Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: June 05, 2021
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Tired of getting energy bills that soar through the roof every month? Do you want an affordable yet sustainable way to bake and grill food? A solar oven can come in handy if you wish to reduce the amount of electricity that you use when cooking. But how do you find the best solar oven? Should you check the cooking speed, capacity, heating temperature, and ease of use. You can rely on the reviews but not all top-rated solar ovens are as good as claimed.
Luckily, we have considered almost all features in our quest to help you find a solar oven that will suit your needs. Capacity and cooking speed are among the important features that you should review when looking to use a solar oven. You should also think about the heating temperatures if you wish to roast or slow burn your food. Other equally important features include the portability, durability, weight, and accessories.
GOSUN is a renowned brand in the manufacture of these solar ovens. And while most Gosun models will do the perfect job, this one stands out for one reason. Portability!
One of the first things that you notice about this solar oven, apart from its great design, is just how sleek and portable it is. With measurements of only 14.17 x 7.09 x 3.35 inches and a weight of two pounds, it may be impossible to find such a portable solar oven. This also means that you can easily carry it or store it in a small bag when you are going for camping.
And talking about looks, this solar oven is quite stunning. Everyone in your barbecue will be fascinated by it. GOSUN Solar Oven Portable Stove is made from quality stainless steel, which not only means that it is lightweight but also durable.
This model is relatively cheaper than the other ovens in the GOSUM line. That said, it does not compromise on quality as it can also reach a maximum temperature setting of 550 degrees Fahrenheit. You will be able to cook or roast your food in twenty to thirty minutes when you use this solar oven.
What we liked: It is impossible to be unimpressed by the performance of this solar oven considering how portable it is. It can boil water and cook various foods while not taking much space in your backpack.
What could be better: Sometimes you’d have to choose between cooking solid food and heating up beverages.
GOSUN Survival Gear Solar Oven should be your go-to solar oven if you want an oven that can survive in the wilderness. This oven features a unique design that is mostly affiliated with the GOSUN brand. At first glance, you will be impressed by the elegant design and lightweight nature of this product.
Aside from the impressive looks of this oven, this GOSUN model also performs well as it has one of the highest cooking heat. At 550° F, this oven allows you to grill even the toughest meats. It also promises a quick cooking speed. The manufacturer asserts that this GOSUN model will cook food in about 20 minutes mostly because of its unique 360° design.
Portability is also one of the outstanding features of the GOSUN Survival Gear Solar Oven. This is made possible by its lightweight stainless steel material, which is also quite durable. It is also foldable and weighs a paltry 8 pounds; light enough to carry and transport.
As highlighted above, this oven has high heating temperatures. Parabolic reflectors that are fitted in this oven enable it to achieve high temperatures with ease. This solar oven generates significant amounts of heat but it also has a cool-to-touch feature that allows you to safely touch the equipment.
What we liked: GOSUN Survival Gear has a fast cooking speed and high temperatures. You will also enjoy the cool-to-touch safety feature.
What could be better: It did not have sufficient instructions manual, which can be troublesome for many people.
Tired of carrying bulky cookers when out camping? If yes, then you are in luck. Sunflair Mini Portable Solar Oven is one such solar oven. This equipment is a foldable solar oven, which you can carry around when out in the wild as it weighs 1.25 pounds. It may seem quite small when you look at it, but it has enough capacity to accommodate several pots at once.
Durability is also synonymous with this model. And this is made possible by a number of features that it adopts. For example, the oven is sold together with a storage bag that carries both the oven and other accessories that come with it. Its folding mechanism also comes in handy in terms of durability since it protects all the essential parts of the oven.
If you are a beginner when it comes to solar ovens, this model can help you work your way around with ease. A cookbook is included to help you know some of the common oven recipes. This book not only reveals some common types of foods that you can cook but it also shows you the best practices. Being an expert with solar cooking or baking is easy once you invest in this solar oven.
What we liked: A lot of accessories are included in this review makes it an attractive choice. These accessories include a thermometer, a trivet, and cooking pots.
What could be better: Maximum heating temperatures of this oven is a bit limiting to some.
Sun Oven All American is what you get when you want a solar oven that can cook just about anything in your home. This versatility is made possible by the larger capacity and high heating temperatures. With high heating temperatures of up to 400° F, this oven can bake or cook everything. Pizzas, cakes, or even bread… literally everything.
Many people complain that they have to guess the best position when placing their solar ovens. However, this issue is eliminated when you get Sun Oven All American. How? You may ask. Well, this solar oven features track indicators that can show you if you are getting the best sunlight. This increases efficiency as you will never have to guess if you are doing it right.
Unlike other solar oven, this one comes with a dual purpose rack. Some people opt to use it as a shelf top inside the oven. Alternatively, you can place it on top of cooking grill to increase the cooking space. It also includes wind resistant stands whose height can be adjusted to trap the best sunlight. You can also implant the legs on the ground if the environment is too harsh.
What we liked: Upon unboxing, this solar oven comes with everything necessary to kick off your solar cooking journey. These includes pots, a dehydrating rack, and a thermometer among others.
What could be better: A bit bulky so it may not be suitable for avid travelers.
We must admit it! All Season Solar Cooker Camper does not have the most elegant design among the solar ovens that we tried out. That said, it is still one of the most reliable and sophisticated solar oven. For example, the walls of this oven are specially designed to help you find the best sunlight angle. This feature is great when you don’t have much time to heat or cook your food.
You will not fail to notice the impressive capacity of this solar oven. It has a large cooking space that measures 17×12 inches. In fact, its design is meant to expand and not limit the cooking area. The open top that can be pushed back to increase the cooking space and cooking height.
With regards to performance, All Season Solar Cooker Camper works smoothly and you can rely on it for years. It will extend your solar cooking period since it can be used till late in the evening. This is awesome if you love having sundowners with some bitings in your backyard.
Overall, this solar oven is a high performing kitchen equipment that has high heating and cooking temperatures.
What we liked: It is impossible to not fall in love with the large cooking capacity of this solar oven. You can also raise the top for extra height.
What could be better: This solar oven could do with more accessories for easier cooking.
Haines 2.0 SunUp Solar Cooker is another portable solar oven that will not pierce a hole in your pockets. You can dismantle the petals if you wish to transport it as all the pieces can fit into its case. However, taking the whole oven down may take some time.
Unlike most solar oven models, this product has a 4-quart pot at the center of the solar petals. The quart pot is bigger than most cooking pots, which allows you to have a large cooking area. And solar petals help to trap more sunlight into the solar oven, it has its drawbacks. For example, some users found it hard to set up and remove the petals without handles.
With a weight of about 27 ounces, this solar oven is quite light and portable. It consists of several parts that can be easily carried and transported when the need arises.
Haines 2.0 SunUp Solar Cooker has low heating temperatures as it can reach a maximum temperature of 200 F, which is suitable for low-heat recipes. This is a wise pick if you want a mid-range product that you can easily use and carry around.
What we liked: The adjust-ability of the petals makes it easy to capture the sunlight.
What could be better: not the sturdiest construction
GOSUN Fusion Solar Oven is quite unique unlike the other ovens that we reviewed. This is because it is a hybrid solar oven. If you wish to try out a solar oven slowly before you fully adjust then is a great pick. During the day, this solar oven will rely on the light rays to cook food. At night, the oven uses its 150-watt heating element to bake or warm up any food you have.
A hybrid solar oven is quite versatile it can be useful anytime of the day or night. It relies on its parabolic reflectors to cook food using the sun and can reach a maximum temperature of 550° F, good enough for both low and high-heat foods. It can also use its 12V source at night or when there is no sunlight.
When not in use, GOSUN Fusion Solar Oven can be folded into a compact oven. It is also durable since its reflector frames are made of anodized aluminum. The oven will serve you for years, especially if you use it well.
What we liked: We liked that this is a hybrid solar oven, which can rely on the sun during the day or use an electric source at night or when it is cloudy.
What could be better: This solar oven works perfectly but it is one of the heaviest solar ovens that we reviewed.
Sunflair Portable Solar Oven Deluxe is a wonderful solar oven that works perfectly for those who are always on the go. It is portable although it can cook or bake food for up to 8 people at a time. You will also get it at a reasonable price despite having extra features that may not be common in budget-range ovens.
You will likely notice how small this solar oven is once you lay your eyes on it. Sunflair Portable Solar Oven Deluxe measures a mere 2 x 15.5 x 19 inches and can fit almost anywhere when folded. It is also quite light at only 1.2lb so you will not have a problem carrying it around. This is great for those who would love to go camping with lightweight kitchen equipment.
This solar oven comes with a lot of accessories such as a dehydrating rack, thermometers, cooking pots, trays, and a carry bag. If you love grilling meat then the racks will come in handy. On the other hand, the pots will be a great companion if you love making soups.
No warranty information is provided, but this portable solar oven comes with a 30-day return policy if you are not satisfied with the product.
What we liked: The lightweight and portability of this solar oven is quite impressive. This is made even better by its large cooking area.
What could be better: Maximum temperature of this solar oven is quite low at 285° F, which means it is only suitable for low-heat foods.
KECOP Solar Oven is a great choice if you want a portable yet functional oven that you can rely on for years. This oven allows you to cook both low and high-heat foods because of its maximum temperature of 550° F. Moreover, you won’t have to keep guard over your food once you place it in the oven. Simply place the food and let it roast slowly.
This solar oven is also quite compact, which is made possible by its special folding design. Ease of setting up is also an outstanding feature of this oven. Setting up is a two-step process, which makes it the best option for those who love hiking or cooking out in the wilderness.
Cooking with KECOP Oven will always be a pleasant experience as it is both fast and reliable. The oven allows you to bake or grill food in 30 minutes or less, which is faster than even the regular ovens in the market. This is further made possible due to the high maximum temperature of this solar oven, which stands at 550° F. With this solar oven, you can finally forget about your gas or electric oven.
KECOP Oven is made with material that is both safe and durable. It features an oven made of 304 grade steel and a tube that is engulfed by a vacuum. You will also be happy to note that this material is not only durable but it also retains the flavor of any food you cook.
What we liked: With maximum temperatures of about 550° F, this solar oven cooks a variety of foods.
What could be better: A larger cooking area would come in handy for large groups.
Things to Consider
Your kitchen seems like the best place to cook your meals and try out new recipes. But what if you are not in your kitchen? Maybe you are out camping with your loved ones or in a remote area with no access to gas or electricity. Either way, you need to find a good solar oven that will meet all your needs and preferences. His buying guide will give you right information to ensure you do not get shortchanged.
What are solar ovens and how they work
Have you ever heard about solar ovens? Do you know how to operate one? Many people know about solar ovens but only a few have actually tried using them. Simply defined, solar ovens are equipment that take up energy from sunlight and change it to heat energy.
So, how do these mysterious ovens work?
A solar oven employs a special way to collect and retain as much sunlight as possible and changes this into heat energy. While this may be possible with the use of several devices, solar ovens are specially designed to retain the heat for longer hours.
Finding an excellent cooker
Like many home products, there are a lot of solar ovens in the market and you should be able to distinguish the best products from the average ones. That said, a good solar oven should;
Concentrate enough light– The best solar ovens employ the use of highly reflective materials to collect and focus light on a specific point. These materials are tilted at special angles to produce a heat of over 350°C, which is enough to handle a weekend barbecue.
Change light to heat energy with little to no energy loss– A good solar oven should change the light energy to heat energy without losing much of it in the process. That said, you should also mind the cooking utensils that you use as they influence your solar cooking experience. We recommend that you use dark pots or pans since they can absorb and retain heat energy much better than lighter surfaces.
Keep as much heat energy as possible- Reflecting light from the sun to your oven is one thing but keeping this heat energy is another thing. One way that these ovens use to achieve this is by using glass lids, which retains the heat in the pans.
How to cook in solar oven
People use their solar ovens in a number of ways. You can use it as an aid to your barbecue or other outdoor cooker. This would be great for warming cooked food, storing cooked or uncooked food, or heating other meals in your barbecue.
For others, adopting such an oven is a way to enhance their green lifestyle and reduce the impact of fossil fuels on the environment. Cooking using the sun can be great, especially if you live in a sunny town since you can even roast and bake a full chicken. If you wish to join this bandwagon then you should get a reliable solar oven.
Regardless of why you want to get a solar cooker, it is imperative that you choose the right equipment. If you are a regular cooker with big ambitions then you should get an advanced solar cooker. This should have a large cooking area, higher heat temperatures, and a good cooking storage. Other important tools for the ambitious chef includes a cookbook, a cooking pot, a thermometer, and a device to reveal the precise location to place the oven.
Like most kitchen equipment, you need to be mindful of the price of the oven that you want. That said, most solar ovens in the market are more affordable than th regular oven, which explains why they have been quite popular over the last few years. If you are on a shoestring budget then it is important to find an affordable solar oven that does not compromise on performance. All Season Solar Cooker Camper is one oven to consider, especially if you are looking for a low-range product. It is affordable but still comes in a large size. However, if you want to splurge then you can find a solar oven with additional features such as thermometers or dehydrating racks.
Features to consider while buying the best solar oven
Not all solar ovens are suitable for you since different consumers like different things. A family of six will definitely need a larger solar oven than a smaller family. In the same way, a camping oven needs to be portable or foldable but a barbecue solar oven can be quite bulky.
Despite your preferences, you need to have sufficient capacity to accommodate all your needs. If you have a large family or want to store your food in the solar oven then you should find an oven that has a larger cooking capacity. Models like GOSUN Fusion Solar Oven and All Season Solar Cooker Camper proved to have large cooking areas and could fit several pots at once. Solar ovens with smaller capacities like Haines 2.0 SunUp Solar Cooker will often be compact and work great for travelers.
It is impossible to talk about the portability of an oven without mentioning its size and capacity. If you are an avid camper or traveler then you obviously need a compact and lightweight product that you can carry with you. Other ovens like Sunflair Mini Portable Solar Oven and GOSUN Survival Gear Solar Oven are foldable and can easily be stored and transported.
Aside from the weight and compactness of your oven, you also need to purchase an oven that you can easily install and take apart.
After extensive research, you will realize that each oven has a set heating temperature and that they vary from one solar oven to another.
That said, most solar ovens will come with sufficient heating temperatures ranging from 200 to 550° F. A significant number of solar ovens come with a max temperature of 550° F, which is hot enough to grill or sear meat in your next barbecue.
Heating temperatures may depend on several issues such as the amount of sun light that it gets and retains. A solar cooker may exhibit low heating temperatures if not installed well or if the weather is a bit gloomy. However, most newer models in the market are all-season ovens, which means that they would still work great even during winter. KECOP and GOSUN Solar Ovens were some of the products we tried out that had a with high max cooking temperatures of up to 550° F.
Easy to use
As with most cooking products, you do not want to struggle with using a kitchen equipment. The last thing you want it to burn meat or bread not because you were away but because you didn’t know how to operate the machine. From our review, we could tell that some ovens were easier to install and even use than others because of their different features. Others are easy to operate because you can keep tabs with your food while baking. In the same way, we also found that other ovens are easy to use since they have a large cooking area and can accommodate different pots.
We get it. No one wants to wait hours before they can finally taste their oven baked lasagna. But just because you are impatient or very hungry does not mean that baking or grilling with more heat will make you achieve shorter cooking periods.
When you need to cook, it is worth noting that using high temperatures isn’t necessarily the best way to reduce cooking speed. Not all foods will cook well under high heat as some foods need to be cooked under low heat for a long time.
Surprisingly, the cooking speeds of a solar oven can be affected by the cooking pots that you use. If you seal your cooking pot then you are much likely to cook your food using a shorter time. In summary, you should note that the cooking speed will ultimately rely on the recipe that you are trying or the food that you wish to cook.
People buy solar ovens for different reasons but one thing will always remain constant; you should strive to get a durable one. Whether you wish to use it in the wild when camping or in your yard, a durable product will serve you for years. It will not only allow you to prepare several meals over the years but it will also withstand any harsh environmental conditions when hiking or camping. Sun Oven All American is among the most durable ovens that we tried out.
Of course, you want to buy an oven that comes with a trove of accessories. And a significant number of these ovens in the market will not disappoint when it comes to accessories. These include dehydrating racks, bags for carrying the products, cookbooks, thermometers and come will even come with cooking pots. While you may want as many accessories as possible, it is important to look out for accessories that you will use. It is crucial that the solar oven includes everything you will need in your solar cooking journey.
You should strive to get several other features when you choose to buy that oven. For example, the oven that you buy should come have suitable warranty terms as a show of confidence in the quality of their product. You should also put much consideration into the design of your oven since it will impact the overall décor of your house or lawn.
Yes, it is not uncommon to find ovens that work in cold environments even during winter. Most older models did have this problem and would be unable to cook when there is little to no light. However, most recent models are all-season which means they will serve you all-year regardless of the season.
There is a significant difference between solar cookers and ovens since the former absorbs light from the sun and concentrates it at the bottom of your cookware. These cookers are effective and can reach up to 450 F, which is hotter than most stoves. Solar ovens, on the other hand, makes use of an insulated box and reflective panels to change the light energy to heat energy.
One can try out several recipes in a solar cooker even if they are just beginners. From making bean enchiladas, lentil soup, roasted cauliflower to baking Mediterranean flatbread recipe. You can cook almost all things.
While it is a bit difficult to control the temperature of a solar cooker, you can adjust it a bit. Generally, it is impossible to adjust a solar cooker but an oven with a max temperature range can be. You could try using a thermometer to measure and keep track of the overall heat.
GOSUN Solar Oven Portable Stove is our top pick, and for good reasons. This solar oven is our editor’s choice since it features an attractive design, performs exceptionally, and is quite portable. This is an all-round solar oven that will serve you for years.
GOSUN Survival Gear Solar Oven should be your first priority if you are an avid hiker or camper. It looks great but it can withstand any harsh environmental conditions making it one of the best solar ovens in the market. This model is also very light, which means that you will find it easy to move around with it.
All Season Solar Cooker Camper is a highly functional yet affordable solar oven. You will enjoy the large capacity, portability, and its ease of use. It is specially designed to cook food even in the gloomiest weather.