If you enjoy cooking outdoors or camping, then a solar oven may be just what you need. You might run out of fuel for a normal stove if you are unprepared- but you can never run out of the sun! They are efficient and cost nothing to use, since sunlight is always free. We recommend that you have a solar cooker in case of an emergency or as an extra cooking tool to use while camping.
This guide will help you find the best solar powered stove! We only show you reliable products, since this type of item is most commonly used as a survival tool. Be sure to continue reading to learn more.
Cooking with gas or charcoal can become costly since you need to keep paying for the fuel. In the long term, a solar cooker has a higher value than other cooking products. A portable solar stove is also more convenient than a heavy grill when it comes to camping- it will fit better into your vehicle too, giving you more room for other supplies. If you left your other large cooking tools at home, think of everything else that you could bring!
In this section, we are going to explain the advantages of solar cooking and answer the questions you might have. That way, you can be informed when considering buying one. This is what you need to know about solar powered cooking!
Can Solar Power Run a Stove?
You do not want to use solar panels for your typical electric stove that you have at home. However, a solar oven only needs the sun to cook food. Your solar stove works by reflecting the sun into the cooking chamber. The heat is then trapped, creating a greenhouse effect. This means the solar oven can retain heat and gather more through the window- giving you high temperatures to cook with.
In this case, solar power is not running the stove, but giving it heat to trap and cook food. Your solar oven is not likely to have electrical solar panels. This may also save you money on bills since you are not using electric power to make your food.
So, in short, no. The solar power is not running your stove in this case. The sun is, however, providing your food with heat to cook. This makes these products an excellent survival tool, as they do not draw on any source of fuel and can be mostly left alone while they cook.
What is the Best Solar Oven?
We think that the best solar oven is the GoSun Survival Gear Solar Oven Sun Cooker. It has an easy to load vacuum tube, is fast, reaches high cooking temperatures, and most importantly- is one of the most reliable solar ovens out there. It also has the benefit of being a panel solar oven. If you are interested, be sure to keep reading to learn more. We will be covering its benefits in more detail below.
What are the Three Types of Solar Cooker?
The three types each have their own cooking methods when it comes to using sunlight. You might find that you have a preference for one of these types of solar stove over the other, so be sure to consider your needs carefully. They all work by being placed in a sunny area, so you do not need to worry too much about learning how to use the different types.
You will still want to think about how much food you need the solar cooker to handle at once or if you would prefer it to be a more portable solar option. That will affect the size and type that you purchase. These are the three types of solar cooker:
Box Solar Ovens:
These are the most popular style of the solar oven. The shape allows you to use multiple pots making it best for cooking for many people. Box ovens cook slowly but get very hot. They work by trapping heat from the sun inside the cooking area- much like a greenhouse.
Parabolic Solar Ovens:
These ovens are curved, often having a dome shape. They cook food fast by using the curves of the oven to direct the sun to your food. This type of solar oven reaches high temperatures and needs to be watched closely while you grill.
Panel Solar Ovens:
This type of solar oven is a mash-up of the previous two. The panels direct the sun to a cooking chamber, which is made of a clear product to trap the heat. From there, the food has a medium cooking time. These are the most cost efficient design, plus, they are portable and easy to bring to camp.
Do Solar Ovens Really Work?
Yes, they work very well and many people enjoy using them. Especially in the warmer summer months, such as August, when there is more light outside to use. They heat food to a safe temperature and the technology behind their system is sound.
They are popular in other areas of the world. Many homes use a solar stove exclusively, plus, they can help you during power failures.
Solar ovens are powered by the heat of the sun and not the solar energy that produces electricity. The solar oven works by trapping heat inside the cooking area. This is done with a metal reflector, many of which are positioned around the solar stove to catch the most sunshine. You may speed up the cooking time by positioning the reflectors so they are facing the sun.
They do not work as fast as a conventional oven but are perfect to have on camping trips. These stoves are a huge help if you love spending time outdoors. Solar cooking is easy and fun once you get the hang of it, they are a helpful product to have at home in case of an emergency too.
1. GoSun Survival Gear Solar Oven Sun Cooker – Best Overall Option
This option has everything that you need in a solar cooker. It is easy to use the product and can help you cook delicious food while camping. This GoSun solar oven also is easy to transport, making it the best solar product on this list.
- This product can make anything. People have reported that it cooked hot dogs, muffins, cookies, brownies, baked potatoes. steak, and much more with it. It can even be used to boil water or make hot drinks.
- It just needs some sun and the stove will work even in cold weather. This means you could even use it on a sunny day in winter, as long as there was not a lot of shade.
- It has legs that keep it portable and easy to move. The stove is great for bringing anywhere- the beach, picnics, camping trips- it can handle anything that you need it to. This makes it an amazing survival tool that is popular among the “prepper” community.
- The cooking area is easy to clean. You can simply line the grill area with aluminum foil and throw it away when you are finished using it. If you do get food on it, the material is easy to wipe off- making for a very simple clean up process.
- The vacuum tube allows the food to reach high temperatures, thoroughly cooking your meal, ensuring that it is safe to eat. It is more efficient with this process than other types of camp stoves. If you need something that can make your food hot, then this is it. Plus, it includes a thermometer, so you can check the temperature as needed.
- Cooking times are not consistent. If you made something last week, do not expect it to take the same amount of time today.
- Does not make a lot of food at one time. This stove is great for making small meals for 1 or 2 people in tin foil wrapping. If you have a large family, expect to either prepare multiple meals with it or use it for one type of side dish.
- It is not as durable as you would expect for the price. The cooking area is fragile and should be opened and handled with care. You will also want to be cautious when cooking another dish right after the last one. If the solar cooker is hot and the food is cold, the sudden temperature change may cause the glass to crack.
2. All American Sun Oven – Best Upgrade Option
This product can reach very high cooking heats, up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This is amazing for a solar powered product- since it can get as hot as a traditional oven. It is more expensive than the best solar option, however, you can cook more food inside of it faster. This is great for any kind of grill if you have a lot of people to feed.
- Users reported that they could heat the over up to 350 degrees in about 40 minutes. This is wonderful for a solar energy stove, as many heat much slower. The solar stove can even be used to cook like this in the fall.
- It is a great investment since it is a durable stove made from strong materials. While more expensive, you will not be using energy in the kitchen or have to worry about the oven being on all day. It is efficient and one of the best solar stoves on the market, having a longer life than the other options on this list.
- The stove has a strong plastic smell when you first use it. This scent can mix into your food if you do not clean it first. We recommend using vinegar to clean the product. You can do this easily by allowing vinegar and water to steam inside the oven for a while, then clean the stove off with a towel.
- For some reason, the solar stove comes with a DVD that does not have any recipes or helpful advice on it. Instead, many people choose to check online video tutorials on how to use their new solar cooker. We recommend that you do the same instead of paying for a trial.
3. Sunflair Mini Portable Solar Oven – Best Value Option
If you need a solar stove under 100 dollars, then this is a good option for you. It can be zipped up, folded, and transported easily. This stove comes with a pot you can use simply by setting it in the sun and letting it heat up. The material is very easy to clean as well, making it worth the cost.
- Can be folded down to the size of a laptop, making transporting this grill on your camping trips very easy- just toss it in your backpack. You can use it at home, on the beach, while traveling, or (as the manufacturers claim) even in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. If you need a portable stove, then this is a great cost effective option.
- This stove is very easy to set up. All you need to do is unfold it and set it in a sunny area. You might need to rotate it occasionally while cooking, that way you know that it is getting enough sunshine. Other than that, it’s very low maintenance.
- We found that the company includes a free cooking pot when you purchase the solar stove. This is a great way to make sure that you have the proper equipment with you when you need it- without adding much of a cost. They even threw in a free bag for good measure. All of these features help increase this product’s value.
- The reflective panels do stand out since they are quite large compared to the other solar grills we listed. If you want something inconspicuous, this is not it.
- You will need to rotate the oven to follow the sun. If you do not have it positioned correctly, it is not going to reach a high enough temperature to cook your food in a reasonable time.
- This solar stove can only get up to 285 degrees, making it take many hours to cook meals.
4. GoSun Ultra Portable Solar Cooker -Best Alternate Option
This is a cheaper and smaller version of the best solar stove. You will not be able to cook as much inside of it, but this portable solar stove is great for a one person camping trip.
We decided to include it here since it was better suited to cooking for one. It is also a more cost effective product to have at home for an emergency.
- If you wanted to get the best solar cooker on this list, but it was out of your price range, this design may be better for you. It is more suited for a single person and offers the same cooking system as the larger size- for almost 100 dollars less. If you do not see the sense in buying the large one for just yourself, this more portable option is available.
- Shipping from the company is fast. If you need one soon, you can trust it to get to you reliably.
- The solar grill works well at heating a variety of foods and drinks. Users reported that in high temps and bright sunlight, they were able to boil water in 20 minutes. This is excellent for a camping and survival tool, as you could have safe food and water in no time at all.
- The best solar grill was good for 1 to 2 adults to make a meal. This “Ultra Portable” version is much smaller, meaning it is not great for families.
- The cooking tray tends to become loose with use. Over time, you might notice it sliding out more often. This can be annoying for hikers if the tray were to slide out onto the ground.
We think that the GoSun Survival Gear Solar Oven Sun Cooker is the clear winner here. It has all of the features that you would want from your solar cooker, plus, it performs all of those functions extremely well. This GoSun product is also portable and keeps cooking outside easy.
When it comes to solar stoves, you are going to want a reliable product. After all, you do not want to be out in the woods with nothing left to heat your food. This solar powered oven is a classic option when it comes to solar cooking, and that is why we recommend it as your first pick.
The other options may be somewhat harder to use, this choice is amazing at what it was designed to do- which is cook food using solar energy.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us via email. We always love hearing from the readers following our site!