It's been a while since anyone talked about solar cookers. There was a rash of interest a couple of years ago with workshops showing us how to make our own. Did anyone have success and still use their solar cookers regularly?
I like the look of these professionally made cookers and felt the info worth saving.
The cookware heats up five times faster than traditional charcoal. That means you can get cooking faster.
The solar cooker operates with just direct sun light from our sun. No gas, no charcoal, no biomass – just inexhaustible solar energy.
Other solar cookers restrict the way you cook, SolSource solar cooker has a versatile reversible pot stand that accommodates a wide variety of cookware and cooking styles. Whether you want to use your light-weight skillet for panfrying salmon, or a heavy dutch oven for slow-cooking short ribs, you can simply put your favorite cookware on SolSource solar cooker to create your favorite dishes.
We have engineered the 4’3″ (1.3m) wide solar reflector to achieve the perfect curvature for capturing sun light. This geometry enables the solar cooker to achieve 92% efficiency and provide the equivalent of 1,000 watt of cooking power. The V-shape cut out provides the perfect chef interface.
We have designed the SolSource solar cooker with ease of use in mind. The stand allows you to turn and tilt the solar cooker towards the sun with ease. The alignment mirror helps you point the concentrated sunlight onto your cookware easily. Once it is set up, you can start cooking right away.
Interesting story Jeff.
It would be good to see a demonstration of these products. Weather permitting, a good slow cooked stew could be on the cards without smoke.
A demo would be interesting wouldn't it. I've checked the site again and it doesn't look like they have an Australian outlet (can no doubt buy from America, but that increases the expense). I've asked about the possibility of a demo if they do.
Permaculture news has a write-up HERE On one side of our house, the sun always shines through the window casements, and I often wondered whether we should take advantage of that and have a solar cooking device hanging from the window ledge on the outside, like the garden boxes with flowers in them. I would have to be confident that it did not burn the house down first.
It would be amazingly convenient - and contribute to the uptake of solar cookers - if some bright spark could devise a way of shepherding the solar heat into the house to make a real stove rather than a stand-alone contraption in the back yard. Convenience is our watchword these days. For we old boilers, hunched up over a thingy in the back yard and running hot pots and pans back into the house is not an option. I have seen light coming into houses from remote spots on the roof - forget the proper name but 'solar tube' springs to mind. I wonder if it could be done with heat too. I'd have one like a shot if that were possible.
Just need that bright spark to come up with that excellent idea Elaine :)
The ideas are free - implementing them in an 'affordable' way is another thing! And 'affordable' means different things to different people.
But aren't solar panels the go? Why add outback hardware when the best --and most efficient -- way to harvest the sun for all your energy needs is rooftop solar?
Is the cooked food any better or more tasteful with solar cookers?
In South Africa there is a similar push to move away from dependence on fuel driven cooking by using 'Hot Bags' (LINK). Tastes good as I've a few.
But I now use them to keep heated food hot.
Indeed, in lieu of other exchanges , a pressure cooker is a great energy saver. That's my choice. Compared to thermal and slow cookers the energy quotient is way ahead.
If your house is on solar panels then you're kosher. If you are camping or off grid, fine -- but day to day go look at the numbers.
Pressure cookers are really the best energy saving hardware...married with convenience.
Rooftop solar plus batteries is my number 1 choice for non-grid energy. Except for the price :-(
A solar cooker of some sort for the non-rooftop-solar-owner is the way I see the 'solar cookers' described.
But few people locally have enough panels to fully power their houses or so it seems to me. Regardless of price, my place with the tree-shadows is not a good choice for solar-only power. And (regardless of price) I am totally opposed to grid-connected solar ... some kind of non-electric non-gas and non-other fossil fuels cooker would be a good choice were there such a beast.
I've been the owner of a Dreampot (super-insulated container, updated 'hay box') and a slow cooker and now an electric pressure cooker. My absolute choice would be a non-dependent type of stove 'cept there isn't one.
My off grid mate has two solar cookers, in addition to his panels and battery bank. One is the type shown above which cooks really bloody quickly - I've seen him set fire to wood with it. The other is more like a slow cooker - he puts it out for a few hours in the morning and collects it about lunch time. He also does bio-gas. The more options the better.
In other news, grid connected solar is a great first step while you are saving for batteries Elaine (and waiting for longer lasting ones).
Solar panel energy is fine if you are home and connected (and actually have solar panels, which a lot of us don't).
I look on these solar cookers as portable/doomsday cookers - something to use when nothing else is available....or like Andy's mate, simply because he wants to.