Solar Cookers - Cook for Free !

What are Solar Cookers ?

Cook using Solar Energy - Cook with Solar Power for Free and Reduce your Energy Bills

Gas and electricity prices are going up yet again, but you can cook your food using nothing more than solar energy and a solar cooker. Once you have bought your solar cooker then there are no more costs involved ! No electricity, no gas, no wood. This excellent article was first published here - solar cookers

How Do Solar Cookers Work?

There are two varieties of solar cooker. The 'concentrating solar cookers' and the 'solar box cookers' (usually called solar ovens). You just set them, put your food inside and leave them out in the sun. You do need sunlight and you also have to point the cooker towards the sun but apart from that the cooker is more or less the same as any other cooker except it uses solar energy instead of gas, wood or electricity, so the cooking is free of charge courtesy of the Sun god !.

You also need to allow the time required for the sun to do its work, but this shouldn't be more than a few hours. So you put whatever it is you want to cook, in the oven, go away and come back a few hours later. Check out the videos below!

Solar Oven Video

Solar Cookers = Free Energy

Cook for Free with Solar Power Cookers
Cook for Free with Solar Power Cookers
Solar Cookers use Solar Energy to Cook for Free
Solar Cookers use Solar Energy to Cook for Free
Solar Powered People at a Solar Powered Barbecue !
Solar Powered People at a Solar Powered Barbecue !

Another surprise is that solar cookers are not particulary new, the first ones were invented by Horace de Saussure from Switzerland back in 1767. So it is a little bit suprising that they aren't in more widespread use. According to the figures there are over 100,000 solar cookers in use in China and India. Cooking with a solar cooker takes around twice as long as with a conventional cooker and you may need to turn the cooker manually to follow the sun.

There are 'panel cookers', 'box cookers', 'parabolic cookers' and also 'solar kettles' if you want to heat up some water. One final neat trick - you can make your own solar cooker. It will cost you around $10 and all you need is some cardboard, glue, aluminum foil and paint - see this guy's site for the instructions - Make a Solar Cooker If you don't fancy making your own then you can buy solar cookers like this hotpot (around $119) from places like here - SCI

The basic principles of how solar cookers work are as follows - the inside of the box is heated by the sun. Sunlight, direct and reflected, enters the solar box through the glass or plastic top. This sunlight is transformed into heat energy when it is absorbed by the dark absorber plate and cooking pots. This heat causes the temperature inside the solar cooker to rise until the heat loss of the cooker is equal to the solar heat gain. It is not difficult to achieve temperatures sufficiently high for food to be cooked and water to be pasteurized.

Given two boxes that have the same heat retention capabilities, the one that has more gain, from stronger sunlight or additional sunlight via a reflector, will be hotter inside. Given two boxes that have equal heat gain, the one that has more heat retention capabilities - better insulated walls, bottom, and top - will reach a higher interior temperature.

After the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan many people are beginning to re-think their stand on nuclear power. Many countries have decided it might be a better idea to promote alternative forms of power such as solar power and many ordinary people have taken to buying geiger counter kits to detect radiation - so much so that there is now a waiting list of several months for any one wishing to buy one from some outlets.

All Season Solar Cooker

Three Types of Solar Cooker

Box cookers

Box cookers work at temperatures that are moderate to high. They can accommodate more than one pot. They are the most widely used around the world. There are several hundred thousand already in use in India alone.

Curved concentrator cookers

Curved concentrator or 'parabolic' cookers, cook faster at high temperatures, but they need to be adjusted frequently and need to be supervised to ensure safe operation. They are particularly useful for large-scale institutional cooking.

Panel cookers

Panel cookers include elements of both box and curved concentrator cookers. They are simple and relatively inexpensive. The most widely-used panel cooker is Solar Cookers International's "CooKit".

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Comments 16 comments

Singular Investor profile image

Singular Investor 2 years ago from Oxford Author

Hi PhoenixV - solar cookers are a really interesting idea, here in the UK I don't think we get enough sun for them to be very useful, but I'm sure in the US there must be plenty of places they can be used. BTW I just tried to comment on your dolphin hub but couldn't find a comments section.


PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 2 years ago from USA

I have yet to do it but sometime in the future I would like to make a solar cooker. Great hub and very interesting.


Singular Investor profile image

Singular Investor 3 years ago from Oxford Author

Good luck with the hubbing OM - yeah solar cookers and ovens should be compulsory ! All that free cooking power going to waste. I keep telling myself I'll get one and one day I will, free solar powered lights would be good too, Elon Musk should get on the case and do something useful with his life!


oldiesmusic profile image

oldiesmusic 3 years ago from United States

Really cool and "green" kitchen tools! I bet they're more expensive but once at least they should be worth the price. I wish every household has them, and every solar-powered appliances and gadgets.


Singular Investor profile image

Singular Investor 5 years ago from Oxford Author

Hi Pamela - yes I think they sound like a good idea too I might even try and get one for this summer. I think there are different sizes. Maybe you could a 'review' of one as a hubpage to tell us if they are any good !


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

That's a cool idea. I've never heard of them. I live in a sunny state so it would work well here. They don't look very big I wonder if a 9X12 pan would fit.


Singular Investor profile image

Singular Investor 6 years ago from Oxford Author

Hi Dolores, yes you are right it does look cool - cooking for free seems like a great way to save money. A good point about killing the bacteria though, I guess the solar cooker manufacturers will include a manual or instructions but it is worth checking before spending any money


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

This sounds so cool. I'd love to try it. My son told me how I can make one myself but I am a bit scared that it will not heat the food enough to kill bacteria. Still, if you learn how to do it right, what a great way to save energy!


Singular Investor profile image

Singular Investor 6 years ago from Oxford Author

Yeah - solar cookers are hot - free cooking what more could anyone want ? Solar cars would be good to but as we all know they are a pipe dream !


JannyC profile image

JannyC 6 years ago

Thats pretty cool.


Singular Investor profile image

Singular Investor 6 years ago from Oxford Author

Sagarika - I will, you can also put a link to it from your blogs or hubpages, that helps move it up through Google's pages


Sagarika Rath profile image

Sagarika Rath 6 years ago from Delhi

Singular Investor - u should make an endeavor to spread this blog around so that more people can be benefited by this technology.


Singular Investor profile image

Singular Investor 6 years ago from Oxford Author

Screation - thanks for the comment and the explanation


Singular Investor profile image

Singular Investor 6 years ago from Oxford Author

Sagarika - they do use them in hot countries - you are right it makes a lot of sense as there is no fuel involved in solar cookers !


screation profile image

screation 6 years ago

The term solar energy refers to the utilization of the Sun energy to create clean and renewable source of power for various uses. An increasing number of households are adopting more energy efficient technologies which are benefiting them by decreasing their power consumption and thereby leading up to considerable cost savings over a long term.


Sagarika Rath profile image

Sagarika Rath 6 years ago from Delhi

Singular Investor, this one of the gr8 alternative energy methods. i feel it should be provided to each countries receiving sufficient sunlight.

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