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After answering this question, I am wondering when it would be useful to cook with a solar stove. It certainly wouldn't make sense in an area that is constantly overcast or when speed is of the essence but there are probably times when it would.

Personally, I like the idea of not having to carry my fuel if possible so what times/places would it make sense to use a solar stove?

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    One with lots of sunshine! – Ken Graham Jan 13 '17 at 19:29
  • I'm pretty sure all solar stoves come with instruction book. It'd probably be best to simply read the documentation that comes with it. – ShemSeger Jan 13 '17 at 20:03
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It seems to be that the only real requirement for solar cooking is sunshine and the more the better.

There are a few disadvantage to cooking with solar energy.

Disadvantages include:

•weight, bulk

•weather dependent

•backpack versions tend to be very slow to cook (hour plus)

•can't cook at night

must cook in the open away from shade (near mountains, under trees, in depressions, by large hikers, etc.)

•improper use or accidents can result in serious eye damage or fire - always use eye UV protection - Solar Cookers

When using a solar cooker, it is best to use a black pot with a lid. A thinner one is better than a thick one.

Dark Colored Solar Cooking Pots are an important part of the solar cooking process. It is through the absorption of the suns rays that the dark colors of your cooking pots really enhance the overall solar cooking process and its results.

...By using dark colored, thin cookware, the heat in the solar oven transfers more quickly to the food, thus enabling one to cook quite near as efficiently as with a traditional stove/oven range - Solar Cooker

It seems altitude does not stop one from using a solar cooker as long as there is sunshine.

The Solar Trekkers Cooker fits in a backpack and has been used at base camp on Mt Everest. This link has a video of Allart Ligtenberg cooking on Everest!

Allart melting snow near Trashi Lapcha pass, Nepal

Here is Allart melting snow near Trashi Lapcha pass, Nepal

For cooking times in good condition this article (How to Make a Solar Cooker and Learn Basic Solar Cooking), such as pasta, meat, vegetables, etc.

You can even experiment in your backyard cooking a chicken as seen in this video: Home made solar oven cooks chicken (YouTube).

All you need is sun and no rain.

  • Altitude may even be beneficial (for a given temperature) - some solar radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere, and lower air pressure reduces convective losses. On the other hand a windbreak that doesn't shade the cooker might be more important in a more exposed location. – Chris H Jan 14 '17 at 12:49
  • @ChrisH Good point! – Ken Graham Jan 14 '17 at 15:02
  • Something else I thought of, was that sometimes there are fire restrictions and a solar cooker would work well then. – Reinstate Monica Jan 14 '17 at 17:09
  • @CharlieBrumbaugh Well mentioned. – Ken Graham Jan 14 '17 at 21:43

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