| The "Molly Baker Solar Oven"
The Molly Baker was my answer to being able to carry a small rugged solar oven in my
backpack and kayak and not have to worry about it getting wet or having sharp edges .
We are still constructing the Site, Please bear with us as we muddle through.
| Oven Components
The Oven consists of four parts: A base/reflector that serves as the carry
pouch, a reflector cone, and two ribs( one long and one short). You are
going to find a clear oven bag in the pouch. Don't throw it away you are
going to need it.
| Oven assembly
You are first going to remove all components from the base.
Take the cone and find the two button holes near the seam.
Take the short rib(plastic tubing) and insert it into the button hole on the small end.
Slide the tube all the way around the casing until it stops.
You should have about 4 inches of tubing sticking out, this is to make disassembly
easy. Now the first few assemblies you might have to coax the tubing around, this is
normal it will loosen up after a few uses.
Repeat the procedure for the large end of the cone.
You are going to see three loops on the base of the cone and three loops on the
reflector base. You are going to tie the cone to the base with the three ties.
You will also notice stake loops on the four corners of the base in really windy
conditions you can use these but the weight of the cooking pot usually hold the
oven in place.
| Oven set up and use
Now I have a pointy head so orienting the oven is easy I stand in front of the oven
with the low end in front of me and watch my shadow. I make sure my shadow is
centered on the back of the oven.
If the sun is low you just grab the sides of the oven with the low end towards you at
9:00 and 3:00. Flip the lip down. I judge the correct front height by putting my hand in
the oven fingertips on the base. I look to see if there is a shadow being cast on my
fingers. If there is a shadow I flip the lip over either more or less to allow the sun to
shine on the base of the pot/tips of my fingers.
When backpacking or kayaking we use a black powder coated "MSR" cooking kit.
There are several lightweight dark in color cooking pots out there that would work
just as well.
Painting an old aluminum cook kit would work though I am always cautious using
chemicals around food.
We use Dutch Ovens at home or when we are in an area were we are car camping.
The beauty of the Dutch Ovens is that they have built in legs and you can stack them
in the solar oven. Desert and a main course at the same time.
With other pots you will need to elevate them I use an aluminum double boiler ring it
fits in my pot and weighs nothing. An empty tuna fish can works just fine. Elevating
the pot allows reflection to the base and increases the temperature.
Now you have your food in the pot and you have your legs or elevation ring in place.
Put the pot in the center of the oven and take that oven cooking bag that you found
in the base. Place that bag over the pot and tuck it loosely under the edges. It
doesn't have to be airtight , just tucked under so it is unaffected by wind.
You're cooking now, pretty cool huh?
Now it is a shame to have to add a disclaimer but "Darwinism" doesn't seem to be working as well as
expected. The sun is bright and the pots get very hot. Deceptively hot. The reflector remains cool but the
pots get over 250 degrees quite rapidly. It will blister a finger in an instant. Wear sunglasses and keep a
hot mitt handy. Be aware and use caution. Youngsters just can't believe you are cooking and want to
touch. A gentle smack on the hand is better than letting them get burnt. BE CAREFUL