Best Solar Ovens: What are they?
Solar ovens are small appliances used to heat up water or other liquids. They come in various sizes and shapes, but most of them have a heating element inside. Some of these devices use solar energy to do their work, while others rely on electric power. These two types of solar ovens differ mainly in size and price.
The best solar ovens are those which provide hot water at a reasonable cost. A good example of such a device would be the SunFire SX10. Other examples include the KitchenAid KSM20 and the MSR Hubba Hubba NX1000.
What makes a good solar cooker?
A great deal depends on what you want from your cooking appliance. For instance, if you’re looking for a simple way to boil water, then a microwave might be the better choice. If you need to cook food regularly and don’t mind spending some money on it, then a solar cooker may be worth considering.
If you’re just looking for something cheap and easy to operate, then a solar cooker could well serve your purpose. While a good quality device will probably cost you more up front, you’ll save money on fuel in the long run. Depending on where you live and how much you cook, this can save you as much as $100 per year.
What to look for in a solar oven
When seeking out a solar cooker, there are two main factors you need to bear in mind: price and size. Obviously, the cheaper and smaller the better. In terms of size, you basically have three options: mini, personal and full-size.
A mini solar oven will produce enough heat to cook an egg or heat up a can of soup. Larger models can hold several pots at once. It all depends on how much food you need to prepare and how much work you want to do in the process.
In terms of price, the range is just as varied. Mini solar ovens will generally cost around $40, while personal ones run anywhere from $70 to $100. Full-size devices are upwards of $200 and beyond.
You can also get speciality solar ovens for things like camping or backpacking. These will obviously be smaller and lighter, but will generally cost more than a standard model. If you’re planning on using your solar cooker out in the wild, then it might be a good idea to look into one of these.
Other types of solar ovens include garden models and building-integrated types. The first are generally more expensive, but they can be used to cook for large groups. Building-integrated types are designed to look good in your living room and can be used to cook as well.
It’s up to you to decide what you need from a solar oven. With the right information, choosing the perfect one should be a breeze.
What type of solar oven is best?
The type of solar oven that’s best for you will depend on what you plan to use it for. Different types of solar ovens are better suited to different tasks.
For instance, if you’re looking to cook a full meal for one or two people, then a personal solar oven will be just fine. These devices are small enough to take with you on a trip and can easily accommodate a small pot or frying pan.
If you’re cooking for a larger group and have the space, then a full-size solar oven is the way to go. These devices can easily accommodate several pots and pans at once, making them the perfect centerpiece for any outdoor cookout.
Of course, if you need something in between, there are plenty of options available as well. A mini solar oven, for example, could be the perfect choice for an aspiring gourmet on the go.
How long does it take to cook something in a solar oven?
One of the main questions people have about solar ovens is how long does it take to cook something. Of course, as with all cooking times, this will vary from oven to oven.
Generally speaking, though, cooking times in solar ovens tend to be longer than in conventional electric or gas ovens. Don’t plan on doing much cooking on a sunny day; you’ll need at least four hour of direct sunlight to get the job done.
Sources & references used in this article:
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Optimisation factor of solar ovens by KS Malhotra, NM Nahar, BVR Rao – Solar Energy, 1983 – researchgate.net
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Auxiliary heating means for solar oven by HA Steinberg – US Patent 3,236,227, 1966 – Google Patents
The effect of solar ovens on fuel use, emissions and health: results from a randomised controlled trial by T Beltramo, DI Levine – Journal of Development Effectiveness, 2013 – Taylor & Francis
The effect of solar ovens on fuel use, emissions, and health: results from a randomized controlled trial by DI Levine, T Beltramo – Unpublished manuscript, 2011 – Citeseer
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