Summer Kitchen In A Suitcase?

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During last year’s Home Grown Food Summit, the president of SUN OVENS International, Paul Munsen, very kindly donated not one, but two SUN OVENS for us to give away as prizes.

But it was a bit crazy: Nikki, who manages all of our incoming e-mail, was bombarded with inquiries about this particular prize.

Easy outdoor kitchen: cook with the sun using a sun oven!

(And about the Survival Still . . . but I’ll come back to that in another post.)

Anyway, people were asking Nikki so many questions about how the SUN OVEN works, that I contacted Paul and asked him to ship me one so I could create my own video review of it!

You can watch me unbox a SUN OVEN and cook with it for the first time here:

Once I tried it, I could immediately appreciate why SUN OVENS have been on the market for more than 30 years now.

This is a quality product.

And in the middle of a Texas summer, I gotta tell you, I really appreciate being able to cook outdoors with it.

Easy outdoor kitchen: cook with the sun using a sun oven!
Easy outdoor kitchen: cook with the sun using a sun oven!

If you’re interested in learning more about the SUN OVEN and how it can benefit your family, Paul will be hosting a really great workshop for our TGN Community next week:

Review of the Sun Oven

Spring Into Summer: Harness the Sun to Save Money & Live Naturally

Thursday, June 21, 2018

6:00 p.m. PST / 7:00 p.m. MDT / 8:00 p.m. CST / 9:00 p.m. EST

A 60-minute online class with live Q&A

FREE TO ATTEND . . . but you must register here:

Hope you can make it!

Easy outdoor kitchen: cook with the sun using a sun oven!

P.S. Don’t forget . . . . Paul has spoken at the last two Home Grown Food Summits, so if you’d like to geek out and prepare some questions IN ADVANCE for him, you can always rewatch the presentations if you purchased lifetime access to these events (Lifetime access is no longer available, but if you already own them, you can rewatch them!):

  1. “Harnessing Solar Energy on the Homestead” was his presentation at the 2017 Home Grown Food Summit.
  2. And “Cooking With the Power of the Sun” was his presentation at the 2016 Home Grown Food Summit.

P.P.S. You won’t want to miss this webinar. Paul has promised to cover topics that will include how to:

  • Use a SUN OVEN in ways that go beyond just cooking, like pasteurizing water, dehydrating, and sterilizing potting soil.
  • Bake, boil, steam, and roast complete meals (that’ll never burn!).
  • Naturally dehydrate fruits and vegetables, or make jerky.
  • Reduce your utility bills (and keep your kitchen cooler!) while enjoying baked roasts and breads all summer long.
  • Naturally kill bug infestations in grains or dried foods.

And so much more.

Again, you can register for this FREE class here:

Plus, you’ll see on the registration page that Paul is giving everyone who registers a FREE COPY of his e-Book “Emerging from the Emergency,” a 120-page disaster preparedness guide that helps you plan to survive any tragedy or disaster.

So make sure you download a copy of that, too!

(This review of the SUN OVEN was originally published on July 17, 2017—but the 2018 workshop really is happening next week! 🙂


The post Summer Kitchen In A Suitcase? appeared first on The Grow Network.

Cooking with the sun

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There are several different ways to use the sun in cooking, aka solar cooking or solar ovens. If you live in a sunny place, the desert, anyplace with unobstructed sunshine, you can use a solar oven to cook most meals.

There are parabolic cookers, these are like using a hot grill, you pretty much have to be right on top of it all the time to cook with these.

There are panel cookers, these use a silver (usually mylar) foil covered cardboard, the DIY ones are often made from a window shade made for vehicles. The nice thing about these are they are very portable, light and easy to set up. The bad thing about them is they don’t reach and maintain a very high temperature, and being light weight, they can blow away in wind.

The third major kind are box cookers, these work just like a small oven, they can be made of a cardboard box, or for a more permanent solution, made of wood or plastic. It is essentially an insulated box with a glass top and to make them work even better, reflectors are added to the top. This is the kind I like best.

I have scoured YouTube in search of the best build, I see many mistakes being made, mainly in the materials used in building them, you don’t want to use anything that will off gas or become toxic when it becomes hot, using styrofoam, some types of glue, some kinds of wood even will out gas toxic fumes when heated, I cringe when I see these being used.

I found one video that really jumped out at me, though I’m sure there are many more, I liked this one. The first video shows how it’s built, I will admit that my ADD struck and I had to move the video along a bit, but the build is solid. The second video shows a whole chicken being cooked in this solar oven. Enjoy!


The post Cooking with the sun appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Solavore Solar Oven – Pic Review

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One of the big topics that has been consistent in preparedness over the years that I have run Prepper Website, is food.  People know how important it is to eat!  A few days of going hungry and you start to really lose energy and even the ability to focus and think straight.  Couple that with stress and expended energy to deal with your situation, eating isn’t a want, it is a need!

When it comes to preparedness cooking, you need options!  There might be times when you don’t have time to build and maintain a fire.  There might be time when you need to conserve your fuel.  There might be time when an open flame gives away your activities and your position.

One option for preppers is a solar oven. Until recently, I had only read about them and seen videos.  However, I now have some experience using the Solavore Sport Solar Oven.

The Solavore Sport Oven was shipped neatly packaged with clear instructions for setup.  Make sure you do read the instructions carefully and just don’t go to town removing the film on the lid that kind of looks like an anti-scratch plastic for shipping! It’s there for a reason. I almost made the mistake of ripping it off!  The solar oven comes with the solar box, clear lid, reflectors, two black pots, a temperature gauge and a WAPI.

My main concern and real trial was if the solar oven would cook the “usual” stockpile of food that preppers would store.  For me, that would include rice and beans.

My first attempt failed!  I waited for a sunny day, according to  I started early in the morning and set everything up.  However, I lost the sun halfway through the day.  So, this is something that needs to be kept in mind if you’re cooking during an emergency situation.  You will need a backup plan to possibly finish cooking your food if you lose the sun behind clouds.

My second attempt worked!  Again, I waited for a sunny day. I set the Solavore Sport out before I left for work.  The cool thing is that I didn’t get back home till after 7 p.m.  The sun was already setting and the box was cool (January in Houston, TX).  The temperature gauge didn’t even register!  I thought I had another fail on my hands.  When I lifted the lid, I could smell the rice and beans.  I brought the pots inside and took a bite!  Everything was done to my satisfaction.  I made a bowl of rice and beans, added a little  Tony’s to it and popped it in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm it up.

Solar ovens don’t burn food.  So, you can leave your food in your solar oven all day and not worry about it burning.  There are so many things that you can cook with a solar oven. Solavore has recipes you can try – savory and sweet.

My advice is that you experiment and try cooking with your solar oven when you don’t need it, so you will know how it works when you do need it!  The beauty of the Solavore is that it is so lightweight and sturdy.  You can use this all year long, just as long as you have sun.  And, you don’t have to wait for an emergency!

You can purchase the Solavore Sports Solar Oven on the Solavore site.

Check out my pics below as well as videos that I have linked to by my blogging friend, Anegela @ Food Storage and Survival.  Especially pay attention to her video on the WAPI.  I think this is a BIG selling point for solar ovens.

This is a pic from my first attempt. You can see I had a ton of sun, but I lost it 1/2 way through the day. I also think I put in a little too much water. You’re supposed to put in 25% less water than you normally use in a recipe.  I didn’t read that part during my first attempt!

Second attempt. Setting up the rice and beans.  A lot less water!

Pic of the Solavore Sport Solar Oven. This pic was taken early in the morning before I left for work.

Already cool because the sun was setting when I took the pots out of the oven, however, the rice and beans were fully cooked!

A little Tony’s! I was just missing some cornbread!

The Solavore Sports Oven comes with the oven and lid, reflectors, two pots, a temperature gauge and a WAPI.

WAPI = Water Pasteurization Indicator. If you haven’t seen one of these in action, check out the video below.



Do you have any experience with a solar oven?  What is it?  Would you consider purchasing one for your preps?



Savory Solar Oven Sweet Potatoes

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Try this savory solar oven sweet potatos recipe. It's a nice change on a cold winter day | PreparednessMama

I’m lovin’ my new solar oven! This month for our solar oven cooking demo we are making sweet potatoes. You may think that sweet potatoes are only for the holidays and need to be packed with sugar, but you’d be wrong. This recipe for savory solar oven sweet potatoes is a nice change for these cold […]

The post Savory Solar Oven Sweet Potatoes appeared first on PreparednessMama.

Solar Oven Spiced Apples

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Solar Oven Spiced Apples | PreparednessMama

Tasty and Easier than you think! Several years ago my family moved from Oregon to Texas. These two places could not be any different. There are many fantastic qualities for both Oregon and Texas, but one of the biggest bonuses of moving to the South is being surrounded by the sunshine on many days. Let’s face […]

The post Solar Oven Spiced Apples appeared first on PreparednessMama.

Summer has Arrived and it is Time to Start Solar Cooking

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solar cooking

A meal cooked on Solar ovens

Summer is here and the sun in shining.  It is time to start solar cooking.  It is fun, keeps the heat out of your house and prepares you for cooking in an emergency.  Now there are many advantages to solar cooking in an emergency.  One it saves fuel, you don’t have to waste time looking for wood or burning other precious fuels.  You can use a solar cooker in the winter as long as the sun is shining and you insulate the cooker from the cold ground.  A friend of mine has used his sitting on top of 4 feet of snow and been able to cook a meal.

Normally the best time of day for solar cooking is between 9 am and 3 pm.  A good rule of thumb is that if your shadow is no longer than your height you can cook with a solar oven.  If your shadow is to long the sun is to low on the horizon.

If you live above the 60 parallel, you may find that solar cooking is not very efficient.  At lower levels, solar ovens can be very efficient, for example at the 40°N parallel you should average 150 days a year, almost 6 months.  At the 35°N parallel you should be able to cook for well over 6 months.

solar cooking

A chart showing the number of prime cooking days at different parallels.

solart cooking

A map showing the 35 and 40 parallels

As a rule of thumb, we have found that it takes about twice as long to cook food on a solar oven as it does on a stove.  Some solar ovens are faster than others.  You need to spend some time studying them to determine which one is best for you.

Here are some links to help you with solar cooking

If you do a search on this site under solar ovens you will find additional information, recipes and plans to make your own.

There are currently several high quality solar ovens currently on the market,  This includes the Gosun solar oven, the Global Sun Oven, and the Solavore Solar oven.  In addition, there are many other good commercial and homemade stoves available.   But there is a learning curve so start now.



The post Summer has Arrived and it is Time to Start Solar Cooking appeared first on Preparedness Advice Blog.

Solar Cooking Tips

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solar cooking

The All American Sun Oven

We have been practicing solar cooking for a while now and  have a few tips to share with you.  We have used three different types of solar ovens, and each one has its own characteristics.  The three different types are the All American Sun Oven, the Gosun Solar Cooker, see link on the right side of this page, and a homemade parabolic reflector.

The first one I will talk about is the All American Sun Oven, this is the more traditional box oven and it works very similar to the oven in your kitchen range.  If you have good sun and move the box regularly, it will probably take you about twice as long as normal to cook your recipe.

This cooker is good for large roasts or casseroles and baking.  It can hold large pots and is good for cooking for several people.  Its limitations are that you can’t fry anything in it.

solar cooking

The Gosun Solar Cooker

The Gosun is an interesting cooker.  It will cook food quite fast and does a good job.  But it will not hold a large amount of food at any one time.  However, it will roast meat, cook vegetables and bake bread.  If you are cooking for a couple this cooker works well.  It is fast and easy to use.

The third type is the parabolic reflector.  These are easy to make at home and while the other two ovens are like the oven on your stove, these are like the range top.  You can fry eggs or other foods on them and cook anything you normally would on your range top.  However, they are not good for baking or other foods that you would normally cook in your oven.

solar cooking

A homemade parabolic reflector

Now with each of methods of solar cooking, you will have successes and failures. One of the most interesting was the ramp cake.  Let’s just say that with the All American Sun Oven you have to be sure to level the cooker even when you’re moving it to catch the sun.  I assembled the two layers and frosted them and it was delicious.

Solar cooking works great and is a good addition to your preps, but you need to take the time to use it.  There is a bit of a learning curve.



The post Solar Cooking Tips appeared first on Preparedness Advice Blog.

Mountain Woman Radio

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Mountain Woman Radio Christmas

Mountain Woman Radio - Tammy Trayer

Mountain Woman Radio is available every Wednesday either on our website or iTunes.

Mountain Woman Radio is  loaded with inspiration, encouragement and knowledge on self-reliance, preparedness, sustainability, homesteading, off-grid living, wilderness survival, day to day life, autism, traditional and primitive skills, gardening, canning and so much more.  Not to mention, there are guests from all walks of life joining frequently to share their stories.

Not everyone is able to listen to podcasts due to poor internet connections and such, therefore,  we have created cd’s so that you can listen at your convenience as well as gift them if you feel so inclined.

Mountain Woman Radio Christmas

Mountain Woman Radio Season 1


Price: $9.99

We’re Sorry

Mountain Woman Radio Christmas  


Mountain Woman Radio Season 2

Price: $9.99

We’re Sorry

The post Mountain Woman Radio appeared first on Trayer Wilderness.

Free Webinar: Sun Cooking Essentials

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Two years ago, my husband snapped this picture with his smart phone… 

Free Webinar: Sun Cooking Essentials

Now, I know it’s not the most visually appealing photo of a roast chicken you’ve seen but it’s a picture worth saving because it’s a picture of the first thing we ever cooked in our Sun Oven. 

The photo may leave something to be desired but the chicken did not. It was down right delicious! We’ve made quite a few of them since that photo was taken.

Sun Ovens are really cool. We love ours, however I’m embarrassed to say we haven’t made anything else in it…only the roast chicken. I want to use it more but I’m a little intimated. I definitely could use some help getting things cookin’. 😉

I thought you might enjoy learning more about how to harness the power of the sun to cook too, so I invited Paul Munsen of Sun Ovens International to teach an interactive online seminar. Paul has devoted his life to sharing fundamental Sun Oven cooking techniques with people all over the world. He’s definitely the right guy to teach us. 

Join us for the FREE Sun Cooking Essentials Webinar!

Sun Cooking Essentials on HomeReadyHome.comThe Sun Ovens Cooking Essentials Webinar will show you the fundamental sun cooking and baking techniques to help you warm up to the idea of cooking with the sun to save money now and be better prepared for emergencies. Whether you have a Sun Oven and want to learn more or you know nothing about solar cooking you will find this seminar beneficial.

You’ll Learn:

  • How to harness the power of the sun to cook and dehydrate food, purify water, and be better prepared for emergencies
  • How a Sun Oven can help you never worry about burning dinner again
  • How to use a Sun Oven to naturally dehydrate fruits and vegetables
  • How to reduce your utility bills while learning how to cook during hard times when normal fuel sources will be in short supply.

Mark Your Calendar!

Thursday June 25, 2015

7 p.m. CST, (8 p.m. EST / 6 p.m. MST / 5 p.m. PST)

Space is limited so register now and save your spot. 

Register Here. 

What questions do you have about solar cooking?

If you have a question for Paul, please leave it in the comments below and I’ll make sure he answers it in the webinar.

Looking forward to learning with you!


This article may contain affiliate links. For more information, read the Disclaimers & Disclosures here. Thank you for your support!

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