In hot weather, those of us who drive are familiar with the sensation of getting into the car and having it feel like an oven inside. A car is a essentially sealed metal box with large windows, thus on a sunny summer day it has more in common with a greenhouse, and in a heatwave this can become unbearable. But does it get hot enough for cooking? [Julian Lozos] aimed to find out, by cooking Icelandic rúgbrauð using only a 2016 Honda and the California sunshine.
Rúgbrauð is a traditional Icelandic rye bread that’s traditionally cooked by geothermal energy buried in the ground for around a day in proximity to a hot spring. A car dashboard gets pretty hot in a California heatwave, so it’s not unreasonable to expect that it might replicate this environment. He parked the Honda on a street in the sun, placed a pot full of dough on the dashboard, and waited.
The maximum temperature measured was 86.5 C (187 F), but unfortunately the sun didn’t stay high enough to maintain that temperature for the required time. After two days in the car the crust was cooked but the interior was still gooey, so the experiment can’t be said to have been successful. He does make the point though that a less traditional and much thinner loaf using a wide and flat tray might have delivered a better result.
We’re intrigued by this experiment, almost enough to try something like it ourselves were the summer not beginning to wane in these more northerly climes. Have any of you tried cooking in a hot car, or would we need a solar oven? Give us your views in the comments.
Hone your survival skills by harnessing the sun’s rays to cook your meals. [Robert] and his daughter turned an old satellite dish into a solar cooker. The image above shows them baking some potatoes, but the temperatures inside the cast iron vessel are high enough to let you cook most foods.
The dish was originally used for satellite television but has been collecting dust in the shed for quite some time. When [Robert] came across a roll of foil tape in his workshop he decided to give the project a whirl. His daughter helped out by peeling away the tape backing (this can be much harder than it sounds) while he applied the reflective material trying to keep it free of wrinkles. After a close call [Robert] donned a pair of welding goggles when positioning the dish. If the light intensity can get the pot up as high as 428 degree Fahrenheit we’re sure it can cause flash blindness.
Unlike other dish cookers we’ve seen, [Robert] didn’t use the original mount for holding the dish in place. He just set it on three bricks and directed it by hand. To keep the intensity focused on the kettle he had to reposition it every 15 minutes.
We wonder if the heat is too much for building a sun tracking solar power harvester?
Grab that old satellite dish out of the dark corner of you garage and get those hot dogs ready. [Share alike license] is going to show us how to turn the dish into a solar cooker.
Harnessing the sun’s power requires a reflective surface. Although the image above makes it look like a mirror finish, this is really just covered in foil tape. This is what’s used to seal duct work and can be had for a few bucks at any home store. You’ll notice the dish is pointed up quite a bit more than it would have been when receiving satellite television. The mount on the back of the dish has been turned 180 degrees to allow for this. You want the rays to be focused on the bottom of the cooking area instead of the side and this will do the trick. A small grate was added just below the pinnacle of the receiver tripod. For now it has only been used to boil a pot of water. We’d like to see it grilling up some dogs but you’ll have to figure out a way to catch the drippings. We wonder if a transparent baking pan would block too much of the heat energy?
This is a great way to add purpose to neglected equipment. But if you’re serious about solar cooking you need something more along these lines.