How to Make a "Peace Corps Oven"
If and when you find yourself without an oven, have no fear — chocolate chip banana bread, pizza, and cinnamon rolls can still exist within your universe. Building a "Peace Corps Oven" will open a world of endless baked goodness and can be easily (and inexpensively) constructed with few materials.
Here's what you'll need:
- 1 large pot
- 1 smaller pot to fit inside (In Madagascar, I used one 28-sized and one 40-sized pot). Alternatively, you can use a baking pan, if you can find one.
- 3 or 4 empty kapoake (any empty tin can will work)
1. Fill your larger pot with about two inches of sand.
2. Place on your gas stove for about 30 minutes, with the lid off, to dry out the sand. Make sure it gets really hot.
3. Place the tin cans upside down in the sand. This will trap some of the heat and support the other pot/baking tin.
4. Once ready to cook, place the large pot, covered, over a charcoal fire and let it preheat. You can test its temperature by placing flour on the top of the tin cans. If the flour turns brown within one minute, it has reached a temperature between 325 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Finally, place the smaller pot with the uncooked food on top of the cans. You can invert the lid of the larger pot and place charcoal on top for a more effective oven (cooking from the top and bottom). Be patient as cooking time may be longer than you're used to.