Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Alternative Cooking Methods Show Promise

This blog from the contributors, producers and culinary correspondents at TasteTV at TasteTV.com

FOSTER JOHNSON/LOS ANGELES, Greetings to all y’all food enthusiasts, especially the folks in Northern California.

From down south I say “Howdeeeee”. Yes Taste TV - it is country come to town!

Your southern neighbor and roaming reporter at large has a concept for you to ponder. By the way, when I say Southern, I mean Southern California. And in Southern California you’ll find me on the patio, back porch or backyard grillin’ chillin’ testin’ and cookin’ up a storm at Outdoor Cooking World.

Well, just last week we received a rather interesting cooking contraption from a company in Eilburn Illinois. It is a self contained 22lb. solar cooker. Specifically a SUN OVEN, sent to us from Paul Munsen the Ceo of Sun Oven International.

You’ve heard a great deal of chatter about alternative fuel and the reduction of green house gasses, (especially in recent months as gasoline prices rose to ridiculous levels). So, what would you do with a device that requires no organic based fuel, produces an incredibly low level of carbon based pollutants and can cook anything from bread and pizza to a 12 rib standing roast, chicken (both fryers and broilers), baby backs, etc., all with only the radiant heat of the sun?

In the next few weeks we intend to take this oven hiking in the dessert east of LA and camping in the forest just north of Los Angeles county. Our goal is to see how steady the temperature can be held, as well as to determine if any relevant issues exist in the oven’s capacity to neutralize food born bacteria, especially when used on a not so optimum “sunny day”. I’ll let you know at the end of our test period; just how well this product performs.

You see, eating out at fancy smancy restaurants is all fine and dandy, but eating outside is “heaven on a patio bench”. To accomplish great oven based cooking outside, with no harmful airborne emissions and no requirement to run to the store for charcoal or propane – is like heaven on a cloudless day. Humanity in ancient times believed, if you could touch the sun you would touch the face of God. I’m ready for a little heavenly surprise that might be found in a 22lb. suitcase-like-contraption with fold out mirror panels. How about you?

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