My FIRST successful solar cooking experience.
A while back bought a Solar Flare Parabolic solar cooker. It was cheap (at the time about 1/2 what they are selling for now). When my slow cooker died recently, decided I could use the solar cooker as a slow cooker, even if, at this time of year, I cooked today and reheated for our meal tomorrow. Well, this Parabolic cooker did not do what I needed or wanted. very limited in the amount of cooking it would actually do. You might use it to heat up a bit of soup or cook a little rice, but that’s about it.
So that went out on Freecycle and I bought a Sunflair portable solar oven kit. What fun!
used it today to heat up a rotisserie cooked chicken (used an open roaster, mistake, moisture condensed on plastic and acted as a “cloud” reducing temperature). Then set up a cup of brown rice. The kit came with this cute silicone pot into which went a cup of rice and two cups of water with seasoning. Closed up the oven and went about my day. 3 hours later when I had a chance, the rice was perfect. No chance of it drying out or burning, it just stayed warm.
So this will become my slow cooker. I had purchased a full “kit” that included racks, trays, two silicone pots, a thermometer, and a roasting pan. I can see putting up a stew or roast for tomorrow during the winter when the days are shorter, and using it for making our main meal during the summer when the days are longer (we eat at noon)
This is such an easy design, that one can see how to make your own version for much less.
Its not as heavy or as expensive as the bigger solar ovens. BUT they do get to a hotter temperature. This only goes to about 225 F if you have the sun lined up perfectly, a little cooler if not. The $300 solar ovens get about 100F hotter.
Will probably rig up some sort of box for this to sit in when I use it to give it some protection from wind, and act as a little bit of extra insulation which will also boost the temps. The box can also be weighted down, as this unit is like a sail and would take your meal into the next county if it got gusty.