Best solar ovens
Do you remember when we had to use only basic means such as fire to cook our food? Of course not, because we live in the 21st century. However, since pollution is such a big issue these days, it seems that we are returning to not burning anything to cook our food, and we use means that do not pollute or do it very little. And here enters the solar oven. To be honest, I did not even know it existed until recently. I was surprised to learn that you can use solar power to cook, and I have to admit that I was quite impressed.
What is a solar oven?
A solar oven is a simple device designed to capture the sun’s energy in order to raise the temperature in a pot to cook the food in it. Sounds simple, right? That because it really is. There is not much science behind it. It does not use any alternative fuel source, only the solar power that is captured with the help of a large reflecting bowl.
What are the benefits of solar cooking?
The solar oven becomes more and more popular, and it is for a good reason. There are both advantages and disadvantages to using one, but the pros exceed the cons, so it is gaining some territory as an alternative to cooking in a gas oven. Here are the benefits:
- It is cost efficient – the most obvious advantage to solar cooking is that it is free. You do not have to pay the sun to provide you with the energy you need to make a pot of chili. You just install the solar oven, and that is pretty much it. However, the one thing that you should know is that solar ovens do not come cheap. In fact, the best solar ovens exceed the cost of $200. However, think about how much free cooking you can do afterward. In my opinion, it is a good investment.
- You do not have to heat up the kitchen in the summer – one of the things I hate the most in the summer is that if I have to make a pot of chili, since I gave it as an example earlier, I need to keep the stove on for about three hours. The heat is almost unbearable. With a solar oven, that is no longer necessary. The kitchen can actually catch a breath during the summer.
- It is good for the environment – since a solar oven does not use anything but green energy, you do not burn coal or other fossil fuel when you cook. As you can imagine, that is good for the environment. Using fossil fuels on such frivolous activities seems wrong at this point, especially since we have discovered and developed renewable energy. At least the solar even represents a step forward.
- It is good for your health – burning fossil fuels is not the only thing that damages the human population, the smoke that is in your kitchen can do that as well. There are many aspects that can be discussed when it comes to health. For example, did you know that in developing countries, 80% of diseases come from unsafe water? You need to boil it before consumption, but the people living there do not have the resources. Imagine what a solar oven can do about that. The device has been tested there, in fact, and the benefits are enormous for the population’s health.
- Your cooking can suffer some improvements as well – there are many changes that happen in your cooking process because of a solar oven. For one, you need to use less water than usual, and you can never really burn your food. The process, while efficient, it is very slow. At the same time, using a solar oven is very easy, and you can use it for many cooking styles. A solar oven can heat up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and you can roast, bake, steam, and boil. There are few things you cannot do with a solar oven, so it does not limit your cooking in any way.
- It is self-sufficient and portable – before the invention of the solar oven, people used to take their grills when camping. Now, you can take your solar oven. The models available on the market are generally portable. Of course, you may not be able to use it in the heart of the mountains, but you can take it along nonetheless. You never know.
As you can imagine, there are a few disadvantages as well. For example, there needs to be sunny. Solar ovens do not work like solar panels that require only light. The ovens actually need direct sunlight. Otherwise, they will not heat up properly. Also, when the weather is windy, not only that it can affect the temperature of the oven, but the wind can knock it down. It is because of the shape and size of the bowl. Lastly, the solution is not entirely dependable. You always need an alternative source of energy. If you put the pot of chili in the morning, only to rain at noon, what do you do? Do you abandon the chili or do you put it inside on the stove? Even so, I think that the solar oven can be a solution for many problems, and there is still time for improvement.
How to choose the best solar oven?
Choosing the best solar even should not be difficult. There are many models on the market, but the main thing to remember is what you want. As long as you know that, you can buy anything. However, there are a few things to consider before hitting the buy button.
- Size – do you want a small or a big one? It depends on what you plan on doing with the solar oven. Do you want to use it in your backyard or take it camping? The answer to that question will determine the size.
- Durability – if you spend $200 on a solar oven only to break in a couple of months, you have caught a bad deal. The model you buy needs to be durable and last for years. Not only that, but it needs to keep its efficiency. Plus, it should not require too much mainte
- Ease of assembly – you do not need a solar oven that takes two hours and three people to assemble. It should be a one-man job.
- Adjustability – since the solar oven needs direct sunlight, you need to have the possibility of adjusting its position for optimal sunlight capture. At the same time, the product needs to be stable, and you should be able to change the position without hurting yourself.
What are the best solar ovens?
As you can see, buying a solar oven should not be tricky. You have all the information you need to make a good choice. If you want to make sure that the product you are buying is as advertised, you could always read some solar oven reviews online. That way you can learn the truth from people who have already purchased the product and used it. In the meantime, take a look at the solar ovens presented below. Maybe one of them will catch your eye.
Sun Ovens International All American Sun Oven
The solar oven from Sun Ovens International must be one of the best products in this category. I was very impressed with its design and quality, and reading the reviews, I figured that it is a product worth investing in. It is not cheap, to be honest, but I think it is worth it. In the long run, it can save you a lot of money.
This solar oven features mirror-like anodized aluminum reflectors. They are highly polished and rust-proof. However, I do not recommend leaving it outside in the rain. I suppose that the reason is obvious. The setup can be achieved in just a couple of minutes, and you only need one set of hands. Yours. The oven is lightweight and easy to carry thanks to the handle. You can use it in your yard, but it I also ideal for camping.
Just as the title suggests, this is an American made solar oven with American features. At least that is what the manufacturer claims. To be honest, I cannot figure out what that means, but I just like the product’s features. It has a built-in thermometer, and the temperature can reach as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit. One of the things I like the most about this solar oven is the design. When you are done with it, all you have to do is fold down the reflectors and use the strap to tie them down. The oven turns into a suitcase-like object in under a minute.
Solavore Sport Solar Oven
Another solar oven that you may be interested in is the one manufactured by Solavore. It is a user-friendly oven, easy to use, durable, and kid-proof. There is no glass or hot surfaces, and the external housing is pressure-molded from post-industrial recycles plastic. As you can see, it is also environmentally-friendly.
The Solavore solar oven is lightweight and portable. It weighs only 9 pounds, and you get a durable 600D polyester carrying case for easy transportation. The case has a two-way zipper, a Velcro closure reflector pouch, a shoulder strap, and double carry handles. Taking it along with you when you go camping should be as easy as pie.
This solar oven arrives with two 3-quart GraniteWare pots. Not only that you can cook at an even temperature, but you can prepare food for a lot of people at once, and cleaning is effortless. What is even better is that this model allows all-season cooking. The detachable all-season TR-86 high-performance reflector with corrosion-proof mirror-like finish gives you the possibility to cook both in the summer and winter.
Sunflair Mini Portable Solar Oven
If you are looking for a more affordable and portable solution, then this is the product you want. As you can expect, it is not as efficient as the other two solar ovens above, but it can still meet its purpose. This is the kind of solar oven you buy if you are alone and live in a small house or you are on the road a lot, traveling.
The package contains one solar oven thermometer, one trivet, I collapsible silicone pot, and a carrying bag. There is no need for assembly. It is easy to use, and it can be folded down in just a few seconds. It turns into a something that resembles a tiny sleeping bag, but that is okay because you can carry it on your camping backpack.
This might as well be the world’s smallest and most lightweight solar oven. It is the best you can buy if you are young and spend a year on the road. However, that small size has nothing to do with the oven’s cooking capabilities. It can still prepare your food from sun-up to sundown.
I think that all three solar ovens are efficient, some more than others, but no matter which one you pick, you will be happy with your choice. However, if it were up to me, I would go with the Sun Ovens International All American Sun Oven. It has the right size, and it can be folded down neatly. I love that feature. That is why I think it is one of the best solar ovens you can find on the market.
I find it really amazing that we can actually cook using sunlight. It may sound a bit primitive, but if you think about it, it is quite the opposite. It is innovative. I think that the inventor may actually have something here. Who knows? Maybe in the future we will not need to burn fossil fuels for food at all. Click here to buy on Amazon
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