Using FREE Solar Energy Instead Of Kitchen Appliances

by Tammy Taylor

*contains affiliate link

It seems utility bills are going nowhere but up.  We’re all trying to watch those dollars carefully but there are easy ways to cut that utility bill other than just trying to keep unused lights turned off.  One of the most energy-intensive acts is producing heat.  Heat for cooking, heat for melting, heat for dehydrating – it’s all digging into your wallet!  But there’s an option that often we don’t even think of that can save us some real cash – absolutely free solar energy!  Here are a few ways I enjoy using this amazing free resource to not only fill a need but also save a few bucks.

There are many ways to use FREE solar energy to replace your kitchen cooking. Sun Tea, Dehydrating Or Solar Cooking! #TaylorMadeHomestead

Brewing Sun Tea

There are many ways to use FREE solar energy to replace your kitchen cooking. Sun Tea, Dehydrating Or Solar Cooking! #TaylorMadeHomesteadAaaaahhhhh Sun Tea.  There’s nothing quite as refreshing as coming in from the pastures on a hot summer’s day and enjoying an icy glass of sun tea.  I fill this large picante sauce jar with water and add a tea bag, then set it in the sun for a few hours.  When it’s brewed I bring it in & dump it into my tea pitcher, adding another jar of water, stir & pour over ice.  D-Licious and oh so refreshing!  And there’s no plastic to throw away or recycle like other drink options often have – my sun tea jar is washed & put in standby waiting to be used again and again & the tea bag is put into the compost.  It makes my crunchy-green heart happy.

Dissolving Honey Crystals

Crystallized Honey - There are many ways to use FREE solar energy to replace your kitchen cooking. Sun Tea, Dehydrating Or Solar Cooking! #TaylorMadeHomesteadI’ve also used solar energy to heat & dissolve crystals that had formed in my honey.  I use honey often but I buy it in pretty large quantities so it’s not uncommon for the bottom of the jar to start crystallizing before it’s used.  No problem – a little time spent in the sun and this honey reverts back to it’s sweet pourable self with no further interaction from me!  Now THAT’S what I call lazy smart!

Using A Solar Oven To Dehydrate Food

Jalapenos Dehydrating In Solar Oven - There are many ways to use FREE solar energy to replace your kitchen cooking. Sun Tea, Dehydrating Or Solar Cooking! #TaylorMadeHomesteadLast year I bought this * Sun Oven and I’ve been having a blast with it ever since.  Mine came with the accessory package so one thing I use my solar oven for is to dehydrate garden veggie overages. No more wasted garden produce when it’s producing faster than we can eat it – I simply dehydrate the excess in my solar oven and store it in glass jars in my pantry.

sun-oven-coupon-299

Dehydrated vegetables take up just a fraction of the space they did when they were fresh, and they take no additional energy to store like I’d have to use if I froze or canned them.  I love to use this dehydrated produce during the winter when I’m making hearty stews & soups – the veggies rehydrate right in the stock pot as my soup is cooking.

Solar Oven Uses The Sun’s Energy To Cook!

Solar oven baking bread - There are many ways to use FREE solar energy to replace your kitchen cooking. Sun Tea, Dehydrating Or Solar Cooking! #TaylorMadeHomestead

Of course the main purpose of the solar oven is to cook food and I’ve enjoyed doing just that all year long.  I’ve made some pretty amazing pasta marinara sauce, BBQ pork and I even baked quite a few potatoes, and of course I’ve baked bread in my solar oven as well.  I was surprised to learn that it doesn’t take the heat of summer for the solar oven to work, food can be cooked beautifully no matter what the outside temps are as long as the sun is shining.

There are lots of ways for us to use this free resource all year long!  What are some of your favorite ways?

~TMH~

 

You can see our other SOLAR cooking articles here

 

C’mon by & sit a spell!  Come hang out at our ~TMH~ Facebook Page.  It’s like sitting in a front porch rocker with a glass of cold iced tea – lots of good folks sharing!  You can also follow along on Pinterest, Twitter or GooglePlus.

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* A word about our Affiliate Link – We are currently enrolled as an Amazon Affiliate.  Occasionally I will insert an affiliate link into one of my posts if I think it may be of interest to you.  I  receive nothing from the manufacturer, but I love this solar oven & thought you might too. If you click on any of my affiliate links and buy something (almost anything, not just what was linked) I get a small referral percentage from Amazon.  But here’s the really important part – the price you pay for your items is UNCHANGED.

When you buy something through the affiliate link it’s a great way to support this blog without anything coming out of your pocket so please click often!

*Sun Oven Affiliate Link

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25 thoughts on “Using FREE Solar Energy Instead Of Kitchen Appliances

  1. Pam

    These are such wonderful ideas. I had never even heard of a solar oven before! I’m looking into that for sure! Thanks for sharing at #HomeMattersParty.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      My solar oven is so much fun for me Pam, and it’s especially helpful in the hot summer months when I don’t want to fire up my kitchen oven. ~TMH~

      Reply
  2. Grandmas House DIY

    We make sun tea all summer long and miss it so much! What great idea ideas thank you for sharing with us at the To Grandma’s house we go link party – pinned – hope to see you Wednesday when the next party starts!

    Reply
  3. Katy SkipTheBag

    I haven’t made sun tea in a while. I should try it again! Thanks for sharing on the Waste Less Wednesday Blog Hop!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      Sun tea is the only way I like to make tea Katy. Even in the cooler months, as long as there’s sunshine. ~TMH~

      Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      We looked into solar energy when we built our home here, Debora. Unfortunately there was no state incentive to help defray the cost so it was just out of our reach, financially. BUT we incorporated passive solar in the design of our home so we still get to use the power of the sun to reduce our utility bills. ~TMH~

      Reply
  4. Amanda

    I purchased a solar oven a couple years ago. I was going to use it if I needed for purifying water in a SHTF time. But, the other day I boiled eggs in it. I have hens and took eggs out of refrigerator, 6 eggs, place in a cardboard egg carton (per sun oven instructions only card board) set sun oven up for optimal sun. It took 3 hours and well done eggs were the result. If the eggs are room temperature then only half that time. Also do not preheat. I want to do more with it this summer so I will be checking your posts out. T.Y. for your pioneer spirit and sharing.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I’ve baked whole eggs too Amanda, although I didn’t know you could do it in egg cartons. I used a silicone muffin tin for mine. I’m gonna have to try it again now using an egg carton – cool! ~TMR~

      Reply
  5. The Rural Economist

    I have made sun tea before, but my family likes its tea sweet and I never got it to work well. I have been looking into building a solar oven though and I think that would be awesome. Thanks for sharing on Rural Wisdom and Know How.

    Reply
  6. Cathy

    Thank you for sharing at our TGIF Link Party at A Peek Into My Paradise. I hope you will be back to link up another awesome post this week! Cathy @ http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Making a Home - Homemaking Linky - Linda's Lunacy

  8. Joyce

    I have thought about getting one of those sun ovens, it is nice to see someone using it, and happy with it. Living in Louisiana I should be able to do alot with it, Thanks for sharing once again on Tuesdays With a Twist, join us again tomorrow I do enjoy your blog.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Yep Joyce, hot or cold, all you need is sunshine to make that baby work. I love mine. ~TMR~

      Reply
  9. Christien du Preez

    Sun ovens are just wonderful. My son bought one recently, and baked bread, and made quite a few stews. and this year I will dry apricots and peaches. Thanks for giving that tip, as trying to keep the ants, birds and other away from my drying fruit is sometimes quite hard!

    Reply
  10. Bethany the ngnrdgrl

    Really neat! I’ve always wanted to try a solar cooker. Not super effective here in Seattle, but we get sun occasionally. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      LOL Bethany! I was surprised to learn you could effectively use them in the winter as long as the sun is shining but you’re right, the sun *does* have to be shining. HA! ~TMR~

      Reply
  11. Diann @ The Thrifty Groove

    Great money saving tips here. I make sun tea a lot and we have created a solar oven and played around with it in the past. I never thought to put my crystallized jar of honey out in the sun before. What a “Duh” moment for me! LOL Thanks for sharing at TTF!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Diann, I think once you get your thoughts turning that way it just happens more & more. Now I find myself thinking solar any time there’s something to heat for any reason in the kitchen! RancherMan has our picnic table just a few short steps from the back door so I use it alot. ~TMR~

      Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Thanks Pamela. I had read about solar ovens and wanted one for quite some time. I finally got mine last fall and I’ve absolutely loved it ever since! ~TMR~

      Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Oh man, Candy – ya gotta love the smell of sunshine on line-dried clothes – Love it!! ~TMR~

      Reply

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