by Tammy Taylor
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Well it looks like a sunshiny day and the wind will not be high, can’t think of a better reason to use my * Solar Oven. It’s only going to get up to the upper 50’s today but outside temps don’t really matter. As long as the sun is shining and the wind isn’t high enough to mess with the reflectors, solar oven cooking is a GO! Today I think I’ll try my hand at baked pork chops…
RancherMan has harvested a couple of wild sow hogs in the last several months. We’ve been enjoying many savory recipes such as meatloaf, grilled ribs, slow-cooker roast with red wine and BBQ sandwiches. But the meat processor provided several thick tenderized steaks and these boneless pork chops as well. Now I love me some pork chops, and I think they come out more juicy & tender when they’re breaded and baked. Thankfully baking is easy to do in a solar oven. So today I’m going to give it a go with these pork chops.
I pulled out the boneless chops and rinsed them off. Then I dipped them in a beaten egg and then rolled them in breadcrumbs. I made those breadcrumbs from sourdough baguettes that had gotten WAY too hard to eat. Then I seasoned them with some dried thyme from my herb garden and a little salt & pepper. Finally I laid them in the black porcelain pan that came with my solar oven and placed the see-through lid on so I could watch its progress as it was cooking.
There were 2 enamel stack pans in my solar oven kit So I decided to stack it on top of my other black porcelain pan that I filled with sliced carrots. Just a little salt & pepper, a touch of water, a pat of butter and a sprig of rosemary. Hey, why shouldn’t they both be cooking at the same time?
I was prepared to cook these chops for several hours in my solar oven. But by positioning the reflectors directly toward the sun the temp on my solar oven soared to 325 pretty quickly. My pork chops were actually cooked in just over an hour. I’ve read that you want to cook pork to an internal temperature of 145 degrees for safety. But it just didn’t take very long on this day to achieve that. SCORE! So RancherMan & I enjoyed an early supper of the most delicious breaded pork chops I’d ever tasted along with fresh steamed carrots. And not one lick of additional energy was needed to cook this meal. Gotta love it!
With warmer weather knocking at our door I’ll be using this solar oven more & more. Not only for the energy-free cooking that I love but also to keep that cooking heat & humidity outside where it belongs. The temps really heat up during the summertime in our area of Northeast Texas. Any heat you can leave outside is a good thing indeed!
You can see our other SOLAR COOKING articles here
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