What materials are used in the All Season Solar Cooker (ASSC)?
The materials used in the ASSC are:
Main body and reflectors
fluted polypropylene – a completely waterproof and extremely durable plastic panel that is often seen in political yard signs. Absolutely weatherproof and unbreakable, the fluted polypropylene will last for years.
Outdoor rated reflectorized polyester film. This is great stuff. Very highly reflective and much easier to care for than our original aluminum. This improvement is resistant to stains and is not ruined by steam, hot water or cooking grease. But clean up any spill promptly using a soft cloth.
Can I use the ASSC in the wind?
Yes. Just be sure you keep it full of food. The ASSC is very stable in the wind – when in use and loaded with food. Otherwise, it is very light weight (about 2 pounds) and will blow away. Fact: Because the ASSC always sits firmly on a completely flat cooking floor, it is very hard to tip over in the wind. I have used this cooker for many years and have had just one wind related incident when the cooker slid off a smooth plastic table. If used on the ground it has never blown over when in use and filled with food.
I live in a very windy area. Any suggestions?
This worked well for me: I went to the hardware store and purchased a 12″ square marble tile. The tile is heavy. I covered the tile with aluminum tape from the hardware store (“metal repair tape” in the paint or hardware department). On very windy days I put the tape-covered tile in the bottom of the cooker then set the trivet and pots on top of that. This will provide PLENTY of weight, especially when the pot of food is also in the cooker.
Do not tie the cooker to the ground. Doing so is completely unneccesary and will make it far more difficult to turn the cooker. The All Season Solar Cooker will work just fine when weigted with food as described above.
Still not confident? Put your new cooker out on a windy day and set a pot of water in the cooker. About two liters (3 pounds). Let the wind blow and feel your confidence grow as the All Season Solar Cooker remains rock steady. If it moves, add a little weight.
What is the purpose of the trivet?
The trivet protects the reflective surface and speeds cooking. Always use the trivet. The trivet raises your cooking pot and allows light to hit the bottom of the pot. This increases the heat gathering potential of the pot.
How can I care for my ASSC?
Keep it clean. The ASSC will do best if refolded and stored inside its original box. If you don’t want to refold the ASSC, just store it face down in a clean area.
I leave my cookers outdoors and upright throughout the year. If neccessary I will dust the cooker or wipe out the interior with a damp, soft cloth. You will probably take much better care of your cookers than do I.
I noticed a gap when the cooker is fully extended?
When the 2017 is fully extended so that the sunsight points straight up, you wil see a gap between two of the reflector panels. This gap will cause slight difficulty when trying to adjust the cooker up or down. The gap only occurs at the extreme extension. This gap does not effect performance of the cooker.
Can I cook with cast iron?
Yes. But you should preheat the cast iron. Cooking speed is all about temperature and thermal mass. A cast iron pan adds a lot of thermal mass. The cooker must heat your cast iron and your food, adding to cooking time.
For my favorite cast iron foods such as cornbread, I preheat the skillet then pour in the batter. Works perfectly.
What cookware do you recommend?
My all time favorite cookware set is the TexSport brand Black Ice Trailbazer or the smaller Black Ice Camper.
My Trailblazer set has been in use for over ten years and is still in perfect condition.
If you want to add a clear glass lid to these pots, you will find them in thrift stores.
Shop around. The price will vary.