Using FREE Solar Energy Instead Of Kitchen Appliances

by Tammy Taylor

*contains affiliate link

It seems utility bills are going nowhere but up.  We’re all trying to watch those dollars carefully. But there are easy ways to cut that utility bill other than just trying to keep unused lights turned off.  One of the most energy-intensive acts in a home is producing heat.

Heat for cooking, heat for melting, heat for dehydrating – it’s all digging into your wallet!  But there’s an option that often we don’t even think of that can save us some real cash. That’s absolutely free solar energy!  Here are a few ways I enjoy using this amazing free resource to not only fill a need but also save a few bucks.

There are many ways to use FREE solar energy to replace your kitchen cooking. Sun Tea, Dehydrating Or Solar Cooking! #TexasHomesteader

Brewing Sun Tea

There are many ways to use FREE solar energy to replace your kitchen cooking. Sun Tea, Dehydrating Or Solar Cooking! #TexasHomesteaderAaaaahhhhh Sun Tea.  There’s nothing quite as refreshing as coming in from the pastures on a hot summer’s day and enjoying an icy glass of sun tea.  I fill this large picante sauce jar with water and add a tea bag, then set it in the sun for a few hours.

When it’s brewed I bring it in & dump it into my tea pitcher, adding another jar of water, stir & pour over ice.  Dee-Licious and oh so refreshing!  And there’s no plastic to throw away or recycle like other drink options often have. My sun tea jar is simply washed & put in standby waiting to be used again and again. The tea bag is put into the compost.  It makes my crunchy-green heart happy.

Dissolving Honey Crystals

There are many ways to use FREE solar energy to replace your kitchen cooking. Sun Tea, Dehydrating Or Solar Cooking! #TexasHomesteaderI’ve also used solar energy to heat & dissolve crystals that had formed in my honey.  I use honey often but I buy it in pretty large quantities. So it’s not uncommon for the bottom of the jar to start crystallizing before it’s used.  No problem – a little time spent in the sun and this honey reverts back to it’s sweet pourable self with no further interaction from me!  Now THAT’S what I call lazy smart!

Using A Solar Oven To Dehydrate Food

Last year I bought this * Sun Oven and I’ve been having a blast with it ever since.  Mine came with the accessory package. So one thing I use my solar oven for is to dehydrate garden veggie overages. No more wasted garden produce when it’s producing faster than we can eat it! I simply dehydrate the excess in my solar oven and store it in glass jars in my pantry.

sun-oven-coupon-299Dehydrated vegetables take up just a fraction of the space they did when they were fresh. And they take no additional energy to store like I’d have to use if I froze or canned them.  I love to use this dehydrated produce during the winter when I’m making hearty stews & soups. And in true lazy-cook style, the veggies rehydrate right in the stock pot as my soup is cooking.

Solar Oven Uses The Sun’s Energy To Cook!

There are many ways to use FREE solar energy to replace your kitchen cooking. Sun Tea, Dehydrating Or Solar Cooking! #TexasHomesteader

Of course the main purpose of the solar oven is to cook food and I’ve enjoyed doing just that all year long.  I’ve made some pretty amazing pasta marinara sauce, BBQ pork and I even baked quite a few potatoes. And get this – I ‘boiled’ whole eggs without using water! And of course I’ve baked bread in my solar oven as well.

I was surprised to learn that it doesn’t take the heat of summer for the solar oven to work, food can be cooked beautifully no matter what the outside temps are as long as the sun is shining.

There are lots of ways for us to use this free resource all year long!  What are some of your favorite ways?

Looking For More Solar-Cooking Recipes?

You can see our other SOLAR oven articles here

~TxH~

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* A word about our Affiliate Link. We are currently enrolled as an Amazon Affiliate.  Occasionally I will insert an affiliate link into one of my posts if I think it may be of interest to you.  I  receive nothing from the manufacturer. But I love this solar oven & thought you might too. If you click on any of my affiliate links and buy something (almost anything, not just what was linked) I get a small referral percentage from Amazon.  But here’s the really important part – the price you pay for your items is UNCHANGED.

When you buy something through the affiliate link it’s a great way to support this blog without anything coming out of your pocket. So please click often!

*Sun Oven Affiliate Link

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25 thoughts on “Using FREE Solar Energy Instead Of Kitchen Appliances

  1. Pam

    These are such wonderful ideas. I had never even heard of a solar oven before! I’m looking into that for sure! Thanks for sharing at #HomeMattersParty.

    Reply
  2. Grandmas House DIY

    We make sun tea all summer long and miss it so much! What great idea ideas thank you for sharing with us at the To Grandma’s house we go link party – pinned – hope to see you Wednesday when the next party starts!

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      We looked into solar energy when we built our home here, Debora. Unfortunately there was no state incentive to help defray the cost so it was just out of our reach, financially. BUT we incorporated passive solar in the design of our home so we still get to use the power of the sun to reduce our utility bills. ~TMH~

      Reply
  3. Amanda

    I purchased a solar oven a couple years ago. I was going to use it if I needed for purifying water in a SHTF time. But, the other day I boiled eggs in it. I have hens and took eggs out of refrigerator, 6 eggs, place in a cardboard egg carton (per sun oven instructions only card board) set sun oven up for optimal sun. It took 3 hours and well done eggs were the result. If the eggs are room temperature then only half that time. Also do not preheat. I want to do more with it this summer so I will be checking your posts out. T.Y. for your pioneer spirit and sharing.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I’ve baked whole eggs too Amanda, although I didn’t know you could do it in egg cartons. I used a silicone muffin tin for mine. I’m gonna have to try it again now using an egg carton – cool! ~TMR~

      Reply
  4. The Rural Economist

    I have made sun tea before, but my family likes its tea sweet and I never got it to work well. I have been looking into building a solar oven though and I think that would be awesome. Thanks for sharing on Rural Wisdom and Know How.

    Reply
  5. Cathy

    Thank you for sharing at our TGIF Link Party at A Peek Into My Paradise. I hope you will be back to link up another awesome post this week!
    Cathy @ http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Making a Home - Homemaking Linky - Linda's Lunacy

  7. Joyce

    I have thought about getting one of those sun ovens, it is nice to see someone using it, and happy with it. Living in Louisiana I should be able to do alot with it, Thanks for sharing once again on Tuesdays With a Twist, join us again tomorrow I do enjoy your blog.

    Reply
  8. Christien du Preez

    Sun ovens are just wonderful. My son bought one recently, and baked bread, and made quite a few stews. and this year I will dry apricots and peaches. Thanks for giving that tip, as trying to keep the ants, birds and other away from my drying fruit is sometimes quite hard!

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      LOL Bethany! I was surprised to learn you could effectively use them in the winter as long as the sun is shining but you’re right, the sun *does* have to be shining. HA! ~TMR~

      Reply
  9. Diann @ The Thrifty Groove

    Great money saving tips here. I make sun tea a lot and we have created a solar oven and played around with it in the past. I never thought to put my crystallized jar of honey out in the sun before. What a “Duh” moment for me! LOL Thanks for sharing at TTF!

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Diann, I think once you get your thoughts turning that way it just happens more & more. Now I find myself thinking solar any time there’s something to heat for any reason in the kitchen! RancherMan has our picnic table just a few short steps from the back door so I use it alot. ~TMR~

      Reply

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