How could a solar oven cook your Christmas goose when it’s still wrapped up in box on Christmas day? Anyway, solar ovens first came into vogue about 6 years ago, at least in the U.S. And solar cookers are being used in Haiti to help those recovering from the earthquake to cook their food.
They’re based on a pretty simple principle. Stick them under the sun, and the shiny foil of the stove reflects the sun on one area, where your food can be cooked. Since they can be made of inexpensive materials, like foil and cardboard, the design doesn’t have to be elaborate, and solar cookers can be as inexpensive as $40. They can also cost in the $100s for more advanced versions. However, if you’re a DIY’er, you can find plans online to base your own design and make a lovely solar cooker for your loved ones.
A solar cooker is a perfect compliment to the backyard barbecue, too. You could cook your beans in the cooker, while grilling your brats on the grill.
Pictured: The Scott Solar Cooker, which costs about $40.