So you’ve decided you want a solar cooker. You know that it’s better for you, your family and the environment. You also know it has the added bonus of looking incredible in your backyard. But you’re worried – is it really going to be able to cook your food as well as a normal gas or charcoal barbecue?
The most important rule for any solar cooker
When using your new solar cooker, there is only one rule: If you can see the sun, you can cook.
It doesn’t matter where the sun is in the sky, or how cold it is – your solar cooker will generate heat. Oh sure, it may take a little longer if the sun is lower in the sky, but this is part of what makes solar cooking so incredible. You not just pressing a button, and throwing on some food – if you wanted to do that you’d just cook in the oven – you’re interacting with nature, and cooking using the sun rather than a bottle of gas
The fastest time to cook
So the next question then is when is the fastest time to cook?
When the sun is highest in the sky, this is generally the optimal time in terms of speed. Just after sunrise or just before sunset, cooking may take a little longer. At the same time, it’s an ideal time for food that is better cooked at a lower heat.
But what if you live in a cooler climate? Outdoor chefs further from the equator often question whether a cooker that uses the power of the sun is only effective in places where it’s hot. This is just a myth, because as long as the sun is out, you can cook. In fact, have a look at this video – a cooker being used at 29°F in the snow.