Cooking doesn’t have to use up electricity and valuable natural resources. By harnessing the power of the sun, you can cook almost anything without relying on traditional sources of electricity at all. Sunlight can be used to generate electricity. The sun can also be used for solar cooking.
Harnessing Solar Power for Cooking
Solar energy can generate electricity by using lenses and mirrors to focus sunlight into a small beam. The beam is converted to heat which powers a steam turbine that’s connected to an electrical power generator. Solar cooking works similarly. A solar cooking appliance is best used outdoors so it can capture all the energy it needs from the sun. The appliance uses reflectors to concentrate solar radiation onto a black solar absorber plate. The plate heats up the oven and cooking vessel. Insulation traps the heat which allows the cooker to continue cooking after the sun sets or is blocked by cloud cover.
What Can You Prepare in a Solar Cooking Appliance? Does It Taste Different?
You can prepare basically anything that you would cook in a conventional oven. A solar cooker will roast, boil, sauté, bake, braise, stew and slow-cook. It does take a bit longer than conventional ovens. For example, a loaf of bread will take about 1 hour and 20 minutes to bake. You can cook rice in about 40 minutes and soup in about 2 hours.
When you prepare foods in a solar cooker, the cooking temperature is steady which produces more even cooking. And, since you don’t use water, the flavors blend deliciously and the nutrients stay in the food rather than leeching out during the cooking process.
Solar Cooking Helps People In Developing Nations
In some areas of the world, fuel sources are scarce. That’s why solar cooking is a great alternative in developing nations that have an abundance of sunlight. Solar ovens in these areas will improve the quality of life for millions. Using solar cookers also prevents deforestation and the depletion of natural resources as fuel sources.
Most importantly for developing nations, the cookers are more affordable than other types of energy and can be easily transported from place to place.
Solar cooking is an environmentally friendly way to prepare healthy, nutritious meals anywhere in the world. Solar cookers can be used in cities, suburbs, on camping trips or in developing nations where fuel sources are increasingly scarce.