THE BIGGEST & MAYBE ONLY SOLAR OVEN IN BELIZE?
The biggest solar oven in Belize was finished last week. The oven itself is fabricated from sheet metal and assembled in Spanish Lookout. It is big enough to hold six pressure cookers or ordinary pots at one time. The top has two layers of glass to let sunlight in and serve as a temperature barrier.
The metal is sprayed with black enamel paint inside and out. River rocks are placed in the bottom to hold heat. The reflectors are made of a wood frame, cellotex sheeting and spray on adhesive plus aluminum cooking foil.
Solar ovens work by slow cooking. 4 or 5 hours is normal, at a heat temperature between 250 degrees and 400 degrees created by direct sunlight and a parabolic reflector.
This is a BIG solar oven. Most solar ovens are one pot ovens and much smaller. Mr Ray Auxillou who built this one, said he wanted to be able to cook food with it and to make bread, while at the same time if necessary to be able to bake native red clay Mayan sculptures for the export market. Since cooking is done over a few hours, food is usually for the supper meal. Meat can be cooked, as can most vegetables if you use a pressure cooker. You substitute time for intense heat.
You have no butane gas to buy, no electricity, and no firewood. This is a pure midday and afternoon cooking oven.
Mr Rene Garcia already burnt his hand on it, testing to see if it was hot. “ This big one cost me about $300 to make in labor and materials”, Mr. Ray Auxillou said. “ But a smaller one, for home family meals would be much cheaper.”