Ever since I’ve had my baking racks I’ve gone back an forth between using parchment paper and silicone mats. They each have their pros and cons. Usually, I choose one or the other depending on my mood, but I always wonder if my results would have been better had I made a different choice. So when I baked my last batch of cookies I did a side by side comparison. Two Sun Ovens, two sets of baking racks, one lined with parchment the other with mats, and a nice sunny day. These are my findings. Parchment pros: it can be cut to size each time making it a better choice for round cakes; clean up couldn’t be easier, you just toss it. Cons: it has to be cut to size each time; for the frequent baker the cost would add up over time; it feels wasteful. Silicone mat pros: It seems like they last forever, all my silicone bakeware looks as new as the day I bought it; they’re very easy to clean. Cons: initial cost is higher; some brands (silpat) cannot be cut so you’ll need different sizes; as easy as they are to clean, they are hard to dry (I know, sounds weird but trust me on this one). As for the cookies, the ones baked on the parchment browned a tiny bit better than the others, but not enough to really notice. Once the cookies had cooled and were put away it was impossible to tell the difference. In the end, both work equally well. I will keep my kitchen stocked with both and continue to use my scientific mood based choosing system.
Sun Oven Testimonial
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A few days ago, I took a corned-beef brisket out of my freezer, microwaved it for 5 minutes to thaw the juice around it, put it in the round stackable pan (with just the included juice), covered it with the metal lid and put it in my Sun Oven – at 2:30 p.m. @ 200F. When my husband got home at 6:30, the internal temp of the meat was 180 – done to perfection! I only had to realign the SO to the sun twice as it was going down the sky, and was AMAZED that it took about the same time I would have cooked the roast on top of my gas stove – using expensive propane. The taste was wonderful, the meat was tender and juicy, and I cooked it on my sidewalk! I love my Sun Oven! I’m also using it to dehydrate herbs and flowers to be used in teas and salves; will shortly be dehydrating vegetables and fruits in it, too, so they take up less storage space.