cooking off grid

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  • zozomikezozomike Solar Expert Posts: 87 ✭✭✭
    Re: cooking off grid
    sgtalexmom wrote: »
    my "resources" aren't set yet :) i'm in charge of appliances, etc., as we factor out what our system will need to be. i would LOVE to use a single induction top.

    could you give me a model number?

    if used 15 mins a day or less, (my average cooking times on my stovetop) this just might work!
    This thread expanded quite a bit, however the model number of the Max Burton I use is 6200. got them off ebay and amazon, < $90.00 inc shipping, you can get a much cheaper one without the stainless steel wrap which seems to have the same specs.

    Off grid, all solar, passive and active ( winter wood heat supplements) solar DHW, no backup.

    Array 1 1980w,   12 Solarworld 165 w panels - Outback Flex max 80

    Array 2 1590 w, 6 Solarworld 265 w panels - Outback flex max 60

    Well array 600w, 6 Kyocera 130 w  with Grundfos sqflex11 and cu200 to elevated  storage, ( 2- 330 g tanks,) no battery storage at well

    GB industrial 510 AH battery 24 V

    Outback VFX 3525 inverter,


  • sgtalexmomsgtalexmom Registered Users Posts: 17
    Re: cooking off grid

    zozomike,

    thank you! i may go ahead and get one so i can test what kind of power i really use :)
  • marsofoldmarsofold Solar Expert Posts: 45 ✭✭
    Re: cooking off grid
    sgtalexmom wrote: »
    it's been on my search list...so far no luck :cry:

    http://www.12volt-travel.com/12-volt-hair-dryer-with-folding-handle-p-5902.html

    ;)
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,345 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking off grid

    The linked 12vdc hair dryer is ~145 watts, just about 1/10th of a conventional. My guess is that some are going to be disappointed.

    T
  • sgtalexmomsgtalexmom Registered Users Posts: 17
    Re: cooking off grid
    marsofold wrote: »

    it's a 6-of-1 situation with this product. i'll need to run it much longer ... use the 400 watt i have just 2 to 3 mins.

    thanks for trying :D
  • trkarltrkarl Solar Expert Posts: 33
    Re: cooking off grid
    sgtalexmom wrote: »
    hello all. i've been lurking around here for a few months, learning and planning :)

    i'd like some ideas on what you are using to cook off grid.

    i don't need an oven. a single burner of some sort will suffice.

    i'd love to go induction (fast but watt-hog!) is electric cooking really out of reach?

    Here is a little experiment I did on another forum which might be of interest to you:

    "Most of us store dried things like beans and rice for long term storage. Cooking usually involves boiling and simmering which can consume large amounts of energy. So I did a little experiment with cooking some dried black beans.

    In a grid down scenario electricity would be a scarce commodity. Some of us like myself have off grid renewable production capability but would need to manage it wisely to get the most accomplished for the least amount used. I wanted to see how much electricity would be used cooking black beans in various ways.

    I took one cup of dried black beans and soaked them for 6 hrs in each experiment before cooking. They were then cooked in 4 cups of room temp water to start according to directions for each method.

    These are the tools used to cook them:

    A Kuhn Rikon Duromatic 6 litre pressure cooker

    A Vollrath 59500P Mirage Pro Countertop Induction Range 1800 watt

    A General Electric hot plate 1000 watt

    Kill-a-watt meter to measure total kwhs.

    Here are the results:

    1) Beans soaked 6 hrs then cooked in 4 cups water in the pressure cooker for 12 min using the induction cook top. Energy used .25 kwh

    2) Beans soaked 6 hrs then cooked in 4 cups water in the pressure cooker for 12 min using the hot plate. Energy used .30 kwh

    3) Beans soaked 6 hrs then cooked in 4 cups water in the pressure cooker NOT under pressure. Brought to a boil then simmered for 2 hrs. using the hot plate. Energy used .97 kwh

    4) Beans soaked 6 hrs then cooked in 4 cups water in the pressure cooker NOT under pressure.
    Brought to a boil then simmered for 2 hrs. using the induction cook top. Energy used .80 kwh

    Results were pretty interesting. Using induction capable cookware and an induction cook top where the cooking method was the same in each instance consumed about 20% less electricity.

    There was no contest between pressure cooking and the standard boil/simmer. Boil/simmer with a hotplate used about 400% more energy than pressure/induction did.

    On a side note I just got the induction cook top a couple months ago. These things are amazing. You can go from a cold pan with some butter in it to done scrambled eggs in around 2 minutes. "
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,698 admin
    Re: cooking off grid

    We have talked about these before--Thermos Cooking...

    Either get a wide mouth thermos, or go to an Asian Market and see if you can find one of these type (thermos with cooking pot that fits inside).

    http://www.amazon.com/Zojirushi-SN-XAE80XA-Stainless-Thermal-2-Gallon/dp/B004P489NM

    (Wow--those are getting expensive--This is a Japanese brand... Should be able to find something cheaper).

    We use this fairly often for anything that needs to simmer on the stove--for very long cook times, I will bring the pot back to a boil after a couple hours and place it back in the thermos.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • sgtalexmomsgtalexmom Registered Users Posts: 17
    Re: cooking off grid

    bill:

    i think there will be pot roasts on our menu after all :D

    thanks for the link!
  • monolocomonoloco Solar Expert Posts: 103 ✭✭
    Re: cooking off grid

    This is what we use for cooking in our off-grid home:P1010143.jpg
    Still works good after 56 years.
  • sgtalexmomsgtalexmom Registered Users Posts: 17
    Re: cooking off grid

    monoloco:

    WOW!!! i just had a flash back to my grandma's kitchen ... warm and fuzzy feelings. (i'm 52, nearly as old as your stove, lol) her stove was yellow, but otherwise looked just like that :D
  • Volvo FarmerVolvo Farmer Solar Expert Posts: 209 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: solar cooking recipes

    It's a shame that it takes a spammer to call my attention to this thread, but I just saw something remarkable. Somebody else has the exact same range as I do!

    okeeferange.jpg
  • mejustmemejustme Registered Users Posts: 17
    Re: cooking off grid

    Hi

    I have been using 12 volt appliances and small batteries to cook for a few months and it works well and some 12 volt appliances use very little power to cook (20 to 40 watt hours even in some cases).

    Today for lunch I plugged a 12 volt oven directly into a 200 watt solar panel and roasted 3 pieces of thin beef for sandwiches. It worked well (about 40 minutes with me opening it often though).

    I am surprised that I can not find anything on someone cooking with 12 volts before. EDIT that should be cooking with 12 volts directly from a single panel.

    Something to think about for those not wanting to use propane. Will not be for all but has promise.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,698 admin
    Re: cooking off grid

    Do you have any links to the 12 volt ovens? It would seem that even the simplest dish would use 100-200 watts for the better part of an hour to cook even something small (see old Easy Bake Oven--uses 2x 100 watt lamps for cooking).

    I would be interested in seeing the details...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mejustmemejustme Registered Users Posts: 17
    Re: cooking off grid

    Hi

    12 volt oven is a Dick Smith brand but I think it is pretty much the same thing as sold in lots of places.

    Uses 10 amps and cooks to about 150 degrees celsius.

    I have been thinking about this for a while. Wanted to use my 12 volt frypan with a panel directly.

    You just need a panel with enough amps. My 200 watt panel is rated at 11.2 amps.

    There are other issues, like if the appliance can handle 18 volts (and voltage drop in the length/thickness of wire (which could be an advantage).


    In any event this does work (cooking without a battery from the panel), which means it could save some battery power. Two meals a day just from the panel and use the panel to charge a smaller battery than otherwise for a third meal. Or a group of people using it several times. Can be used after disasters, fireban days lots of things.

    I am looking forward to the next generation of smaller more effiecent panels.

    I want to use it on a trip traveling light in a year or two....but 12 volt cooking works so well i use it at home and now this working is a great extra bonus.


    My 12 volt frypan uses a little too much power for THIS panel....still only uses around 170 watts I think (I use this panel as if it is 12 volt 11.2 amp...as if it is about 130 watts).


    I will try a larger 240 watt panel later as well as maybe Roadpro frypan (uses around 140 watts).

    My 12 volt frypan works great from small agm batteries charged from a smaller panel.


    I think this will end up being a game changer for many.


    Disclaimer, I am not selling anything and anywone doing this do so at your own risk. I cut the MC4 plugs of the panel. I use 15 metres of 4mm wire with a cigarette lighter socket at one end and alligator clamps at the other. later I will have a proper cables made up as i do not want anyone playing with bare wires and 11 amps.


    Neil
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,163 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking off grid

    mejustme, got a link, can't seem to zero in on it.
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • mejustmemejustme Registered Users Posts: 17
    Re: cooking off grid

    Hi

    This is the one I have but again, it is the same thing as sold by different brands.

    http://dicksmith.com.au/product/M4515/dse-12v-dc-portable-stove

    Edit, I probably should have said 12 volt stove, sorry.

    A bit slower than a grid stove/oven and not huge.

    Really though my point is that ANY 12 volt cooking appliance with enough amps might be useable directly from a matching solar panel (by using the rated amps x 12 volts instead of 17 or 18 or whatever it is).
    For instance, a 12 volt sandwich maker might use 65 watts...at 12 volts that is about 5.4 amps so later on I will try one of those but I would try it with a panel of about 100 watts.

    I will use this stove and panel for slow roasting, maybe jerky as well as roasting small slices of meat for sandwiches.

    My goal is that 12 volt frypan as they only take a few minutes to cook so only use about 20 to 40 watt hours from a small battery...without the limitations of a small battery though should be able to cook anything fryable. The Road Pro ones MIGHT be good for direct use as the power is a little down for using from a really small battery (take longer to cook I would think and so end up using a bit more power , though still not much). MIGHT work of my current panel but a little slower but if it DOES work, who cares if it is still only taking minutes to fry without battery/fuel.

    Still early days and I have a lot more i want to play with but very promising.

    Neil
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,698 admin
    Re: cooking off grid

    Hmm.. ~120 watts. Still like cooking food with a 100 watt light bulb. (be careful, my cars only have a 10 amp fuse, not a 15 amp fuse that it appears to require).

    Lots lots of 12 VDC ovens/frying pans/slow cookers at Amazon. Lots of people really appear to like them too. I would guess more like heating your food for an hour than truly baking/cooking.

    Still, if it meets your needs, better than not being able to heat/cook your food.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mejustmemejustme Registered Users Posts: 17
    Re: cooking off grid

    Hi


    12 volt cooking appliances have been around for many many years. They got a bad reputation because car batteries and cigarette lighter sockets are not up to it (or not for long). Truckies did better with them and so have been happier with them.

    Now with the likes of solar and batteries other thna lead acid, 12 volt cooking may have a real place for many.

    Yesterday, I put 3 pieces of meat in the stove and it cooked in about 40 minutes. If I had only cooked two pieces as I normally do and had not kept opening it , I would think it would have been a fair bit quicker.

    The panel was probably not placed at optimum angel to the sun either (I wanted to see if it would work just by setting it out and plugging in).

    It does not get hot enough to fry. ...sort of part frying part roasting I think.....whatever it is it was delicious and the fat had sort of melted like roasting.

    This WILL be very useful to me.....getting a fry pan to work this way is my goal ...the 200 watt panel for this was fairly cheap and is reasonably portable.....the 240 watt panel to use with my frypan is much dearer and I would expect larger/heavier.

    Posted in case someone finds it useful...back to lurking.

    Don't suppose anyone else is dumb enough to buy a 240 watt 12 volt panel with a 12 volt frypan ! (aprox 170 watt model) to see if it works??



    Neil
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,698 admin
    Re: cooking off grid

    "12 volt" (really 17.5 volt Vmp) 240 watt panels are getting rare these days--Evergreen was the last company I know of (off hand) that was still producing large wattage panels at that low of Vmp...

    There are, for truckers, 24 VDC appliances too--and probably more high wattage panels that are in that range.

    In the end, if you are going to limit your cooking to hours when the sun is shining--I would probably look more at Solar Stoves (reflectors, glass box, black pots, etc.) instead. Very inexpensive and will gather much more power in a similar foot print (~15% efficient solar PV vs 60-80% or so efficient solar oven from sunlight).

    Something like this www.sunoven.com (just happened to be the top hit on Google) probably has more capabilities (assuming home use). Interestingly--at ~$370 not cheap when compared to a solar panel fire sale :roll:.

    In any case, solar thermal lends itself real nicely to do it yourself type projects.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking off grid
    BB. wrote: »
    "12 volt"

    In the end, if you are going to limit your cooking to hours when the sun is shining--I would probably look more at Solar Stoves (reflectors, glass box, black pots, etc.) instead. Very inexpensive and will gather much more power in a similar foot print (~15% efficient solar PV vs 60-80% or so efficient solar oven from sunlight).

    Something like this www.sunoven.com (just happened to be the top hit on Google) probably has more capabilities (assuming home use). Interestingly--at ~$370 not cheap when compared to a solar panel fire sale :roll:.

    In any case, solar thermal lends itself real nicely to do it yourself type projects.

    -Bill
    Case in point. My hand built from scratch solar, domestic water heating panel has only one sheet of glass over it. The other day with full sun near noon (no reflectors whatever, just a very simple unit) the thermometer was showing the air inside the collector panel to be 210F. Gotta wonder what an oven with mirrors would do. Should easily double that, and far, far cheaper than solar electric. OH! And the outside air temp was -7C.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,345 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking off grid

    For all the trouble, a small two burner camp stove, fed with a 5 gallon (20#) barbque tank that will run for months is a far cheaper alternative,, more satisfying too IMHO.

    Tony
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking off grid
    icarus wrote: »
    For all the trouble, a small two burner camp stove, fed with a 5 gallon (20#) barbque tank that will run for months is a far cheaper alternative,, more satisfying too IMHO.

    Tony

    True, but where's the challenge, the fear of undercooked food and food poisoning? Anyone can cook with propane. Hahahaha
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,345 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking off grid

    Can't argue that!

    Tony
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking off grid
    True, but where's the challenge, the fear of undercooked food and food poisoning? Anyone can cook with propane. Hahahaha

    not true as you never met my wife.:-):roll::p
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking off grid
    niel wrote: »
    not true as you never met my wife.:-):roll::p

    Hahaha That was my laugh of the day! :)
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,345 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking off grid

    You've never eaten anything I have ever cooked! Come to think of it neither have I,, much. Toast?

    T
  • mejustmemejustme Registered Users Posts: 17
    Re: cooking off grid
    BB. wrote: »
    "12 volt" (really 17.5 volt Vmp) 240 watt panels are getting rare these days--Evergreen was the last company I know of (off hand) that was still producing large wattage panels at that low of Vmp...


    In the end, if you are going to limit your cooking to hours when the sun is shining--I would probably look more at Solar Stoves (reflectors, glass box, black pots, etc.) instead. Very inexpensive and will gather much more power in a similar foot print (~15% efficient solar PV vs 60-80% or so efficient solar oven from sunlight).

    Something like this www.sunoven.com (just happened to be the top hit on Google) probably has more capabilities (assuming home use). Interestingly--at ~$370 not cheap when compared to a solar panel fire sale :roll:.

    In any case, solar thermal lends itself real nicely to do it yourself type projects.

    -Bill


    Hi

    Lots of cheap chinese 240 watt panels on ebay. (still a bit beyond me just for experimenting with though).
    EDIT for anyone wanting to try this it has to be a 12 volt 240 watt panel with at least 13 amps to be of use to me I think.

    Solar stove/ovens have their place (I wanna play around with them too) but with 12 volt appliances...

    They cook as well as normal electric appliances...maybe a little slower but just as well. The limiting factors are their size (usually smaller) but especially power supply.

    This way has some advantages over solar ovens.

    For a start, the panel is in the sun but I am in the shade...can be on your back porch cooking at the table. When the sun goes down or away, you can keep cooking with a battery.

    I use a 7.2ah 12 volt battery to cook with my 12 volt fry pan, charged from a 50 watt panel.....do not need propane or fuel and just need a new battery ($20 or so) every couple of years.....or I could get a bigger one to last longer. (I am killing my current one through over charging and other reasons) but it will still last long enough to make this cheaper than propane and work as well.


    I paid $288 Australian for my 200 watt panel, the stove cost about $40, the 15 meter cable $20 or so. The panel can be used for charging batteries, not just this. If I look after this it could last over ten years without ever needing another cent spent on it.

    I think this is already cheaper in the long run (or even medium term) than propane, cooks safely quickly and easily. It will not be for all and will not replace propane for many but could well be the future for lots of people.

    Neil
  • mejustmemejustme Registered Users Posts: 17
    Re: cooking off grid

    I guess if I was to go off grid tommorrow, my cooking would be (for one or two people).

    12 volt frypan with a smallish battery (14AH to 20AH would be what I would get to start).

    Charge that from my 50 watt panel.

    12 volt stove used directly from my 200 watt panel.

    I would get a medium priced solar oven

    I would get a cheap single burner propane stove as back up but really not use it.

    I would also keep trying to get a frypan to work directly off a panel.




    Neil
  • soloronesolorone Solar Expert Posts: 254 ✭✭✭
    Re: cooking off grid
    niel wrote: »
    not true as you never met my wife.:-):roll::p
    I assume she never reads the forum. LOL

    I have read the whole thread, I assume, #1 a lot of folks are playing around with solar, #2 they are young, and have time to wait on supper.

    I predict they will follow the mods advice, and end up with some form of gas cooker.

    Everything you do is a learning experience, and I am sure I did some off beat things.

    For sure, these days everyone has far more tools/toys to work with. remember the 9" 12V color TV, dissapointment at not being able to override the 12.2 V cut off system.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: cooking off grid

    my points in bold.
    solorone wrote: »
    I assume she never reads the forum. LOL

    correct as she couldn't care less about solar power.

    I have read the whole thread, I assume, #1 a lot of folks are playing around with solar, #2 they are young, and have time to wait on supper.

    yes, many here do play with solar, but i believe we did a poll a few years back and we aren't all as young as you think and it surprised me too.

    I predict they will follow the mods advice, and end up with some form of gas cooker.

    their choice.

    Everything you do is a learning experience, and I am sure I did some off beat things.

    For sure, these days everyone has far more tools/toys to work with. remember the 9" 12V color TV, disapointment at not being able to override the 12.2 V cut off system.

    i'm not familiar with that one, but my little 6v battery operated (i think 5in, but don't remember) color tv is useless anyway as it is analog and not digital.
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