A solar oven is a must-have for any long-term situation where you’re planning to cook off-grid. But, the Sun Oven, in particular, is a versatile tool that’s great for other reasons beyond just preparing a hot meal. Here are five clever, alternative uses for your solar oven that don’t involve cooking.

#1: Water Pasteurization

Pasteurization occurs when water is brought to 65°C (150°F) for 6 minutes. The process destroys all microorganisms and dangerous pathogens that cause diseases from drinking contaminated water. To do this, simply set up your Sun Oven in the usual way, making sure your oven is facing directly towards the sun.

Once your oven has been out for about 30 minutes, pour the water you wish to pasteurize into the oven. Make sure the water has hit 150°F for 6 minutes before cooling and drinking, or use the Sun Oven Multi-Fuel Water Pasteurization Indicator 100% accuracy to prevent any sickness from contaminated water.

#2: Canning

Did you know you can also can using the Sun Oven? You can preserve jams, jellies, and even butter to make them last years. We recommend knowing knowledge on canning prior to preserving in the Sun Oven. Foods such as meat are not recommended, as you need a higher sustained level of heat and pressure. Simply follow your favorite canning recipe and, after placing in the Sun Oven, make sure it’s airtight.

#3: Hot Rocks to Keep You Warm

In any situation where you need warmth in the night, heat a large flat stone in your Sun Oven for 30 minutes. Wrap it in tough cloth or clothing, and put it at the foot of your bed or sleeping bag. The heat will soak into your cold bedding and keep you warm in a situation with no warmth.

Some rocks can retain heat for up to seven hours and are a very useful, natural way of staying warm. If in a tent, one could place a heated rock on top of a bigger rock and place it in the tent overnight. This is very effective to keep multiple people warm at night.

#4: Dehydrating

Dehydrating is a good way to prep food and store during or ahead of an emergency. To dehydrate in the Sun Oven, thinly slice any fruits or vegetables that you want to dehydrate and place them on parchment paper. Place the parchment paper on the dehydrating racks and put items to be dried into the Sun Oven.

Turn one of the latches (located on the right side of the glass door) on the Sun Oven inward and set the glass on top leaving a gap between the gasket and the glass to allow moisture to escape. Make sure the temperature always stays between 100 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

#5: Sterilizing Medical Tools

A great method of sterilizing medical equipment in an emergency situation is by utilizing the “dry heat” method.

Simply Wrap instruments in a clean towel, enclosing all edges. Preheat the SUN OVEN® to 350º F. place the package inside the oven and seal the door. The Dry-heat sterilization process is accomplished by conduction where heat is absorbed by the exterior surface of an item and then passed inward to the next layer. The proper time and temperature for dry-heat sterilization is at least 320º F for 2 hours.