We can all agree that camping is fun, but sometimes the food leaves something to be desired. Once tired of the standard weenie roast, cheese toasties, and sandwich pies that can be made over the campfire, it’s time to turn towards a solar oven. The All American Sun Oven [Amazon Link] is a really cool state-of-the-art solar-powered cooking appliance, which can be used at home on the patio, or while camping. It uses the power of the sun to heat and prepare food, saving us time and giving us the ability to cook without electricity or a campfire. This article is an All American Sun Oven Review, which looks in detail at this really interesting solar outdoor cooking appliance.
- 1 All American Sun Oven Review
- 2 The Bottom Line
All American Sun Oven Review
The Sun Oven is pleasing to look at, easy to use, durable, and includes plenty of additional items so users don’t need to worry about having a pan that fits inside.
Key Features and Benefits
- Comes with an electronic cookbook of 600 recipes
- Comes with a hydrating and dehydrating baking rack set
- Comes with 2 pots and 2 loaf pans
- Can dehydrate herbs or produce
- Made in the United States
- Adjustable to catch the sunlight
- 5 Year Warranty on the Oven, 15-year guarantee against rust on the panels
Dimensions and Specs
- Weight: 23 lbs.
- Dimensions: 22″ x 20.2″ x 15.3″ inches
- Cooking Area Width: 14″
- Able to fit one large (13″) soup pot or two baking pans at once
- Average temperature of 360 degrees Fahrenheit
- High temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Cooks food between 3-9 hours.
The All American Sun Oven is larger and sturdier than similar products in the solar oven product category, and comes packaged as a neat, resealable container that can be carried around. This makes it great for those who are camping, or who are on the move.
The Sun Oven looks far more professional and put-together than competing models at the same price point, while still being flexible and easy to set up.
If we want a neat and pleasing campsite, this oven can help us win the “Most Luxurious” award in our minds.
The Sun Oven does a pretty good job getting up to about 350′ F on sunny days. As many cooks know, 350′ is practically the universal temperature that most recipes call for, for whatever reason. Consequently, the Sun Oven will cook most foods if given enough time to get to temperature.
In order to use the oven, users need to rotate the oven so that it continuously hits the sun at the ideal spot. This way the interior remains at a consistent temperature. Of course, you can leave it at the campsite for a couple of hours without adjustment, and your food will still cook. It just won’t be optimal without regular adjustment.
There are holes that show you when you have the oven positioned at the optimal angle for cooking. Depending on how you position the Sun Oven in relation to the sun’s rays, the oven will cook at a “high” setting or a “low” setting.
What Can You Cook in the All American Sun Oven?
Users can make a large variety of edibles inside of the Sun Oven, including soups, chili, bread, cookies, oatmeal, and even quality beef or pork roast. This oven allows you to dramatically increase your options when cooking outdoors, which really is fun.
If you want to cook a pizza or something that requires high heat, the Sun Oven won’t cut it. Be sure to consider an outdoor pizza oven for these times!
Does the Sun Oven Work on a Cloudy Day?
If the day is bright enough for objects to cast a shadow, even if there are clouds blocking the sun’s rays, the Sun Oven will work. That said, cooking times can vary significantly depending on the amount of sun that hits the solar oven’s panels.
If the weather is intermittently cloudy, the temperature of the oven can fluctuate quite a bit, depending on the quantity of sunlight hitting the oven. On these days, it functions a bit like a slow cooker, which can be fine. You just need to plan accordingly.
Material and Build Quality
Considering the oven will be outside whenever it is used, it is made of high-quality, sturdy materials like sheet metal, wood, and ceramics.
Even though it folds up like a suitcase, the Sun Oven can take a lot of wear and tear without breaking down.
The panels designed to trap the sun’s heat manage to be durable but flexible, so they can be opened and closed without issue.
Several reviewers noted that the thermometer, the only section not made in the United States, can crack within the first 3 months. However, this does not affect the Sun Oven’s functionality, since it doesn’t shatter, and can still be read.
Additionally, the paint along the outside might also peel after too much exposure to moisture, but this also doesn’t impact the efficiency of the oven.
The Sun Oven does not need to be assembled, but should be adjusted to follow the sun.
It comes with stakes to hold up the panels at different angles as needed, and there is one leg on the back that allows the angle of the oven to be adjusted.
Most people manage to readjust the oven using a simple hammer and screwdriver. Otherwise, no assembly or disassembly is needed.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The manufacturers recommend that the inside is thoroughly cleaned before use to avoid any plastic or metallic taste. They suggest heating up around 3 cups of vinegar for a few hours and then wiping down the interior with the vinegar.
We like this option, but the downside is that the oven will smell like vinegar for at least the next 24 hours. Afterward, the All American Sun Oven can be cleaned with simple soap and water inside and out.
The best form of maintenance is keeping the oven clean and opening it occasionally to prevent sticking.
The version of the Sun Oven linked here includes the dehydrator and baking rack. There is a version that does not include these, that is slightly cheaper, but if you’re going to go for the Sun Oven, the small price difference makes the version with the extras a much better choice.
The Bottom LineSince we enjoy eating fine food all the time, even when camping, the All American Sun Oven is well worth the money.
It’s easy to transport, comes with plenty of dishes, and does not wear down easily.
While it is more expensive than other options, this money goes towards ensuring the owner has a quality oven that won’t fail six months after purchase, as it is covered under a solid 5-year warranty (15 years against rust on the panels).
The Sun Oven is a unique, fun, and interesting outdoor cooking device, and definitely worth having if you love baking.