The Solar Chef was designed and first patented by Sam Erwin in 1978. Since then, he has sold over 3,000 ovens up through 2011. The solar panel cooker incorporates a sturdy framework with a swivel base to allow positioning towards the sun. The central cooking chamber has a small fan to assist distributing the heat evenly.
Sam was trained as a carpenter before he began production. Now, as of 2013 (at the age of 89), he found a partner to produce and distribute the cookers.