I started my cooking at the beginning of summer and found that I had more than enough heat to cook. I was very casual about checking the oven orientation and found that this wasn't a problem. Now that I am cooking in winter, I find that I must pay closer attention to the ovens. I try to keep pot holders and a moisture wiping rag handy because when I go outside, I invariably need them. In winter, I find that if I set a timer for 30 minutes, this reminds me to go out and reorient the ovens at regular intervals because the oven temperatures drop very rapidly in sub freezing weather if the ovens aren't oriented toward the sun. I also have to move the ovens from my patio to the driveway below because of two very tall pine trees that obstruct the sun in winter but not in summer.
I have cooked pies, cookies, muffins, cakes, casseroles, pizza, barbecue beef, barbecue chicken, barbecue pork, fish, rice, beans, lentils, soups and stews. Not everything has been a great success (though always edible), but I believe each could have been a success, now that I have more experience with solar cooking. One problem that I have not solved is the accumulation of moisture on the glass. I open the oven and wipe it off periodically but this causes heat loss. The moisture is only a problem when baking muffins and cakes because they can get soggy when there is too much moisture. Also, I believe that the moisture causes the cakes and muffins to “fall” a bit, so they tend to have a rather flat appearance.
I hope this website will be a work in progress. I have had to be more creative with my winter cooking because of the cold weather and short days. I want to try keeping my solar cooked food in a “haybox” or “heat retention cooker” until 5:00 pm or so when I tend to eat dinner in the winter time. I plan to start experimenting with using either a large “cooler” or a homemade box made of insulated panels. I am also going to start experimenting with a larger box oven and I hope to add some specific recipes at some point. Stay tuned.