I am a big fan of solar ovens for a number of reasons, including the following.
- The fuel is free and readily available.
- They are 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 one almost anywhere. I am aware of a situation in which one was made from an old tire and a window pane.
The downsides that I have found are
- Food takes about twice as long as normal to cook.
- They bulky, not good for backpacking.
- They have to be used outside, can create security issues.
- Won’t work on cloudy or rainy days.
With summer just starting I would encourage each of you to build and learn how to use a solar oven. Find out which recipes work best. 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.
I am currently starting to experiment with solar funnel cookers. The results will be post in the near future.