Understanding how a solar oven works, and how to use it

Monday, February 26, 2018 by

Preppers like to think outside the box, and they know how useful a solar oven can be, especially during an SHTF scenario. Thanks to technology, solar ovens have helped preppers all around the globe to harness sunlight to cook food in an eco-friendly way. (h/t to SmartPrepperGear.com)

How does a solar oven work?

There are many kinds of solar ovens, and they all have one similarity: none of them require fuel to cook your food.

One form of energy converts to another, and this is also how fossil fuels work. Burning firewood, petroleum, or gasoline converts the initial form of energy into heat energy, and how a solar oven works is based on the same principle. A solar oven will convert the sun’s rays into heat energy, and this cooks your food just like a regular oven or stove. (Related: Grid down? 6 Ways to cook when there’s absolutely no electricity.)

When cooking with a solar oven you just need a pot with your ingredients, which you can then place in the oven.

A solar oven cooks your food using the greenhouse effect “to maintain optimum cooking temperatures.” The hotter the weather is, the quicker your food will cook. A solar oven will work in almost all kinds of weather, but you will still need some sunlight.

Regardless of the kind of solar oven that you’re using, you can just put the pot inside it. The outside lining of the solar panel is made of a material that is highly absorbent in terms of heat and sun rays, but it also prevents heat loss. The insides of a solar oven, which are often exposed upwards, are lined with a reflective layer.

The pot of food goes between the reflective surfaces so “all sun rays can be directed to the pot for maximum energy.” A solar oven has a transparent lining so the heat won’t escape this system and sunlight can enter the contraption.

Solar ovens can reach up to 200 C (400 F). Keep an eye on your food, especially if you’re cooking on a sunny day since it might burn.

Why should you use a solar oven?

Here are some reasons why using a solar oven is better than other cooking methods:

  • It’s light and portable – When camping or hiking, your gear must be light, which is why a solar oven is perfect for preppers. You don’t have to look for a place to plug your solar oven, and you won’t need firewood.
  • It’s easy to use – You just need a dark-colored pot since dark colors absorb heat better.
  • You can use it anywhere – With a solar oven, you can cook anywhere as long as there’s sunlight.
  • It’s fuel-free – Since a solar oven is powered by sunlight, you don’t have to worry about fuel.
  • It cooks healthy food slowly without boiling – You don’t lose vitamins in food, and anything you cook on a solar oven will be “moist, tender, and [will have] intense flavors.”

Consider getting a solar oven, which is affordable, portable, environment-friendly, safe to use, and can cook almost anything!

To cook using a solar oven, you need to time your cooking schedule. Cooking time will always depend on the intensity of the sun. Get a round pot with a lid, which you can use for most recipes. Most of the time, solar oven meals are prepared with covered lids.

Beginners can cook easy meals like rice, chicken, or bake some bread. You can bake using a solar oven just like a regular oven, but there’s no need for aluminum foil. Just place the ingredients directly inside the dark pot.

Reposition the solar oven every now and then. Since the sun rotates, it will cast sunlight at different angles. Ensure that the solar oven has direct sunlight falling over it, and keep rotating the solar oven so the post doesn’t fall under a shadow.

When traveling in areas with open spaces and bright sunlight, get a solar oven. Preppers can use this handy cooking device, especially if you want an eco-friendly method of cooking.

You can learn more about proper outdoor survival gear and cooking tools at Gear.news.

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