Solar Oven Comparisons & Cooker Reviews

In this comparison, we review four solar ovens. Bon Appetite Du Soleil! Whether you are serious about living off the grid in your mountain cabin, like to have big family meals while camping, or just want to save some money on the electric bill, solar cooking is a great option.

Hot Pot Simple Solar Cooker

Hot Pot Simple Solar Cooker

- Cooking temperatures within an hour in full sun.
- Use for up to six hours at a time.
- Includes steel pot
- Foldable for easy storage
- Can heat up to 350-400 degrees.
- Designed by Florida Solar Energy Center and Energy Laboratories, Inc.
- Weight: 19 lbs.

Avg. Price: $99

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Hybrid Solar Cooking Oven

Hybrid Solar Cooking Oven

- Use the sun to cook, or a 120V outlet that uses 75 percent less energy than a conventional oven.
- Can automatically switch back and forth between solar power and electricity depending on sunshine availability.
- Can heat up to 500 degrees.
- Folds into a hard-case for storage
- Includes four cooking pans and a thermometer

Avg. Price: $299

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Global Sun Oven
The Editor Pick Editor's Pick

Global Sun Oven

- Folding reflectors for portability.
- Tempered glass solar oven door traps heat and protects cooking food.
- Includes built-in thermometer.
- Can heat up to 350 - 400 degrees
- Jack to adjust north-south angle to follow sun vertically.
- Swivel tray to minimize spillage
- 30-day guarantee
- Weight: 21 lbs

Avg. Price: $275

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Sport Solar Oven

Sport Solar Oven

- Reinforced glass fibers for protection and insulation.
- No-tip design is safe for windy conditions.
- Fast and slow cooking positions.
- Comes with two pots, thermometer, and solar cooking recipe book.
- Can heat up to 260 degrees.
- Weight: Only 11 lbs

Avg. Price: $150

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What research says

This is not the type of comparison where we can say one brand or product is better than another because they each serve unique needs. However, we did find one solar cooker to be a very good all-around unit worthy of our Editors Choice.

The Hiker
You need something light when hiking around, and although it is a little larger than what could fit in a backpack the Sport Solar Oven weights a mere eleven pounds. You also never know how the wind is going to be at the top of a mountain, and the Sport Solar Ovens design ensures that even the hardest-blowing winds will not be a worry.

The Serious Backyard or RV Chef
Although it is portable, the Hybrid Solar Oven is a little too heavy to carry up into the woods. But if you do not want to be sitting hungry wishing the clouds would go away, this solar oven is the best bet you can make. It uses the sun when rays are available, and switches to electric power from a normal 120V outlet when clouds move in. Even when running on electricity, this solar oven uses about 75 percent less power than a normal oven. It also gets hotter than all of the other solar cooking options we found, and reaches a red-hot 500 degrees Fahrenheit in full sun! I cannot remember when the last time I turned my house stove up that high without burning something... lucky it comes with filters to cool things down if they get to hot. But at close to $300, you had better be serious about your solar cooking first! The downside is that the Hybrid is not deep enough to allow bread or cakes to be baked, and temperatures are not the hottest out of those reviewed when not plugged in.

The Entry Level Solar Chef
The Hot Pot Simple Solar Cooker is not too heavy (19 lbs) but not quite as light as the sport oven. It folds down for portability, but when set up it is susceptible to interference from windy conditions. But it cooks for up to six hours, is perfect for slow-cooking stews on a camping trip, and gets pretty darn hot when needed. But best of all, it sells for under $100 and makes a great Fathers Day gift or entry-level solar oven.

Best All-Around Solar Cooker
The basic Global Sun Oven is used around the world for inexpensive, reliable solar cooking - and for good reason. We like the design and the fact that your food is protected with the tempered glass door. That, by the way, is a great option for those who like to keep things warm for snacking on all night without burning. All you have to do is close the flaps to keep the sun out, but leave the glass door on to keep the heat in. However, it is a fairly heavy solar oven at 21 lbs and would not be good for hiking trips like the Hot Pot.

We are giving our Editors Pick to the Sun Oven because we think it is the best all-around solar cooking device on the market. But all of these solar cookers are worth considering, and each serves a different need. Choose the one that is best for you.

Click Here to see the Solar Cooker sun oven in use at the Denver Urban Homesteading picnic.

If you want a good deal on a Global Sun Oven try Thomas Baily (tommyfreerange at yahoo dot com) who sells them for under MSRP at $275.

Average Rating

Solar Oven Comparisons & Cooker Reviews
Average Rating: 4.3 out of 5 based on 4 ratings.

The Solar Chef said:

You know, it's a shame they don't still sell the "Economy Solar Cooker" because it was under $25 and was a great way for someone to get into this. At the same time, if you really did find out that you enjoyed solar cooking (and I can't see who wouldn't!) you'd outgrow that thing in a few months anyway. The Sport is a great buy at that price and makes a great solar oven that will last you a long time. But I agree with the editors on this one - if you are SERIOUS about solar cooking, you can't go wrong with the Hybrid model. After all, it isn't sunny every day!

susan said:

This was very informative and helped me make my decision.

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