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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i bought a solar charger today... im super amped and all jacked up about the sun! and then I got to thinking about solar cooking and I really don't know much about it.
what do you have? what do you know? pls tell us the basics of solar cooking!
 

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Well there are solar ovens' that have been around and part of the "prepper" community for some time. Slow cooking but effective. There is traditional water heating by solar power - not really cooking but you can score some really hot water - all you need is some black pipes - well partly.

The bigger issue is charging up a battery and using electricity for cooking. I think preppers are far more inclined to cook with propane, natural gas and even fire than that - but its still quite feasible.

Search DIY Solar Oven. Cheaper than this
Global Solar Sun Oven Includes Preparedness Dehydrating Turkey Roasting Kit | eBay

Though for those who don't want to DIY these and other options like it are solid.
 

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That is the reflector oven. It works on a bright sunny day if you have the time to use it. There is another that under the same conditions can cook a stuffed turkey in three hours. It uses a big Fresnel lens and you adjust the focal length to get the desired temperature. Both need you to keep them aimed at the sun and they need a cloud free warm day to work.

The one that uses the lens you can convert to a "dutch oven" by setting it on the coals of a fire and piling coals on top of it. (only if it is made of cast iron or stainless steel)
 
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We bought the solar over from Solutions From Science. It had really good reviews but the real reason I bought it rather than make it was that I had never seen one in person before. So, I figured I would buy this one and if it worked, I would build a bigger and better one.

Now realize, the only place we have tried to use it is at our home in Minnesota, so that may account for difficulties we have had. But so far, I am not impressed with solar cooking. It takes about 8 hours to cook a small pot of beans on an 80 degree sunny day in the middle of summer. Cooking meat or baking bread works - sort of. The oven cooks it, but the food stays about the same color as when you put it in. Well okay, that is only partially true. - The meat turns a sickly gray color. The bread however, just looks like a big white fluffy lump. When you cut it, it is obviously cooked. But it looks like something Sigourney Weaver cut out of one of the monsters in the Aliens movies.

Edit: Plus you have to make sure you check on the damn thing every 20 or so minutes to keep it aligned with the sun.

Overall, a solar cooker is better than no cooker. But I would put it pretty low on the preps list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was looking at the sun oven for 499.00 because oil, wood, coals may run out, or you may need to conserve what you have. I see the sun oven performing even in snow on cold days. they have a cardboard one for 24.00 ifn your are into that. im not.

I was looking at the solar generators today, but they do not support a cook top requires too many watts. even looked at the convection burners so see if they used less watts and could be supported by a solar generator.
 

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Yep a cook-top/oven uses close to 8000 watts but using a large "toaster oven" you can get away with 2500 to 5000 watts. Still a lot of panels and you still need bright light or a ton of batteries. I plan on using alcohol - it takes five acres to grow the Jerusalem artichokes and you have to harvest the stalks twice a year to get 10000 gallons of alcohol but it is always going to be there. They already have alcohol stoves and ovens so no electricity required.
 
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Yep a cook-top/oven uses close to 8000 watts but using a large "toaster oven" you can get away with 2500 to 5000 watts. Still a lot of panels and you still need bright light or a ton of batteries. I plan on using alcohol - it takes five acres to grow the Jerusalem artichokes and you have to harvest the stalks twice a year to get 10000 gallons of alcohol but it is always going to be there. They already have alcohol stoves and ovens so no electricity required.
Just to add my 2 cents: the flame from alcohol, properly distilled, gives off no odor and is only visible in the dark. I AM a big fan of alcohol cooking. We even keep a small stove and a quart of denatured alcohol in our BOBs.
 

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Just move to Texas... Crack an egg on the sidewalk, wait a minute and eat.. Lol.

Sorry. Couldn't resist. Good thread as this has crossed my mind often. But damn they are expensive. I'd rather try my hand at building one. I also know the trick of using a tv satellite dish to heat a pot but it's not an oven.
 

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I don't remember where I saw this, but the inside of a car gets hot enough to use it as a dehydrator. My nephew had an old escort wagon and he decided to try it. He took his wife's cooling racks for cookies and put some canned peach, pear and apricot slices on the racks. In the heat of the summer, it took 3 days to dehydrate. Extra sugar from the canned fruit was almost too sweet but tasted ok.
 

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Solar generators are intriguing. There are some which can charge from a wall socket over the grid too, and others that can take power from a gas / diesel generator and save it for later use. Unfortunately I've seen them to be terribly expensive for their capacity - retail on batteries is ugly.

Again a DIY situation might apply at finding some deep cycle batteries (like used golf cart batteries) and building your own. I did build a solar panel out of cells one time, but I probably saved $15 and lost efficiency so - I buy them now when I can.

I was looking at the sun oven for 499.00 because oil, wood, coals may run out, or you may need to conserve what you have. I see the sun oven performing even in snow on cold days. they have a cardboard one for 24.00 ifn your are into that. im not.

I was looking at the solar generators today, but they do not support a cook top requires too many watts. even looked at the convection burners so see if they used less watts and could be supported by a solar generator.
 

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Looked at a few websites for solar cooking. Considering my location now, this is something I'll have to look at in earnest. With no smoke or smell of burning wood, solar ovens have a real benefit besides cooking food.
 

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About a year and half ago we purchased a sun oven. We have cooked many meals in it including beef roast, cake, a lot of crock pot type recipes. we bought it for prepper supplys, tried it and found we loved it so much we cook when weather permitting. hope this link works it is the one we bought.
Real Goods | Shop - Global Sun Oven
 

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I can see that this would be a fair choice in southern Florida but it won't make nearly as good a choice above the Mason - Dixon line and the farther north you go the less sense it makes.
It all depends on how much the weather will allow its use.
 
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