Whether you’re spending more time at home to avoid COVID-19 infection or taking advantage of the inherent social distancing of tent camping in the wilderness, it’s summer in the U.S.A., it’s hot outside, but we still need to eat.
I’m a lazy cook who has hungry kids to feed every damn day, but our utility bills skyrocketed due to the whole household being home 24/7 as we sheltered in place.
You can try to record a TED talk from your home office with your windows open to save energy, but the attempt almost guarantees a neighbor will pull out a leaf blower before you nail your performance. Ask my husband how I know!
Solo, I might subsist on cold cereal and the occasional spoonful of peanut butter, but my standards for parenting are a little higher than those for self care. I want to feed my family healthy meals consisting of whole foods sourced from readily identifiable ingredients found in nature, but I don’t want to spend too much time slaving over a hot stove to do so.
I want easy, healthy solutions to mealtime that won’t give me heat stroke.
At our first home, we installed a full size barbecue grill in the backyard. It was conveniently plumbed into the natural gas line and just a few steps from the kitchen, so my husband grilled often, especially on those hot, sunny days when I didn’t want to cook.
Full disclosure: I almost never actually wanted to cook, but I mind it less when the weather is moderate to cold.
Our current home has a very different layout, however, with a second floor kitchen. We love its attached balcony with peek-a-boo peeps of the sea, but it is too narrow for a large grill plus the modern composite decking seems unsuitable for that kind of heat even if I was willing to shimmy past a scorching surface. DH will lug out a tabletop propane model once in a summer’s while if we’re craving burgers, but it’s not a setup that induces me to try my hand at grilling.
Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker
GoSun Sport solar oven
I looked for outdoor cooking solutions that mimic my preferred methods for making meals in the kitchen: an oven and a slow cooker
. I chose the GoSun solar oven
) and a Saratoga Jacks Stainless Steel Thermal Cooker
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