Here you will find information on solar cooking, including different types of solar cookers, as well as free plans to help you build your own solar cooker.
What is solar cooking?
Advantages of solar cooking.
Who uses solar cooking?
Did you know…
Different types of solar cooker.
Why cook with the sun?
*** FREE PLANS – Build a solar cooker. ***
Feel free to share your thoughts on any of the above topics.
Solar cooking is a method of cooking food and boiling water using only the power of the sun and a solar oven or solar cooker. Solar cookers use no other fuel source except for the energy emitted from the sun.
Solar cookers concentrate the sun’s energy using various techniques such as the box, parabolic or trough design. All these designs in essence do the same job in that they heat food or boil water by concentrating the Sun’s energy onto a pot filled with food or water.
Solar cooking can be used to cook almost any kind of food, pasteurize water (water heated to 65C – safe to drink). The process of solar pasteurization kills 99% of the germs present in contaminated water.
The popularity of solar cooking is increasing in many market sectors, in particular the 3rd World where daily cooking for many requires fire, fuel gathering and frequent attention to food being cooked and the added cost of buying in conventional fuels such as coal, firewood or fossil fuels is forcing people to recognize the advantages and benefits of Solar Cooking.
Over 2 billion people, a third of the world’s population, rely on wood-fuelled fires to cook food. Read more…
Solar cooking can save you time, work and fuel, it is also environmentally friendly. Other advantages include: -
- Smoke free cooking and stirring of food is not required.
- Each solar cooker in sunny, arid climates can save one ton of wood per year.
- Solar Cookers help two of the world’s most pressing problems – a growing shortage of cooking fuels and the scourge of water-borne diseases.
Half of the world’s population still cooks with wood fires. Read more…
The majority of people using solar cookers (also known as solar ovens) live predominantly in 3rd World countries; especially India, China, Africa and Tibet. However, Western countries are beginning to harness and adopt this cheap and sustainable form of energy with America, and Europe paving the path forward.
- Many women, especially refugees, trek many miles to obtain cooking fuel, and the reliance on wood for fuel has led to deforestation in many areas. SCI and other organizations help impoverished communities gain access to solar ovens to cook food, pasteurize water and sterilize medical equipment.
- Tibet and China are the most prolific users of solar cookers due to their limited firewood supplies – there are few trees in Tibet. Approximately 100,000 solar cookers are sold in China every year.
If you’ve built a solar oven and you would like to share your experiences, we would love to hear from you.
Why not submit your photos (coming soon, in the mean time please email me your photos) and share your experiences with everyone else.
- Each year almost 2 billion tonnes of wood is consumed worldwide for cooking.
- 50,000 people die every day from water-born diseases such as Cholera. The World Health Organisation 80% of all illnesses are spread through contaminated water.
- Solar cookers save the labour of collecting sticks and branches for firewood. There is also a danger to women collecting firewood due to injuries from snake bites, critters and the high risk of being personally attacked.
- Solar cookers save families money. Reduces the need to purchase firewood, charcoal, and kerosene. If a solar cooker is used regularly then it can help reduce cooking fuel costs by about 30-40%. This money can be used to fund education for children, as well as provide basic provisions and a better quality of life.
There are many different types of Solar cookers, however they all follow three basic designs: -
Box Solar Cooker:
Box cookers are the most common type made for personal use. There are over several hundred thousand in India alone.
Despite the name “box” cooker, they are made in both circular and rectangular shapes. They consist of an enclosed inner box covered with clear glass or plastic, a reflector, and insulation. There is a wide variety of patterns and plans for the box cooker. While they do not heat quickly, they do provide slow, even cooking and are extremely cheap to make. Box cookers are very easy and safe to use, and fairly easy to construct. Box cooker Building Plans Read more…
Solar Cooking is fun
Why spend time cooking inside when it’s sunny outside? Preparing food outside in your backyard or in nature is fun and relaxing. Preparing food with renewable solar energy is doubly so, as you get the satisfaction of doing no harm to the environment while you cook healthy food with free solar energy. Why not organize a solar club in your area, the children absolutely loved building the solar oven on the left. Any excuse to get mucky I guess.
Every time you cook food using electricity, natural gas, propane or wood, you release polluting greenhouse gasses into atmosphere.
The scientific consensus is that global warming is happening, and that climate disruption is directly linked to atmospheric CO2 from fossil fuel and biomass burning. Solar cooking emits zero CO2 or other greenhouse gasses. Solar cooking is the sustainable way to cook. Read more…
Here is a simple solar oven design which anyone can build, why not build one with a friend, child or as part of a school project. Then organize a ‘cook off’ to see who’s the fastest cook in the West. Make it a fun and educational experience for children by involving them and helping them understand alternative energy and the implications and rewards of harnessing technologies like solar cooking.
A solar cooker can be made with the most basic materials and of course the most important ingredient for your cooker – the sun. You will be amazed at how simple, fun and rewarding it is to cook food using only the power of the sun and a couple of hours of your time. Read more…
Click on the following links if you would like more information regarding solar cooking.