First, remove white or clear plastic that protects both sides of lid. Don’t lay lid on ground – it will be scratched.
1. Solar cookers work best between 9:00am and 15:00pm when the sun shines most of each hour. Clear, arid areas with good sunshine are best. Start early, before work or when your shadow is your height. Cooking time will vary with season, altitude, latitude and quantity of food. When the sun does not shine, use the wood you saved when it did.
2. USE ONLY BLACK POTS WITH BLACK LIDS. Pot lids get very hot, 150C. Do not allow the lid to touch the clear plastic cover; it will melt. Do not touch pot with bare hands; it will burn. Do not use pots with plastic handles; they can melt. Do not leave cooker in sun without food in pots; it can overheat. Clean clear covers with soapy water, no ammonia.
3. Protect the cooker from wind and animals: Place it where sun shines all day with its back to a wall that faces the noon sun. (The wall reflects and stores the solar energy thus increasing the temperature.) If in a hurry, keep adjusting the cooker to face the sun.
4. Solar cooking takes about twice the normal cooking time. Food will not burn or overcook. The back of the oven is hottest. Tip: For a hot oven at start, heat a brick for two hours and leave it in oven while baking. Use less than normal water in soups and stews.
CORN MEAL: Preheat 3 cups of water and 2 cups of corn meal separately in the solar cooker. Mix together and bake; stir again if needed. Cornmeal pre-toasted on an open pan in the cooker adds a nutty, special taste.
RICE: Mix two cups of water and one cup of rice with seasoning, then bake. For a tasty dinner treat add vegetables and/or small pieces of meat.
WHOLE WHEAT BREAD: Mix 3 cups of flour (two kinds for variety), 1 pkt instant yeast, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, 3 tablespoons oil. Make hollow, add 1.5 cups lukewarm water, thoroughly stir, turn into well-greased loaf pan, cover, and bake.
MILLET CAKE: Mix 4 cups of ground millet, 1 cup sugar, 3 cups milk until blended and thick; place in baking pan, smear top of cake with butter and bake.
BEANS: Soak in water overnight; discard this water, cover with fresh water or stock; cover pot and cook. (Beans take no longer to solar cook than with conventional fuel.)
POTATOES, ONIONS, SWEET CORN: Bake whole in pot or clean black sock! Do not peel or cut potatoes unless they are for a stew as they will discolor.
CHICKEN OR MEAT: Cook whole or in pieces: Season and add enough water to cover pan, cut into pieces if sun is poor or if in a hurry. Slow cooking tenderizes meat.
FISH: Put in pot, season, cover with greased paper to retain moisture, cover pot, bake.
VEGETABLES: Cook in covered pot with little or no water.