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Off Grid Cooking  RSS feed

 
Jake Van
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Anyone have any first hand experience with cooking in an off-grid solar powered home? Obviously it would cost a mint to be able to power an electric oven with solar so what works best for inside the house cooking? Wood, propane? Just plan on cooking outside? I like propane because I like cooking with gas but that is not really off grid. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
 
                                      
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Location: Joseph, Oregon
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hey rover.  i love my sunoven for cooking.  i have had it 3 years now and am sure that it has paid for itself.  i have a propane range and i really hate burning fuel.  the sunoven works great for everything, roasting chicken, mac and cheese, boiling water for tea-i grow alot of herbs for tea.  i originally bought it to sterilize potting soil and have moved on to all things food.  it is especially good for baking.  just threw some spuds in today and saluted how much better than the conventional oven.  they cost around $225 and can be used year-round.  i have seen sites online for making your own fixed solar oven (not movable to follow the sun's path).  unfort., i only get to use it about half the days here in eastern oregon.  on partly cloudy or slightly overcast days, i can dry herbs or pre-soaked nuts, which should not be taken above 130F. 

they are used alot in devel. countries where native foragers over-collect firewood and are decimating the forests.  i think that there are intern. conservation programs to buy them for the people. 

good luck if you try it.
 
Fred Winsol
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Location: Sierras
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I've been off-grid since the 70's.  I have three systems:  Wintertime wood stove, summer solar cooker, old RV propane stove where  there's no pilot light (manual turn-off.

I use propane (for cooking stove only) in the winter to supplement the wood stove.  Use propane for very early hot water year round.  Use solar cooker in the summer sun.  I use about 10 gallons of propane each year, and that includes oven baking. 

It's more HOW you cook than what you're cooking with, i think.  I use pressure cookers, dutch ovens, etc., and 'group cook'  as in cooking large portions at one time.
 
Jordan Lowery
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i have an old wood stove with an oven in it, this can cook everything you need. but it is a hassle most days when i work so i also have a small wok burner and a 5 gal propane tank for quick cooking. which costs me 10$ a year to cook on. the burner itself cost me 40$. the wood stove is great for cooking for a group of people. you can easily cook a full course meal for 4-5 people or more with one small fire all at once.

if you use wood from coppiced trees your good to go.
 
Dale Hodgins
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     Rocket stoves aren't just for thermal mass heating. There are hundreds of examples on the Internet of light and sometimes portable rocket stoves which are used for cooking. Since they are cheap to build it would make sense to have one inside the house which would augment heating the building and have one outside for use in summer and thus avoiding the hot kitchen. Your outside stove could be portable so you can move it to the most comfortable part of the yard or take it on vacation.
 
Len Ovens
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hubert cumberdale wrote:
i also have a small wok burner and a 5 gal propane tank for quick cooking. which costs me 10$ a year to cook on. the burner itself cost me 40$.


The wok is designed to cook small pieces hot and fast with very little fuel. The small food pieces lend themselves well to eating them with a couple of small sticks which can be burned next cooking and don't require cleaning. Added bonus... the fuel can be the twigs which, at least round here, are not considered of any worth and so can be had free.... maybe from your own yard pruning. Works great for the summer.

In the winter, cook on whatever you heat with. The Russian peasants oven is a great example... cooks, warms and makes a bed for the young and old.
 
Casey Halone
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I am more and more fascinated by bio gas. which method would use the least gas?
 
Jordan Lowery
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The wok is designed to cook small pieces hot and fast with very little fuel. The small food pieces lend themselves well to eating them with a couple of small sticks which can be burned next cooking and don't require cleaning. Added bonus... the fuel can be the twigs which, at least round here, are not considered of any worth and so can be had free.... maybe from your own yard pruning. Works great for the summer.


you can use more than just a wok on it though. i use my cast iron pans on there a lot too. a wok burner is just what they are called. any pot or pan can go on there. i did make a rocket stove wok burner once though, it worked great until someone broke it. ive also made one of those rocket stoves that goes into the clay soil. it worked great until winter came and ruined it.
 
Irene Kightley
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Location: South West France
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chicken food preservation forest garden fungi hunting solar
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I use a rocket stove for cooking in the summer. My latest design is an improvement on the little rocket stove I've used for the past couple of years which blackened my pots and everything they touched !

We're fortunate in that we've already rigged up a boiler system which, with solar panels in the same closed circuit, heats our hot water.

The design's simple. Make the stove, then using the top of the barrel used to make the outside of the stove, cut a space out of one side then another hole in the top. Squeeze the top into the barrel until it's stable.



I then use a cast iron plate to make a cooking surface which completely covers the barrel top. With the open space in the barrel side directed towards the back boiler, in this case a cauldron in our fireplace (Which we can also heat with a BBQ or a log fire), the flame is directed where I want it and the stove cooks and heats the water at the same time.



When the sun isn't heating the water enough for our needs, I take the cooking surface off the stove and push it directly under the cauldron. That way, the house stays cool in the summer and only the water gets heated.

In the winter we cook, bake and heat the house with a woodstove.








 
Larry Schlicker
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A 1920 perfection kerosene stove does it for me.
 
Jack Shawburn
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Anyone have experience using a Pressure Cooker with solar?
 
Jake Van
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Those wood stoves are sexy. How consistent is the heat? Is it easy to control the temperature? Where is the best place to source them? Is it better to buy a modern one or try for a classic? What should you expect to pay? Can you use them in the summer or would it be better for an outdoor kitchen? They look REAL heavy!
 
Jordan Lowery
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larry does yours have multiple firing chambers? what are those cylinders below the cooking surface.

 
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