Solar technology is becoming more and more a part of everyday life. Much of your home, and many things in your life, can now be powered with the use of solar technology, including how you cook your meals. Regardless of whether you're cooking in the outdoors or just in your backyard, solar ovens can be a great way to cook food.
Solar ovens cook with just the use of the sun, and you can even use them on cloudy days. Many solar ovens can reach the same temperatures as standard electric or gas ovens can. You can bake, boil, grill and even steam food with these ovens, which include the GoSun Sport, the SolSource Solar Grill and the Sun Chef Cooker.
There are many benefits to cooking with a solar-powered oven. No electricity or fuel is required, so you can move around and store these cookers without trouble. You can also use one in an emergency preparedness situation, and they are very safe because they pose no fire danger, unlike camping stoves and other outdoor grills.
Solar Ovens: What to Look For
Because there are many different kinds of solar ovens, there are a few things to consider before you determine which one is right for you and your situation. You should consider the oven's cooking ability, features, size and warranty to ensure you choose the right unit.
For the most part, the cooking ability of a solar oven is similar to that of conventional electric and gas ovens. Many solar ovens can reach the same temperatures that conventional ovens can, and the cooking time is similar too. With many solar ovens, you won't be limited as to the type of food you can cook. Many solar ovens can bake, boil, grill and fry food just like any conventional oven, which will let you make full meals, desserts, bread and much more.
The features on each solar cooker vary, but each one has the standard features. These include solar reflectors and a cooking surface or area. Features that you find on some solar ovens include a built-in thermometer, included pans and other cooking dishes and utensils, and a carrying handle and collapsible reflectors on ovens that are portable.
The size of the oven is important to note when you're deciding how you will use the oven. If you're simply looking for a solar oven for emergency preparedness, a smaller oven that you can store in your emergency preparedness stock is likely the way to go. If you're looking for a solar cooker that you can use regularly, whether at home or outdoors, any size is sufficient.
The warranty length varies by solar oven, but each oven should come with a standard one-year warranty from the manufacturer at minimum. Many manufacturers offer additional warranties on certain parts of the oven and a 30-day money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied with the product.
Solar ovens are a great way to cook meals, whether you're in the outdoors, an emergency preparedness situation or the comfort of your own backyard. These ovens don't require fuel or electricity, so they are portable and a great way to be green.
All Season Review
The All Season Solar Cooker is one of the most unique solar ovens out there because of its ability to utilize solar technology from sunup to sundown. However, you are limited to a certain type of cooking and won't be able to grill or bake with this solar cooker.
This solar cooker lets you cook your food at home in the backyard – if there's sunlight, of course. But it can also be an addition to your camping gear or even be stored for an emergency situation.
You can use a handful of different cookware with this solar cooker, but it doesn't come with any. Cookware you could use includes pans, pots and glass bowls with lids. A full list cookware you can use with it is enclosed with the unit. You'll be able to cook a wide variety of foods with this sun oven, but you can't do any grilling or baking like some solar ovens allow, because there isn't a place for a grill rack or a baking sheet.
One thing that's quite unique about this solar cooker is its ability to be readjusted into two different positions throughout the day, so you can use it from sunup to sundown if necessary. For instance, if you're cooking in the morning while camping, you can place the reflectors in a lower position so you can gather the morning sunlight. Additionally, for cooking in the afternoon and early evening before the sun goes down, you can place the reflectors in a higher position. As the name indicates, this feature also allows you to use the solar stove during any time of the year.
When it's all set up, this solar cooker measure 24 inches square, but it also folds down to just 1 inch thick, which makes it easy to store and portable. It only weighs just over 4 pounds, so carrying it isn't difficult.
The All Season Solar Cooker does have some cooking limitations; you can't grill or bake food with it. However, it has unique abilities to utilize solar technology throughout the day and the year.
American Educational Review
The American Educational Products Sun Spot isn't the most powerful solar oven out there, but it is sufficient for cooking up some fun treats for campouts and barbecues. It can even be a good addition to an emergency preparedness kit, because it's small enough to store and not heavy or bulky to carry.
This solar oven isn't made of high-quality material; in fact, it's basically just a cardboard box. The box has four lid reflectors and four corner panels that can fold down when not in use. To cook, you unfold the four lid reflectors, attach the corner panels, place the unit in the sun, and place your food, in a pan or cooking bag, in the bottom of the unit via the drawer that pulls out. The reflectors capture heat from the sun's rays and retain the heat within the oven.
There aren't any cooking racks on this unit, so you can't use this solar cooker for grilling like some solar ovens allow, but there is a lot of food that you can cook with it. You can cook eggs, soups, casseroles and pies, to name a few.
Many solar ovens reach temperatures similar to those of a conventional oven, but this solar oven can only reach up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it won't limit you too much, as you can cook many foods at 350 degrees; it just may take a bit longer.
When it's not in use and folded down, this sun oven measures just 24 x 2 inches and weighs just under 1.5 pounds. Because of its small size when it's not in use, this sun oven is fairly easy to store. The reflectors can fold down, and you'll be left with just a fairly small box to store. The unit also has a handle on the side where the drawer pulls out, which makes it easy to carry around.
The American Educational Products Sun Spot is an inexpensive way to cook with solar technology. You can add it to your emergency preparedness kit, too, and even use it when you're camping.
The GoSun Sport isn't your standard sun oven. This unit is designed to be very portable and only cooks a small amount of food at a time. Its smaller size limits what kind of foods you can cook, but as a camping solar cooker, it still offers some variety.
The solar oven uses parabolic reflectors and its tube shape to convert the energy from the sun into heat to cook your food. You can fry, steam, bake, roast and even boil with this unit. The reflectors are pointed outward while the unit is in use, but they can collapse around the tube when not in use.
The size, though, is a bit limiting. For instance, you can only cook enough food for one or two people at a time, and you're also limited to cooking one type of food at a time. However, you can cook many types of food with this sun oven.
The foods you can cook include hot dogs, eggs, fish, vegetables and meats, and you can reheat frozen foods with this solar-powered system. It takes as little as 20 minutes to cook many foods, such as hot dogs and eggs, and to reheat frozen food.
This sun oven can reach a maximum temperature of 700 degrees Fahrenheit, but most foods cook between 200 and 550 degrees Fahrenheit. The power output of the unit is 230 watts in full sunlight. You can use this unit when it's cloudy too; it just may take a little longer for your food to cook.
The size of the GoSun Sport definitely limits the cooking ability, but it's also one of its best qualities if you're looking for an extremely portable solar oven. This unit is well suited for backpacking trips, camping and picnics because it is so small, and it collapses so that you can even strap it to a backpack.
This unit measures just 2.8 inches in diameter and 24 inches long, so it's very slim, and it weighs just 7 pounds. The inside diameter of the unit is 2.3 inches. This unit has a two-year warranty, and it's made of a durable borosilicate glass, which is similar to Pyrex glass.
The GoSun Sport is a small oven for cooking with solar technology. It's convenient for camping, boating and picnic outings, or even for the comfort of your own backyard. Its size makes it very portable and simple to store when not in use.
Hot Pot Solar Cooker Review
The Hot Pot Solar Cooker is an option for cooking with just the use of solar technology. This solar stove doesn't have as large of a cooking surface as many solar ovens do, but it allows you to cook enough food at once to feed a small group of people.
You can use this solar oven to cook a variety of foods, but it isn't suitable for frying or grilling, unlike many other sun ovens. However, you can use this solar oven to make soups, cook grains and meats, or bake bread and treats.
Cooking with this solar oven takes longer than cooking with a conventional oven, but it doesn't require the use of electricity or fuel. You can boil a quart of water in under an hour, and cooking a 4-pound chicken takes two hours. This sun oven works best – and cooks your food the fastest – when you place it in direct sunlight. However, you can still use this unit to cook on cloudy or overcast days.
Because solar ovens don't require the use of electricity, fuel or fire, this unit is safe to use with children around and while camping in the outdoors, and it's acceptable to use in areas where there are rules against open fires. Additionally, cooking with the sun ensures your food will never be burnt or overcooked like it can be with a campfire.
The Hot Pot is extremely portable because you can fold it down when it's not in use. You can even fold it down enough to put it in a backpack. Its included steel pot, tempered glass enclosure and lid can all stack together so that you can easily store it or carry it around.
The Hot Pot Solar Cooker offers a way to cook in the outdoors using no electricity or fuel – just the sun's rays. You can add it to your camping or emergency preparedness supplies or even just use it in the comfort of your own backyard. You can make a variety of food using its solar technology, and setting it up takes just 30 seconds.
The One Earth Designs SolSource solar oven looks more like a satellite dish at first glance than a solar cooker, but it can still cook your food for you. Whether you're looking to do some solar cooking while you're camping or just outside your own home on the balcony, rooftop or in the backyard, this sun oven can do it.
This sun oven is a pretty good-sized unit, and it's quite heavy compared to many solar ovens. Only a small area on the unit is devoted to cooking; the rest is designed to capture the sun's rays and heat your food. You're limited to one pot or pan at a time, but you can still use this solar oven for grilling, frying, steaming and boiling.
It's ideal to use this oven in the sunlight, but you can also use it on cloudy days. However, when the sun is out, it can reach temperatures for baking and grilling in just five minutes and can boil a liter of water in just 10 minutes. If you need to sear a steak, it only takes it 10 minutes to warm up to the temperature you need.
This is a heavy-duty unit. The frame is made of carbon steel, so it's very durable, and the solar panels on the unit are made from plastic designed to endure outdoor conditions, so they aren't terribly fragile. It's heavy compared to many other solar ovens, weighing 46 pounds and measuring 32.3 x 28.3 x 11.4 inches.
This solar cooker doesn't require much maintenance. All that's required is spraying or pouring water on the panels before and after each use. However, if food gets on the panels while you cook, you will need to make sure to completely clean it off before putting the solar cooker away.
The One Earth Designs SolSource is a hefty solar oven, but it still allows you to cook many types of food using just solar technology. You can add it to your camper, RV or even just the backyard deck. You can use most pots, grill pans and other cookware that you already have with it, and you'll be able to whip up some meals in short time.
Solavore Sport Review
The Solavore Sport is a simple-to-use sun oven to take camping or on a picnic, or to just use in your own backyard. This solar stove isn't heavy, so it's fairly portable, though it doesn't collapse for storage.
Unlike most solar cookers, this unit doesn't use solar reflectors to gather heat, but they are available as an add-on, and adding them does increase the sun's radiation to the oven. The unit is made of rugged plastic and has a double-layered lid, which keeps more heat inside to cook your food.
You can't use this solar oven for grilling, but you can use it to cook a large variety of foods. You can boil, bake and steam food in its two included pots. You can also place cooking sheets on the bottom of the oven for baking. It can hold cooking sheets of up to 9 x 17 inches.
Using the unit is simple. All you do is place your food in the pans or on cooking sheets and then close the glass lid and clamp it shut. It's ideal that this unit be placed in direct sunlight, but you can also use it on cloudy days – it just may take a bit longer for your food to cook. However, because it can hold two pans at once, you can cook quite a bit of food at a time.
Along with its two included pots and lids, this solar cooker comes with a thermometer so you can tell how hot the unit is getting. The temperature of the unit tells you when it's ready for you to put your food in and how long the food needs to cook.
This sun oven isn't terribly large, but it isn't collapsible like many solar ovens are, so it's a little less simple to store. It measures 31 x 22 x 14 inches and weighs 10 pounds.
The Solavore Sport sun oven allows you to use solar technology to cook your food, whether just in your own backyard or in the outdoors while camping. It comes with two pots, and you can also use cooking sheets with this solar oven, so you can bake, boil, steam and more with just the sun's heat and the oven.
The Sun Chef Cooker is designed with the look of a satellite dish – large and round. You can add this solar oven to your camping or emergency preparedness supplies, and you can even use it in the comfort of your own backyard if you like.
Because of the oven's design, its cooking surface is smaller than those on many other solar ovens, but you can still grill, fry and bake a good variety of foods with just the use of its solar technology. You can cook meat, pasta, bread, pizza, pies and other baked goods just as easily as you would in a conventional oven.
You can use pots, pans, grill plates, frying pans, Dutch ovens and more with this solar cooker, so it can handle just about any cooking you're interested in doing. However, you're limited to one piece of cookware at a time, because the cooking area isn't very large. The oven itself is large and bulky, though, so it isn't very portable. It doesn't break down or collapse as easily or as small as many solar stoves do.
Cooking times vary depending on what you make, but they will still be similar to cooking times you'd get with a conventional oven or stovetop, and you won't be using any electricity or fuel. Along with being environmentally friendly, using this solar oven also has health benefits, because your body won't be exposed to campfire smoke or gas from a fuel camp stove.
This sun oven works best and your food cooks the fastest when you set it up in the sunlight. However, full sunlight isn't required. You can still use this sun oven to cook food on overcast or partly cloudy days.
The Sun Chef Cooker gives you a way to cook without the use of electricity or fuel. You can use it while camping, store it away for an emergency situation, or even just cook in your own backyard. It can bake, grill, fry or boil, and your food cooks in the same amount of time it would take to cook with a conventional oven or stovetop.
Sun Oven All-American Review
The All-American Sun Oven is on the standard end of solar cookers. You're not too limited with this oven, because it has a decent-sized cooking surface. You can cook pretty much anything that you'd cook in a standard electric or gas oven.
The cooking area on this unit isn't terribly large, but it does have enough room for you to place a couple of standard-sized pans inside at once or stack a few cooking sheets when you're baking cookies or brownies. You'll have no problem doing all kinds of cooking with this solar oven.
Using this solar oven is simple. All you have to do is place the oven on the ground in the sun, open the reflectors, open the glass door and place the pan of food inside, and latch the door shut. When you're done using it, you can collapse the reflectors and latch them down so the oven is more compact for storage.
The cooking times are similar to those you'd have with conventional gas or electric ovens, and the same rule applies that if you open the oven door while cooking, you will likely need to add more time. Just as with any oven, the pan will be hot, so you'll need to use oven mitts when removing it.
This oven has a built-in thermometer that sits on top of the glass door so you can see what temperature the oven is before you place your food in it, which also allows you to judge how long the cooking time should be. The thermometer gauges temperatures from 50 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
This solar oven doesn't come with pans, but they are available as an add-on. You can get this oven with a round pot, a stock and steamer pot, cookie sheets, or bread pans. However, you can also likely use pots and pans that you already have in your home. The manufacturer recommends that you use dark-colored, thin-walled pots and pans that have lids when cooking with this sun oven.
This solar cooker is pretty standard in size for a solar oven. It measures 24 x 15.5 x 20.5 inches and weighs just 22 pounds. Its size makes it very portable. It even has a handle on the side, so when you have it all packed up, you can move it around without trouble.
The All-American Sun Oven allows you to cook with solar technology in the outdoors, including your own backyard. You can boil, bake and grill a variety of food with this solar cooker.
Sunflair Deluxe Review
The Sunflair Deluxe sun oven lets you cook in the outdoors, either while you're camping or just in your own backyard. It's also an option to add to your emergency preparedness kit. It has a large cooking surface, which allows you to cook for groups of up to eight people.
The solar stove has two grill racks, so you can use one for grilling and one for pans if you're cooking a large meal, or both for grilling at once. The oven also includes a thermometer, a 3-pound round roaster, two silicone pots and two baking trays. You can use these trays to bake cookies, brownies and other treats.
This solar cooker doesn't get as hot as some others do. It can only reach a maximum temperature of 285 degrees Fahrenheit. Many solar ovens can reach temperatures similar to those of a conventional oven. The lower maximum temperature on this oven just means it may take longer to cook your food, as it does with a slow cooker.
Aside from the cooking accessories that come with the Sunflair Deluxe solar stove, it's actually quite portable. The solar reflector part of the unit, trays and racks all collapse and fit in a carrying bag, which makes this oven simple to move around and store. When collapsed, the oven is just 2 x 15.5 x 19 inches.
Although the included pans make this a heftier system altogether, the included silicone pots do collapse to just 2 centimeters, so they are simple to store. The silicone pots are also safe to put in the dishwasher, microwave and conventional oven, so they are simple to clean and use. This unit has a standard one-year manufacturer warranty, and Sunflair also backs it with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The Sunflair Deluxe sun oven uses solar technology from its cell insulation reflectors to cook your food without the use of electricity or fuel. It has a large cooking surface that allows you to bake, grill, boil or slow-cook many items. You can use it for camping or just in the comfort of your own backyard.
The SunFocus Solar Oven is a large solar cooker that can handle cooking a lot of food at once. You can use this solar oven for cooking in the outdoors while camping or just in your own backyard, and you can even cook indoors with it. It has a large cooking space, but you cannot grill food on it.
Although this is a solar oven, it does have electric abilities. You don't have to use them unless you want to use this oven indoors or on very cloudy days. On sunny days, its solar technology is all you need to cook with this oven, but if there isn't much sun, you can plug in the oven and use solar energy and a small amount of power combined to cook food. If you want to use this oven in your kitchen, you can plug it in and only use it as an electric oven.
You can cook a variety of food with this solar cooker. Cooking meats, soups, casseroles, pasta and more is no problem as long as you have the right cookware. Additionally, you can use this solar oven to bake bread, cakes, cookies, pies and other treats.
The SunFocus' defining feature is its size. It has a large cooking area, which allows you to cook a lot of food at once. You can place multiple pans or pots inside this solar oven at once and cook a few things at a time.
This sun oven measures 22 x 22 x 12 inches, but its inner dimensions are slightly smaller. This unit is made of a durable plastic. Its makeup also includes thermal heat-resistant layers and high-quality aluminum reflectors, which capture the sun's rays and turn them into heat for cooking.
The SunFocus Solar Oven lets you cook food using solar technology in the comfort of your own backyard, and it can also be an asset to your camping gear or even your emergency preparedness kit. Additionally, although it's a solar cooker, you can even use it to cook indoors with its electric abilities.