For less than the cost of a couple bags of groceries or a low-end gas grill, you can get all the gear you need for solar cooking. From there on out, it’s absolutely free.
Cookers: Build Your Own
Here are some good printed instructions:
Solar Cookers International: Minimum Solar Box Cooker
FSEC (Florida Solar Energy Center): Solar Cookers
Cookers: Buy Online
Many different solar cookers are available for purchase online. Here are some helpful comparisons:
The best solar cooker for you depends on what your needs are. If you’re just getting started, you may want a cooker that’s less expensive and takes up little storage space. That's a panel cooker. Box ovens generally reach higher temperatures than panel cookers but are more expensive and require more storage space because they can’t be broken down.
Here are some favorites of both types:
The Solar CooKit is a cardboard panel cooker that’s so easy to fold flat for storage that you can stow it indoors every evening.
The Copenhagen is a very affordable, lightweight, compact panel cooker made of four reflective vinyl squares that can easily be taken apart and folded flat for storage.
All Season Solar Cooker
The All Season Solar Cooker is a very sturdy panel cooker that’s designed to maximize the number of hours and the length of the season during which you can cook.
Haines 2.0 SunUp Solar Cooker
The Haines 2.0 is a lightweight and efficient panel cooker made of Mylar bonded to polyester foam that snaps together for quick assembly and disassembly.
The HotPot from Solar Household Energy is a very durable mid-priced solar panel cooker. The HotPot combines a pot assembly with a metal panel arrangement much like the CooKit.
The Suntaste by the Portuguese firm SunOK is made of cork for its excellent insulating qualities, its light weight, and its sustainability. Available in a compact or a large model.
All American Sun Oven
The All American Sun Oven is a classic. It's heavy duty and reaches temperatures similar to an indoor oven.
The Right Cookware
The ideal solar cookware is dark to absorb and hold heat, and thin to heat up quickly. It’s short and wide rather than tall and deep, to ensure the contents cook all the way through. Nontoxic surfaces such as glass, porcelain enamel, ceramic, and stainless steel are preferable to safeguard your health. Well-fitting lids, either dark or clear, keep steam from escaping that might cloud the insulating shell or box window and cut down on the sunshine coming in.
Granite Ware checks all the boxes, and the 3-pound roaster is a must-have. Other workable choices are dark stoneware, cast iron, anodized aluminum, and carbon steel bakeware. The 4.5-quart stainless steel pot with black exterior and glass lid packaged with the Haines 2.0 SunUp Solar Cooker is a versatile piece of cookware.