Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sun Oven Showdown: Triple Berry Cobbler
















It's camping time! With the Memorial Weekend officially hitting this weekend, the "unofficial" start of summer and camping season is here. What better time to have another Sun Oven Showdown! Today, we thought we'd focus on the essential summertime/camping time dessert meal, fruit cobbler, and we've got a delicious recipe for an amazing Triple Berry Cobbler the whole family will enjoy!

The Contender


With this Showdown focused on camping, what better product to put our All American Sun Oven up against than the all traditionally, family favorite Dutch Oven. When it comes to camping and cooking, the Dutch Oven is King, and for good reason. These little ovens are extremely durable, can be used on the campfire, with coals or charcoal, or even in the oven, and are extremely reliable and long lasting. Think about it, how many of you have had the same Dutch Oven stored with your camping supplies for the past 10 years? And with the "seasoning" process associated with Dutch Ovens, flavor and taste is never a compromise. To knock this contender off the camping peak is a big task for any cooker! Only the most delicious recipe could even the odds.

The Recipe


To help even the playing field, we picked the perfect recipe for our Showdown. One that any camper could not only make, but enjoy on every camping trip. It had to be simple, with a short cook time, and a delicious taste! Enter our Triple Berry Cobbler.

Triple Berry Cobbler

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups Honeyville Freeze Dried Blackberries
1 1/2 cups Honeyville Freeze Dried Blueberries
1 1/2 cups Honeyville Freeze Dried Raspberries
2 cups Honeyville All Purpose Flour
2 cups Honeyville Regular Rolled Oats
1 1/2 cups Brown Sugar
4 Tbsp White Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Chef Tess Wise Woman of the East Spice
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) Butter

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine freeze dried fruit and add water.


Put just enough water in the bowl to allow the fruit to soak. Let fruit soak for around 15 minutes.


In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, and wise woman of the east.


Cube butter and add to mixture. Mix together until mixture is crumbly and combined.


Take half of the mixture and press it in to the bottom of the Dutch Oven or cooking pan you are using.


Take berries and drain excess water. Add white sugar and gently toss together until sugar and fruit are combined. Pour fruit in Dutch Oven or cooking pan.


Take the remaining mixture and sprinkle on top. Drizzle a little bit of the remaining juice on top for flavor.

Bake at 350 degrees until fruit filling begins to bubble.

The Showdown


For our Showdown today, we will look at four main points when comparing the All American Sun Oven with the Dutch Oven. First, we will focus on how long it takes to get to cooking temperature. Second, how long it takes for each to cook the meal. Third, the overall taste. And fourth, how easy (or difficult) it is to clean up. Our judges are none other than Honeyville employees and Cobbler connoisseurs Augustine, Nikita, and Colton. Let the Showdown begin!

Dutch Oven

Does anything smell better than a Cobbler cooking in a Dutch Oven?

Advantages
There are very specific reasons why we all love Dutch Oven cooking, and it is apparent right off the bat. Though the charcoal took the same amount of time to get to cooking temperature as the Sun Oven did (about 15 minutes), the cook time was drastically different! Once our Charcoals were in place (14 on top, 10 underneath) Our little Dutch Oven cooked that cobbler in just under 15 minutes. That means total wait time before you enjoy delicious Berry Cobbler is only 30 minutes! And if your a fan of that crispy cobbler taste, the Dutch Oven is definitely for you! Nothing can beat that Dutch Oven flavor!

Charcoal, and lots of it, is just one disadvantage to Dutch Oven cooking.

Disadvantages
The biggest disadvantage we found with the Dutch Oven was the amount of additional equipment you'll need just to cook with it. Do you have charcoal? Well you'll need a lot of it. 24 pieces to completely cook with it. You'll also need something to light and cook the charcoal in. We used our former showdown contender, our Charcoal grill. Then you'll need heat tempered thongs to place the charcoal on and around the Dutch Oven. Don't forget the Dutch Oven lid lifter. Oh, and you'll need a pretty heavy oven mit to lift everything. Unless you enjoy third degree burns. That's a lot of extra items for one meal. Another disadvantage is uneven cooking. Dutch Oven cooking is definitely not a "set it and forget it" type of cooking. Rotating the oven constantly is a key to proper cooking. And clean-up? Well, you've got to remove red hot coals (always fun), let the oven cool down, clean it out, but don't use soap, and then oil the oven back up to "season" it properly. Quite the process.

All American Sun Oven

No Charcoal needed here! All you need is the Power of the Sun!

Advantages
One of the biggest advantages to the All American Sun Oven was the ability to set it and forget it! While the Dutch Oven cooked in an impressive 15 minutes, any longer on the coals would have surely burned the cobbler. Not with the Sun Oven! Because it is an even heat, it is nearly impossible to burn any meal. It may have taken 45 minutes to cook the cobbler, but we could have left it in there all afternoon and the cobbler would still come out moist and delicious. Which was another plus, the amount of flavor the cobbler contained. The cobbler baked in the Sun Oven was packed with delicious flavor and taste. Though you lose that crumbly texture you get from the Dutch Oven, you are overcome with the delicious berry and sugar taste of the cobbler. And clean up? A sinch! Just close the flaps and you are done. Yeah, that's it. No fuss, no muss!

Disadvantages
As we mentioned before, cook time took a lot longer in the Sun Oven compared to the quickness of the Dutch Oven. Cook time was around 45 minutes, meaning with the 15 minutes it takes for the oven to warm up, you're looking at around an hour before you can dig into that delicious cobbler. Plan accordingly. And because the Sun Oven doesn't burn or crisp your food, you won't get that delicious crispy taste in the cobbler that you did with the Dutch Oven.

The Judges Reviews


"My choice is the Dutch Oven Cobbler. Although the Sun Oven kept the juices and flavors of the fruit, it was a little too sweet. The Dutch Oven really brought out the flavors of the Oats, and gave it that crisp, home-cooked taste that I really loved." - Nikita


"I really liked the Sun Oven Cobbler. The flavor was so much stronger than the Dutch Oven. You really could taste the berries. Plus, because it wasn't so crispy, you really got a taste of all the flavors and ingredients. I'm a fan!" - Colton


"I chose the Dutch Oven Cobbler as my favorite. I thought the tastes of both were very similar, but for me, it was all about time. The Dutch Oven cooked the cobbler in a quicker time and gave it that crispy, golden texture that I really like." - Augustine

The Conclusion


The Dutch Oven scored well in almost every category we had. When it came to cook time, all three of our judges chose it over the All American Sun Oven. Clean up was swept by the All American Sun Oven, while overall taste was a complete draw, with one judge picking the Dutch Oven, one picking the All American Sun Oven, and one picking both for flavor.

So how would you judge it? Now that you've seen how the All American Sun Oven stacks up, will you be including it in your next camping trip?

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