Cooking with a solar cooker

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by iPrepMan, Oct 7, 2013.


?
  1. Buy one

    16.7%
  2. Build one

    66.7%
  3. No need to get one

    16.7%
  1. iPrepMan

    iPrepMan Monkey

    Hello everyone,

    I've been wondering if some of you have any experiences with solar cookers. I've seen them recently in action and found them quite interesting.

    Do you think it is good to have one?
    And if yes, do you think it would make sense to buy one (how much?) or better try to build one?

    I'd appreciate to hear your opinions or experiences!
     
  2. wastelander

    wastelander Bad English, bare with me

    They are so simple and cheap to build that buying one would not make sense. Add that it would give you experience to be able to make one and it's a win-win situation. Nice project to do with kids since it gives an understanding in how to work with burn-points in solar projects, something I have found very useful in off grid-living or just making useful stuff for good use.
    They work great even up here in Sweden during the summer while the odd hour of light during the winter is not enough to cook anything.
    If you build out of metal though you can make one that doubles as a reflector oven by the fireplace.
     
  3. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    I sprung the $$ for a Sun Oven brand. Some of the best $$ I've spent on survival/prep/cooking gear. LOVE it! Durable to the max, simple and easy to operate.

    Kajun
     
  4. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

  5. iPrepMan

    iPrepMan Monkey

    Thanks for your replies!

    Sounds like both buying and building one yourself makes sense. I'll still give it some thought.

    Any other experiences with built/bought solar cookers? Have you encountered any problems with them?
     
  6. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    They work quite poorly at night.;)
     
    Tracy and wastelander like this.
  7. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    You need to add a vent pipe and most often need to use cooking bags when doing a roast or large Turkey.

    The steam will condense on the inside of the cover and limit the incoming sunlight.

    Had one for about 20 years, use it when ever I'm doing 1 hour or more of cooking, really good for a pot of beans.

    If very large have it on wheels and have a "witness' pointer and scale of some type. This to decrease cooking time and have the max heat you need.
     
  8. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    In order of your questions: Yep! Absolutely! Both!
    They're great fun to use. If you have kids - let them build a small one to cook what they want in. Great learning process.
     
    kellory likes this.
  9. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Kids with hotdogs and marmellows (different sticks) are fun to watch with fire or solar. You might look into Fresnel lens as well.
     
  10. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Make sure you scroll down and read the comment on the solar cooker I posted. Many of your answers are there.
     
  11. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    Due to a lapse in Sun, the USGS Program has suspended most of its operations. While the USGS will continue to monitor and report on sun activity, the accuracy or timeliness of some rain / showers /drizzle information as well as the availability or functionality of some web pages, could be affected by your reduced level of operation.
     
    Motomom34 likes this.
  12. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    No wonder my Solar Oven stopped working!
     
  13. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    I just saw a Doomsday Prepper show where the guy used a fresnel lens. It was really interesting but it seems to be over kill for cooking. I have been vetoed on dismantling our TV to get the lens out but it would be an interesting to try and boil water like they did.

    Prepper Build: Solar Power Station | National Geographic Channel
     
  14. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I see no reason to destroy something that works. There are plenty of trash ones out at the curb for trash pickup. That would be where I got mine.
     
  15. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    We have a TV that has been sitting in the closet for a FEW years. So did you make a solar cooker from a lens? Did you burn stuff?
     
  16. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I framed mine in PVC pipe. It has not yet been used.
     
    Motomom34 likes this.
  17. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    The TV died this morning. I was not unhappy to see it go, it was making a funny smell. My husband asked what are we going to do with it and I told him first thing is get the lens out of it.
     
    kellory likes this.
  18. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Tested mine this past weekend, it is a linear lens, but close to a spot lens. I get a bright hot line about 2-3 inches long at tightest focus.
     
  19. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    So it works good?
     
  20. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    It should. It is not huge, but I will try it melting lead, when the weather is right.
     
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