Solar cooking refers to using energy of direct sunlight to cook and heat food. Here is everthing you need to know about this new type of cooking.
Since the Classical Era and the time of Syracuse’s Archimedes, the concept of harnessing solar heat has been around. We have an endless supply of energy thanks to the sun. Solar cooking is possible anywhere the sun shines.
See the infographic below on how many hours you can use your solar cooker to cook at different locations around the world.
Table of Contents
- Types of Solar Cookers
- What Can You Cook?
- How Solar Cooking Works?
- Advantages of Solar Cooking
- 1. Solar Cooking is Free.
- 2. Solar Cooking is Quick and Easy.
- 3. Food Cooked With a Solar Cooker is Healthy.
- 4. Solar Cooked Food Tastes Amazing!
- 5. Solar Cookers Make No Noise.
- 6. Cooking With Sunshine is Kind to the Environment.
- 7. Solar Cooking Ovens Are Portable.
- 8. It’s Rewarding for the Whole Family.
- 9. Anything Can Be Cooked in the Solar Cooking Oven.
- 10. Cooking With the Sun Empowers You to Be More Self-sufficient.
- Final Words on Solar Cooking
Types of Solar Cookers
Since Horace-Bénédict de Saussure created the first solar oven in the Eighteenth Century, different solar cooker designs emerged. Today, there are three broad categories of solar cookers:
- Solar ovens / box ovens
- Panel cooker
- Vacuum tubes
- Parabolic solar cooker
What Can You Cook?
You can grill, pressure cook, boil, deep fry, pan fry, and bake.
The same dishes can be prepared using your preferred recipes and everyday cookware.
How Solar Cooking Works?
In and of itself, sunlight is not particularly warm. Radiation, also known as light waves, is nothing more than energy produced by shifting magnetic and electric fields.
Your skin may feel warm, but that is only a result of the interaction between the light waves and the molecules there. This interaction is similar to how the box cooker, a type of solar cooker, produces high temperatures from sunlight.
The process of turning sunlight into heat is most simply explained by the interaction between moving molecules in a substance and photons, or tiny particles of light, traveling through light waves. There is a lot of energy contained in the electromagnetic rays that the sun emits.
All of this energy causes the molecules in matter, whether solid or liquid, to vibrate when it makes contact. They become ecstatic and begin to jump. Heat is produced by this activity. To capture this heat, solar cookers employ a number of different techniques.
Advantages of Solar Cooking
Here are the main advantages of solar cooking.
1. Solar Cooking is Free.
A solar cooker is free once you make it yourself or buy one. Gas, briquettes, or any other type of fuel are not required. If you aren’t using your gas bottles every day, just think how much longer they will last.
There is no charge for electricity; however, because we have an electric cooker, we must either run our generator or plug into the marina’s mains in order to cook. There are no moving parts that could malfunction and demand pricey repairs. There is no ongoing expense with a solar cooker.
2. Solar Cooking is Quick and Easy.
Even though food takes longer to cook in a solar cooker, preparation and cleanup time are significantly cut. I just chop up a bunch of stuff, throw it in the pot, and let it cook for every meal I’ve ever made.
Additionally, food is never burned on the pots or pans because of the slow nature of cooking. It’s quick and simple to clean up. In addition, I usually feel exhausted and don’t want to cook at night.
When using the solar cooker, I prepare the pot or pots around 10am when I’m full of energy and by 5pm – 6pm all I have to do is move the pots from the solar cooker to the cockpit table, serve and eat.
3. Food Cooked With a Solar Cooker is Healthy.
Vitamins and other nutrients do not degrade when food is prepared at low heat. Additionally, food prepared using solar energy is free of the mutagens and carcinogens created by high-heat cooking techniques.
4. Solar Cooked Food Tastes Amazing!
In my solar cooker, I’ve already prepared 16 meals, and only one of them needed to be poured into the ocean. The reason for my disaster was the seasoning rather than the food – I added too much red
My butternut squash and coconut soup is made too spicy to eat by Thai curry powder. Everything else, however, has been flavorful, moist, and delicious besides that one hiccup. My family, visitors, and I consistently gush about the flavor because, thanks to the slow nature of cooking, the flavors are fantastic.
5. Solar Cookers Make No Noise.
We have to use our generator to run the stove when we need to cook, as we previously mentioned. There is no noise and no unpleasant diesel fumes with the solar cooker.
6. Cooking With Sunshine is Kind to the Environment.
No fuel, electricity, or fumes are produced. The greenest cooking method is this one. The reason why most sailors enjoy sailing is that Mother Nature can transport us from point A to point B using only the wind.
7. Solar Cooking Ovens Are Portable.
A solar cooker can be placed almost anywhere. As it’s convenient for me to keep an eye on it, I usually keep ours on the aft deck, but as long as it’s in the sun, it can also be on the coach roof or, for all I care, you can take it to the beach and set it up next to you while you relax on land.
Some of them can be folded up when not in use, while others can be stored in a locker or even fastened to the safety rail.
8. It’s Rewarding for the Whole Family.
We are all thrilled with the results every time we eat a meal that has been solar-cooked. My husband makes sure to keep the cooker facing the sun while I spend time looking up new recipes to try. Our daughter assists in placing the ingredients in the pot.
When friends join us, they are astounded by the possibilities as we are by cooking with the sun!
9. Anything Can Be Cooked in the Solar Cooking Oven.
It’s not just for cooking vegetables; you can also prepare meat, bread, and desserts by experimenting with various flavors. The solar cooker is also great for reheating leftovers from the previous evening.
It’s incredible how well the solar cooker heats up food as long as you’re not hangry (hungry + angry) and are willing to wait half an hour. Simply place a mug of water in the solar cooker to make a cup of coffee or tea!
10. Cooking With the Sun Empowers You to Be More Self-sufficient.
I love the idea of being off the grid. I eventually want our entire boat to be powered by solar, wind, and water. Nothing is more incredible than your own self-produced sustainable energy!
We’ll always have to buy most of our food but it feels great that it doesn’t cost us a thing to make it
Final Words on Solar Cooking
Many people all over the world are living better thanks to solar cookers. In some areas of South America, Africa, and India, solar ovens have been introduced.
In these areas, it is typical for a woman to spend nearly half her workday looking for and collecting firewood.
Additionally, it’s been established that the fumes produced when burning low-quality wood in these areas contribute to the children’s respiratory issues. Utilizing solar cookers lessens the reliance on firewood.
What is the Major Problem With Solar Cooking?
The biggest disadvantage of solar cookers is that they are not as effective as other cooking techniques.
Is Solar Cooking Healthy?
Food cooked with a solar cooker is healthy.
Can a Solar Oven Boil Water?
You can’t broil in a solar oven, but you can bake, boil and roast.