Last updated: July 15, 2015
Designers and manufacturers have taken varied approaches to creating solar cookers. The most commonly used have been solar box cookers and solar panel cookers. They work well for slow cooking, are generally less expensive to buy than other styles, and are fairly easy for most people to build themselves. Variations of these designs have typically been used to introduce solar cooking in deforested developing counties since the latter half of the twentieth century. High quality manufactured models are available for purchase.
Parabolic solar cookers also have a long history of use, primarily in Europe and Asia. They cook at higher temperatures and usually require more complicated fabrication. A number of models are available from manufacturers. They can be used in series to create steam for institutional kitchens feeding thousands of people per day.
Evacuated tube solar cookers are compact and can cook quite efficiently. Several models are available commercially. Other variations of solar cookers are also included in the subcategories listed below.
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