Solar Ovens are portable, pay for themselves and break the dependence on fossil fuels by using the sun’s energy to cook food in their own healthy and tasty juices.
A solar oven works by trapping and concentrating the sun’s energy to heat food or water. There are various types of solar cookers but all work on similar principles.
Solar ovens utilise black cooking plates and pots to attract the greatest amount of the sun’s energy as possible.
At its simplest a solar oven works like a closed car on a hot day.
Sunlight infra-red cooking is much more efficient than cooking with a conventional oven or grill. With these traditional methods what’s being heated isn’t the food, it’s the air around the food. Not only is this less efficient, but it also allows moisture and nutrients to evaporate away, according to the makers of Sunflair Solar Ovens.
“With a solar oven, the infrared rays are directly impacting the food, driving moisture into it and resulting in juicier, more flavourful, and nutritious meals,” Sunflair says.
The advantages don’t stop there. Solar ovens are free to run, so there are no gas or power bills. They save collecting fire wood, and avoid the dangers of open fires, so they can be used during a total fire ban.
Sunflair Solar Ovens are also lightweight and portable, so are ideal for camping or picnics.
The major drawback is that they are weather dependent, no sun, no heat, no oven. Depending on where you live this need not be a problem, and speaking can be overcome with some forward planning to pick out the best baking days.
Solar ovens can bake vegetables, fish and meat, and get hot enough to pasteurise water. On clear days solar oven temperatures easily reach around 80C and can go as high as 140C.
Even on sunny days meals do take longer to cook. But this can also be an advantage allowing cooks to get out of the hot kitchen and take a ”set and forget” attitude to cooking.
If cooking time is an issue simple measures like cooking bread as buns, not a loaf, can speed things up.
It is also worth noting that it is next to impossible to burn anything with a solar oven.
For those looking to keep it simple the Eco Citizen Australia store has solar oven kits for sale that include everything you need, including pots and thermostats, to get baking immediately.
A solar oven is not just a product but a new cooking lifestyle: slower, simpler, cleaner, healthier and cheaper.