What is a Solar Oven and How Does it Work?

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Solar power is emerging as an important renewable energy source that produces no pollution and has vast potential. The sun sits over 90 million miles away from the earth, but it only takes sunlight roughly ten minutes to travel that distance, revealing its incredible strength. By harnessing the power of the sun, there is a great capacity to produce clean energy and help change the course of our planet, for the better. If solar power is a foreign concept to you, and you have no idea where to start or incorporate it into your life, the Solavore Sport Solar Oven maybe a great place to start. This oven runs completely on solar energy, and allows you to cook or bake slowly and evenly just by using the power of the sun. Solavore generously provided me with a one of their solar sport ovens to test out its abilities.

Solar Oven

The incredible design of this solar oven was inspired by the Solar Oven Society (SOS). Based in Minnesota, SOS was a humanitarian organization that provided solar ovens to developing countries. It was a safe and environmentally friendly way for people to cook. Anne Patterson received her solar oven from SOS and fell in love with it. As she and her husband often sailed near Puerto Rico during the winters, Anne was able to cook and bake with a simple black box on the deck of the sailboat. Without ever having to worry about burning the food or using any kind of fuels, Anne could cook and bake a variety of foods with little effort.

Solar Oven

When SOS stopped production in 2013 because of a lack of funds, Anne was determined to continue their mission. With guidance from the founders and designers of SOS, Anne began Solavore™ in hopes of continuing to provide a healthy and clean way for people to cook. Around the world, in countries without many resources, people spend their days gathering the materials to build a fire to cook for their families. It is not only difficult to cook by fire but also dangerous and bad for the environment. With a solar oven, it is giving people all over the world a chance to cook safely and effectively. Solar power is becoming a necessity of the modern world, and the Solavore Sport is a great way to experience just how effective it can be in your own life.

How Does a Solar Oven Work?

Solar Oven

The nylon plastic black box holds heat in and features a one inch close foam cell that doesn’t retain any moisture making it durable even if it happens to sit out in the rain. It has a double layer lid which has dead air space that adds to the overall insulation. Inside the oven there is 9 ¼ x 17 ½ inches of space allowing enough area for two 10 inch pans which are included with the purchase of the oven. This is also enough space for cooking pans. With this oven you can cook, bake, roast, simmer, dehydrate, and pasteurize water. All you have to do is position the oven in the sunlight, place your food in the open space, and let it cook!

The solar oven comes with a thermometer to help you gauge the temp inside, two granite ware pots, a water pasteurizer indicator, and optional detachable sun reflectors to intensify the solar heat during variable weather.

Solar Oven

Temperatures can reach as high as 300℉, but in optimal sunlight the oven is usually between 210-260℉ with most food beginning to cook at 180℉. It takes about a half hour to preheat, and food typically cooks about twice as long compared to conventional methods. It is almost like a slow cooker. You can place it in the sun in the morning, toss your dinner dishes in the oven and go about your day. Food cooks slowly and evenly allowing for delicious dishes that don’t burn and stick to the pot. The outside doesn’t get hot so it is safe to touch.

In the crisp fall air of Michigan, it took a little longer to preheat and bake, but I was honestly surprised at how well it worked. I made brownies from the Solavore blog which has a variety of delicious recipes for the solar oven. In mid-morning, I set the oven out with its sun reflectors in the sunniest area in my yard. After letting it preheat for about an hour, I put the brownies in and left them for a little over two hours as I went about other errands. I was shocked when I came back to check on them, and they had turned into delectable brownies. I had been a bit skeptical that a simple black box could actually make food, but it worked, and it was easy to use.

Solar Oven

Whether you use this at home or take it along on trips (it only weighs 9 lbs.!), the Solavore Sport Solar Oven is a convenient alternative to other portable cooking methods. It is especially a great idea if you live in an area with consistently higher temps year round. It is a clean and effective way to cook, and it is a wonderful introduction to solar power. Considering clean, renewable energy sources is something everyone should be doing, and Solavore is providing a modern product that is conscious of humanitarian and environmental needs.   

Solar Oven

Made right here in the U.S., it has been voted the #1 Solar oven on Amazon, and every purchase helps supply a solar oven in a developing nation.

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