How To Increase Solar Oven Efficiency

In this quick guide, let's discuss how to increase solar oven efficiency.

You can cook anything with No electricity, No gas, No wood, and No charcoal. So how can we peak its efficiency without doing complicated things?

We're going to break down everything for you here.


Way To Increase Solar Oven Cooker's Efficiency

When we talk about efficiency, we basically want faster cooking speed when using a solar oven cooker.

2 Main Factors To Increase Efficiency

  • Maximize sunlight exposure (Time & Angle)
  • Optimize heat retention and insulation (Cooking vessel & Heat absorbing material and interior color)

Most commercially manufactured solar ovens use aluminum for the interior “box” portion of the oven. The interior is usually covered by dark enamel, which allows for the fastest and most efficient transfer of heat for faster cooking time.

2 Practical Ways To Increase Sunlight Energy For Cooking

  • Use a dark-colored pot to absorb more sunlight because the reflectivity of the oven interior will increase the solar energy in the cooking vessel.
  • Paint the oven's interior all black using high-temperature BBQ paint so it absorbs and retains heat so much better by conduction.

If you have a home made solar oven, please keep reading.


For DIY Home-Built Solar Oven Cooker

Clay Solar Cooker

solar cooking

With regards to a clay solar cooker, you may want to use aluminum in conjunction with the darken colored clay as the insulating exterior and aluminum as the interior where the food will cook faster.

In addition, mix in some grass along with the clay to give it a better insulating quality as well as making the performance more solid.

Glass Solar Cooker

how a shoebox solar oven works

Most cookers have a glass door or lid so that the sun rays can pass through and then the lid traps the heat preventing it from escaping. This is how most DIY solar cooker designs online are using. If you build a solar cooker out of a shoebox, and this will be that type.

Glass is not the best material for holding the heat compared to other materials.
This loss of heat to a certain degree is present in all solar cookers that have glass or lexan covers since these covers are the only method of letting the sunlight into the cooker, but they will slowly allow the heat to escape as well through conduction and radiation.

What You Can Do:

  • Insulate top, bottom, and sides fully to prevent losing heat.
  • Use dark color pot like mentioned above
  • Put an inverted glass bowl over the top to insulate heat even more

I hope you might find some of this information to be helpful. Happy cooking!

Ying Xu

Graduated from the University of Kansas with an Aerospace Engineering degree & served 4 years as an US Air Force officer. Experienced with basic survival skills, weapon system security,  technical disaster recovery, and system troubleshooting

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