started cooking the food, as I didn’t immediately put on the reflectors, not realizing that I couldn’t get enough heat quickly to start a good cook. I also moved the oven several times looking for the best sun….but putting on the reflectors would have solved the heat problem.
At about 3pm, I realized the oven wasn’t staying hot enough and put on the reflectors. By 5 pm I had made the hard call and admitted the food wasn’t going to finish in the solar oven….so I tried to save my meal by putting the whole chicken on the Big Green Egg. After the Green Egg was hot and the chicken on…I did save the rice…it was mostly cooked in the solar oven.
Epic Fail: All day, the chicken had an odd smell and after taking a close look at the bird on the Big Green Egg, I realized that it was not only not cooked; but had gone bad in it’s semi-frozen state inside our freezer over the last several weeks of cruising and isolating. I had been cooking the chicken all day…no wonder it didn’t smell right or cook well. The damn thing was rotten. EPIC FAIL on my part. Lessons Learned: 1. Ensure food isn’t rotten before cooking. 2. Try, try again. That story coming!
*The Solavore Sport User Guide, pg. 12. Whole Chicken Recipe
*The Solavore Website: www.SolarOvens.org, Solar Oven Recipes Section- Wild Rice Recipe