The principle of a solar oven
How does the solar oven work?
The solar kitchen works on the triple principle of concentration, capture and conservation of the sun’s rays around your dish. This is what we call the “3C” rule for a successful solar cooking, we detail it below:
- Concentration : The mirrors receive the sun’s rays and send them back to the dish in preparation. They act as a solar reflector. The accumulation of rays increases the temperature of the container. In the spectrum of the solar ray, it is the infrared that carries the heat, it is filtered by the clouds. You get colder in the shade and warmer in the sun.
- Capture : A dark and thin container allows you to capture and transmit heat to your preparations. Ideally, we recommend to use a black mast pot available here. The infrared is captured by dark colors, the white color acts as a mirror that reflects the rays so does not capture the heat of the sun. You are warmer with a black t-shirt than with a white one 😉
- Conservation : Depending on the design of the solar oven, different methods are used to conserve heat around your solar recipes, double-walled glass tube for the SUNCHEF solar barbecue, cooking bag for the SUNGOOD solar cooker, glass pane for the SUNTASTE solar oven or a double salad bowl for a SUNPARABOLIC solar dish. These different principles isolate the pot from the outside environment and the wind. That’s the principle of the greenhouse effect. Remember to protect yourself from the wind and close the insulation enclosure. As in a car left in the sun with closed windows, it is very hot !
Why cook in a solar oven?
Solar cooking has many advantages, it is our passion for more than 20 years. The main reasons mentioned by our users are:
- The solar kitchen meets the need for energy self-sufficiency: in camping, picnic, boat, van, shed or autonomous house, as soon as the sun is there you can cook solar. As much as photovoltaic panels are a solution to the electrical need, solar cookers provide a response to the production of heat from 212°F to 572°F for the preparation of your meals.
- Solar cooking meets the current ecological challenge both in its use and in its overall footprint. There is no fuel consumption: no gas, no electricity, no wood/coal, therefore no waste and no C02 release. Most of our products are valid for life and thus allow a more reasoned consumption in a world with limited resources.
- The solar oven is an economical cooking solution because the solar kitchen is free to use (without fuel). Moreover, a solar oven has an almost unlimited lifetime, which will make it a good investment in the long term.
- Solar cookers do not produce smoke, no fire. Solar cooking is therefore usable wherever you want. Zero restrictions on its use: forest, beach, balcony, etc.
- A delight for the taste buds, without fuel solar cooking reveals the true taste of food, the taste of the sun.
Where can we cook solar?
Solar concentration is a high-efficiency energy available anywhere on the planet for billions of years!
Map of the distribution of the number of hours of sunshine in France.
When to cook with a solar oven?
As soon as the sun is here take advantage of it to cook solar, both summer and winter. However, it is necessary to have a real sun, the point is that the ray should reach well to you (no mist or too many clouds) to properly spot this just check that the shadows of the objects around you are clearly marked on the ground. You can cook solar from 8am to 6pm on summer days and 10am to 2pm in winter. This represents a significant potential each year depending on the region between 150 to 300 sunny days per year.
Solar chef tip: It is also possible to cook lunch for the evening meal to optimize its use. In this case the Norwegian pot is a very good ally by allowing to keep warm your preparation for more than 8 hours. Find the product on this link: Norwegian pot
What is the cooking time for the solar kitchen?
The cooking time depends on the model used and the temperatures reached. With vacuum tube ovens and solar dish, cooking time is equivalent to traditional electric/gas cooking, they reach temperatures above 392°F. With box ovens and solar cookers, cooking is softer and more nutrient-friendly, but cooking times are increased from 30 min to 1h depending on the model and the temperatures reached (from 248°F to 356°F). Find all our products on this link: solar ovens and barbecues.
What recipes can you cook in the solar oven?
According to the models of solar ovens and cookers, we can make all recipes with all types of cooking, grilled, steamed, simmered. Become a solar chef and prepare your delicious recipes, whether vegetable or meat, fish, cakes or even bread. It is also possible to make preserves by sterilizing jars. Share your solar creations with the Solar Family, send us your photos and sunny recipes to firstname.lastname@example.org
What are the safety rules with a solar oven?
If you have sensitive eyes you can wear sunglasses when handling your solar oven. Don’t forget also that the sun by concentration, it heats up, we recommend you to wear a protective glove or a potholder to take your dish in any oven or solar cooker. For solar dishes, Sunplicity, Sunparabolic110, we advise you to position them back to the sun after use and store it in the shade as soon as possible.
Which cooking container to use with a solar oven?
- Color of the solar container : your pot must be ideally black mast in order to capture the infrared, but containers of dark colors (red, blue, green) can also work. In all cases and for all solar cookers you should not use a container color metal (mirror/aluminum) or white. White acts like a mirror by returning the rays of the sun.
- Solar container material : You can use all types of materials for solar cooking, cast iron, enameled steel, terracotta… However, depending on the model of your solar cooker and especially for soft cookers, we recommend thin materials such as enameled steel like our COOKUP pot to quickly transfer heat to your preparation. For barbecues or solar dishes with sustained cooking, you can use thick materials. They require more power to heat it but they will have the advantage of a thermal inertia during a cloudy passage.
- Type of container : We recommend using containers with opaque or transparent lids to conserve heat. We recommend to use volumetric containers with a minimum height of 8 cm to better capture the sun’s rays. Except for parabolic cookers such as SUNPARABOLIC where you can use containers such as stove or plancha because the concentration of the rays is mostly from below, as on a cooking plate.
We have the solar cooker suitable for solar cooking on sale here: solar cooker