The Sun Can Cook Your Food… With a Little Help

I'm sure you've heard this expression: "It's hot enough to cook an egg on the sidewalk."

Many parts of the country experienced that type of sweltering heat this past summer. Including Sacramento, California, where the temperature reached 116 degrees one not-so-fine day. 

You probably could cook an egg on the sidewalk on a day that hot. But would you want to eat it? There is a much better way to cook without electricity. Whether you're home and the power is out, or you're in the woods camping or hiking.

It's called solar cooking. The sun is 27 million degrees Fahrenheit at its core, but its rays cool considerably during their eight-minute, 20-second journey to Earth. By the time they arrive, they're not hot enough to cook food or boil water.

But those electromagnetic rays contain a great deal of energy. They cause the molecules in whatever they strike to vibrate. That's what generates heat. And solar cookers are capable of harnessing that heat.

Sun-powered ovens

There are a number of different types of solar cookers. They include solar ovens/box cookers and panel cookers. Plus evacuated tubes and parabolic solar cookers.

The solar oven or box cooker is usually about three to five feet across. It's basically a sun-powered oven. It heats up and seals in the heat. The open-topped box is black on the inside with glass or transparent plastic on the top.

It usually has several reflectors featuring flat, metallic or mirrored surfaces outside the box. They collect and direct sunlight onto the glass.    

A pot of food sits on the black bottom of the box. Sunlight enters the box through the glass top. When light waves strike the bottom, the box heats up and the food cooks.

Variety of choices 

Panel cookers incorporate different elements of box cookers and parabolic solar cookers. They use parabolic reflectors above a box-type oven.

Evacuated tube solar cookers use a double-wall glass tube for the cooking chamber. The space between the glass is created as a vacuum.

Many people prefer parabolic solar cookers due to their ability to achieve higher temperatures and their portability.

A parabolic solar cooker uses curved, reflective surfaces to focus sunlight into a small area. The evacuated tempered glass tube traps every bit of heat-producing light that hits it. 

No noise or smoke

Temperatures inside a parabolic solar cooker can get very hot. But it's cool to the touch on the outside. So, you can safely handle it with your bare hands when it's at full temperature.

The sides fold out to reveal two parabolic mirrors. These "wings" grab every bit of sun and focus it on the glass tube.

A parabolic solar cooker does not need batteries or electricity. Because it boils water, it protects you from parasites such as giardia.

It doesn't need any flames or fuel. You don't have to be concerned with gathering wood or sticks. And it doesn't produce smoke or make noise. So, it allows you to keep your location covert. 

What to cook with it

What can you cook with a parabolic solar cooker? Hard-boiled eggs and hot dogs come to mind immediately.

But you could also cook an omelet or vegetarian couscous. Or oatmeal and a wide variety of soups.

As well as mashed potato flakes and instant rice. Plus stovetop stuffing, ramen noodles and bulgar wheat.

Not to mention pastas that cook in less than four minutes. Such as artisan pastas and instant grits. 

When to use it

When are the best times to use a parabolic solar cooker? They're great for camping, boating and hiking.

As well as picnics, your job site or tailgating. Or just sitting on the sidelines while your kids or grandchildren play. 

Cooking food such as hotdogs, eggs and freeze-dried meals is one way to use a parabolic solar cooker. But there are many others. Including…

  • Heating water for hygiene needs
  • Keeping liquid hot for hours for coffee, tea, cocoa, gelatin or baby formula
  • Melting snow for drinking or other usages
  • Pasteurizing water
  • Killing giardia, cryptosporidium and other waterborne bacteria

Sun Kettle XL is the ideal choice

Our choice for a parabolic solar cooker at 4Patriots is the upgraded Sun Kettle XL Personal Water Heater.  It boils water in just minutes without any fuel or flame. For cooking, drinking, cleaning and hygiene.

We sold more than 70,000 of our regular-sized Sun Kettles. And now we're offering the Sun Kettle XL with twice the water capacity. This "deluxe" water heater can boil water wherever you have sun. Silently and safely. 

It's like having a microwave the size of a large thermos. Constructed from tough ABS plastic and shatter-resistant tempered glass, it's built like a tank. And the ventilated cap means no worries about pressure levels and dangerous over-boils.

The square base and kickstand combine to give four points of contact so you don't have to worry about tips and spills.

Many great features 

The Sun Kettle XL has many great features that will make it your go-to solar cooker. It's compact, clean, advanced and insulated. As well as convenient, safe, stealthy, lightweight and useful.

The Sun Kettle XL is very easy to use. Just fill it with water, leaving about two inches for steam.

Then open the reflective panels and face them into the sunlight. When steam escapes from the top vent, enjoy hot water right away. Or close the doors to keep the water hot for later.

Here's how you can get your Sun Kettle XL…

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