This is our second weekend in a row with overcast skies. Last weekend, we even got a few rain showers — not so lucky this weekend. While I never wish away the clouds and some rain, I do miss the opportunity to cook in my solar oven. Today the sun came out after lunch. Probably could have cooked something if I had been ready, but I wasn’t. So instead, I did a little experiment to heat hot water. Okay, I know what you’re thinking. “Why does she need to learn to heat water?” So let me back up and explain a little bit.
In the fall, we will begin the craft show rounds. After setting up the booth outside on a cool morning, I always start thinking about a nice cup of hot chocolate (I don’t like coffee). But in the early morning rush, I would almost always forget, or just not have time, to fix a thermos to take along. So my project today was to see how long it would take the water to heat to a drinking temperature.
I had been on a quest to find a small metal pot to heat water in. I didn’t want to cart around a glass jar for safety reasons. And I didn’t want to try to handle a hot glass jar full of hot water either. I didn’t want to use my granite ware pot because it is difficult to pour hot water out of it into a small styrofoam cup.
So I had been looking for a small pot. Camping coffee pots were too large. Other camping stuff too expensive. Metal cups were too small and didn’t have a lid. Nothing seemed right. This week I finally found the small metal pot I was looking for at Target. It is actually a 1 1/2 quart metal grease can, but it has a lid, a handle and a very small pour spout. And it was cheap.
Getting back to today. I filled the pot full of cool water, put it into a bag, and into the Cookit. In today’s experiment, we used a clear garbage bag, instead of an oven cooking bag. Although not perfectly clear, it still got the job done and is much cheaper.
One hour later, the water was 120 degrees. Perfect! Hot chocolate on a cool morning will no longer be a just a wish and a dream. Solar heating will make a it a dream come true!