Solar ovens are just as the name suggests— they use solar energy to cook.
They are also known as solar cookers, and they are a cheaper and efficient method to rustle up some delicacies using the most affordable energy source.
Most people wonder what these ovens can prepare, and fortunately, you will be happy to know that the best solar oven could rustle up every meal you can bake using a typical gas or electric oven. They can prepare meat, pies, fish, potatoes, fries, to mention a few. You can cook it on a stationary or portable solar cooker.
Below are a brief list and description of the types of solar cookers.
Varieties of Solar Ovens
These solar ovens best cater to someone who wants one but are on a budget to acquire it. The panels are usually modeled using corrugated cardboard and enveloped with an economical reflector made of either aluminum or mylar.
This reflective surface reflects the sun’s beams to a black pot typically inside an enclosed plastic sac.
These pieces are typically collapsible, hence can be carried from place to place easily. They usually get to temperatures between 110-140 degrees Celsius, ideal for baking cakes and other pastries.
These solar cookers use a parabolic mirror to concentrate light to the cooking pot. These parabolic mirrors are cone-shaped that can focus light beams to get to extreme temperatures of up to and beyond 350 degrees.
They are perfect for both shallow and deep frying as well as grilling meat. Since they get to these temperatures fast, they are fast cookers that save the chef a lot of time when cooking food.
Parabolic solar ovens usually need re-centering every few minutes since the sun shifts. They may or may not be stationary. Buyers will purchase what they find convenient.
This solar oven consists of a reflective walled box that can house one or more pots depending on the size. The pots inserted have to be black, and once positioned inside the box, a transparent lid is shut.
The transparent lit lets in the sun’s rays, and the walls reflect the energy baking the meal in the pot. These kinds of solar cookers can be made in a DIY project or bought ready-made in the market.
They are easier to use since you do not have to turn them while they cook, and they get to temperatures between 135 to 200-degrees Celcius. Of all the best solar ovens, they are the most prevalent.
Hybrid solar oven cooker
Whenever you see the term hybrid, you right away know that that piece of equipment most probably includes two operating mechanisms. Therefore, a hybrid solar oven uses the sun’s energy and has a different electric system.
First and foremost, these ovens are very efficient since they can be used in multiple conditions. And even when the lights go out, they will still use the sun for cooking. They are also helpful since you can use them both day and night, unlike the other three that rely on the sun to bake.
They are usually bigger, have fixed inserts, thus mostly non-movable. If you are in a community, they are the best cookers to use. Since you are familiar with what solar ovens are and the significant sorts in the market, the next section you will look at are the five best solar oven designs below.
Best Solar Oven – Reviews For 2020
Best Overall: GOSUN Solar Oven Sun Cooker
There is a very reasonable explanation why this emergency food preparation solar kiln has topped this list as the winner in this best oven review. The prime reason it is on top of this list is dependent on the product’s aesthetics.
One gaze at this range will have you contemplating a futuristic gadget you can employ to put together a meal. In the next sections below, you will learn more about this cooker, and you will find out precisely what the Gosun solar kiln can do best in cooking a meal. Therefore, get this show on the road.
The Gosun solar kiln is a modern chic stainless steel eight pounds emergency sun cooker. This device is a foldable parabolic solar oven that takes hardly any time to install and start cooking. The compartmental tube where you place the food is enveloped with parabolic reflectors indistinguishable from a clamshell.
It also has a handle to carry and take out the food. The oven compartment is a tube, and it cooks steadily. Under the full sun, it gets to 500-degrees Celcius.
Advantages of cooking with this product
The incredible perk about this oven is its transportability and that you do not need to supervise because it gets the work done. After installing the cooker, you go about your other business as the device brews up a beautifully made dish. It is low-maintenance, fuel-free, and a no-brainer to clean. It does pretty competently as the finest best solar oven cooker on several solar oven reviews, including this one.
Another award-winning benefit is that it is not a burning hazard— touching the outer shall be even as its cooking is still gentle and safe for the hands.
The hiccups of this solar oven
The top pitfall is that this cooker has no timer and so you will require your own. Different food cook at divergent times; hence you should be alert not to leave the bacon on for too long— otherwise, they will be cremated to ash.
Secondly, the quantity of one dish is not enough for a full family. One cooking session, which takes about twenty to thirty minutes, will feed only two adults if you are making meat. If you wish to feed, for example, a family of four adults, you will have to rustle up two or three trips, which is time-consuming.
This emergency dish prep solar oven retails for approximately $300. For this price and the efficiency it provides, plus all the extras it comes with, it is a worthy investment that will save you money since you cut on fossil fuel conventional kilns use.
Since it is a sun-powered cooker, cooking under cloudy conditions is slower. This solar kiln is the best oven for camping since it is mobile and lightweight to carry in your carry on.
Runner Up: Sunflair Portable Solar Oven
The Sunflair solar stove is a panel sun cooker equipped with a complete set of cooking materials on purchase. This package encompasses a solar oven temperature gauge, two baking trays, two dehydrating racks, one cooking wok, two silicon saucepans, and one spacious carrying package.
Being the second contender on this solar oven review, below is the analysis of what it has to proffer.
This cooker’s weight is eight pounds, and it has a collapsable outer shell that assumes the build and formation of a seat cushion when fully folded. This Sunflair solar roaster can brew up a dish to feed up to eight adults.
The oven cooking compartment can get to 285 Fahrenheit, but this may change pivoting on the sun’s intensity.
Advantages of cooking with this product
The foremost commendable trait about the Sunflair solar model is that you can employ it for preparing meals under various latitudes and seasons. If the UV index exceeds 3+, you result in an irresistible well-cooked dish.
Getting a full set of cooking ware helps you make one purchase and get every equipment needed for a whole course dish. The only extras you will have is bringing the ingredients and cutlery to devour the delicacy.
If you do not get the service you desired after purchase, you have a thirty-day give-back plan at your disposal.
You cannot bake anything with this unit as the heat levels do not get hot enough to bake any bread or cake. If you are bringing this unit for outdoor camping with everything it is bought with can be cumbersome, you will have to get an additional workforce to prop it. If you are a lone-ranger, it is a bit too much.
The rack is also fragile and melts under high heat while you cook.
This cooker costs approximately one hundred dollars. For this price, it is very affordable considering all the additional cookware comes with it. It is, for sure, the best solar oven for a large cohort of people.
Best Portable Solar Oven: GOSUN Sport Solar Oven Portable Stove
Gosun seems to have great products under the solar oven category. This piece is the best transportable solar oven because it provides the owner with the utmost convenience to move from one station to another hustle-free.
This Gosun version is lightweight, weighing only 900 grams. It also uses a heating tube to cook, similar to the first model discussed. This parabolic solar oven cooks pretty fast in just twenty to thirty minutes. Underneath the full sun, it can get to very high temperatures of almost three hundred-degree Celsius.
Advantages of cooking with this product
The Gosun Sport is quintessential for a backpacking trip as it caves into a transportable piece that fits snuggly in any carry-on. The dish-preparing time is reasonable, and the fabric of the parabolic frame has long permanence.
Gosun has a patented model ingrained in this device that utilizes the minimal sun to draw up a cuisine regardless of the sun’s intensity.
This solar cooker is tiny enough that only feeds one adult. If you aspire to go for a camping or sea adventure as a group, everyone should have their own. Even so, the cooking proportions are still petite for a hungry adult.
One Gosun Sport stove retails for about $140. It is a superior solar oven at this price tag to have as part of your camping or mountain exploration jaunt. You can make breakfast, lunch, and dinner in this roaster at your convenience.
Runner Up PortaBLE Solar Oven: Sunflair Mini Portable Solar Oven
The second best portable solar oven is a Sunflair product that sanctions you to brew up your cuisines all day long in whatever region of the globe you are presently at, whether in Africa or the cold parts of Alaska. Only if you have sunlight exposure, you get a hot meal or drink using this device.
This solar cooker only weighs 1.25 pounds making it very transportable and best to carry with you during trips. The unit is foldable to the dimensions of a laptop.
This Sunflair sun cooker comes equipped with an inherent thermometer. Appended is also one trivet, a foldable silicone-made pot, and a spacious carrying bag.
Advantages of cooking with this product
The installation procedure is as natural as breathing, and it requires no prior expertise. The manual guide book tells you every single thing you need to know about the appliance.
It comes in handy in locations where using open inferno is prohibited, like forests and savanna grasslands. Due to its lightness, it can be your companion for several outdoor events like fishing, hiking, camping, and many more.
If the sun is not hot enough, you will cook food for a very long time, especially if you want to make tender meat and hard starchy foods. This unit could cook better if a concentrator were inserted, which would focus the sunlight on fastening the cooking process.
This Sunflair piece retails for 95 dollars the full package. Conditioning on the region you reside and the levy collectible, be ready to pay for shipping fees, which may be applied to your purchase. In conclusion, it is a significant and excellent portable solar oven to have during your trip.
Best Hybrid Solar Oven: GOSUN Fusion Solar Oven
As the first hybrid solar oven for camping on this list, the Gosun has again demonstrated to be a superior producer to the finest solar cookers, including this model.
This hybrid consists of an electric and a sun cooking capability. GOSUN fusion solar oven is a parabolic stainless steel solar oven that weighs fourteen pounds.
This piece has a sturdy aluminum reflector that conceals the baking tube chamber.
Advantages of cooking with this product
This hybrid is very versatile since it has two systems inherent to heating and food-preparing mechanisms. For that reason, you can use it whatever the day and time, day or night, sun or no sun.
You can use it very efficiently during times of power outages, even at home, to make a nosh or two. You can cook different styles using this unit, including sauteing, pot-roasting, roasting, and steaming.
The Gosun producers do not have parts replacement arrangements, and this means that if a part breaks, you might have to purchase another unit, which can be expensive. For a cohort of people exceeding six, a meal cooked in one go would not be enough.
This Gosun hybrid solar oven retails for $500. Since it has two systems incorporated, this price is reasonable. It is good to have it as it may come in handy even when you have emergencies, and the great thing is it can operate in multiple scenes.
Solar Oven FAQ
Do solar ovens really work?
The answer is, yes, they do. If you have one that is not working, then there may be an issue with the setup or something faulty.
Ideally, most are pretty straightforward to use and do not entail any installations and are pack and go, unpack, and use devices. And so, if you follow the instructional manual guide book, you will have it working in no time.
If it is an exclusive solar oven, the sun must be up. If it is a hybrid and you wish to employ electrical energy, ensure your device is connected to a power source.
You also have to note that the sun’s intensity has a significant role in the food preparation speed.
How hot can a solar oven get?
The maximum temperature depends on the kind of device as well as the sun’s intensity. At very high sunlight, a solar oven could go beyond 350 degrees Celsius, while on a cloudy day, that temperature may be a bit lower.
Also, depending on the type of food you are making, that will dictate the temperature to have. For example, pastries like cakes and loaves of bread need high temperatures while steaming veggies require only a dash of heat.
For this reason, you must be watchful of your type of food while it is cooked, as in the case of steaming vegetables. Things like cakes can be left undisturbed for a while.
Do solar ovens work in the winter?
Some do. For instance, a hybrid with a power source will work just fine. And even some parabolic solar ovens will operate during winter. Solar cookers depend on the sunbeams, not the climatical temperature.
Sure, the weather has a small effect, but the essential factor is the sun. And so, if the sun is shining on a cold winter day, the solar oven will still cook.
Therefore, to get a solar oven to work in the winter, you should do a few things. First of all, look for an open location, away from any shadows formed by trees or buildings. These could block the sun rays from hitting the cooker. You should ideally set up the solar oven at the highest place you can reach.
Secondly, face the solar oven reflective surface where the sun is positioned. For instance, if you are cooking in the morning, face the east and dusk device, do the vice versa.
While you cook, you might have to readjust the sun cooker every few minutes to catch the sun at its best. Sure it will take a while, but you will have a cooked meal in no time if you do this. You have to be patient enough.
Can you boil water in a solar oven?
Yes, you can, but only if the solar oven has a compartment that can hold water safely. The ones with a wok or pot can boil water, and some tune solar oven chambers may do the same.
Not to damage the appliance, you should, however, check-in with the manufacturer to see if their machine can boil water or other liquids. Some solar ovens that can boil water are the box solar oven, the panel sun cooker, some parabolic ovens, and hybrid ovens.
Catastrophes could occur on any day and at any time. And so it is always wise to be prepared for anything.
And having the best solar ovens is a saving grace everyone should have. If you do not have one already, what are you waiting for?
You now have a list of five of the finest and outstanding solar oven best for different purposes and scenarios. Each of the five mentioned has its unique features, perks, hiccups, and selling price. It is not up to you to decide which fits your activity and pocket.
All five made it to this solar oven review points out that they are superior brands that release quality materials. They are top-notch devices that deserve the praise handed out. Indeed they have flaws, but they are nothing too serious.
Despite the negative drawback, each makes up for it in the features offered. It may be its fast cooking time, the versatility of usable locations, or how many cooking styles it can achieve.
But you can agree that they are all worthy investments and ones that will help you when an emergency arises. Get one for yourself or your loved one— you won’t regret it.