This week I’m trying a fairly common meal around our home, something we make usually every month: a baked potato and vetegables, specifically broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. It’s a very simple dish to make, the kids like it, and my wife approves. So, I figured I would try it in the sun oven and see what happens.
I cut the veggies into bit-sized pieces and placed them in the pot, topped with some butter slices from a stick of butter, salted a bit, and that’s it. The potato is simply scrubed clean and poked with holes.
Normally, this meal is cooked in the oven at 400-425 degrees for about an hour… everything comes out fairly mushy depending on the time you cook it. You can reduce the heat or time and get the veggies to be more crisp if you like.
Anyway, rather than using another pot, I just placed a single potato atop the vegetable pot and, as commentors have suggested previously, coverd it with a dark(er) towel. Then I waited… and waited. I was expecting it to take longer than an hour, maybe an hour and a half or two hours tops which, under normal circumstances, likely would have been enough.
The problem I ran into today was that (1) the sun was very low in the sky and coupled with my steeply sloped lawn I found it difficult to keep the oven temperature even at 275 degrees, and (2) I just didn’t give it enough time because I had to leave… we had Cub Scouts again. Two hours was all I expected so that’s all I gave it.
The vegetables actually came out quite well. They were much more crisp than their traditional oven counterparts but the potato, well… it was NOT done! I didn’t even bother to cut it open because I could tell just by squeezing it. I wasn’t disappointed though because I had a backup plan. If I haven’t said so before, my wife doesn’t yet trust me to cook a full meal in the sun oven so we still have a “main” version that everyone else gets to eat. That worked out okay today because I had a cooked potato I could eat from the “main” meal. As such, it appears I’m the sun oven test monkey. That’s ok with me.
For future reference, I obviously need to start the potatoes a lot earlier than the vegetables when cooking in the sun oven or, at least, ensure I get the temperature much higher.