A solar cooker is a parabolic shaped dish which uses the power and energy of (direct) sunlight to cook bake, heat or pasteurize food and drink. Most of them are not expensive and are made from low-tech materials. However, some are pretty advanced and can cook for tens or hundreds of people.
You’re inside your house and you’re cooking using gas or electricity. Meanwhile outside the sun is shining. So why not use the sun to cook your meal? I mean in the sun’s surface, the temperature is about 5500 °C or about 9900 °F! So sure, we can use this heat to cook our dinner, pizza’s, veggies, coffee, water, etc. It’s easy and it saves money: Make your own parabolic solar cooker from a satellite dish! I did and it’s quite awesome.
How to make a solar cooker
How? Simple! With an old (or new if you can’t find one…) satellite dish! No dish? Take a look at my page about solar ovens made from (pizza) boxes.
Take a look at this video I found on youtube. It shows a DIY homemade parabolic solar cooker, made from:
- Recycled satellite dish
- Some chrome decal material
- Wire coat hangar to hold the pots and pans in place
DIY parabolic solar cooker project
So where to get all the stuff to make one yourself? I think for a dish you have to look in some garages or attics of family members. Or go to your local dump. The chrome foil you can buy at any automotive shop.
I’ll show you some pictures from my own satellite dish cooker. I had a satellite dish attached to my house but now with Netflix I don’t need it anymore so I decided to turn it into a solar cooker. I covered the dish with a roll of self-adhesive chrome foil of about 2 inches wide I bought in a hardware store for a few bucks.
After that I just experimented to find the focal point with my hand (ouch!) and a piece of wood. As you can see I didn’t change much. Of course I removed all electronics, cables and the antenna head used some some thick iron wire and screws to make a little platform to hold a pan, water kettle or coffee maker. Quite simple actually! At IKEA I bought a programmable thermometer so I can leave the dish in the sun and when it reaches a certain temperature it starts beeping.
So find that old dish, or just get the one from your neighbors house ;-), buy a roll of mirror foil decal and your set to make your own parabolic solar cooker!
Check out this video from GoSun with a demonstration of their solar tube. It’s awesome, I want one!