TreeHugger Picks: Solar Cooking

Solar cookers, solar barbeques, solar ovens; we've seen a lot of various names (with slightly different functions) for the handy gadgets that cook with the power of the sun from all over the world. In the midst of the dog days of summer, here are some of our favorite gadgets that don't need the grid to grill.


1) One option for cooking that can be done inside a pot is the SOS Sport, a two-pot box cooker that weighs in at 11 pounds and can cook low-n-slow at temperatures around 200 degrees. An added bonus: it's made from recycled soda bottles.


2) KSol, the parabolic solar kitchen available in Europe, uses an idea similar to a television antenna, that concentrates solar light in the center of it. Available in two models, which have a diameter of 1 and 1.4 meters (that's about 3 and 4.5 feet) respectively, are equivalent to 300W and 600W of power, and can reach a maximum temperature of 200 degrees C (that's almost 400 F). The Solar Sizzler is another parabolic cooker, available in the States.


3) The Sun Cook Solar Oven calls itself the "the sustainable replacement for the backyard barbecue." The Portuguese design has polished reflectors which concentrate sunlight in the insulated oven chamber; a metal plate on the bottom absorbs solar energy, and the tempered glass top holds it in. Get this: you time your cooking with a built in sundial. Two more hot picks, after the jump...


4) With these solar ovens, you've got SOUL -- that's Sun | Oven | Ultra | Light -- brought to you by the Centre for Solar Cooking of Neuch√Ętel in Switzerland. Their objectives are teaching how to profit from renewable energy, spreading the use of this simple but effective piece of technology and, of course, explaining how to use the SOUL solar oven to get something on your plates.

5) BCKSolar, the Argentinian solar cooker, is a compact solar cooker and food carrier that can be folded into a tube. It can heat water up to a temperature of 90 degrees Celsius, which makes it possible to cook rice, pasta, soup, eggs, etc. Once hot, the cooker also allows keeping the food warm as thermos container would. Last we heard, the BCKSolar Cooker was still a prototype, but the designers are willing to take it into production...

Solar cooking doesn't end there, see the Boom Chef's solar barbeque, the solar revolution in Kenya, the Villager Sun Oven and take a look at the future, reflected in a solar stove for more.