Has anyone tried co...
 

Has anyone tried cooking with a Solar Oven?  

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crazyflamingo
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January 1, 2015 8:44 pm  

I was reading one of my favorite blogs today about frugal living and the author had mentioned cooking using a solar oven. Since I've never heard of this before, I did a quick internet search. I immediately thought this may be a good cooking option for living in the VI, especially with WAPA costs so high. Or even just as a fun alternative way to cook an occasional meal. The link below is just an example of one if you are not familiar with sun ovens. (There are many different brands/price points as well as DIY instructions to make your own online.)

http://www.sunoven.com/products-page

Has anyone ever used one or something similar? I've read over many reviews and safety tips online and I'm just curious if it is something worth considering purchasing/making once I get on island later this year.

Thanks! And Happy New Year everyone!


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OldTart
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January 1, 2015 9:24 pm  

Unless you have an electric stove your gas consumption isn't going to be huge. I do quite a lot of cooking and a tank currently priced at something over $90 lasts me over a year. It wouldn't be a priority for me and I'm familiar with the solar cookers.


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crazyflamingo
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January 1, 2015 9:44 pm  

Thanks OldTart! It totally slipped my mind when I wrote the post that most cook using gas in the islands. I'm so use to cooking with electric up here. No wonder when I searched on here I couldn't find any info about using one. Thanks for the estimated pricing on a tank of propane and how long it lasts for someone who does a lot of cooking. I cook most of my meals at home so its good to know.


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DonExodus
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January 2, 2015 4:24 pm  

Buying a cheap smoker is a great fun option as well.


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jj00802
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January 2, 2015 6:03 pm  

I agree with OT
I cook 1-2 meals daily using stove top with occasional use of the oven and the $90 tank of propane will last 3-4 years.

Having a gas stove instead of electric has two advantages:
-- keeps the electric bill lower
-- available for cooking during power outages.


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Alana33
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January 2, 2015 6:24 pm  

Plus, WAPA can't fry your propane stove with their outages and power surges.


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SkysTheLimit
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January 2, 2015 7:58 pm  

Not all modern gas stoves will light without power applied. When you buy a gas stove make sure you can manually light it. If not,....don't buy that one!

Alan
St. Croix resident since 2000


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Alana33
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January 2, 2015 8:34 pm  

Those are hard to find. They all seem to have the electronic ignition.
I keep mine plugged into a surge protector and only flip it on when lighting the oven.


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OldTart
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January 2, 2015 9:43 pm  

Not all modern gas stoves will light without power applied. When you buy a gas stove make sure you can manually light it. If not,....don't buy that one!

The oven isn't operable but the top burners can be lit manually.


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SkysTheLimit
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January 3, 2015 1:42 pm  

Not all modern gas stoves will light without power applied. When you buy a gas stove make sure you can manually light it. If not,....don't buy that one!

The oven isn't operable but the top burners can be lit manually.

My neighbors have a gas stove that cannot be lit unless power is applied. Oven or stove top.

Alan
St. Croix resident since 2000


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OldTart
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January 3, 2015 2:38 pm  

My neighbors have a gas stove that cannot be lit unless power is applied. Oven or stove top.

Very unusual where the stovetop is concerned. If their particular stove model has a shut-off safety feature it can be overcome by being quick and ready with a flame. A butane "flame thrower" such as you use to light a BBQ is best to use. Have it lit and then turn on the burner and immediately light it up.


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CruzanIron
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January 3, 2015 8:06 pm  

OT, the issue isn't the spark, but gas stoves that have am electric valve that shuts of the supply of gas when there is no electricity. The solenoid valve is open only when it has power.


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OldTart
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January 3, 2015 8:20 pm  

That's what I'm talking about. You apparently have to be very quick to override the safety shut-off but it can be done with some sleight of hand. Glad my current stove (and it's quite new) doesn't have that feature - the electric ignition really saves a lot over having pilot lights burning all the time. The commercial stove I had at my restaurant had pilots and I quickly learned not to have them running as they were such a waste, while I did the same thing at home with a similarly piloted stove.

Just trying to pass on helpful hints as there are so many little things you can do to save $$ and make life a little easier.


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klpmtm
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January 4, 2015 4:57 am  

Kind of off topic, but when you say gas stoves, is that that same gas on the mainland or is it propane. When we move to stx we want to bring our washer and dryer. BUT it is a gas dryer. And we are thinking of buying a stove/oven here and bring that too. It also would be gas.


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CruzanIron
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January 4, 2015 7:37 am  

In the VI, when we say gas, we mean propane. LNG appliances can be converted to work on propane.


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klpmtm
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January 5, 2015 2:09 pm  

Thanks Cruzan! Just wondering, do I need to pick up a converter kit? And can they be bought at HD?

Thanks again!


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Alana33
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January 5, 2015 2:14 pm  

The stoves here are usually sold with the converter kit.
I normally have my appliance repairman do the installation.


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CruzanIron
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January 5, 2015 2:22 pm  

The orifices may be specific to your appliance brand. You'll have to research.
The in-stove regulator can be reconfigured, but you'll also need the instructions for your specific appliance.


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klpmtm
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January 5, 2015 2:28 pm  

Thanks for the info!


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ms411
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January 5, 2015 6:20 pm  

Even though propane is much cheaper, I think solar cooking should be encouraged to increase awareness of solar's capabilities.

If you're renting do you not choose the dwelling if it doesn't have gas? Some people I know have a fear of gas because of an unfortunate accident.

I would love for one of the environmental associations to offer a workshop on solar cooking.


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OldTart
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January 5, 2015 6:27 pm  

1. If you're renting do you not choose the dwelling if it doesn't have gas? Some people I know have a fear of gas because of an unfortunate accident.

2. I would love for one of the environmental associations to offer a workshop on solar cooking.

1. I won't rent a place that has an electric stove - gas only.

2. Why do you need a workshop? A solar oven is super easy to use and you can find a ton of information online as well as following the simple directions on whatever you buy. You can even make your own simple oven from online plans.


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ms411
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January 5, 2015 6:53 pm  

I like interacting with other people who have similar interests. I can also "try before I buy/build."


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crazyflamingo
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January 5, 2015 8:02 pm  

I like interacting with other people who have similar interests. I can also "try before I buy/build."

There really is a ton of useful info and helpful hints about cooking with solar ovens online. Some of the DIY plans sound so simple and super cheap to make, like maybe $10 total for supplies. I've decided I'm going to make one in the next few weeks to see how well it works. I can let you know how it goes when I do it.


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OldTart
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January 5, 2015 8:04 pm  

I like interacting with other people who have similar interests. I can also "try before I buy/build."

Do a search for "solar ovens" and you'll come up with pages and pages of links including forums where people discuss every aspect of the ovens from how to set one up to countless recipes and would be delighted to interact with you. It's just not "workshop" material in my opinion.

But if you feel there's a need for a workshop then contact one of the environmental groups to get their feedback - or set one up yourself.


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ms411
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January 5, 2015 9:40 pm  

I've done that already. IMO the Caribbean islands should swallow their pride and consider themselves third world so they can get more non profit funding and expertise.

Africa isn't the only location needing low cost solutions.


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