Jim & Marcy Lilly
Birch River, WV 

About Us   Beauty Recipes... Canning... Exotic Law ...  Farm Animals... Favorite Animal Links... ... Favorite Homesteading Links...  Frugal Recipes  ... Home Remedies   ...  Homesteading Letters...  Homeschooling...  Homeschooling Links... Living Without Electricity ... Solar Cooking

Countryside Magazine Articles 1995 and 1997 ...First Year On The Ranch ...


 About Bethany ... About Brandon... About Mariann 



VEGETABLES - Add no water. Artichokes: 2 1/2 hours; Asparagus: 1 1/2 - 2 hours; Other fresh green vegetables: 1-1 1/2 hours. If cooked longer they will taste fine but lose their nice green color. Beans - dried: 3-5 hours. Usual amount of water, can be soaked ahead of time; Beets, Carrots, Potatoes and other root vegetables: 3 hours. Cabbage, eggplant: 1 1/2 hours if cut up. Eggplant turns brownish, like a cut apple, but the flavor is good; Corn on the cob: 1 - 1 1/2 hours. The corn kernels will fade slightly if left longer in direct sunlight. The husk will hold the moisture in and protect the kernels naturally. A clean black sock can be put over an ear of corn to help absorb heat for faster cooking time. Squash, zucchini: 1 hour. Will turn mushy if left longer.

EGGS - Add no water. Two hours for hard yolks. If cooked longer the whites turn brownish, but the flavor is the same.
Quickie egg: Beat 1 egg with 1.5 tbls milk add approximately 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese. Put this in a dark colored ramekin, cover lightly and bake one hour.

MEATS - Add no water. If cooked longer they just get more tender. Fish: 1-2 hours; Chicken: 2 hours cut up, 3 hours whole; Beef, Lamb, etc.: 2 hours cut up, 3 - 5 hours for large pieces; Turkey, large, whole: all day 

PASTA - Heat water in one pot and put dry pasta with a small amount of cooking oil in another pot, and heat until water is near boiling. Add hot pasta to hot water, stir, and cook about 10 minutes more.

BAKING - is best done in the middle of the day (9 or 10 am - 2 or 3 pm) Breads: Whole loaves - 3 hours; Cakes: 1 1/2 hours; Cookies: 1 - 1 1/2 hours and do not need to be covered. Avoid bottom crusts - they get soggy. Black socks can also be used to cover foil-wrapped garlic/herb breads. Takes awhile for the heat to work through, but with the sock to dull the foil it eventually will, and the sun makes wonderful fresh garlic bread.

SAUCES & GRAVIES MADE WITH FLOUR OR STARCH - Heat juices and flour separately, with or without a little cooking oil in the flour. Then combine and stir. It will be ready quickly.

ROASTING NUTS - Bake uncovered. Almonds: 1 hour, Peanuts: 2 hours.


If you just want to experiment with an easy recipe, try cooking RICE:
1 cup rice
2 cup water 

Place the dark pot into the solar cooker, orient it so the sun is shining directly into the cooker and let the sun do the rest. Rice takes about an hour. Condensation on your window is a sign that the rice is cooking. You can check it then. (Be VERY careful lifting the lid of the pot off because the steam WILL burn)



Soak about 1/2 pound of pinto beans in water overnight. Drain the beans and add fresh water to cover the beans by about 1/2 inch. Add a pinch of salt- some chopped onion, a little garlic, and a slice of bacon if you like. This all goes into a covered dark pot and is cooked ALL day in the solar oven. If you notice the water has boiled away, just add more hot water. They are done when they are tender. 


Slice a couple of those SOLAR BAKED POTATOES and place them into a dark pot. Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil, add a 1/2 cup of milk, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and a generous amount of Parmesan cheese. Mix briefly, then cover and place into a preheated solar oven and bake until hot- about an hour or so. 


Use your favorite recipe, or frozen bread dough from the store. After dough has raised in a well-oiled dark pan with lid, put it into preheated solar oven and bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours, refocusing once during cooking period (if convenient). In general it is best to bake bread in a pan with a lid. This will prevent or cut back on condensation on the glazing. When crust is firm and golden brown, turn loaf out onto a rack to cool.


 Cut up vegetables - potatoes, carrots, onions, green beans, turnips - any favorite vegetable.
Place it on the bottom of the dutch oven. 
Cover this with your chicken pieces, skin side up, seasoned with your favorite herbs. 
Cover the dutch oven with the lid, and cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. 

*If you don't want the skin on, add a cup or so of chicken broth/water.
Use caution when removing the pot and the lid - it is HOT - just as hot as if it had been in the oven.


6 to 7 cups water or soup stock 
1 cup uncooked dry lentils 
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt 
1 cup uncooked brown rice 
2 onions, chopped 
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


Mix all ingredients, except cheese, in a dark colored pot.  Cover and place in solar cooker all day or all afternoon (3 hours minimum). 
Top with cheese just before serving. 



6 apples (chopped or sliced)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar

Place apples and sugar in buttered round or oval black roaster. Work together the flour, brown sugar and butter and sprinkle over apples. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Cover and bake in solar oven about two hours. Cool, serve with vanilla ice cream.

Solar Cooking