How does it work?
The black surfaces on the inside of the oven captures and transforms the
sun's energy into a form that cannot escape the oven chamber. When a SUN
OVEN® is focused in the sun, the interior of the oven is heated by
the sun's energy. Direct and reflected sunlight enters the oven chamber
through the glass door. It then turns to heat energy when it is absorbed
by the black inner-shell and Levelator. This heat input causes the temperature
inside the oven to rise until the heat loss of the oven is equal to the
solar heat gain. The light energy absorbed by the oven's dark interior
is converted into longer wavelength heat energy. Most of this longer-wavelength
radiant energy can not pass back out through the glass, ensuring more
What can I cook in a SUN OVEN®?
Anything you can cook in a conventional electric or gas oven can be cooked
in a SUN OVEN®. You can bake, boil and steam using any of your favorite
What is the
cooking temperature range?
The SUN OVEN® will reach temperatures of 360 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
The oven will generally reach its maximum temperature as it is being preheated.
The temperature will drop when food is placed in the chamber.
prepared in a SUN OVEN® taste the same as food prepared in my conventional
The food tastes much better! Solar cooking allows many of the natural
flavors of food, which get baked out in conventional ovens, to remain.
The slow, even rise in temperatures in a SUN OVEN® gives the complex
carbohydrates time to break down into simple sugars allowing subtle natural
flavors to emerge. Sun baked foods stay moist, the natural internal juices
do not bake out, resulting in a superior, moist taste and much less shrinkage.
How long does
Cooking times are close to the same as those in a conventional oven. Because
the sun is often trying to run away and hide behind clouds, cooking times
can vary. At times it may take a little longer. The factors that affect
the cooking time are: the quality of the sunlight at the time you are
cooking, the types and quantities of the food being cooked, and how often
the oven is being refocused.
Does a SUN
OVEN® require special pots and pans?
No, but dark, thin-walled pots with lids work best. Dark pots change the
light from the sun into heat energy. Lids are important because they hold
steam in the pot. If a lid is not used the steam will dissipate much of
the heat. Shiny aluminum pots and pans cause light to be reflected out
thereby reducing the oven's temperature. Glass casserole dishes with lids
also work well. For baking cakes, breads, cookies, and pies, dark cookie
sheets and baking tins work best.
need to be stirred?
No. Stirring to prevent scorching is not required when cooking in a SUN
OVEN® due to the fact that there are no hot spots. The temperature
of the food rises evenly. It is almost impossible to burn food in a SUN
is it to focus a SUN OVEN®?
Focusing a SUN OVEN® is very easy. All that is required is to watch
the shadows created by the oven. When the shadows are even on all sides,
the cooker is directly focused. The built-in leveling leg on the back
of the oven allows for easy tracking.
must a SUN OVEN® be refocused?
The need to refocus depends a great deal on what you are cooking, the
time of day, and the temperature you wish to maintain. A good rule of
thumb is to plan to readjust every 30 minutes to maintain maximum heat.
At noon the sun is high in the sky and moves quickly past the maximum
focus point, creating the need to refocus more often. Later in the day
you will not need to refocus as often. The SUN OVEN® is equipped with
a built in Levelator, which keeps food level and avoids spills while being
Many meals can be
cooked without refocusing. SUN OVEN® users often will put their ovens
outside, focused for the mid-day sun, with their dinner in it when they
leave for work in the morning. As the sun moves overhead, the temperature
in the Sun Oven's chamber slowly rises to a cooking level. As the sun
passes, the food is kept warm and when they return from work they have
a warm, sun-cooked dinner.
(Keep in mind food
will not burn in a SUN OVEN® and that the chamber is extremely well
insulated, allowing food to stay warm for hours.)
the SUN OVEN® getting so hot, what is the risk of getting burned when
The only parts that get hot are the oven chamber, the cooking pan, and
the glass door. Proper care must be taken to use hot pads when opening
the door and removing food. The entire exterior of the oven, including
the reflectors, remains safe to touch.
How long will
a SUN OVEN® last?
The estimated life of a SUN OVEN®is 20 + years. With proper care it
should last a lifetime.
Do I need
special recipes to cook in a SUN OVEN®?
The SUN OVEN® reaches temperatures comparable to that of conventional
ovens, therefore no special recipes are required. A good rule of thumb
is to add 10 to 15 minutes of cooking time for each time the oven door
Can I use
a SUN OVEN® in the winter?
Yes. The most important factor in using a SUN OVEN®is the brightness
of the day, NOT the outside air temperature. Often, a 40-degree, clear,
low-humidity day will allow food to cook faster than a 100-degree day
with high humidity. The SUN OVEN®has been used very successfully at
the base camp of a Mt. Everest expedition where the temperatures are often
well below zero. There are, however, more cooking hours available in the
summer than in the winter. In the early summer, it is not unusual to cook
from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, whereas during the early winter, effective cooking
is limited to 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.