Solar Oven Cooking

Now that summer is here, we have started using solar ovens again.  This year I have a new one to test, the Global Sun Global Sun ovenOven by Sun Oven International.  This is the first time, I have ever had a commercially manufactured oven and I must say I am impressed.  On an 80 degree, sunny day it reached a temperature of 300 degrees in less than 15 minutes and cooked our lunch quickly.  My homemade ones would take a bit longer.  I have only had this one opportunity to use it and it easily beats my homemade ones.  After I use the Global Sun Oven some more I will write a full review on it.

I am a big fan of solar ovens for a number of reasons, including the following.

  • The fuel is free and readily available.
  • They can be inexpensive and easy to make.
  • They are easy to use.
  • As long as the sun is shining, they will work.
  • They create no smoke or odors other than the food cooking.
  • In the summer, the heat stays outside.
  • Once you learn the principal, you can make an improvised oven almost anywhere.  I am aware of a situation in which one was made from an old tire and a windowpane.

The downsides that I have found are

  • Depending on the oven the food can take twice as long as normal to cook.
  • They are bulky, not good for backpacking.
  • They have to be used outside which can create security issues.
  • They won’t work on overcast or rainy days.

With summer just starting, I would encourage each of you get or build a solar oven.  There is a bit of a learning curve so learn how to use a solar oven now.  Find out which recipes work best for you.  There are many different designs for solar ovens including the box, parabolic and funnel.  Take a look at the website http://solarcookers.org/index.html ran by Solar Cookers International, they provide some great resources.

Howard

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3 Responses to Solar Oven Cooking

  1. Matt in Oklahoma says:

    I’ve looked into this and made some homemade ones that produced less than desired results but the cost has kept me away from these store bought ones. It seems that there is very little “in between” models that are affordable for what it is. “IF” everything went down yes it would be worthy but with it’s downsides i just can’t justify the $250+ on a part time deal. Dunno just bouncing some thoughts out there, anyone else got anything or any ideas?

  2. admin says:

    Matt
    I understand your position, I have not had as good a result with homemade ones but I have been able to get them to cook a pot of beans, just takes longer. The highest heat I have reached in my homemade ones are about 250 degrees. I am doing some experiments with new designs and will post more on this in the next couple of weeks.
    Howard

  3. Debi says:

    I have been using solar ovens for years, the homemade one didnt last long and didnt get hot enough. We had a solar sport for years, it is the least expensive, but the Global sun oven seems like it would last longer. After having a global sun oven last season, I bought a second one this year. Being able to cook for half the year for the cost of two of these is well worth the money, one of them is less than the cost of a new cheap kitchen range, 2 of them is about the same cost as a cheap electric kitchen range, and they dont need any fuel. The global sun oven gets over 350 to 400 degrees –in the middle of a dry winter day or during the summer, it cooks quickly. You can still cook soups etc…on overcast days, but it takes alot longer. When it is miserable outside, we usually want to get warm and so have the wood stove going and can cook on that

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