We first start off with 3.3 pounds of boneless and skinless chicken thighs. The GoSun Sport manual says that it can handle up to 3 pounds of food so this should be a good test.
The cooking tray is made out of stainless steel so it is best to spray the inside of the tray with a cooking oil.
When loading the chicken thighs it is best to start from the other end away from the handle. Now, this is important and differs from what you would do in a conventional oven. Pack the chicken in as tight as you can. Because you are cooking with radiant heat and not hot air there is no need have any air spaces. Also because I had to make room for the ambient temperature probe I could only put 2.5 pounds of chicken in the tray. Without that probe, it would have held a full 3pounds of chicken. Enough chicken for 3 to 4 people if served with a salad.
I learned a long time ago the best way to cook food is by temperature and not time. So we will be monitoring both the chicken temperature and also the ambient or air temperature inside the cooker. Our target temperature will be 175F for the chicken.
When placing the meat temperature probe make sure it is in the middle of the thickest part of the thigh. Also, make sure you are in the middle of the tray and stay away from the space by the handle.
Another very important part of using the GoSun Sport is do not preheat the cooker. The cooker gets real hot, real quick in the sun but the cooker can actually get too hot if it lacks food in the chamber. You have been warned.
With food loaded it is time to put the cooker in the sun. Just point the cooker as direct as you can by looking at the cooker shadow. You do not need to be perfectly aligned and don't worry it is going to get hot. REAL HOT.
Here is the temperature chart of both the chicken temperature and the ambient temperature. A note is the ambient temperature was actually not correct. Because it was near the opening and as the food got above 212F or boiling it produces steam. A lot of steam. That steam is water evaporating and evaporating water has a cooling effect on the probe so the real temperature was much higher.
Ambient temperature or air temperature in the cooker started at 82F. The chicken that had come out of the refrigerator started at 49.7F
Now here is where I made a mistake but also found out the cooker is extremely forgiving. I lost track of time and cooked the chicken to 187F or 12 degrees hotter than my target. Now in a regular oven that could end up drying the chicken out or makes it mushy.
The total cooking time to get to 187F was only 55 minutes. Remember this was without any preheating.
So when the cook was complete here is what the chart recorded. Ambient temperature was 232.7F but we know that was not correct due to cooling affect from the water evaporating. Final chicken temperature was 187.4F or 12.4F hotter than our target. Total cooking time 55 minutes.
What we found out is because the chicken is being cooked using radiant heat and not hot air the chicken never dries out. That is why the cooker is so forgiving.
In this picture, you can actually see the steam. Also, please note the outside of the tube NEVER gets hot but where the steam comes out gets really hot so please use heat resistant gloves when removing the food.
Here is what the chicken looks like when removed from the tray. It is very moist and extremely tender. I could and did easily cut it with the side of a fork. Check out the video below to see that section. It also tasted great for the seasoning, due to the steaming effect the seasoning, especially the salt permeates the meat.