Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Fun with Science…solar powered cooking! July 7, 2010

Filed under: In the kitchen,Preschool,Saving the Earth,Toddler learning — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 3:06 pm

It’s been really hot in Ohio lately, with the heat indices close to 100 degrees for the past several days.  Yesterday, Jedi asked if it was hot enough to fry bacon on the sidewalk.  And of course, when someone asks a question like that in our house, it becomes a science experiment!

So, we tried three separate foods to see if we could cook them using solar power–bacon, hot dogs, and chocolate chip cookies!

For the hot dog, we cut one side out of a milk carton, and lined it with some foil, shiny side up, in an arch shape. Then we put some hot dogs in it (with slits cut in them to let steam escape...not sure if we needed to do it, but why not. LOL!)

Hot dogs in their solar powered cooker.

For the bacon, we lined a cast iron pan with foil, shiny side up, and then layed the strips of bacon in it.

Bacon ready to be cooked

We set both things in the driveway to cook.

My car thermometer says it is 88 degrees out for our experiment. It's also sunny with a few clouds, and it's 1 PM.

For the cookies, I used a gluten free vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe (since we don't eat eggs, gluten, or dairy).

Cookies ready to go out to the car.

I put the cookies on the dashboard of the car, and opened the shield to the moonroof so that more sun can come in (I left the actual moon roof closed though)

While the cookies were baking, we looked at the bacon and hot dogs. After 20 minutes, both were pretty hot. I did take them in and finish them off on the stovetop for one minute just to make sure they were safe for the kids to eat. 😉 )

After 60 minutes, the cookies had expanded and were starting to firm up.

At the 2 hour mark...the cookies are DONE! They are firm, warm, and taste delicious! (And my car smells awesome now too. 😉 )

Even the bottom of the cookies got a little brown. Actually, for gluten free vegan cookies, these actually baked up better than in the oven. Usually they fall right apart coming off the pan when they come out of the oven, but these were firm right off the pan. I've used this recipe a lot in the oven, so I was pretty familiar with the results using non-solar methods to cook.)


So, there you have it…it’s so hot in Ohio these days, you can cook bacon, hot dogs, and cookies (and maybe it’s a good time to remind y’all not to leave pets and kids in the car these days.  After all, it was only 88 degrees, and the car still got hot enough to bake cookies!).  And these were pretty energy efficient cookies…no electricity at all!


4 Responses to “Fun with Science…solar powered cooking!”

  1. Tee Says:

    Thanks for replying allyrae…I didn’t realize The Joy of Vegan Baking had any gluten free recipes!!! I’ll have to check it out! Thank you! 🙂

    • allyrae Says:

      They don’t…it’s all glutened. But, I have always had fantastic luck with subbing the flour in the recipe for Domatas Living Flour. I’m not sure how well other gluten free flours would work, but I’m sure they would. However, instead of measuring by cup, I measure by weight…so if the recipe asks for 500 grams of flour and then give a cup measurement, I always do the weight instead of cup. Domatas said they are cup for cup, but I have better luck with ounce for ounce instead. 🙂


  2. Tee Says:

    Hey there…really fun stuff!!! I would love to try some of this with my homeschooled child! Interesting you don’t eat eggs, gluten, or dairy and were able to use a GF Vegan cookie mix. We are vegetarians and GF and I wish they made a veggie bacon and veggi sausage / hot dogs that had no gluten.

    Can you please share what brand of cookies worked so well for you? So we don’t have to do this trial and error? Thumbs up for your tons of fun! 🙂

    • allyrae Says:

      Hi Tee,
      We actually don’t use mixes…that was the vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking, and our flour was Domata. 🙂

      Best of luck! It was a fun activity, for sure. 🙂

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