Different Solar Cookers for Different purposes
by Bruce Joseph
(Tucson, AZ (USA))
Making Paella in the Hot Pot
I have several solar cookers. Some were store bought and some home made.
The two that I use most are the "Solar Burner" parabolic cooker, which I use almost very day to boil water for my morning coffee, and a SHE Hot Pot, which I often use for making soups, stews and other slow cooked foods.
The Solar Burner functions like a stove top burner. It gets very hot very quickly, and can be used to fry, boil, simmer and saute. One of its nicest features is the ability to use regular pots and pans with it. I can cook most anything I want in well under an hour on the Solar Burner, and I can boil a quart of water in about 10 minutes.
The Hot Pot is more like a crock pot or slow cooker. I can put several pounds of meat and vegetables in it, and they'll be completely cooked in several hours. It works very well as long as there are 3 - 4 hours of sunlight.
I also have a Copenhagen cooker, which is also a slow cooker, and a home made Fresnel lens "grill." I am still getting familiar with the Copenhagen, but I think I will like it once I start using it more. I used the Fresnel Lens cooker a lot until I got the Solar Burner, which I find to be faster and more practical to use.
I'm not much of a baker but would like to buy a Global Sun Oven, or build a similar 60/30 box oven one day.
Thank you for your opinions and thoughts on these solar cookers, you are building up quite the "arsenal", I am sure this will be helpful to others in making their decisions on what cookers will best serve their purposes.