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Sun Oven Sunday – Baking Brownies (Would Have Been Perfect If…)

I decided that today (actually, Saturday) was a great day for brownies. Why not? They should be easy, straight from the box, and I can let the sun do all of the work. After all, what could go wrong?

Uhhhhmmmmm… ME!

In fact, you can just chalk this up to another dumb thing I’ve done while prepping. Everything was going fine, until the plastic wrap I put over the brownies melted. Who knew plastic melts! ;)

Why did I do that? Because in the past I’ve noticed that open containers caused condensation on the inside of the Sun Oven glass which decreased temperatures a lot.

So, to combat this I was going to be *smart* and avoid that from the beginning. Needless to say, I was disappointed when I saw what happened. And, as expected, the first thing my wife said to me was “That was stupid. You should have used aluminum foil!”

Yup. Should have used aluminum foil. Should have listened to my wife, even though I didn’t ask her about what I did until AFTER I messed up. Lesson learned. Don’t use plastic wrap in the Sun Oven.

I was going to attempt to salvage some of the brownies but who knows how deeply the plastic wrap may have penetrated the brownies. I didn’t know and my wife strongly encouraged me–ok, she just told me–to dump it… so I did.

And, because my kids were disappointed too, I just made some brownies in the oven. They turned out great.

9 comments to Sun Oven Sunday – Baking Brownies (Would Have Been Perfect If…)

  • moondoggie

    Keep trying, like Bellan, I’ve been using my solar oven for 5 or 6 years. Nothing is a failure, because you learned what not to do and now you have the chance to try again. Bellan is spot on, remember to cover with a dark pan. I made brownies yesterday using a light alum baking pan, BUT covered it with a dark graniteware pan. Worked great. Also something to remember is to preheat your oven, just like you would a regular oven. Good luck and remember to enjoy the journey and thanks for sharing your experiences.

    • By covering it, you mean placing the pan inside another pan? Or, actually placing a pan atop and upside-down?

      • moondoggie

        I place the pan (non-stick brownie pan from Walmart) with the brownies in the solar oven and then turn the graniteware pan upside down to use as a lid, covering the other pan completely. Just remember you want a dark colored pan on top so you can gather as much heat as possible.

  • Ken

    One other word of caution. You cannot use aluminum foil in the Sun Oven as it will reflect the sun out of the oven and will not heat up as well. Putting a dark dish towel over the top will help to absorb some of the moisture. Venting the oven as recommended above will also help. Good luck in your cooking.

  • Bellen

    If that’s a photo of the brownies you put in the sun oven I see two obvious mistakes:
    1. ALWAYS use a dark pan, a thin dark pan like a spatterware pan from Walmart
    2. ALWAYS cover the pan with something dark, such as a dishtowel, or another lightweight pan

    I’ve used my sun oven for several years and have never had a failure as long as I made sure of the above 2 rules. The sun oven works by absorbing the heat from the sun so using dark colored pans will absorb more heat and using a dark colored ‘lid’ will also absorb more heat.

    If you find you have condensation, prop the glass lid open using one of the little closure locks for a few minutes, then completely close and relock.

    Try the brownies again using these 2 rules and I’m sure they will turn out great – be sure to check on them so they don’t burn on one side, it may be necessary to rotate the pan.

    I’ve made everything from roast chicken, coffee, yeast bread, soups & stews, dried herbs, pot roast, baked potatoes, casseroles, bar cookies, drop cookies to lasagna.

    Happy cooking!!

    • Yes, it is the photo of the brownies I put in the Sun Oven as well as the aftermath of what happened. As for using a clear pan, I don’t think that was a problem for me. Although I didn’t say so, I did try a bit of the brownies that didn’t seem to have had any plastic melted on them and they tasted fine. That said, when I tried to salvage the side that had the plastic melted I did noticed that the insides of the brownies seemed to be a bit moist but I didn’t try them for obvious reasons. I think my biggest problem is that I have yet to equate the Sun Oven to a conventional oven in that it gets hot! It’s neat that you’ve used your oven so much. I would love to try many of the items you have listed. Thank you for your thoughts.

  • Jill

    Yes, you should have listened to your wife! Even if she didn’t say anything. :)