Parabolic Solar Cooker. The Cantina West Parabolic Solar Burner is the most powerful and useful cooker in the parabolic class!
The four types of solar cookers are:
The Parabolic class has the same application as your stove top at home. A parabolic is used quite differently than the box cooker or panel cooker, mainly because it reaches higher temperatures much faster than any other style cooker.
Most people will use multiple solar cooker styles to accomplish a variety of cooking needs. The Cantina West Parabolic Solar Burner is the perfect addition to the solar cooking collection for those who need a stove top.
A solar parabolic cooker can reach extremely high temperatures, very quickly thus producing the possibility of burning the food if left unattended for any length of time.
But if used properly the parabolic will produce great cooking results and replace the need to turn on your stove top kitchen range burners.
The "Solar Burner" is a full size parabolic designed for most efficient cooking results. (If a parabolic is too small in size it will not produce sufficient heat for the most effective cooking results and the opposite is true if it is too large; the heat therefore would be too intense.)
The solar burner has a diameter of five feet (1.5 m), which produces a high output of energy (heat) for very efficient cooking, yet it is not too large in diameter that one would have much trouble reaching the cooking plate.
The focus point of the sun's rays comes together at about thirty inches above the middle, or bottom, of the parabola.
Each of the six rigid, molded steel panels that form the parabola is covered with an adhesive backed reflective vinyl which is quite durable, yet easily repaired or replaced if ever damaged or worn. The reflective film on this solar cooker is the key, or means to the parabolic being able to concentrate the energy from the rays of the sun.
The parabolic is supported by a circular stand (base) and has an easily adjusted crank extension arm to move the elevation tracking of the parabolic up and down, and the whole cooker swivels on its center pole base, allowing for side to side tracking of the sun.
Unlike the solar ovens and panel cookers, there are no darkened pots that come included with the "Solar Burner" parabolic cooker, because in reality there is no need for a "special" pot or pan. A dark pot/pan will give you a little more advantage over a shiny pot, so you might darken the bottom of any shiny pot/pan with high temp bbq paint.
Some Quick Statistics
Introducing the 6th Generation of Our Award Winning Cantina West Parabolic Solar Burner
The "Solar Burner" is not very compact when fully assembled as are some solar ovens or panel cookers so it cannot be as easily moved from one place to another as would the smaller box and panel cookers. For most people the parabolic cooker works well as a somewhat permanent fixture around the house.
I keep my own "Solar Burner" just inside of my garage or face down in my back yard with a protective cover against the elements, and when I want to use it I only have to flip it right side up or, to pull it about two to three feet out into the sunshine. Some will store their cookers outside near the house or a shed etc. We also use a very durable solar cooker protective cover, custom fitted, that will cover the whole cooker in order to keep it from reflecting hot spots where it shouldn't when not in use, and to protect it from the elements and dust.
Although the "Solar Burner" is not as compact as some cookers, I still am able to haul the parabolic all over the place on top of my van. (My parabolic is very mobile) Since it is not too heavy, I am able to lift it and place it on the roof of the van in an inverted position, or open face down. I then use some ratchet straps to secure it and have traveled hundreds of miles without any incident. The winds are no problem because the parabolic in its inverted state is very aerodynamic.
If one does not have the means or the desire to transport a parabolic solar cooker in this fashion then the cooker can be fully or partially disassembled for transportation and then re-assembled upon arrival at ones destination.
We use our "Solar Burner" almost every day to fry, boil, steam and brown and re-heat many of our daily meals.
Some solar cooking recipes do call for browning of meats, gravies, vegetables and such so, we will often use our parabolic to accomplish this when we are in a bit of a hurry; otherwise we will also use the solar ovens and panel cookers to do the same for many of these aforementioned foods.
Frying is very easily accomplished using the "Solar Burner" because of the very high temperatures. We always use a deep pan with a lid to help minimize the splattering of oil onto the parabolic, and the same goes for when boiling potatoes, pastas and such.
We have fried up French fries, fish, fry bread and other items while at the same time avoiding having to heat up and "smell up" the house with the range stove top.
(Solar Burner Temperature reading)
In the summer time we use our parabolic solar cooker to cook breakfast items such as oatmeal, cracked wheat, eggs, sausage etc. This can be accomplished as early as 8:30 AM at the Hotpoint of the summer because the sun rises so early, but come wintertime the earliest you could do so would be, probably 10:30-11:00 AM at the earliest, due to the shorter days with the sun so low on the southern horizon. (Of course you would never have this challenge if you lived near the equator)
Water can be boiled very rapidly on the parabolic solar cooker, in fact just as quickly as, and even more so, than on many electric range stove tops. We will use the parabolic to heat water for many uses during the day, besides just for cooking. We also love to pop up popcorn in a pot using popcorn oil or olive oil.
With a parabolic and our solar ovens and panel cookers we are able to cook anything we desire whenever the sun is shining…which is quite often in our part of the world.
The solar Burner is very easy to take care of and maintain.
With most solar cookers the majority of maintenance will be keeping the reflective panels clean, usually free of dust, which is easily accomplished by using a soft rag to clear or wipe it clean. With a parabolic solar cooker there is always the possibility of splattering of food, liquids or grease on the reflective panels which is why one should use deep pots or pans with lids to help limit splattering.
If one should have grease splatters it is best to clean the panels as soon as one has finished cooking, and you can best accomplish this by heating a pot of water with a few drops of dish detergent then softly wiping the panels with the rag and hot soapy water. After doing this use some clean water to rinse the panels and then dry the unit with a soft dry rag to prevent water spotting.
This is also my preferred method of cleaning dirt and dust off of the panels as well since this will keep the reflective panels from getting scratched by wiping over the fine dust particulates.
Over time and with use, if the paint chips from the metal panels or the base, you might use touch-up paint or a rust inhibitor to help protect the metal and prevent further wear.
CantinaWest Solar Burner Parts Illustration
Here is a great video from a customer of ours,Raymond Lohengrin, showing great use of his solar parabolic cooker