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Best Solar Cooker? Cantinawest's "Solar Burner"

Which is the best solar cooker?

To help you decide which is the best solar cooker,I would like to note my likes and dislikes of the "Solar Burner"; among other parabolic cookers that we carry here on this site. 

Some of the things I like about the "Solar Burner" are: 

  • Its cost is very reasonable, especially considering its ample size and material make up as well as its high productiveness and utility.
  • I like the fact that it is not too heavy, allowing for relative mobility and ease of use.
  • I like the ease with which the parabolic can be adjusted for elevation (up/down) and also side to side tracking of the sun. The parabolic turns/swivels from side to side on its base and also has a manually adjusted leveling/elevation arm which is easily operated with a circular crank handle.
  • I like the sturdiness of the materials used in the construction of the cooker which uses light, molded steel panels, pipes and braces.

Note: The Solar Burner is manufactured overseas,where most solar cookers/parabolics are, thus the "finish" and "detail" quality are not quite as fine or, to standard, as can be found in US or European manufacturing plants. This does not affect the effectiveness or capacity of the cooker, but rather more so the "aesthetic" aspects.

  • I like the fact that it is just heavy and stable enough that most winds cannot move or tip the cooker. Also it is sturdy enough that quite large size pots can be used to cook, boil and fry on it.
  • Average weight of pot and food that can rest on the pot receptacle is a about  12-18 lbs on the heavier side, but I have had as much as 40 lbs with a large canning bath with bottles, water etc. on my Solar Burner. ( I had to brace, stabilize and counterweight the Solar Burner so that it would not topple over with the weight)

    (* Care should be taken to make sure the parabolic is on level and even ground and that the "burner plate" is level before placing any pot for cooking)

Spanish Paella Cooked on Solar Burners

  • I like how quickly the parabolic can heat up a pan of water or cooking oil etc.

On a bright day it takes less than ten minutes to boil two cups of water. (Paper will ignite in two seconds under its focused energy)

(I guess if it was collapsible then it might be even easier to transport, but it would probably be much more expensive.) See our portable high quality French made parabolic solar cooker

Some Quick Statistics

  • Shallow Parabola
  • Focus length 60 cm. (23.62 inches)
  • 1500 watts power on sunny day
  • Focus area 1.5 square meters (16.15 sq ft)
  • Focal spot temp 824 F.+- (440.56 C)
  • Diameter 1.5 meters across (4.92 ft)

Do these pluses and benefits make the "Solar Burner" the best all around solar cooker on the market?

tips and ideas on how to get the most out of your solar cookers 

parabolic solar cooker, solar burner

Some things that I don't much care for about the "Solar Burner". 

  • It is not a solar cooker that can be used easily for baking and simmering, since it is so much hotter and has no enclosure like an oven.
  • It is very bright to work around, thus it is best operated while using sun glasses to protect your vision.
  • Due to its size (larger diameter) it can be slightly challenging for shorter people to lean over the edge of the parabolic a bit to reach the pot…according to my wife.

(My kids use the Solar Burner also with out much problem, but yes, stretching can be a little inconvenient for shorter people)

  • I dislike the fact that with this style of solar cooker, the reflective panels get splattered on more often when frying and boiling if one is not careful, more so than with ovens or panel cookers.

(This is easily remedied though by cleaning up the splatters right away or right after cooking, and then it does not stick permanently)
* Note: much of the splattering and dripping can be avoided if one uses deeper pans and lids whenever possible.

  • I would prefer polished aluminum for the reflector panels instead of the adhesive mylar sheets applied to the metal panels, since polished aluminum is more durable and its shine is longer lasting than mylar.

(Polished aluminum reflectors would of course make the cooker more expensive and a bit heavier. Mylar wears out with much use and cleaning, but of course it is much less expensive than the aluminum. And adhesive mylar can be used to repair and replace worn areas of the panels at minimal cost.)

  • A parabolic is a little bit more involved in its use and requires more attention and care than a solar oven or panel cooker.
  • Care has to be taken when children are around it or allowed to use it.

(Our children, ranging in age from 12-19 years, have learned how to use the "Solar Burner" quite well and are quite responsible around it)

Basic information, tips and suggestions for the Solar Burner Parabolic
(previous model)

Introducing our Latest, enhanced Solar Burner Parabolic cooker

After all that has been said; for the price, and considering the many uses and benefits that the "Solar Burner" offers, I have been very satisfied with my little parabolic solar cooker and will continue to use it every day the sun is shinning.

If this sounds like a solar cooker that would serve your purposes you can order direct from our site... 

Cantina West
Parabolic Solar Burner
Includes Shipping Continental US

(does not include grate)

More information

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See Our Sun Chef Cooker Parabolic

SolSource: newest and most advanced parabolic

                                                                                                          March 2014

Greetings, my name is Joe. I've been reading and watching the videos about the solar cookers you sale. Out of the following three, which one does a better job , which one would you personally choose: the Solar Source Parabolic cooker, the Sun Chef Cooker or the Solar Burner Parabolic cooker? Thanks. Joe

All three cookers are very good parabolic cookers and each would do a good job at what they are intended for.
I will have to say though that many of our customers over the years have gone with the Solar Burner because it is
the least expensive, but that does not mean it is the least effective.
In fact, it is the most powerful parabolic we have because it is the largest one we carry.
It is not quite as fancy as the higher end models, but it is a ruggedly built cooker and will take a beating.
I suggest though that it will last much longer if it is taken care of.

The Burner is not as easy to disassemble for storage purposes, but it can be stored easily in a garage or shed if you have the room. I keep my Solar Burners outside in the backyard, face down on a tarp which can be pulled up over it for protection and the easy  access when I want to cook.

I guess the choice would depend on how much money you are able to spend.

The SolSource is the nicest parabolic we have and it is probably the highest quality and performance ability for its size (3.5 ft. diameter)and for the money.

The Solsource is really well built.
It's really easy to assemble and disassemble as well.
But, of course it is our most expensive model.
It definitely is worth it's cost if you are willing to pay that amount.

The Sun Chef is a really nice cooker as well material wise and it is lightweight and easy to use, but I would probably give the SolSource a slight edge over the Sun Chef when it comes to easy of use and storability.
This cooker costs more than the Burner by quite a bit, but is a bit less than the SolSource.

I personally like all three of these cookers, and I use all three, but I  use my Solar Burners a bit more than the others because it is a bit more powerful.

There is much more I could say, but for a lack of time cannot.

So, I hope this is somewhat helpful.

You may find more helpful information as well by browsing through out site on the
pages that are specific to each solar cooker as well as

Using a Solar Cooker


Nathan Parry

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