a sun oven

101 Reasons Why I Recommend A Sun Oven

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I have 101 reasons why I recommend a Sun Oven for you today! I wrote this post many years ago and I’m updating it today for those who have never heard about a Sun Oven.

I have heard people say, Sun Ovens are so expensive. Here’s the deal, where can you purchase an oven that can cook 99.99% of the recipes you already have for less than $500.00?

Please note, if you don’t have SUNSHINE where you live for at least 200 days of the year, I don’t recommend investing in one of these. Since they rely on consistent sunshine during the cooking process, places without much sun during the day probably aren’t the best locations to put one to use.

101 Reasons Why I Recommend A Sun Oven

A Sun Oven Is Perfect For Camping

Keep in mind that the Sun Oven is perfect for camping because you have zero fire issues with no flame and no fuel required to bake your meals. Of course, you’d need to make sure the shade from trees in your camping area don’t block the sun. If you’re camping near a lake, set it out by the water and watch it do its thing.

I have written a post on how to open the box if you purchase a Sun Oven because people are sometimes afraid they won’t know how to use it. Here are the tips I put together: These Are Easy To Use

I Was Asked To Review A Sun Oven

Paul Munsen designed this genius machine. He sent me my first Sun Oven about 10 years ago and asked me to write a review. All you have to do is open the box, remove the film on the shiny reflectors, and boil some vinegar water (in a pan) in the oven the first time to kind of clean and “season” the unit, and then wipe it out. The instructions are included in the box and are easy to follow.

I loved it so much I bought a second one. Plus, I have been writing posts about them for ten years now. All American Oven

It is not uncommon for me to have both of my ovens cooking outside in my backyard several days a week. Just think about this, once you purchase this baby you will never have to pay for fuel, charcoal, propane, or electricity again! The old style is black like mine and the new ones are blue.

Food Will Never Burn

Your meals will never burn, yes, you heard me right! One day I put my whole wheat bread in both ovens and ran down the street to visit a friend and totally forgot my bread for two hours. It was perfectly fine even though it baked an extra hour and a half.

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Whatever you can bake in your conventional oven you can bake in your Sun Oven, if you have sunshine. You can start your meal before you go run errands and position the oven so it gets the best angle of sunshine while you are gone, and it will be cooked when you get home. Of course, you can’t start the meal one hour before the sun goes down or the food won’t be cooked since it needs a more direct flow of sunlight like you have mid-day.

Best Time To Cook In My Area

I typically start my bread, cookies, casseroles, corn, or whatever needs to be cooked, between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Mine is the older style Sun Oven, but it works great for me. It was easy to learn how to position it for the sun. The new ones have a built-in unit to help you turn it correctly to get the best angle of the sun.

Here is how I position my Sun Oven, check out the squares on the sides of the oven. Note, since the sun passes over the surface of the Earth during each day’s sunlight hours, you need to periodically turn the Sun Oven so it faces the sun at the proper angle to maximize the sunlight’s effect and the heat it generates.

sun oven

101 Reasons I Recommend A Sun Oven

These are all the things I have cooked or baked in my Sun Ovens. I want you to know how much I love these ovens because they save me money on utilities!! They are perfect for power outages, but also everyday use as well.

I have actually cooked more than 101 items, but this just shows you all the stuff you can bake in one of these great cooking sources. If the pan or pans fit and you have the sunshine to keep the temperature correct you can bake anything. Remember, you use the recipes you have right now, no special recipes are required. It’s an awesome oven, I promise.

  1. Bake bread
  2. Brownies
  3. Make hard-boiled eggs (I bake mine in a muffin tin)
  4. Boil macaroni
  5. Cook rice
  6. Quinoa
  7. Cakes stay so moist
  8. Whole chicken
  9. Cook corn on the cob in the husks
  10. Baked potatoes
  11. Yams or sweet potatoes
  12. Funeral potatoes (we call them cheesy potatoes in Utah)
  13. Boil water
  14. Bake cupcakes
  15. Cookies
  16. Chicken casseroles
  17. Macaroni and cheese
  18. Green bean casserole
  19. Ham
  20. Bake barbecued chicken
  21. Dehydrate fruits with the racks
  22. Dehydrate vegetables with the racks
  23. Dehydrate herbs with the racks
  24. Bake a quiche
  25. Pork chops
  26. Chopped onions
  27. Cauliflower
  28. Zucchini
  29. Yellow crookneck squash
  30. Sliced carrots
  31. Bake pumpkin bread
  32. Soups
  33. Make lasagna
  34. Beans (if you soak them overnight)
  35. Boil/simmer oatmeal
  36. Muffins
  37. Baked beans
  38. Bake sliced beets
  39. Scrambled eggs
  40. Pulled pork
  41. Pork shoulder roast
  42. Carnitas
  43. Shredded pork for burritos
  44. Shredded beef for tacos
  45. Sun roasted cooked chickpeas drained with olive oil and a little chili powder added
  46. Salmon
  47. Asparagus
  48. Bake a turkey (up to 20 lbs.)
  49. Make Spanish rice
  50. Garlic cloves (peeled)
  51. Peach cobbler
  52. Apple pie
  53. Flan cake
  54. Cherry pie
  55. Pumpkin pie
  56. Pecan pie
  57. Lamb chops
  58. Meatballs
  59. Shepherd’s pie (cooked hamburger, tomato soup, and mashed potatoes)
  60. Corn muffins
  61. Bran muffins
  62. Banana muffins
  63. Pumpkin muffins
  64. Apple crisp
  65. Chicken noodle soup
  66. Mini egg muffins
  67. Chili with beans (I use precooked beans with my recipe)
  68. White chicken chili (I use canned chicken and white navy beans from a can)
  69. Shredded carrots, shredded zucchini, and shredded yellow straight neck squash
  70. Chicken legs with the skin on with olive oil drizzled on them with salt and pepper
  71. Chicken thighs with the skin on with olive oil drizzled on them with salt and pepper
  72. Chicken breasts with the skin on with olive oil drizzled on them with salt and pepper
  73. Turkey breasts with the skin on with olive oil drizzled on them with salt and pepper
  74. Chicken tenderloins and then shred the baked chicken and use it in recipes during the week
  75. Apples (remove the cores) with cinnamon and sugar
  76. Peeled peaches with a little cinnamon and sugar
  77. Mashed potatoes with or without the peelings (place the one-inch cubes covered in a pan of water)
  78. Boil spaghetti without having to watch it boil (set and forget it covered in water)
  79. Spaghetti sauce from scratch
  80. Lime cilantro rice
  81. Refried beans (I use canned pinto beans drained)
  82. Boil Kamut (Trademarked)
  83. Chicken and broccoli casserole
  84. Chicken tetrazzini
  85. Enchiladas
  86. Vegetable or meat stuffed bell peppers
  87. Quinoa stuffed bell peppers
  88. Chicken and rice casserole
  89. Scalloped potatoes
  90. Bread pudding
  91. Turkey dressing
  92. Ham and bean soup
  93. Taco soup
  94. Cheesy cauliflower casserole
  95. Rice pudding
  96. Sweet and sour chicken
  97. Baked short ribs
  98. Spicy chicken wings
  99. Poppy seed chicken
  100. Chili macaroni
  101. Hamburger layered dinner
  102. Purify our water, thank you, Ray
  103. Bonus, it doesn’t heat up our home, thank you, Ray
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Do I need to preheat the oven like I do my conventional oven?

No, you don’t have to but it helps get the oven up to the temperature you need to cook the recipe. The oven in your kitchen uses a confined space that needs to be heated. The Sun Oven is using direct sunlight to heat the product with the design of the oven’s reflectors which help magnify the heat. Picture your skin out in the sun while skiing or on the water fishing.

Do I need special cookware with the Sun Oven?

No special cookware is required, other than it needs to be dark in color and not the shiny pots and pans we often use. The challenge with the shiny cookware is that they reflect the sun away from the food rather than “absorbing” the sun. Yes, you can use glass baking dishes.

Are there limitations to the size of the product I want to cook?

The Sun Oven has a fairly large cooking “cavity” to hold the item(s) to be cooked. You just need to try and maximize the space so the reflectors are directing the sun on as much of the food product as possible. If it’s too big, the sun’s reflected rays may not be as effective.

Final Word

Sometimes things just sound too good to be true. Well, what I’ve said about the Sun Oven is true because I’ve done it! Here’s the deal, whatever you can bake in your conventional oven you can bake in a Sun Oven. Be creative and enjoy saving money at the same time.

If you have a LOT of sun in your area, one of these gems will serve you well. If you have very limited sunshine, I wouldn’t purchase one. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda

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  1. Linda,

    I’ll add another good reason to use a Sun Oven. Cooking in one doesn’t heat up your kitchen, requiring you to spend more an Air Conditioning to cool it back down. So, it save you energy and money.

    Oh, and let’s not forget about using it to purify water (if needed) without boiling it.

  2. Now would be a good time to have one here with all this Florida sunshine. Not needing any type of fuel means no need to stock propane, wood or charcoal. Kind of hard to really recognize that benefit until you run short on fuels. Not heating the house is a BIG deal when the air conditioning is out.

    The thing that always concerns me is the need to adapt and prep food to start cooking early, but you seem to have no problems in Utah, so should be the same here.

    1. Hi Frank, a Sun Oven would do well in Florida, I think. I picture more sunshine than I have here in Utah. It’s all about the sun, you can heat this oven up in about 30 minutes to 350 degrees very easily. If the sun goes down at 5:30 we need to eat earlier. They are awesome, Linda

  3. Linda,

    Do you have another link to purchase your friend’s sun oven? Amazon is saying it it unavailable and don’t know when or if it will be available again.


  4. Hi Linda,
    The US national average is 205 sunny days per year. Where I live the average is 177 days. Do you think one would work in Ohio? Thanks!

    1. Hi Carol, yes, I believe it would work for those 177 days. BUT, I would have more than one type of cooking device because that’s less than 6 months of the year. Even if we have 365 days of sunny days, I would always have more than one way to cook. I would get one and start learning to use it when you do have sunshine. Linda

  5. I received a sun oven for Christmas 2 or 3 years ago, but still haven’t used it. Thanks for the post. Using my oven will be on my list of things to do this year.

  6. Can you use clear glass pans? That’s all I have; nothing “dark” One of these ovens has been on my list for some time. There are so many options out there that I get overwhelmed and just do nothing. I need to seriously look in to this. Thanks again for an amazing article, Linda!

      1. I see most people just place the Sunoven on the ground. Do you have any recommendations for a framework or something to cook up off the ground? Thank you!

        1. Hi Karen, depending on the wind of the day, I placed it on a metal side table outside that went with our lawn furniture. Of course, if you are handy, you can build something. It beats leaning over, that’s for sure. Linda

  7. Linda,
    I have used Oven Bags to cook my pork roasts and sour kraut while camping, I just covered the bag with an old black towel, works perfectly. I have also baked brownies in a shiny pan with no cover, also I have removed the shelf and used a folded towel on the bottom to bake other items that will not fit on the shelf. The one thing we have not been able to do here in northern Utah is to bake a great loaf of bread, it overflows the pans or crusts over with a doughy center, so we bake the bread in the apple box oven. I and my friends keep experimenting with it and other great things, like the thermal cookers and applebox ovens. keep up the good work and thanks for all you do.

    1. Hi Kahne, oh, I hadn’t thought about using Oven Bags, that’s a great idea. I have made bread in mine and it worked out great. BUT, I only use one-pound loaf pans. They are smaller. They are the same ones I use in my conventional oven. I wonder if that makes a difference. Let me get the size for you. https://amzn.to/3JNHSod
      I bake them at 350 degrees for the exact time I bake them in the house. I also rarely use my Sun Oven before or after these hours: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. I would try again, Linda

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