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Solar Cooking: Rice

Cooking good rice on the stove top can be tricky. Cooking good rice in a solar cooker is less tricky, but there are still a few tricks to it. Most of what you need is a fair amount of sun and patience.

My best success has been when starting with a cup of rice. I run the tap water until it’s as hot as it gets, and then I add 1-1/4 cups water to the rice. Cover and put inside the solar cooker. Allow at least 6 or 7 hours of bright sunlight for cooking.

The resulting rice is fluffy and the grains separate easily.

Because it’s the food I’ve cooked the most in the solar oven, I’ve also had a couple of rice failures. When we first began solar cooking, we used a “solar stove” device, which was assembled using a reflective windshield screen turned into a cone shape and set in a bucket. The solar stove worked surprisingly well, but we found that bursts of wind could rather easily topple the structure and spill the rice and water.

We’ve also had a few days that started sunny enough, but clouded over as the day went on. The result was half cooked rice. The fairly easy solution is to bring the rice inside and finish it up on the stove. It’s not a big deal when you have an indoor kitchen as backup.

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