Hello. I have lived in Canyon, Texas for the last 12 years with my wife and family. We are at a latitude of 35 degrees north and 102 degrees west longitude.
I have had an interest in solar energy since 1975. My first solar cooker was a design based on the Beth and Dan Halacy Parabolic Cooker. The book, which has detailed plans, is still popular today and may be purchased here: Order this book from Amazon.com (30% of purchase price donated to Solar Cookers International).
A few years later, I made a cooker with a bit more collector area, similar to, but not as nice as the Solar Griddle design. I bought some 1 foot square mirror tiles that a hardware store had in a clearance basket. I went to a junk yard and found a half used spool of wire. The wire was about twice as stiff as clothes hanger wire. I cut segments of the wire to make croquet hoops. I hammered some iron rods into the ground to make a stand for an electric griddle. I took the plastic handles off of the griddle and painted the bottom of the griddle with black spray paint. I pressed 40 hoops into the ground around the griddle and leaned a mirror against each hoop so that a noon day sun would reflect to the bottom of the griddle. I would angle the mirrors by raising a corner of the mirror off of the ground, as neccessary, so that the reflection from the mirrors would line up in a square as much as possible on the bottom of the griddle. With a bright shining sun at least 60 degrees above the horizon, a layer of cooking oil on the griddle would begin smoking in about 1 minute. I could cook a meal with one setting of the mirrors, but for extended cooking, the focal point would be steadily on the move and I would have to adjust all of the mirrors again.
I still use mirrors with the Solar Fryer. The reflection from the mirrors is not nearly as precise as a true parabola. The focal point is spread out more and makes the Solar Fryer easier to use. I can count on at least an hour of great solar cooking on a sunny summer day as the mirrors' reflection moves across the bottom of the grill. I had a piece of low iron glass cut to fit a motorcycle wheel. I use it to cover a pizza when cooking on the grill. Pictures of a pizza cooking on the solar cooker can be seen on the Solar Fryer article.
- Solar Fryer
- Vegetables An exotic but easy to make recipe called Kelewele
- Bread Enjoy the great taste and aroma of freshly baked spelt bread.
- Eggs & Cheese American breakfast classic of bacon and eggs
- Meat Dishes Summer Solar Cookout of Rib Eye Steaks or Shish Kabobs
- Seafood For a special occasion - Crab legs or Yellowfin tuna
Since the weather is hard to predict, the Yellowfin tuna is a risk free option. If the weather is not good enough for solar cooking, you can always make sashimi.