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Solar Funnel Cooker

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A friend of Steven's who is also a Physics Professor did not believe that he could actually boil water with the thing. Steven showed him that with the "solar funnel cooker," he was able to boil water in Utah in the middle of winter! He laid the funnel on its side since it was winter and pointed a large funnel towards the sun to the south. Steven also had to suspend the black cooking vessel -- rather than placing it on a wooden block. This allows the weaker sun rays to strike the entire surface of the vessel.
 
A friend of Steven's who is also a Physics Professor did not believe that he could actually boil water with the thing. Steven showed him that with the "solar funnel cooker," he was able to boil water in Utah in the middle of winter! He laid the funnel on its side since it was winter and pointed a large funnel towards the sun to the south. Steven also had to suspend the black cooking vessel -- rather than placing it on a wooden block. This allows the weaker sun rays to strike the entire surface of the vessel.
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Of course, the Solar Funnel works much better outside of winter days (when the UV index is 7 or greater). Most other solar cookers will not cook in the winter in northern areas (or south of about 35 degrees, either).
   
 
Steven thought that a pressure cooker would be great. But the prices in stores were way too high for him. Wait, how about a canning jar? These little beauties are designed to relieve pressure through the lid -- a nice pressure cooker. And cooking time is cut in half for each 10º C we raise the temperature (Professor Lee Hansen, private communication). He used one of his wife's wide-mouth canning jars, spray-painted (flat) black on the outside, and it worked great. Food cooks faster when you use a simple canning jar as a pressure cooker. However, you can also put a black pot in the plastic bag instead if you want. But don't use a sealed container with no pressure release like a mayonnaise jar -- it can break as the steam builds up! (I've done it.)
 
Steven thought that a pressure cooker would be great. But the prices in stores were way too high for him. Wait, how about a canning jar? These little beauties are designed to relieve pressure through the lid -- a nice pressure cooker. And cooking time is cut in half for each 10º C we raise the temperature (Professor Lee Hansen, private communication). He used one of his wife's wide-mouth canning jars, spray-painted (flat) black on the outside, and it worked great. Food cooks faster when you use a simple canning jar as a pressure cooker. However, you can also put a black pot in the plastic bag instead if you want. But don't use a sealed container with no pressure release like a mayonnaise jar -- it can break as the steam builds up! (I've done it.)
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