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This is a truncated slideshow taken from my personal history of exploring the world of solar cooking. It is one of my favorite pass-times, although doing.

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Presentation on theme: "This is a truncated slideshow taken from my personal history of exploring the world of solar cooking. It is one of my favorite pass-times, although doing."— Presentation transcript:

1 This is a truncated slideshow taken from my personal history of exploring the world of solar cooking. It is one of my favorite pass-times, although doing it requires the felicitous appearance of the sun here in Minnesota, the land of "variety weather." :) I have concluded that 95% of the manufactured cookers out there work, and work pretty well. A handful work well all the time, and a couple I really am not convinced grab enough sun or concentrate the light they grab enough to work. Most of the photos I've taken myself but some are from web links that didn't identify the photographer, where possible I've provided the link and hope it stays current!

2 I built several solar cookers based on the Halacy's plywood & cardboard model in "Cooking with the Sun." These are on a table with wheels to keep them "focused". 2nd plywood table top is hinged to be able to tilt both cookers at once Focusing knob & screw, on same angle as cooker's glass door

3 I started collecting and using many commercially available solar cookers. Here is an SK-14, built in Germany. It must be "refocused" it every ten or twenty minutes. But it can be used year round since it concentrates sunlight so effectively, even the low sun of a Minnesota winter. Acquired 2006. Plantains!!!

4 Here's a Parvati style cooker I made from flexible wall-covering with aluminized mylar reflector. It is kind of a cross between a parabolic and a panel cooker. We use two Pyrex or Anchor glass casserole dishes in clamshell fashion with silicone to seal it for the greenhouse effect. Made from Pardeshi plans in 2006: This cooker easily reaches 250+ degrees

5 A dual-position panel cooker
A dual-position panel cooker. I made one of these in 2006 and got results much like the Parvati or (next slide) the Hot Pot. I have made a version of this at about 1.3x scale (i.e., 1.3 times larger. Works great. I made it out of some plastic panelling type material from home depot, projecting the design drawings (available on-line) with my computer to expand the size while keeping the angles.

6 The Solar Household Energy Inc
The Solar Household Energy Inc. "Hot Pot" is an enameled steel bowl fitted into a pyrex glass bowl with lid, surrounded by a fold-out, hinged set of reflectors. Aquired in 2007 via I have two of them, they work best under full sun and no passing clouds. We have made several tasty stews with the Hot Pot.

7 Variations on plans for the CooKit
The one that Solar Cookers International makes can be bought through I bought one in 2007. 13” 7 7/8” 11 3/4” 35 3/4” 10 5/8” 4 ¾” 39” 47 5/8”

8 Fresnel reflector cooker, it's like a parabolic with the bowl punched out and set back. I made one of these from plans available on in 2006. The construction must be very accurate, or the focal point won't be as concentrated as it needs to be to heat the pot. Also, it appears to be suited best for near-equator latitudes, although it could probably be modified to accomodate low-sun angles for us in 45 degrees on north... It is langushing in the attic in my garage, but plans to expand our "Solar Kitchen Deck" in the back yard might have enough room to park this one... :)

9 for more info. It sells for an average of $250 I bought this in A real "work horse", gets up to 300 degrees consistently and stays there even after adding food. and a Solar Oven Society Sport --link to for more info. Price fluctuates but was around $150 for the cooker and pots and "WAPI" when I got it in I keep giving them away and buying more.

10 Here's the model I found at
...which quotes $399 plus taxes and shipping. Last known ordering info--no guarantee it's still current Harvest Community Inc Box 40 Kronau, SK Canada S0G 2T0 Phone(306) Fax(306) I scored one of these on Craigslist from a guy who lived just north of the Peace Gardens for US$150 in the winter of It works, but it is a bear to slide the edges of the reflectors into their slots and still have room for the glass oven cover to hinge out for access to the pots.

11 Sun Stove design by Richard Wareham uses a standard size of aluminum lithographic printing plate, crimped and snipped. Two plates next together with any type of insulation between them (straw, rags, fiberglass), pop-riveted onto boards and covered with a sheet of glass or fiberglass. I have a Sunstove like the middle model above, bought in 2005. The intent of the Sun Stove is to be easily made from materials easily found in 3rd world countries.

12 This colar cooker was S25 orderable at solarovens. net
This colar cooker was S25 orderable at I haven't had a chance to try mine out yet. It's like a corporate version of the Cookit. Acquired in 2008.

13 Solarsizzler. com -- the Sizzler was $70 when I got it in 2007 -- the Sizzler was $70 when I got it in I have a tripod but been using the other cookers so much had a chance to mount this on a tripod as the manufacturer suggests. It has a very small hotspot, one has to be careful not to set decks/garages on fire when this is set out unattended!

14 I have a model similar to the Solar Skillet above, or the "Nelpa" cooker to the right. Mine is called the "Primrose," a unique combo box/panel cooker, made in Germany ( The Primrose has room for one 2-quart pot, Pix forthcoming...once I start cooking with it. Acquired summer 2009.

15 Tulsi Hybrid Solar oven--acquired ca
Tulsi Hybrid Solar oven--acquired ca cooks with full sun or on electricity with embedded heating element when cloudy. I bought one before they added extra reflectors, probably due to complaints that one reflector didn't get it much higher than 200 degrees as I found in Minneapolis. Could be the electric heater backup stuff absorbs a lot of heat before the whole thing hits cooking temp? Update: 4/17/2010, I put one cup of rice in at noon, it was done by 1:50pm, temp was around 250 preheated and stayed there the whole time. I retract my skepticism! But I'm still going to make two more reflectors to bump up the heat...

16 The Solar Chef, invented by Sam Erwin of Oregon, was touted in the late 1990's as the "cure" for Y2K… When Y2K disasters did not materialize, orders diminished and production stopped, but I was lucky enough to get this one on eBay. It is a work of art as well as a superbly designed oven, very easy to use and hits nearly 400 degrees F with good sun and at least 250 with milky sky (hazy or thin clouds over sun). It's no longer manufactured, although a women in Texas, who obtained the rights to make it, would like to produce Erwin's "Star Flower" version which has fewer parts. I scored one in 2008 on Craigslist-Philadelphia, drove out to get it...


18 SunSpot box cooker... Available at a bunch of web sites, this pic is from
Lower left from I have only tried it once, but clouds rolled in before I could give it a good chance. It is a cardboard box, with an extra layer of cardboard on the inside, the model I got has a thin plastic cover over the cooking area. The box flaps fold out and have reflective aluminized coating, and 4 triangle pieces fit in between to add more light into the box. A very simple cooker, probably best kept for a survival tool rather than a day-to-day cooker for large meals. Claims of hitting 500 degrees Fahrenheit or dubious--it's cardboard & would burn at But given the right conditions, I could imagine up to 300 degrees. Got mine for something like $30, it is going for between $30 and $50 on-line...

19 Andersen Solar Cooker--an off-shoot product of Andersen Manufacturing in Idaho Falls, ID. About $500 for the cooker, and another $100 or so for accessories when I bought it winter The focal point is thrown onto the side of the cooking vessel, presenting a unique problem of the potential scorching solids on the side of a pot or soup solids floating to the top and the focal point side. A rotisserie motor configuration solves that. Four quarts of water have been brought to a boil with this cooker in a half hour in Minnesota at the end of Winter!

20 Clear Dome Solar's Octogon Parabolic cooker isn't formed in the shape of a true parabola but does basically uses several reflectors to focus the sun onto a pot with a composite board heat sink. I've not met with any success using this cooker yet, but I will keep trying. I may not be positioning the pot correctly. I suspect that it can't outperform the SHE Hot Pot as it may grab a smidge less sunlight than the Hot Pot. Acquired Fall 2009.

M.I.A. -- Cookers no longer being manufactured, but of interesting designs! I DON'T HAVE THIS ONE--YET! :) "SUNFLASH™ PASSIVE SOLAR COOKER  THIS PRODUCT HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED   Delivers 225 watts (750 Btu/hr) of cooking energy. Cooks faster and hotter, even on cold and partially sunny days! Stands 67" high and features a 39" paraboloid shaped polished aluminum reflector to focus the sun's rays in a circle rather than on a point. This provides a safe, even heating of the stove. Easily assembled by one person in about an hour following the simple instructions. No adjustments needed durng a two-hour cooking cycle. Cook soups, bread, cakes, stews, pasta or just boil water, using the 3-quart enameled steel pot that sits inside a glass sphere made of two 4-quart hemispherical bowls. This allows heat from the sun and prevents cooling from ambient breezes. [See for their other products still being manufactured. Although listed this as a product available, when ordered I was informed it was not] Photo from




25 SolSource cooker I don't have this but it looks like a good example of a collapsible cooker.

26 My collection continues to grow as our family budget permits.
If any who see this slide show have connections for finding a Sun Flash, I'd be eternally grateful if you'd drop me a line-- Luther Krueger Minneapolis

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