If you’re looking for the best solar oven, you might want to keep reading here. In today’s buying guide, we’re featuring the top solar ovens on the market and each of their pros and cons.
Also, we’re discussing how to choose a solar cooker so that you will have a better idea on what makes a product special.
By finding the right cooker, you will enjoy your camping or picnic meals even more. With it, you’ll also have more time to spend with your family than monitoring what is cooking in it.
So if you’re ready, let us get started and help you find your perfect stove in the following.
|Top 1||Top 2||Top 3|
|Preview||GOSUN Solar Oven||MrMapMax Solar Oven||Energy Wise Solar Oven|
|Weight||2.2 lbs||11.22 lbs||1.44 lbs|
|Capacity||0.4 L||4.5 L||4.5 L|
|Cook Time||20 minutes||20 minutes||–|
|Temp Range||550°F max||200-550°F||212°F max|
- Top-Quality Solar Oven Reviews
- Why You Should Trust Us
- What Is A Solar Oven And Who This Is For
- How Does A Solar Oven Work
- What Are The Different Types Of Solar Ovens
- Advantages And Disadvantages Of Solar Ovens
- How We Picked And Tested
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top-Quality Solar Oven Reviews
1. GoSun Solar Cooker
- Lightweight and Portable
- Solar Powered, hence, cost effective
- Can cook food in as fast as 20 minutes
- Package includes other accessories and cooking wares
- Charge slowly during cloudy days
Food is life when traveling. If you are someone who is a minimalist yet loves to share your recipes while on a trip, let GoSun Solar Cooker support that passion. Take a while to learn its advantage as well as its disadvantage here.
I think the ultimate selling point of this cooker is that it is very handy. Imagine how lightweight it is for its weight of 2 pounds only.
While said item is portable, it has the ability to do what other ordinary cookers can do at home. Hence, you can take your raw ingredients while on RVs or on camping sites and cook these through the GoSun Solar Cooker.
Who wouldn’t be amazed about this champion item when it comes in an affordable price and yet it can fry, steam, bake and roast. It is a very hassle-free device for your weekend getaway.
It is not just that, but it can also be a good alternative if you don’t have a portable coffeemaker or boiling pot. This product can boil water and other liquids for about 550 to 288 degree Celsius. That is a yes for me since we don’t like our coffee cold in the breezy morning.
I want to share also that GoSun Solar Cooker is known for cooking meals quickly without falling short to the desired taste of the food. Based on its product description, it can cook dishes in as fast as 20 minutes only through a temperature that reach as high as 550 Fahrenheit.
Another best feature of GoSun Solar Cooker is that it is solar powered. That means you can prepare hot dishes for friends and family wherever your destination in a thrift way.
These cookers get energy from the sun and convert it to heat that the user can use when he starts making dishes. It happens that it has the ability to capture ultraviolet rays and store this heat for cooking.
Furthermore, I am impressed with the patented solar cooking technology of GoSun Cooker because it helps in harvesting a huge amount of radiation. Through this, the user won’t need expensive power from electricity or gas.
Aside from that, when you buy GoSun Solar Cooker, expect that it has included all the accessories you need to start. That is a big discount because you don’t have to spend more money for separate purchase of the enlisted items.
2. MrMapMax Portable Solar Oven
- 5-liter large-capacity solar oven
- Can reach up to 550℉ to create Maillard reaction
- Features heat-proof borosilicate glass and parabolic reflectors
- Zippered edges, designed for easy set-up
- Abrasion-resistant casing for travelling
- Pricier than standard products
- A bit hefty (11.22 pounds)
The MrMapMax solar power oven is one of the most impressive solar ovens I have encountered. Its design and performance are impeccably flawless. People can cook their food at a base camp in Mt Everest and have their dinner ready in a few hours.
Although its cooking chamber is only 4.5 liters (152 ounces), it is sufficient for a camping party of three. In addition, it is versatile enough to hold 50 ounces of water to quench a trekker’s thirst.
But the real gem in this solar cooking appliance is its cooking temperature, which can reach 550℉ under the full sun. Even without optimal conditions, the oven’s temperature can range from 200℉-450℉, which is more than enough to trigger the Maillard reaction that results in an alluring brown and a distinctive, delicious flavor.
This solar oven does not feature the flimsy aluminum reflective panels common in conventional solar-powered ovens. Instead, it has heat-proof borosilicate glass and parabolic reflectors that capture the sun’s heat and reflect it into the food. Thanks to this thoughtful construction, the furnace only takes 20 minutes to warm up.
I like this solar oven’s overall design, especially the zippered edges that make setting up the device effortless. The casing is abrasion-resistant, perfect for trekking in rocky terrain with thorny bush overgrowths. People who love going on road trips, camping, and hiking can rely on this solar oven to deliver amazing meals.
3. Energy Wise Premium Solar Oven
- Spacious 14.6-gallon solar cooking chamber
- 220-degree Fahrenheit maximum temperature
- Durable Oxford-reinforced cloth exterior and heavy-duty zippers
- PVC lid with a folding design for adjustable ventilation
- An economical choice
- Looks flimsy
Solar ovens should not cost an arm and a leg. Energy Wise Premium fits the bill for people who need a reliable cooking appliance they can use anywhere without spending a small fortune.
I like this product’s simple yet functional design. It might seem like a small solar oven, but its cooking chamber is more spacious than the MrMapMax’s 4.5-liter capacity. In fact, it is big enough to accommodate a family meal, as opposed to MrMapMax’s cooking chamber, which can only prepare food for 3 people at most.
The product’s reflective surfaces are also impressive, channeling heat toward the food in the center of the cooking chamber. Although it doesn’t have MrMapPMax’s borosilicate glass and parabolic surfaces, this oven can still reach 212℉ – quite surprising, given its simple design. This range is sufficient to prepare food or heat water for coffee.
This camping oven features enough edge reinforcements to make it as sturdy as any other solar-powered cooking appliance. It has an Oxford-reinforced cloth exterior, heavy-duty zippers, and a PVC lid. As a result, this outdoor cooker is quite durable and sturdy, despite its apparent flimsy look.
I also commend the adjustable ventilation, giving me some degree of control during cooking. Its folding design is a space-saver, while its lightweight construction makes it easy on the back. I will never complain about carrying this solar oven while camping with family and friends.
4. GoSun Sport – Portable Solar Cooker
- Can stay cool to the touch
- Can cook fast and reach temperature up to 550 degrees F
- Accessories included
- Easy to set up and store
- No fire hazard
- Operation affected by sunlight
I’ve always been a fan of solar energy products, so I was excited to do solar ovens reviews. They are efficient and easy to use, not consuming additional power and quick to set up. One of those products I admire is the GoSun Sport solar cooker.
It has the impressive qualities and characteristics that make it a top choice among those who love camping and outdoor adventures. There is no doubt about it why. I, myself, am impressed of its features, including versatility and functionality.
One of the things that make it a standout is its portability, which adds to its ease of use. Choosing it, you can have no worries that you will buy a lightweight and portable item that can be deployed in seconds. You can use the cooker for your camping foods and drinks, while not becoming a burden in your camping baggage.
While it can be set up in seconds, it can also collapse in a small package, making it fit even in a small bag or storage area.
In terms of design, I would like to note that it has these folding parabolic reflectors, which protects the tube effectively. In addition, it has these carrying handles, which make it easier to use. The item is also submersible, making it ideal for all types of adventure.
I would like to note that there is no fire hazard with the solar cooker, as it makes use of no fire, making it applicable even for campsites that do not allow open flame cooking. You will have peace of mind that you can have your favorite picnic or camping food always warm by having a solar oven like it.
This item also has a vacuum tube cooking chamber that can provide the insulation to keep the exterior cool even if the food inside is hot. In addition, it is notable that it’s so easy to cook in the oven.
All you have to do is to load the food, and then set the chamber on the reflector to cook. There is no checking needed.
If you’re looking for a reliable and fast cooker, you can also choose the solar cooker, which can help you make life easier. It can cook your meal in just 20 minutes because it can reach hotness up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Haines 2.0 Solar Cooker and Dutch Oven Kit
- Perfect for disaster preparedness
- No fossil fuel involved in its use
- No fire danger
- Can heat water40% faster than other cookers can
- Easy to deploy and store
- Might not be the most effective in cooking rice
The Haines solar cooker is another oven kit not to miss when checking out different sun ovens on the market. For one, it has a nice and compact solar oven design, which makes it highly suitable for outdoor use.
You can carry it anywhere you go camping or boating. It can also be used in tailgating, small homes and mobile homes.
I liked that it makes use of clean energy from the sun, so it doesn’t cause pollution at all. As it uses the free energy of the sun, there is also no fossil fuel involved in the use of this oven. I would like to mention that this product is fire-safe, so there is no fire danger for using it. You can also rely on it if you’re in camping grounds where open flame cooking is not permitted.
Another feature I’d like to note about this sun stove is its cooking surface that remains in place and its four reflector petals moving around it for the sun.
And if you want a longer-term use, you can also get that from the stove that is made of metalized polyester along with polycarbonate materials that do not oxidize. With this feature, it can last five years in the sun, which is good for getting more out of your spending.
This product is also ideal for boating, camping and disaster preparedness. It is also for those who want to live off the grid.
It is also for those who love family picnics and keeping their food and drinks warm while outdoors.
This cooker is made with metalized polyester foam, also called MPET, which is known for its stiffness for keeping its shape and flexibility. It can work no matter the condition, so this cooker is nonetheless highly reliable.
6. Sunflair Portable Solar Oven Deluxe
- Efficient and quick to set up
- No needed assembly
- With thermometer, dehydrating racks and cookware
- Made from premium materials
- Sleek and compact size
- Quite expensive
If you’re trying to find the hottest solar oven in the world, you might want to check out the Sunflair oven. It has the solid features and compact size that makes it ideal for outdoor uses and functions.
For someone who loves camping and adventure, I am impressed how this oven deluxe is designed and made.
One of the things I liked about the solar cooker is that it comes with complete accessories. It is with a thermometer and dehydrating racks. With these things, you don’t have to buy them separately because they already come with your purchase.
I also liked that it comes with Complete Cookware, which makes it more versatile to cook, warm and bake your favorite foods even when outdoors. With it, you can feel as if you’re not away from home but close to it.
The convenience of home cooking is within reach if you have the portable oven with you.
In addition, the portable solar oven is effective for cooking up to sundown. For this reason, it is one of the most trusted choices among those who love solar cooking.
It is an efficient way of cooking when in the outdoors because it can receive much sunlight and cook food because its reflectors can emit much heat. With this manner of cooking, there is also no need to spend on gas and fuel.
Also, there is no worry about looking for an outlet source, too. With it, you can cook anywhere there is direct and much sunlight exposure.
I would like to mention that it’s also versatile to cook most types of foods like pizza. In addition, it can work effectively in drying fruits and herbs.
Also, the versatility does not end in the unlimited food choices to cook on it, but in the wide range of cookware to use with it.
Choosing the solar cooker, you also don’t need to stress about any assembly to do because it is ready to use. I also liked that it can set up and store in seconds, so it also has no hassle of using it.
When it comes to portability, this item is lightweight that it weighs only one pound and two ounces. It is portable for boating, camping, picnicking and tailgating, among other choices.
AIBOAT Portable Solar Cooker (Outdated)
- Quick to deploy
- Can cook a wide range of meals
- Mess-free cooking
- High heat comparable to traditional kitchen ovens
- Takes longer to cook
The Solar Cooker is another to look into for a sun-powered stove that proves valuable for outdoor activities, such as camping. I believe it is also useful in off grid living, recreational vehicle living and disaster preparedness. It is always ready, as you are!
The AIBOAT solar oven is a top rated item by consumers who have experienced the reliability and effectiveness of this item in cooking their camping meals.
As it’s solar-powered, you also don’t need to worry about an electrical, gas or propane power source. All you have to do is to point it towards the sun so that it will receive enough sunlight to heat and cook your favorite meals.
It is also designed with self-heating polymers, which are able to increase the sun effects as well as the mirrors’ long-term performance.
There is also no mess cooking on this stove! You don’t need to worry about smoking blowing or ash/soot getting into your foo. This stove can also be used anytime that there is the sun.
When it comes to maintenance, you can also have peace of mind that you don’t need to spend a lot of time for it. All you need is soapy water and a clean piece of cloth to wipe away any oil off it, and then drying using a soft, dry towel.
Sun Ovens International Cooker (Outdated)
- With 20% larger cooking space
- Solar powered, hence, cost effective and Eco-friendly
- Can cook food quickly
- Includes other cooking accessories
- With good reputation, hence patronize by many users
- Charging capacity is affected by weather condition
Nothing beats something that already built its iconic reputation in business. The sun oven is cooking equipment that is being widely used for 28 years. If you are serious in finding a high-quality cooking appliance, you can check its features here.
What is the secret of Sun Oven International being the standout choice among brands for 126 countries? I think it’s no secret. It is just that the Sun Oven International is not scared to innovation and incorporation of experiences gained from the unique American flavor and lifestyle.
Due to its continued upgrading of products, Sun Oven International is now introducing their newest cooking appliance that is 20 percent larger than their other models.
I like Sun Oven cooking appliance bigger because it allows you to cook more dishes in bigger volumes. That is an advantage especially if you are preparing sumptous meals for a large number of guests.
What makes me excited also about this cooking equipment is its improved wind resistance. Therefore, it is more durable for traveling or outdoor cooking activities.
Sun Ovens International understands that we don’t want to feed the guest late and keep them waiting. So this cooking oven is enhanced that it boosts temperature for about 15%. That means it can help you cook food in a short time span.
To be specific, this item can administer heat from 360 to 400 degree Fahrenheit. Hence, it is perfect whether you like to boil water for hot drinks, bake muffins and breads or simply steam vegetables and meat.
All these amazing features come in a very thrifty and Eco-Friendly manner. Sun Ovens International solely gets power from the sun; hence, it doesn’t require fuel and electricity to work.
As a bonus, all interested shoppers can get additional items when they buy this appliance. Some of the included items are a Dehydrating and Baking Rack Set, 2 easy stack pots with lids, 2 loaf pans and 1 multi fuel water-pasteurizing indicator and a cookbook to get you started.
Sunflair Mini Portable Solar Oven (Outdated)
- Dries fast
- Green cooking solution
- Can cook in some vehicles and places not allowing open flame
- Ideal for boating, fishing, construction sites and beach
- Easiest and lightest oven
- Might not be effective in cooking rice
- Short return policy
Camping with friends or having a picnic have never been so simple than today. Now, we can use of different products to make things extra convenient for the whole pack.
For example, we might not have an access to stoves and ovens when outdoors and up in the mountains. You can just imagine how uncomfortable that would be to go in the wild without aid from appliances that make our lives more exciting.
Sometimes, it just feels frustrating not to have hot sandwiches on the table when camping or having a picnic.
The good thing is there is the Sunflair Mini Portable Solar Oven, which is rated as the top-quality solar cooker for those who had tried and experienced using it.
If you have been on the market looking for the right solar-powered oven that you can depend on, you might want to check the Sunflair, which is also a top-rated oven by consumers who love camping and RV living.
Just like other solar products, they love that it is not consuming additional electricity. It runs on free power that they do not need to worry about additional spending for using it.
So if they’d be having a backyard camping, they sure don’t need to think about the power outlet where to plug an oven. This solar oven can work anywhere provided there is sunlight. All you have to do is to position it in a place where it could receive much heat.
If you’re camping in a place where you cannot cook open flame, you can also choose the portable solar oven. So if it’s not allowed to cook in an open flame in your camping site, you can choose and use this solar appliance. And if your vehicle could allow it, you could also use it.
In addition, the solar oven is easy to use and is the lightest around. You don’t need to worry about complicated use instructions. It is also worth mentioning that this product is the easiest and lightest oven in the world. For this reason, it is also easy to store to a laptop’s size. With it, you can enjoy your camping and feel rewarded. You can take this oven with you in recreational vehicles, cabins, tiny homes, educational learning, and bug out bags, construction sites and so many more.
This kit also weighs only one pound and 12 oz. The entire solar oven can fold just to a size of a three-ring binder.
All Season Solar Cooker Camper (Outdated)
- Can hold different dimensions of pots
- Can hold a turkey roaster
- Has an up and down angle for full solar power
- Sunsight pin for better angle
- Efficient reflector array
- Reports of not being user-friendly
The All Season Solar Cooker Camper is large and powerful enough to hold a turkey roaster and to roast food as well as indoor ovens could.
All Season Solar Cooker is a panel type of cooker, so you can use any kind of pot dimensions that you use. You can use 12-inch fry pans, two large separate pots, oblong type cake pans, and tall pots.
The cooking space of the cooker is 12 inches deep and 17 inches wide. There is no limit in the height of the cooking area, so you can use any kind of pot that you want.
All Season has great functions, great portability, amazing compact folding, and impressive wind resistance. There is no other camper in the market that can do this.
When the solar cooker is in its full downward angle, the sunsight is facing at the horizon directly, thus when it is in this angle the ASSC camper gets full access to the light up until the last sunshine.
Once the ASSC camper is in its full up position, the sunsight pin goes straight up, and it captures the sun perfectly when it is directly overhead.
The ASSC camper has two kinds of positions, and it can be adjusted to any position between up and down. It can capture the sun at any angle and position.
The adjustability of All Season solar cooker allows you to cook your meals any time of day, even if the sun is not shining. This is a feature that you will not get from other cookers in the market because those only operate from 10 am to 2 pm.
The ASSC camper can hold two, one-gallon pots, and it can hold turkey roaster with ease. Since the camper does not have a door but uses a cooking bag instead, it will hold the large pots without difficulty.
The capacity of the ASSC camper is undiminished no matter how you adjust the reflector array. This is another feature that no other camper can mimic.
ASSC camper also has a pin and a block type assembly called the sunsight. It helps the user to focus on the sun perfectly. Once the pin does not show any shadow, then the cooker is focused on the sun.
If you wish to have a longer cooking duration, you can turn the cooker ahead of the sun. Move the reflector array upward to track the sun as it crosses the sky.
The ASSC camper orientation will give you two hours of cooking without the need to move the camper. If you wish to cook in the afternoon, the shadow will go downward as the sun begins to decent, and you can adjust the camper then.
SolSource Sport Solar Cooker Camp Stove (Outdated)
- Energy efficient
- High performance parabolic solar reflector panels
- Ideal for camping and outdoor use
- Easy to set up and cook on
- Reliable and portable to take anywhere
One Earth Designs is an innovative clean energy company that contributes to make this world a better place for their solar ovens. It is a favorite brand, as I find in many sun oven reviews in which thousands of users are noting great things about the oven.
If you’re looking for a reliable sun oven from this brand, you might want to consider this one. It is functional and versatile to work not just as an oven but also a grill. One Earth Designs has proven once more that it’s a top brand for reliable solar products.
This item is for grilling and cooking at the same time. If you would take a look at the design, this portable cooker is made to help attend to your cooking needs. I’d like to mention that it is also solar-powered, so there is no need to rely on electrical power, fire or gas.
It makes use of solar energy, so it is free forever. You just have to point the oven directly towards the sunlight. In addition, the oven is designed with self-heating polymers, which work by maximizing the effects and ensuring the mirrors’ durability.
This product is really meant for adventurers because it is not just convenient and easy to use but also very easy to carry anywhere. It comes with a carrying bag that makes it ideal for taking anywhere you go, offering an easy transport.
I would like to note that the SolSource Sport portable stove is also a collapsible sun stove, which is designed for easy storage, too. With such portability features, it is versatile to take anywhere like in parks, cars as well as for camping, picnics, boating or tailgating.
This oven is also easy to clean. It comes with a grill cover that can prevent stray solar rays while also extending the life of your stove.
And speaking of ease of cleaning, there is really no need to spend a lot of time for it because the SolSource Sport solar stove doesn’t need it. You just have to wipe its surface off using soap and water.
There is also no fire hazard using this stove, so it is ideal in camping sites that do not allow open flame cooking.
Another thing I would like to mention that this oven could also reach a temperature, which you can compare to those ovens we typically use. So on a typical warm day, you can expect to cook fast on it.
For example, I read that it can boil half quart of water in just 20 minutes, according to its manufacturer.
All American Sun Oven (Outdated)
- Allows you to prepare all kinds of food
- High temperature
- Adjustable cooking time
- Wind resistant
- Takes long to cook
Sun Ovens have been used worldwide for the past 28 years, and it has made its mark in more than 126 countries. Sun Ovens is one of the most well-respected and trusted solar cooking appliances.
One of their top-rated products is the All American Sun Oven which combines the experience that was gained by preparing and cooking millions of different meals with the American cooking lifestyle and needs that were distinctively added to make a unique appliance.
The All American Sun Oven is 20% larger than its predecessor is, and it can cook and prepare a greater volume of food. It can also accommodate many standard-sized baking pans.
All American Sun Oven also has amazing wind resistance and has reflector arrays that can make it easier to align it with the sun. It can boost the temperature by 15%, which is a whole lot better over the prior models, plus it can cook more food and prepare them in less time.
The package comes with a CD that shows hundreds of recipes; it also has emergency preparedness organizer CD as well as emergency preparedness videos.
The All American Sun Oven can help you get the power that you need from the sun. It is one power source that never fails and is always available, plus it can help you decrease your electricity bill.
If you need to conserve energy or if you are dealing with a power outage, then the All American Sun Oven lets you get enough solar power to cook your meals without the use of fuel.
The All American Sun Oven lets you make your meals and let you cook your recipes without the use of electricity or fuel. This product is perfect when you go camping when you are having a dinner party outdoors or during a blackout.
The sun oven lets you prepare and cook almost all kinds of food, from bread, cakes, pizza, and muffins to fish, chicken, vegetables, beef, pork, pasta, casseroles, and grains. You can also prepare your favorite desserts with the help of the sun oven.
All American Sun Oven gives high cooking temperatures. It can go as high as 360 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and it is more efficient to boil, steam, or bake your meals.
The sun oven lets you choose the cooking time, from slow to fast. You can cook your meal within 20 minutes, or you can opt for a slow cook all day, just like what you usually do in a conventional oven or stove.
The All American Sun Oven is one great appliance that is ruggedly designed and built and is made for trouble-free and easy use. It is also meant to last for years, thus proving its durability.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our team is passionate about sharing our knowledge about solar products and other clean energy solutions. We believe that solar energy products are the new innovations of tomorrow that we need to make this world less polluted and better to live in.
In addition to finding information on how do solar cookers work, we’re here to offer you with guidance in choosing solar cookers and top brands. In this guide, we’re featuring not only great picks but also the things to look for when buying a solar oven.
We do hope that we can help you make a better decision through an informed choice. Take some time in learning about these products and things that make them unique and useful for outdoor activities, camping and other outdoor adventures.
What Is A Solar Oven And Who This Is For
Like all things solar, solar ovens introduces a new way of cooking- that is cooking with sunlight!
A solar oven, as its name suggests, uses solar energy to heat/cook food and water. It’s just basically like your own ovens at home, but it uses sustainable and eco-friendlier source: the sun.
Also known a box cooker, the solar oven is one of the several versions of the solar cookers. Other versions are the panel cooker, parabolic cooker and the GoSun cooker.
Despite their differences, they more or less have the same components. Basically, they capture solar energy and then, covert it into heat.
Because of this, solar ovens are perfect for those living off the grid or for those planning to. A solar oven allows you to conserve the electricity you stored in your battery bank since it can generate its own electricity via solar power.
A solar oven is also perfect for those who are into camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. With this, you no longer have to start up a fire to cook food or heat water.
It is also ideal during emergency situations such as blackouts, power failures, typhoons, storms, and the like. In these scenarios, there is no electricity available. Hence, the solar oven will come useful since you can still cook food and heat water.
The solar oven is also recommended for those who are looking for eco-friendly alternatives and doing their part in saving the planet. Aside from conserving scarce resources, solar ovens also help you with your electricity bills. You can definitely save up on your electricity bills while using these devices.
How Does A Solar Oven Work
Unlike other solar products, a solar oven converts solar energy into heat, not electricity. Hence, it is the heat that cooks the food/ heats the water, not the sunlight. With this, solar ovens typically have components that can concentrate, absorb and retain heat.
First are the metal reflectors, panels and other reflective surfaces. These are used in order to direct the sunlight to a concentrated point that is typically a black insulated box. Moreover, they are positioned around your oven and helps speed up the heating process.
After that, the light then hits your pot or the interior of your oven. Once it does, it is then converted into infrared light rays, or basically heat in order to cook food/ heat water.
A dark-colored metal pot is recommended since dark colors can easily absorb heat. Aside from that, a thin cookware is also ideal since it can transfer the heat faster and evenly to the food.
Next is to trap the heat. Hence, solar ovens need to be well insulated to produce the greenhouse effect. This is usually done through a transparent covering like a cooking bag, a glass bowl and the like.
Aside from trapping the heat inside, it also allows more sunlight to penetrate inside the cooking pot and thus, raise the cooking temperature. In fact, temperatures can rise up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Due to this, you need to make sure that the oven has a continuous supply of sunlight to absorb and convert to cook food effectively. Thus, there is a need to readjust the solar oven constantly.
What Are The Different Types Of Solar Ovens
There are different solar oven materials, designs and types of solar ovens that can suit an array of needs. However, despite their differences, they work and follow the same principles of concentration, absorption and retention.
The first type is the panel solar oven that is usually the cheapest out of all the types. This comes with multiple reflective metal panels to focus solar energy into a pot that are typically made out of cardboard and aluminum.
Depending on the design, it can give temperatures ranging from 250 degrees Fahrenheit to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. These temperatures are more than enough to cook food and heat water.
The next type is the box solar oven that basically like a mini greenhouse. It is made up with multiple mirrored panels that reflects sunlight towards an insulated black box.
This black box is usually covered with glass or plastic to help trap the heat and is where the cooking pots and pans are placed. It can generate temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Due to its design, a solar cooking stove is used like a slow cooker and is generally preferred when cooking with small children. It is also preferred since it can hold a number of pots that makes it efficient and perfect to those cooking for large groups or communities.
The third type is the parabolic solar oven or also known as the curved concentrator. It uses a parabolic mirror that focuses the solar energy into a focal point. Most people usually compare this to a stovetop. For best results, place food at the center.
Due to its design, the parabolic solar oven is the top-tier and fastest cooker out of all the types since it can generate high temperatures. In fact, one can even fry food using these.
Moreover, due to the high temperatures, people often use this for individual and small-scaled cooking.
The third type is the hybrid solar oven that is basically a box oven with an electrical heating system. Thus, you can even use this device even on overcast days, stormy weathers or at night.
They are usually large and are fixed as they are generally used by a large group or community.
The fourth is the GoSun solar oven that is a new innovation. Unlike the other types, this is small and compact and is handy for those who are traveling or camping.
Here, one just slides the food into a vacuum tube that is made of glass and is surrounded by parabolic mirror reflectors. The vacuum tube allows the device to trap the heat. In fact, it can even generate temperatures up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Solar Ovens
Solar ovens are basically like ovens that use solar energy to heat and cook food. However, like all devices, it has its own fair share of advantages and disadvantages.
Solar ovens use the sun’s energy to cook and heat food. As such, it doesn’t use fossil fuels or electricity when cooking. With this, it helps in conserving the Earth’s already scarce resources. It also helps in preserving the ozone layer as well as reduce your own and your family’s carbon footprint.
Aside from benefitting the environment, solar ovens can also help save in household bills in the end since you are now relying on solar energy.
This means you get to save on electricity bills. You can also eliminate your expenses for oil, gas, coal, wood and other fossil fuels.
Yummy, nutritious meals
Solar ovens cook food more slowly. Thus, food tends to retain its flavor, is tenderer and more nutritious compared to regular ovens. They are also great in retaining the moisture in your food.
As such, when using solar ovens, people often cook meats, casseroles, breads, soups and stews since they are yummier and juicier.
Easy and safe
Solar ovens make cooking easy since you just simply prepare the ingredients and put them in the oven. Moreover, since solar ovens cook food slower, there is no danger of open flames or burning. Hence, it is perfect for those with children or pets and for busy families.
You also do not need to monitor your food constantly. Hence, you have time to do other household activities.
Great for remote areas and poor communities
Solar ovens are great for those living in areas where there is limited access to fuel and power. Since you only need the sun, then you can cook food just about anywhere.
Moreover, this is great for poor communities since solar ovens are also easy to build.
For one, solar ovens are usually portable and thus, are not a hassle to take anywhere. You can take them with you when camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. With this, you are guaranteed food and clean water during these activities.
They are also useful during power outages and blackouts. With this, you can still cook meals and eat.
Like all solar devices, solar ovens need sunlight to function. As such, it’s not really useful during winters or at nighttime. It’s also not recommended for those living in areas with cold climates.
A solar oven might not be much help during storms, overcast days and the like. While it may work, the oven might not generate as much heat, resulting into undercooked food.
Moreover, since it requires much sunlight, other people might be put off by the constant adjustment of the device.
Long cooking time
Some people might be put off by the long cooking time required by the solar oven. Here, you need to prepare and cook your meal early in the morning. This might be a hassle for those who have busy working schedules and the like.
How We Picked And Tested
Solar ovens are a great way to help the environment as well as save electricity. They are also perfect during emergencies, for camping trips and the like and for those living off the grid.
Due to their numerous benefits, there are a lot of styles and types available in the market. As such, choosing the best solar oven can be a daunting and overwhelming task.
Of course, picking the top-tier one totally depends on your and your needs. However, there are a few key elements that you must keep in mind while shopping. To ensure you get top-quality for your money, consider these factors.
One of the most important elements to consider is the temperature range. For one, this indicates how hot the solar oven can get and how much time it takes in cooking the food.
To cook your food properly, it needs to undergo a temperature of about 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Water needs about 150 degrees to be pasteurized. As such, it is important to purchase a solar oven that can cater to those temperature ranges.
A good rule of thumb is to pick out a solar oven that can reach at least 250 degrees Fahrenheit. With this, you can already cook a variety of food such as meats, breads, soups, stews and the like.
However, if you want to fry or grill, then you can also opt for models that generates a range of 300 degrees Fahrenheit to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Frequency of use
The frequency of using the solar oven is also an important factor to consider since it can help you find a model that can suit that function.
A panel cooker/oven is enough to cater to your needs since it can already cook a variety of food. However, it doesn’t really reach high temperatures.
Box ovens tend to cook faster since it reaches high temperatures. Thus, they are favored for those who want to use solar ovens for day-to-day cooking. They are also consistent and can cook a variety of food.
Parabolic solar ovens are perfect for those who want to grill and fry food since they can reach extremely high temperatures due to their design. However, they can only cook a limited variety of food. But they are perfect to use during backyard parties and such.
Tube ovens are quick cookers since they can reach high temperatures faster compared to the others. However, they are small and as such, are typically used to cook food for one person. They are perfect to use during camping and other activities.
In this factor, there is also a need to look into the different types of solar ovens available.
Generally, if you are on the go, or a frequent camper or live in an RV camper, then a small, portable solar oven is desired. There are foldable panel cookers that you can take with you. However, these models generally cook slower.
Tube ovens are also a great option for frequent travelers. Unlike the panel cookers, they can reach high temperatures quickly. However, the downside is that they are typically small and thus, can cook for one person only.
If space is not an issue, then you can definitely choose the box ovens or the parabolic ovens. These types are preferred since they are very versatile and have decent cooking times. However, they are a bit heavy to move around.
Solar ovens are best to use in sunny locations and in areas with tropical climates. When considering purchasing one, make sure that your yard has a sunny spot to place your oven.
If sunlight is not a problem, then you can choose any solar oven. However, if that area is only lit for a couple of hours, then you might want to choose a solar oven that can reach high temperatures quickly. You can either choose from box ovens, parabolic ovens or tube ovens.
Aside from that, you should also ensure that the cooking area is protected from the wind. Strong winds can affect the performance of solar ovens with big reflectors or those that are not well insulated.
To solve this problem, you can always stake your oven or weigh it down with heavy objects. However, if the winds are really strong, then it’s best to dismantle the solar oven lest it be damaged.
Frequently Asked Questions
What foods can I cook in a solar oven?
You can cook almost any food in a solar oven cooker, considering the only difference between it and conventional ovens/stovetops is the heat source (i.e., solar energy). The cooking method is similar, including baking, broiling, grilling, steaming, and boiling.
For example, the Suntaste solar oven allows people to cook vegetable soups, grilled fish, pork chops, bread, pasta, cakes, chicken curry, bean stew, and more. These solar powered cooking devices can also dehydrate food and make yogurt.
However, as the maximum temperature differs depending on the model of the solar oven, the kinds of food you can cook in them may vary. In other words, you can’t prepare dishes that require a higher temperature than your oven’s max capacity.
What temperature does a solar oven reach?
A solar oven can reach temperatures between 150 and 400℉, depending on the design. Most products you can find, particularly solar panel ovens, will have a temperature range of 250-350 degrees. Solar ovens DIY usually peak at 200℉, although they can reach 400℉ if built from quality materials and cleverly designed.
However, it’s possible to find solar ovens with a higher temperature range. For instance, a complex parabolic cooker can reach 600° F.
How long does it take to cook in a solar oven?
You will need two to four hours to cook in a solar oven, depending on environmental conditions and the oven’s correct placement. However, some foods have longer cooking times, including meats, boiled rice, and dried beans. A cheap solar oven might take longer to cook foods because of substandard components not generating sufficient heat.
A good rule of thumb is multiplying a recipe’s cooking time by 1.5 to know how long that recipe cooks in a solar oven. You can adjust the final cooking time by considering wind strength, sunlight intensity, and other factors.
Is the purpose and adjustment of the solar oven easy?
Yes, the purpose and adjustment of a solar camp stove or oven are easy. After all, this device only uses the sun’s energy to cook food, not gas or electricity. It is a simple cooking appliance that you can effortlessly adjust by ensuring it faces the sun during cooking.
In other words, controlling the heat is as straightforward as repositioning the solar collection panels and closing/opening the solar oven.
What are the most trusted solar oven brands?
Finding the right solar oven can be downright confusing and challenging because of the so many choices out there. But then, not all of these solar cookers are reliable because not all have quality construction and solid design.
For this reason, we’ve looked for the top brands to choose from when deciding later. A few include Sunflair, All Season, All American, GoSun Sport and SolSource, among the rest featured earlier.
What are solar ovens made of?
Generally, they’re made of parabolic reflectors, glass tube oven, cooking tray, cooking pans, stabilizer stand and an EVA frame, to name some.
It can also vary from one manufacturer to another. So when buying a portable solar oven, you might want to compare what each item is made of to make a better decision.
Can a solar oven boil water?
Yes, a solar oven can boil water. The top-rated ones can reach temperatures as high as 288°C or 550°F. It can also cook and bake meals, making it more versatile and useful. Check it out if you want to take advantage of this feature.
Can a solar oven work on a cloudy day or in the winter?
As it depends on sunlight to heat and cook food, it will not work days when there is no sun. Even the largest solar oven depends on solar power to operate well.
What is the warranty?
Regardless of the types of solar cooker to choose, they do not include the same warranty. You have to check that on the manufacturer’s description to compare. A warranty is important for added peace of mind because it ensures that you can get help when something goes wrong with your purchase. Some of these cookers also come with a return policy.
What are the most trusted places to buy?
One of the most common questions when buying solar powered stoves is the place to buy one. Today, you will not find it hard to look for these places because many people are now more concerned about clean energy, and so the demand is high. With this said, more sellers also sell solar ovens.
You can find them in clean energy product stores and home improvement stores. But for the best deals, go to Amazon.com, the largest marketplace for solar products and top-tier manufacturers. Go to this site if looking for affordable and quality solar ovens.
How to install and use?
They require no assembly or installation. You can just set one up and load up your food, and you’re good to go! You can use it in an instant outdoors. Just point it towards the sun, and it will start working.
How to care & maintain?
There is no care and maintenance required for a solar oven. In fact, you just have to wipe off the surface with soap and water for oil and other food spills.
How to make a solar oven?
There are so many online tutorials to figure out how to build a solar oven. But for the most part, you will need boxes, reflectors, glue, duct tape, and insulating materials. It can also vary from design to design or feature to feature. For a complete guide, I found a useful example tutorial here.
There you have what you need to know about a solar oven and its workings. But as there are many of them on the market, it pays off to take some time and invest effort in doing your research for the top picks in the category.
It will also be good to learn about the most important features to look for when weighing your choices.
With an informed decision, you will have a more satisfying purchase because you’ll be able to take advantage of a solar cooker that has the size, design, construction and overall functionalities that you’re searching.
Let us help! Get started choosing the best solar oven by using the reviews of our top picks and referring to the buying guide of the things to find in a solar cooker. Buy one today!
Hi, I am Eddie, Cleanenergysummit’s content editor. It’s so much joy to work alongside Justin, as the idea of providing knowledge about using clean energy excites us.
I’ve been working to address any concerns or questions you may have as you transition to using solar electricity to power your home. Tune in to hear our advice and suggestions on anything clean energy. Welcome!