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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Melissa on April 14, 2014, 06:49:05 AM

Title: Is there anyone here who has used a solar cooker/oven
Post by: Melissa on April 14, 2014, 06:49:05 AM
And have you had any luck with it? We were looking to try our hands at building one or two different models and testing them out. The kids could use them for future science fair experiments and if they work would love to showcase them when we are on the solar tour this fall (along with out 8kW system).

Plus, I would love to get our energy consumption down even more!
Title: Re: Is there anyone here who has used a solar cooker/oven
Post by: chubbybunny on April 14, 2014, 07:58:36 AM
Hi Melissa, as a long-time girl scout troop leader, I've tried a couple variations, cardboard box/foil, and sunshade/large pyrex/small black pot.  Both work, though I can't really say which is better because the amount of sun really does matter in cooking time.  You also need to be patient (plan ahead and be flexible in when you want to eat!).  We also didn't really mind if our corn bread was over-done on one side and not-quite-done on the other!

Our backyard has plenty of wood for fuel, so we cook outside a couple times a week with our family.  The solar ovens I've made were just gimmicks and took a lot of effort for the result.  Great if you're planning to have fun and an educational experience for your child, but I would only build one with "found" materials.  Otherwise, a regular firepit makes things MUCH easier!  You could also take a #10 can and poke some holes to make a small cooker (uses less fuel).  Search for ROCKET STOVE and you can find a few plans... 
Title: Re: Is there anyone here who has used a solar cooker/oven
Post by: Spork on April 14, 2014, 08:19:05 AM

First off, you can totally build one on your own...  but that said, we have this one (

We had a cheaper (closer to home built... but not) model and while it worked, it just was flimsy and harder to use.

We use it in the summer sometimes to avoid warming up the house with the oven.  I figure that savings is more than the amount of gas the oven uses.  (I might be wrong there... that's just a guess... but it's win-win.) is a charity... and that's part of why their stuff is expensive.  Their main focus is to distribute solar cookers to third world areas that can't afford/don't have electricity.  They sell solar cookers as one means of raising money for that end.