Where – When – Why – What
Solar cooking is an alternative Kitchen operating technique which when mastered is very rewarding and entertaining. I shall address some of the basic truths of Solar Cooking which are foremost in minds of a novice.
Where Do I Cook ?
Successful solar cooking can take place in any SUNNY SPOT, in any season of the year and at any altitude . The most suitable location for a ‘Solar Cooker’ or a ‘Solar kitchen’ is on the south to south western side of a house located in the northern hemisphere and on the north to north western side for a house located in the southern hemisphere.
When is the Best Time ?
The cooking period can run anywhere between the daylight hours of SUNRISE to SUNSET, however two hours inside this is the most productive and may be attempted in any season. The sun must be visible for the heating process to take effect and light diffused by cloud cover or heavy atmospheric pollution will not produce heat. Daylight is not sunlight. Seasonal weather variations can also affect the amount of quality sunlight available so studying up on the regional weather patterns before making long term plans will minimise frustrations and discouragement. If you have no time restrictions, it is preferable to start cooking before noon during a rising sun rather than afternoon during a waning phase.
Why Should I ?
There are many reasons for an individual or community to adopt this cooking technology. In the suburbs of affluent western societies it is tinkered with for non essential reasons such as scientific curiosity or fun and enjoyment or for a conscious lifestyle change, while in the developing world where fuel especially timber is scarce it is a necessity of life. In India and China, especially in the barren highlands, Solar Cookers are widely used. So serious is the fuel shortage there that special governmental Ministries have been created specifically to promote the adoption of this technology by the local citizens. Whatever reason you might have, one thing for sure, you shall save money.
What Can I Cook ?
Frying is possible only on a parabolic because of its high power output but care must be taken to contain the oil spatter as it will dirty up the reflectors. Most foods when cooked slowly, as most solar cookers tend to do, are tastier, moister, and more nutritious. Try it for yourself and be prepared for a taste sensation.
Potatoes and meatballs