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Solar cooking is a fantastic way of making healthy nutritious meals in the comfort of your backyard using only the power of the sun. You can leave some solar cookers to work their magic while you are out all day at work, while others have a short cooking time just like your conventional oven.
HOW DOES A SOLAR COOKER WORK?
Solar cookers use reflective panels or parabolic mirrors to gather solar energy which turns into heat to cook food. The cooker is placed in a position aimed at where the sun will be halfway through the cooking time.
BENEFITS OF HAVING A SOLAR COOKER IN YOUR HOME
Preparing meals with a solar cooker is the most environmentally-friendly way to cook as it does not put any strain on resources. Solar cookers also do not create smoke which is a contributing factor to global warming. Just some of the other benefits of having one in your home are:
- Solar cooking at moderate temperatures can preserve nutrients better than conventional cooking methods.
- No smoke to irritate lungs and eyes.
- No ongoing costs for fuel, electricity or wood.
- No overheating your kitchen on a hot summer’s day.
- Some types of solar cookers can be left all day without supervision.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF SOLAR COOKER
There are three main types of solar cooker on the market, or if you are up for making one yourself, you can construct one using basic materials found at your local hardware store.
- Solar panel cooker: A simple and affordable type of cooker that generates low temperatures. Great for one pot dishes like stews and soups.
- Solar oven or box cooker: A box cooker is ideal for baking as it uses an insulated box to retain heat.
- Parabolic solar stove: Concentrates sunlight to cookware and can heat up faster than a normal stove. You can use one of these for steaming, boiling, grilling and frying.
CHOOSING THE BEST SOLAR COOKER FOR YOUR NEEDS
While solar cookers all have the same concept of using the sun to cook, each gathers its solar energy in a different way and one can be more suited for a certain style of cooking than others. When making a purchasing decision you should consider a few points:
- What kind of food you would like to prepare
- How much sunlight you have on a regular basis
- How many people you cook for
- Would you prefer slow cooking or fast cooking?
THE BEST SOLAR COOKER FOR YOUR HOME
Our choice for the best home solar cooker is the Go Sun Grill which opens a new world of possibilities when it comes to cooking delicious and safe food for your family.
This type of solar cooker does not fit into the main categories noted above with its unique design and functionality.
To look at the Go Sun Grill, it’s sleek and shiny with a curved almost futuristic aesthetic and has parabolic mirrors to collect solar energy for the cooking chamber. Inside the cooking chamber is a vacuum tube which as an insulator retains about 80% of the heat gathered, reaching temperatures of over 430 degrees F.
The Go Sun Grill is an ideal cooking device to have in your garden or patio area. While it won’t deliver you the same smoky flavors or classic grill marks that you get from a regular grill, there are so many delicious dishes you can make using only the power of the sun, costing you absolutely nothing apart from the price of ingredients and the initial outlay for the product.
Jut some of the food you can prepare in the Go Sun Grill include meatloaf, cakes, eggs, vegetables, and soups. Preheating of the oven chamber is required which takes only around 20-30 minutes, then cooking times will vary from 45 minutes to around 2 hours depending on what you are cooking and the volume. All you need to do is load the device with food, set at a predetermined angle to the sun and go about your day.
Many reviews of the Go Sun Grill show that people have stopped using their propane grill all together since this product has the capacity to cook a lot of food at one time, and also use their conventional kitchen oven less. Once they have worked out correct cooking times and placement with the sun, users find that meals are cooked to perfection, with meat juicy and tender and don’t seem to burn their food at all.
COMES EVERYTHING YOU NEED
The great thing about buying a Go Sun Grill is that everything you need for successful solar cooking is included in the package. As well as the reflectors and vacuum tube, you receive a stainless steel drip tray, steam tray, aluminum tray, and stainless steel pans so you can get started with cooking straight away. If you find you need more dishes so you can cater for larger groups and cook multiple dishes over the course of the day, then you can buy these separately.
- Only needs the sun to work
- No fuel, no mess
- Can heat up to 500 degrees
- External temperature gauge
- Needs minimal monitoring
- Cool to touch
- Can cook for up to 8 people at a time
- Steam, bake or roast
- Great for family use
- Two-year no questions asked warranty on cooking vacuum chamber
- While it can preheat in cloudy conditions, you won’t be able to cook without some direct sunlight. If you live in a region where there are frequent days of no sun, you might not get as much use out of it.
- No smoky BBQ flavors or grill marks on meat.
- Can take a few tries to master cooking times correctly.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE GO SUN GRILL
This is an excellent solar cooker that can stay set up in your backyard but is also portable enough to take with you on a picnic or on a camping trip.
Without the need for wood, coal, or fuel to run, it’s an excellent choice for environmentally-conscious cooks who don’t mind perhaps a little extra cooking time for some dishes. You also have the option of being able to cook at night by purchasing a grill mount with solar panels that can store solar energy into a lithium-ion battery for later use.
Have you tried the Go Sun Grill? Would love to hear your thoughts about it in the comments!
Make sure to head over to the Go Sun website and read the happy customer reviews for these awesome products.
This post was originally published on June 6, 2019.