Frequently Asked Questions

Solar cooking, how does it works?

Solar cooking uses the principle of the concentration of the Sun’s rays. Mirrors concentrate the energy of the Sun in the center of the oven or dish, directly on your dish. It should be noted that 1m² on the ground receives an average of 1kW in sunny weather and almost all of this energy is redirected to the dish to be heated.

What can be cooked with a solar oven or barbecue?

Barbecues and solar ovens can be used to cook all types of dishes: grilled, simmered or steamed, whether using a casserole dish or a grill. The main difference of solar cooking is its softness: the food is cooked at a temperature between 90°C and 150°C, with a gradual increase in the latter, allowing the food to retain its nutrients and texture. Two “tips” for a successful solar kitchen that doesn’t stretch over time:

– cut food into small or medium pieces to speed up cooking (e.g., cut a chicken into 6 to 8 pieces to increase efficiency)

– do not put too much water (for example to cook vegetables or rice): encourage “steam” cooking.

How long does it take to cook with my solar oven?

The preheating times of a solar oven or barbecue are identical to their gas or coal equivalents: about 20 minutes. For cooking, allow about 20 more minutes compared to a normal cooking time. For example:

  • Grill: 30 minutes for sausages or meat pieces, vs. 15 min on a traditional barbecue
  • Oven: 1h15 for a cake, instead of 1 hour; 45 min for a fish, instead of 1/2 hour.
  • Casserole: 30 minutes for rice, compared to 15 minutes on a stove.
Can I cook indoors? Through a window?

Solar cooking is usually done outdoors. However, you can cook through a window, knowing that between 10 and 20% of the power will be lost, meaning a similar increase in cooking time.

Does solar cooking work on cloudy days?

Full sun is necessary for the proper functioning of solar cooking. On the other hand, the outside temperature has little influence on cooking. Solar cookers can therefore be used on a beautiful sunny winter day. However, beware of the wind, which can have a negative influence. In this case, remember to place the cooker, and in particular the barbecue, well protected from the wind.

Is the temperature of the solar ovens adjustable?

The solar ovens all work in the same way: the temperature rise will be more logarithmic than rectilinear, with a strong rise at the beginning and a slowdown as we approach the maximum (which remains very different according to the models). To lower the temperature, there is no other way than to “un-set” the reflectors to prevent the furnace from overheating and thus lower the temperature. You cannot choose to raise your oven faster than the Sun gives you, but you can raise it more slowly or stagnate at a lower temperature than its maximum by unsetting the reflector panels, which will bring less energy to the heating chamber.

At what time of day do I cook solar?

When the sun is high, between 10am and 5pm during summer. In winter, it is better to aim for 11:30 am – 2:30 pm

Which container should be used for solar cooking?

The containers must be dark on the outside (ideally matt black) to absorb solar radiation. Many materials are suitable: ceramic, mesh steel, etc…

A cast iron pan (which is thicker by nature) will heat more slowly but keep the heat longer.

In case of wind or low temperatures (typically in winter), the pan can be placed in a cooking bag (supplied with the SunGood) to reduce heat loss.

What are the precautions for use?

We recommend using sunglasses to avoid glare. The dishes must be handled with potholders and children must not approach the dishes (no risk on the mirror, however).

How do I operate my solar cooker properly?

All our products have been tested and are working perfectly.
However, as explained in the instructions for use, several conditions must be met during use:
– A black or dark coloured pot should be used (aluminium or a light colour will reflect the rays and will not heat up), also prefer a thin material (cast iron is to be avoided with Easycook because it is not powerful enough).
– Weather with clear skies is necessary, the infrared rays that carry the heat of the Sun are blocked by the clouds. To indicate the shadows on the ground (of the user or the oven) must be clear, this means that the Sun is not covered. – Your solar cooker, oven or barbecue must face the sun. The shade must be behind the solar cooker. Cooking can be done in summer as well as in winter, it does not depend on outside temperatures.
– If there is wind, it is necessary to take shelter because the wind will dissipate and carry the heat with it. That is why we recommend the use of a transparent cooking bag when cooking. Simply lock the pot or plancha inside.

Can you leave your solar oven outside?

With weights from 6 to 15kg, our solar ovens and barbecues are easily transportable, so we recommend storing them in a sheltered place to extend their lifespan.

Why doesn't my SunCase solar lighter make any flame?

The Suncase does not produce a flame directly. The Suncase focuses the Sun’s rays in order to concentrate them on a very small area, this allows to heat enough to reach the auto-combustion temperature. Thanks to this beginning of combustion on incense, tobacco, wood, or coal, it is then possible to light a fire by fanning the embers. It is important to note that incense and tobacco do not need a flame so the Suncase manages to light them directly.

Why can't I get my SunCase working?

In order to operate your Suncase, it is first necessary to have some Sun, open the wings to the maximum, push what you want to light 2 mm into the hole provided, direct the light point (focal point) on what you want to light, and that’s it! Smoke should appear instantly. It is important to note that the Suncase does not light white materials (e. g. cotton, white paper, etc.). White reflects too much light and you will not get smoke or embers. But a slight hint of colour (such as newsprint, straw, or other) will suffice to capture the rays to light up. Be aware that the darker the colour (and therefore more receptive to rays), the faster the ignition will be.

For my S-Reflect mirror, can I format it quickly?

In addition to its mirror quality, the S-REFLECT allows simple and easy handling. This mirror film has a certain nervousness that makes it easy to shape. Its thickness of 200 micron gives it rigidity which prevents all the defects of a surface from showing through if it has to be glued together. Its flexibility allows it to follow the parabolic curves for an effective solar concentration. It is ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. In addition, the S-REFLECT mirror film can be cut very easily with a cutter or scissors

How long will my sun products last?

Between 10 and 20 years or more depending on your proper use. It is recommended to clean your device after each use with a non-abrasive sponge or a soft cloth, soaked with a little dishwashing liquid and warm water.

Is there a risk of setting fire to these products?

There is no risk of accidental ignition with our products, it’s all a matter of focal length.
In fact, on a solar oven such as the sungood for example, the sun’s rays will be reflected and concentrated on an area in the centre corresponding to the area where the pan is placed. We will heat this area, but not “turn on” the area. It is a radiant, soft and uniform heat ON the pan. I can put my hands all around the pan, I don’t burn myself. On the other hand, obviously, to take the pan, I take gloves, it will be hot.
The same goes for the parabolic ovens, which are more powerful. The rays are concentrated on a calculated area inside the parabola. Precisely it’s not handcrafted, we calculated the focal length for you. There is no risk that the rays will be “sent back” too far.
For the Suncase, the solar lighter is the same principle but with more power: we concentrate all the rays 2mm under the opening of the hole. If the Suncase is correctly opened and oriented, then the rays are concentrated as much as possible on this point, allowing me to light what I want. All around this area, I can put my fingers without any risk of burning.

Will my sun products be less effective over time?

If the solar cookers are handled with care, they will retain their optical precision and therefore their efficiency. Reflectors (mirrors) may lose some reflectivity as they are cleaned, but this loss will only be a maximum of 10%.

How long are the products guaranteed?

All our products are guaranteed for 2 years, except for the SunGood, which is guaranteed for one year. Beyond that, we provide after-sales service on spare parts.

To contact us: family@solarbrother.com

What are the advantages of solar cooking?
  • No fuel = no pollution during use. Substantial CO2 savings (see diagram)
  • Very little smoke = no discomfort while cooking.
  • Free to use! – Versatility: more than just a barbecue. All foods can be cooked on a solar barbecue, and not only grilled food: soups, simmered meats, fish, pasta, rice, vegetables, bread, cake etc….
  • It’s flexible. Most ovens and barbecues are portable. They can therefore be used wherever you want: beach, camping, mountain, garden, terrace,…
  • No preheating time = ignition is immediate (no need to light wood or coal). – No risk of burns (compared to coal & gas) / No risk of explosions (compared to gas) / Requires little presence (you can go about your business, no risk of fire)
  • It’s fun! It’s fun! With family, with friends. The assurance of spending a magical moment watching the sun act.
    Sweet cooking: foods cooked to the core, preserving their juice, texture and nutrients.
Where are the products manufactured?

All our products are assembled in France, with materials from French suppliers. The only exception: the SunCase with a small part of its structure that comes from China (not found in France)