Disclaimer: I was provided a SolSource Solar Stove to review, but all opinions are my own.
The SolSource Solar Stove, by One Earth Designs, is a parabolic solar cooker. Parabolic solar cookers work by concentrating reflected sun rays up to a central focal point. The extreme heat generated at that point is capable of frying, grilling, boiling, and baking food. As a dedicated solar chef, with a multitude of different types of cookers in my solar kitchen, I was still missing a parabolic cooker. So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review the SolSource Solar Stove.
One Earth Designs is an innovative leader in the solar cooking industry. Together with nomads in the Himalayas, One Earth Designs developed the SolSource Solar Stove. Their award winning design was tested under the midnight sun in the Artic Circle and was featured on the TV show “Top Chef” in December 2015. SolSource is an environmentally friendly outdoor grill and is 100% recyclable.
The SolSource came unassembled in a large box. It was up to me – or rather Mr. B – to put the whole thing together. All of the parts and the instructions were in the box, so it was not difficult. It took Mr. B about 45 minutes to put it together – and that included the time to remove the protective film from the reflective panels.
Once it was completely assembled, we couldn’t help but just stand and marvel at the beautiful design. The reflective panels are bright and shiny and it looks like something out of a science fiction movie. But the future is now and the SolSource is not science fiction.
What I Like About the SolSource Solar Stove
The absolutely best design feature, in my opinion, is that an open space has been left at the back of the cooker. The dish is composed of only 5 of the 6 panels needed to make a full circle. The advantage of the design is that the chef is able to stand behind the dish to cook. So not only is the chef closer to the food, but also does not block the sun from entering the dish by standing in front. It also places the chef in position to have full control to focus the SolSource anytime needed.
Another unique feature of the SolSource Solar Stove is the black mirror in the center of the dish. The purpose of the mirror is to allow the chef to properly focus the sun rays. By looking in the mirror, the chef can see where the beams hit the bottom of the pan; and, therefore, the chef can make immediate adjustments to keep the pan hot and the food cooking.
Easy To Clean
The SolSource Solar Stove is easy to use and easy to clean. Just use a soft damp cloth to wipe off all of the spills and splatters.
It reaches temperatures of 550F / 350C. That is hot enough to fry, grill, boil, and bake.
Safe and Environmentally Friendly
Although the cooking temperature reaches extreme heat, the reflective panels themselves never get hot. Touch it anywhere and it is not hot. So it is safe around children and pets and even safe to clean while in use. Because there are no flames and no organic fuels, the SolSource produces no soot, no dirt, and no carcinogens. That keeps our air clean and our lungs healthy.
Can be used any time, any where
And because there are no flames, the SolSource can be used on “No Burn” days and in “No Burn” areas. As an added bonus, it can be used in cold weather. The only thing needed is a sunny day.
Of course, as soon as we had the dish assembled we had to give it a try. For our first cook, we wanted something easy. So we pulled out a pound of bacon and a couple of eggs. Following the directions, we used a heavy aluminum pan with a non-stick coating.
After aligning the dish, we allowed the pan to pre-heat for a couple of minutes. Then in went the bacon. It immediately started to sizzle, pop, and fry. YES OH YES!! We were actually frying bacon – out in the backyard — with no electricity! no gas! no charcoal! no butane! no wood! We were only using the free and unlimited energy that comes to us every day from the sun.
I fell in love with the SolSource. It is absolutely perfect. I’m thrilled that I can now have a complete solar kitchen so be on the lookout for more great dishes cooked on this parabolic cooker.
For a great recipe using the Solsource, please read Skillet Eggplant and Pasta and be sure to keep an eye out for other upcoming recipes using the SolSource Solar Stove. I would love to hear about your experience with parabolic solar cooking and with the SolSource Solar Stove so leave me a comment below.