Summer is here and the sun in shining. It is time to start solar cooking. It is fun, keeps the heat out of your house and prepares you for cooking in an emergency. Now there are many advantages to solar cooking in an emergency. One it saves fuel, you don’t have to waste time looking for wood or burning other precious fuels. You can use a solar cooker in the winter as long as the sun is shining and you insulate the cooker from the cold ground. A friend of mine has used his sitting on top of 4 feet of snow and been able to cook a meal.
Normally the best time of day for solar cooking is between 9 am and 3 pm. A good rule of thumb is that if your shadow is no longer than your height you can cook with a solar oven. If your shadow is to long the sun is to low on the horizon.
If you live above the 60 parallel, you may find that solar cooking is not very efficient. At lower levels, solar ovens can be very efficient, for example at the 40°N parallel you should average 150 days a year, almost 6 months. At the 35°N parallel you should be able to cook for well over 6 months.
As a rule of thumb, we have found that it takes about twice as long to cook food on a solar oven as it does on a stove. Some solar ovens are faster than others. You need to spend some time studying them to determine which one is best for you.
Here are some links to help you with solar cooking
- We Spent the Day Solar Cooking
- Solar Oven Cooking
- More on Solar Ovens
- Comparison Test of Solar Ovens
- Solar Cooking Tips
If you do a search on this site under solar ovens you will find additional information, recipes and plans to make your own.
There are currently several high quality solar ovens currently on the market, This includes the Gosun solar oven, the Global Sun Oven, and the Solavore Solar oven. In addition, there are many other good commercial and homemade stoves available. But there is a learning curve so start now.