"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Protecting my solar oven from any welcome rain

I love my solar oven - I reckon you all know that :)

But, RMan and I aren't necessarily getting younger, and having recently discovered that I have an early touch of arthritis in my right hand, shoulder and knee, I am finding it more and more difficult to move heavy things.

And, at 13kgs (22 1/2 lbs), picking up the solar oven from where it sits at ground level in order to bring it indoors is not the most comfortable experience.  In addition, having it cluttering up the floor in our open plan lounge / dining room has been irritating - and dangerous at night.

Now, the instructions told me that my SunCook solar oven is not waterproof and should not be left outside in the rain.
The cover closes onto the inner lip
 This is because the cover closes onto an inner lip...
The inner lip slopes down towards the glass oven lid
 The inner lip slopes down slightly to the glass lid / oven door...
And below the glass oven door is the heat seal
which is loosely glued to the interior reflecting
walls of the oven and the inner lip which the lid
closes onto
And the glass lid / oven door sits on the heat seal below the glass.  The heat seal is not fixed in a waterproof kind of way, so any liquid (in this case rainwater) will seep into the insulating lining of the oven.

And, as I discovered when I accidentally left the oven outside one rainy day a few weeks ago, sodden insulation does not encourage maximum heat within the oven, because it seems as though that sodden wetness affects the temperature one can achieve within the oven...

Follow instructions, Dani.  You know that... :)

Ahem - I didn't!

So, after managing to successfully drain out the excess water, I had to come up with a solution as schlepping the oven indoors after every use is completely unnecessary...
57cm Weber braai cover
The SunCook's footprint is 59(l) X 56(w) X 29cms (h).  And the Weber braai cover is to fit a 57cm braai.  Obviously, I deduced, it will be slightly larger than the braai.  So I purchased a cover at our local Co-Op, rushed it home, and tried it on for size.
My waterproof solar oven :)

A perfect fit :)  Slightly baggy, but rather that than too tight.

I'm not too sure if the seam of the cover is that waterproof, so I am angling it away from that vulnerable part of the oven, and tucking the excess bit of the cover under the oven so that it can't blow away.

Now - I can happily leave my oven outside on the patio where I use it.


DFW said...

Good for you Dani!

Alexandra of Virginia said...

Good idea ! I have a gas grill which looks like that, but the last tornado almost blew it away. I have it anchored to the decking now. I am still looking for a place to put the solar oven regularly. For the moment, it gets moved around.

Dani said...

DFW - As the saying goes in this country, "A Boer (farmer) maak (makes) a plan" LOL

Dani said...

Alex - Don't you find it a schlep - and heavy...? ;)

jambaloney said...

great alternate use for a bbq cover!!


Dani said...

jambaloney - Welcome :) Is kymber OK?

Thanks - yeah - the cover worked out well - thank goodness :)

1st Man said...

That's a pretty great idea. There are a couple of things outside I'd like to cover and I never thought about a BBQ cover. They are usually big, in various sizes, and not that expensive.

Thanks for the tip!!

Dani said...

1st Man - You're welcome. Yeah, waterproof bbq covers are very useful :)

Anonymous said...

nice fix.

Dani said...

Emily - Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

That's a neat idea. Sorry to hear about the arthritis though!

I was going to give the kids a (home made) solar oven kit for Christmas, to make and cook in, but then I realised, we don't really have anywhere safe to put it.

Between the dog (who would eat it before it had time to heat up), and my two year old, there's just not a good location. It also doesn't help that we don't really have much North facing yard space. Still, I reckon we could make it work, in the summer at least, we'd just have to choose our time of day. But not unti Eliane is old enough to be trusted not to burn herself on it!

Dani said...

Kirsten - Welcome :) I can tell you that the cover works a treat. We've just had 40mm rain, and the oven is bone dry inside :)

Please - be very careful about letting kids use a solar oven. Although it is not connected to electricity, it is an oven and gets VERY hot - mine has reached 220oC! I, and others I know, have burnt ourselves when removing pots from it.