Ovens are one of the most important appliances, and thankfully solar ovens are available when you don’t have electricity. But how well do solar ovens work for basic needs, like boiling water, and how long does it take for one to boil water?
On very sunny days, you can boil water in a solar oven in 30 minutes. It might take twice as long on a partially cloudy day, but it will still boil water. Solar ovens usually get up to 300°F (149°C) on sunny days, which allows you to boil water and cook most foods.
This article explains how long it takes to boil water with a solar oven and how to cook with one. I’ll also explain whether or not solar ovens work and recommend the best ones.
Time It Takes To Boil Water With a Solar Oven
The amount of time it takes to boil water in a solar oven depends on how much sun is available and what kind of solar oven you have.
Solar Oven Types
There are three main types of solar ovens:
- Box cookers: Box cookers are the simplest kinds of solar ovens. They are enclosed boxes where you put your pot inside and let it heat up as the sun shines. There are some glass pieces or mirrors on the outside to help attract the sun to the box.
- Parabolic cookers: These solar ovens can heat up to a higher temperature and use a curved surface to reflect the sun onto the box. The pot sits in the curve for maximum heat.
- Panel cookers: These are lighter ovens that use a curved cooker to heat a bag in which the pot sits. There are also reflectors on the cooker to bring in sunlight.
Amount of Sunlight Available
When determining how long it takes to boil water with a solar oven, you also need to consider how much sunlight there is.
If it is a clear and sunny day, your solar oven will heat up quickly, especially in the middle of the day. You can still heat a solar oven on a partially cloudy day, but it will take a little longer.
However, if you have no sunlight or you need to boil water at night, it will be very difficult, and sometimes impossible. You need to plan your cooking ahead of time to ensure you have enough sunlight and time to boil your water and cook your food.
On very sunny days, a solar cooker can boil water in as quickly as 30 minutes. However, it can take a few hours if you have one of the other types of solar ovens or you need to boil water on a cloudy day.
Cooking Food With a Solar Oven
You can do more with a solar oven than just boil water. These ovens can cook all kinds of foods, including meat, since they reach a safe cooking temperature.
The only thing you cannot do with a solar oven is broil food. However, they make excellent slow cookers and can bake food well.
Do Solar Ovens Actually Work?
Solar ovens work very effectively, and make excellent tools for baking, boiling, and roasting foods when you don’t have access to regular electricity. You can make almost any food in a solar oven, and the recipes are similar to how you cook food in a standard oven.
While they can do the same types of cooking, solar ovens have some benefits over standard ovens.
With solar ovens, you do not have to worry about fires since you are not using fire or any flammable materials. The food also cooks slower and you don’t need to watch it constantly. You can place food in your solar oven for as long as you need, even if you are away all day, and it will be ready and not overcooked when it is time to eat it.
All you need to do is ensure that you do your cooking during the day when you have sunlight because solar cookers do not work in the dark. If you expect rain or think you will need food at night, cook extra food so that you don’t have to rely on the sun to come out again to be able to eat.
Best Solar Ovens
Solar cookers are great if you want to boil water or cook food without electricity. A good solar oven can be hard to find, but some of the best ones from Amazon.com are listed below, so you do not have to worry about picking one out, and you can focus more on what you want to cook:
- GOSUN Solar Oven Portable Stove: This portable grill weighs two pounds, and is compact enough for you to take anywhere. You can also use it for cooking nearly anything as it heats up to 550°F (287.8°C) on sunny days. With temperatures this high, you can cook food in as little as 20 minutes or boil water in 30 minutes or less.
- SOL COOK All Season Solar Cooker: One of the simpler solar ovens is the SOL Cook oven, which comes with an adjustable reflector to obtain maximum sunlight onto the oven. The food-grade material is also heavy-duty and weatherproof, so you know it is made to last and comes assembled out of the box.
- KECOP Portable Solar BBQ Cooker: This oven is great for taking on the go since it folds up compactly and is durable. It is easy to set up, and you do not have to worry about being near electricity or worry about toxic fumes being released. The heat is held in a vacuum tube to keep it hot longer.
As long as you have sunlight, you can boil water in a solar oven in as fast as 30 minutes. Even if you do not have a fully sunny day, your water will boil in a couple of hours. If there is rain in the forecast, or you need food at night, you still need to do your cooking during the day for the solar oven to work.
- U.S. Department of Energy: Making a Solar Oven
- How Stuff Works: Cooking With Light – How Solar Cooking Works
- University of Central Florida: Solar Cookers
- New Atlas: GoSun’s latest solar oven can boil water in 30 minutes
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