These New Solar Cook Stoves Faster, Easier And More Efficient

Solar cook stoves used to be more of a joke. Most of them either didn't work very well, or they were impractical, or both. With improvements in technology, a lot of that has changed over the years -- but not enough to get most people to give up their Colemans for a solar unit. After all, old reliable has served us well for generations. Why should we give up something we know we can trust for something sketchy at best? Let's face it, you can't always count on the sun to grace you with its presence on camping trips. What about all the times you've sat huddled in your tent waiting it out hoping that the trip will improve? There's no comfort food to be warmed up with a solar oven then.

GoSun Solar Cookers

GoSun Portable Solar CookerGoSun Portable Solar Cooker

Now an eco-friendly company by the name of GoSun has come along, and they claim to have developed a "game-changing solar oven that cooks a meal in 20 minutes, reaching 550°F / 290°C and finishing under cloudy skies - grill, bake and fry." Not only a bold statement, but as it turns out one that happens to be true  -- with one small catch: it's a mini solar oven that works via a highly efficient evacuated tube system. While this particular theory allows the device to produce and retain impressive temperatures, it's fairly small and better suited for a few people rather than an actual group. Having said that, the SunGo portable solar cooker is probably one of the best "green" personal cooking devices available today. 

Sunflair Deluxe Portable Solar Oven

Sunflair Deluxe Portable Solar OvenSunflair Deluxe Portable Solar Oven

For larger groups and family events you're probably going to need something a bit bigger. Sunflair has got a portable solar oven they're calling the Deluxe that comes complete with cookware, dehydrating racks and thermometer. It's been given high scores from "preppers" and ordinary consumers that just like to spend time outdoors and camp. The company claims the cooker to be the #1 Portable Solar Oven from Alaska to Afghanistan but doesn't say what they're basing that on. Regardless, customers seem to like it. That probably has a lot to do with its versatility. You can bake cookies or pizza with it and dry fruits and herbs. It can accommodate a wide variety of cookware, there's no assembly required, it's easy to use and sets up and stores in seconds.

Unlike the GoSun, the Sunflair Deluxe oven is only capable of reaching temperatures of up to 285 F, but it's still a good little cooker and a vast improvement from solar cookers of old. The box itself weighs less than 2 lbs. and folds down to the size of a seat cushion. Cookware included in the package consists of two heat-conducting baking trays, two baking/dehydrating racks, one enamelware pot and two silicone pots. The silicone pots collapse to 2 cm and are good for up to 485 F. The pots are dishwasher, microwave and oven safe. It's actually a very nice setup that comes with its own handy carrying bag and a remarkably affordable price at almost half the SunGo mini cooker.

Portable Solar Cook Stoves

Both of these solar cookers offer the best in function, portability and versatility that technology currently has to offer. They are efficient and simple to operate, making it far more likely they'll be able to win over some converts from the propane, wood and charcoal leagues. Not surprisingly, the GoSun already has an enthusiastic following. There was a very promising hybrid solar cooker on the market recently called the Sun Oven Portable Cooker by Sun BD Corporation, but that sadly seems to have vanished. Have no fear, though, because as the technology behind solar cook stoves continues to evolve, cleaner, more affordable cooking solutions will no doubt continue to present themselves. 
Some of the sites we link to are affiliates. We may earn a small commission if you use our links.