The sun is shining beautifully and the temperature is in the low to mid 50s. The weather is perfect for winter solar cooking. This is a good time of the year to get out and practice. After having played with solar cookers of many different types over the years I have finally decided which I like the best. First let me start by saying that most solar cookers work and will produce a decent meal. However, some are much better than others.
Now it may surprise you to know that I have decided on three different types of solar cookers. All three have different cooking characteristics, but together they give you the capability to cook just about anything as long as the sun is out.
Parabolic Solar Cooker. The first one and the only homemade one is the parabolic solar cookers. This one is kind of like having a range top. It will let you fry eggs and do just about anything you can do on a stovetop. This one is the cheapest by far as long as you have the ability to make your own. See the following link for instructions and safety tips. This one is the most dangerous of the three. Cooking with a Parabolic Solar Cooker
The second one, I will address is the All American Sun Oven. This stove has been available commercially for well over 20 years in various configurations. I have had one for a number of years and have found them to work well.
Foods can be baked, boiled, and steamed at cooking temperatures from 250° F to 400° F. This style of oven allows food to stay moist and tender. Sun-baked roasts are tasty and sun-baked bread has excellent taste and texture. Over the years we have used it extensively and have found it to be quite efficient. Here is a link to my wife cooking a cake.
The third solar cooker that I want to write about is the GoSun stove. This the newest style and if I only had a choice of one, this would be it. The GoSun stove cooks your food in an evacuated tube, retaining almost 90% of the heat energy concentrated on it and reaching 550 degrees F in minutes.. I have cooked meals on a hot sunny day in as little as 10 minutes using only the sun. The power of this little three and a half pound solar cooker cannot be underestimated. Temperatures can be adjusted from 200°F to a maximum cooking temperature of 550° F. Because of the design of the solar cooker, it seems to require less adjustment to keep it aligned with the sun than other styles.
Because you are using a tube to cook in, you are not going to cook the typical large roast or a large cake. I have decided that this is of no real importance. I can cook food in smaller pieces. This results in fast cooking and can taste every bit as good. Here is a link to an review that we have posted in the past. Gosun Sport Solar Cooker a Review
Like I said at the beginning all three work well and have their place. By having all three in one location I have a variety of ways to cook and can also feed a large crowd of people. Admittedly two of these solar cookers are a bit pricey. But they do the job and will last over time. If you are interested in the GoSun Stove click on the link at the right side of this page.