Best Solar Oven

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The World Health Organization raised the alarm over 3.2 million annual deaths related to household air pollution from solid fuels in 2020. Research done by the Florida Premier Energy Research center proves that solar ovens are the cheapest solution to harmful emissions from burnt, low-quality wood known to cause respiratory problems in many parts of the world.

Solar cookers work by collecting or trapping the sun’s heat energy, which they convert to infrared energy. The energy is then concentrated to make enough heat to cook a meal in a croc, silicone, steel, or aluminum pot.

According to a journal published in the National Library of Medicine, solar ovens are the most viable alternatives to fossil fuels. The main benefit of these ovens is they utilize free energy from the sun, which translates to minimal costs for the user. They are safe and can easily handle many types of food.

There are many factors to consider when buying a solar oven. The most important include how often you intend to use it, how much sun your area receives, and how large you need it to be. A large group of people will consider getting a large oven to cater to their cooking needs, while a small group will be more concerned about portability. Additionally, a camping trip to Alaska in the winter will require a solar oven that functions in subzero temperatures.

To determine the best solar ovens in the market, we tested 12 products over 8 days. We were careful to use a location with ample sunlight and little cloud cover, and each solar oven was subjected to 18 hours of cumulative use. For control purposes, we cooked the same type of food with all of them. Below is detailed documentation of our findings.

Best for Longevity: Haines 2.0 SunUp Solar Cooker and Dutch Oven Kit

Haines 2.0 SunUp Solar Cooker and Dutch Oven Kit / Haines



Things we liked:

Very strong and durable
It is fire-safe
Easy to carry about
Cooks 40% faster than most solar ovens
Uses clean energy

Things we didn’t like:

It is lightweight and can be carried off by strong winds

We picked this model because it is a strong and sturdy gadget that can withstand prolonged use without wearing. The Haines 2.0 solar oven is compatible with different settings such as homes, campsites, and off-grid locations. This oven is also fire-safe, meaning that it does pose a fire risk, even when the sun is intense.

This solar oven is pretty fast and can cook between 35 and 40% faster than other solar cookers. The oven has a fixed large cooking surface that stays put as you cook. It is also convenient because you can adjust the solar reflectors to follow the sun’s direction.

One concern is that this solar oven is pretty light, and you need to use weights to keep it from being displaced by strong wind gusts.

Solar oven dimensions: 26 x 13 x 8.7 inches | Design type: Panelbolic design | Reflector Material: Mylar and polyester foam

Best for Portability: GOSUN Sport Solar Oven Portable Stove

GOSUN Sport Solar Oven Portable Stove / GOSUN



Things we liked:

Compact and easy to carry around
The surface does not heat up
Quick setup and easy storage
It is fire-safe
Cooks fast

Things we didn’t like:

Not ideal for all foods

This solar oven made our top list because it is a light device that is very easy to carry around, as it fits well in carry-on luggage. Additionally, its surface does not get hot as it cooks, reducing the chances of burn accidents.

During testing, we noticed that the vacuum tube with which it cooks holds a decent amount of food, making it ideal for several people. The main downside was that the tube’s shape was not ideal for all foods, and we could not cook foods like burger patties or boiled eggs evenly.

However, one of its main upsides is that it comes with all necessary accessories, including 2 parabolic reflectors (foldable), a tube cooking chamber, a cooking tray, a scrubbing tool, and a user manual.

Solar Oven dimensions: 24 x 5 x 8 inches | Design type: Vacuum tube | Reflector material: Stainless steel

Best Heatless Solar Oven: Sunflair Mini Portable Solar Oven

Sunflair Mini Portable Solar Oven / Sunflair



Things we liked:

Swift drying
Easy to carry around
It can be used inside cars
Very compact and light
It comes with a silicone pot

Things we didn’t like:

It is expensive

What stands out the most about this solar oven is that it comes with a silicone pot, which cooks and heats all foods without getting hot. This way, handling it becomes very easy without getting burnt.

This oven does not require the sun’s full glare to produce enough heat. On a 35-degree day, it makes nice crispy bacon strips in under 2 hours.

The efficiency level is incredible, considering how small and light the oven is. Another impressive feature is that this oven is so light that it can float on water. We tested this out, and it cooked without much trouble in a pool. This makes it convenient for cooking when camping next to a river and boating.

As we mentioned earlier, the light weight of this solar oven is an advantage. However, this can quickly work against you in overly windy environments. During our test, we had trouble keeping it steady and had to weigh it down with stones in water with fast currents to keep it from floating away.

Solar Oven Dimensions: 2 x 11 x 13 inches | Design type: Panel cooker | Reflector material: Polyester foam

Best for All Seasons: Mr. MapMax Portable Solar Oven

Mr. MapMax Portable Solar Oven / Mr. MapMax



Things we liked:

It is fairly large
Can cook even in subzero temperatures
It can be adjusted to follow the sun
It does not require a pot to adjust

Things we didn’t like:

Its vacuum tube is not ideal for all food types

Our team was impressed by the efficiency of this oven in all temperatures. We carried it with us in -2°C weather and made hotdogs, albeit slowly. It did, however, boil a cup of water for under 20 minutes in those temperatures.

Another reason this oven made our top list is that it comes with a vacuum cooking tube, so you do not have to carry a croc pot. Its size is also very convenient for a large group as it can make a meal of 4 at a go.

This solar oven is waterproof and can cook even in wet conditions as long as there are UV rays. It is also built to resist strong gusts of wind. One of the main downsides is that it gets pretty hot on overly hot days, and light foods like vegetables are easy to burn.

Solar Oven dimensions: 9 x 23 x 7 inches | Design Type: Vacuum tub | Reflector material: Stainless steel

Best For Most Food Types: GOSUN Solar Oven Portable Stove

GOSUN Sport Solar Oven Portable Stove / GOSUN



Things we liked:

Ideal for all weather
Can make food in 20 minutes at a go
Very light
It can work with a bit of sun

Things we didn’t like:

Not suitable for all food types

This is your go-to solar oven if you intend to cook different kinds of food. It steams veggies, makes meat, and even bakes small buns quite well. In addition, it is swift and makes multiple meals in no time. This solar oven has a high maximum temperature which peaks at 550 degrees Fahrenheit, so even chunks of meat cook evenly.

Our team was impressed by its lightweight material. Regarding practicality, we could toss it into our luggage bags without carrying fewer essential items to create space for it.

This Gosun solar oven does not need assembly, as it comes complete, and all you have to do is clean and put in the food to be cooked.

The circular vacuum tube is one of the main letdowns to this solar oven. It becomes challenging to make certain foods, such as burger patties, without disfiguring them.

Solar oven dimensions: 23 x 13 x 13 inches | Design Type: Vacuum tube | Reflector material: Aluminum

Best for Cold Regions: Sunflair Portable Oven Deluxe with Cookware

Sunflair Mini Portable Solar Oven / Sunflair



Things we liked:

Very light and easy to carry
Ideal for very cold places
Closed-cell insulation
Can cook for 8 people

Things we didn’t like:

It is a bit slow
Build material could be sturdier

This solar oven stands out for its ability to function in freezing temperatures. It is designed and built to harness UV rays and concentrate them to the bottom of the cooking pot to ensure that food is cooked even in subzero temperatures. However, you will have to wait a significant amount of time to have your meal in these weather conditions.

Even though this solar oven comes across as flimsy, you will be impressed by its ability to cook a meal for 8 people in one go. Most other solar ovens with similar features are much larger and heavier, which is why this model stands out.

During our test in the mountains, we were impressed by this oven’s lightweight material, which made it easy to navigate the rugged terrain without bulkiness. The fact that it is also collapsible made it easy for us to pack it.

On the flip side, the oven needed to be weighted when it got windy. While it is not the most versatile oven regarding food variety, it handles fish and rice very well.

Solar Oven dimensions: 19 x 15.5 x 2 inches | Design type: Vacuum tube | Reflector material: Stainless material

What to look for in solar ovens

Here are a few things to consider when buying a solar oven.


Solar ovens are meant to be used outside, so getting one that is lightweight and collapsible is vital, especially for camping. You can always navigate wind gushes by adding weight to the oven with rocks.

Type of solar oven

Different types of ovens are ideal for different uses. Panel ovens are suitable for medium heat, while box, parabolic, ad tube ovens are ideal for higher temperatures.

The size

A solar oven designed for three will greatly inconvenience a group of eight. Although it will get the job done, cooking will take longer as you can’t cook all meals at a go.

FAQ Section

Can you boil water using a solar oven?

Yes, you can. The speed, however, depends on the model you are using.

Can you bake using solar ovens?

Yes, you can, but different models take different lengths to complete the task.

What is the best way of caring for and maintaining a solar oven?

Wipe it down after use and store it safely for subsequent use. Do not place items on top of the oven when storing; leave the door open to clear any trapped moisture inside.

Can solar ovens catch fire?

Yes, they can. Most, however, are built and designed to handle very high temperatures and use fire-safe materials.

Can I put food into a tube vacuum oven without wrapping it?

Yes, you can, but it is strongly advised against. Cleaning the oven would prove very difficult, so putting it in a Ziploc bag or wrapping it in tin foil is best.

  • Nichole Hutt

    Hi, I'm Nichole! 👋
    I always felt close to nature during my childhood. Preferring to spend my time alone playing with backyard animals at my family farm. 🐷
    In 1997, I attained my electrical engineering degree at the Oregon Institute Of Technology, graduating top of my class. Several years later, I qualified for my M.S. in Renewable Energy Engineering, also at OIT. 🎓

    Combining my love for nature and passion for engineering, I have worked for solar panel manufacturer's in my state, most notably as a PV solar engineer for Zamp Solar.

    I founded RenewableSystems to share my knowledge and expertise in the renewable energy field and help save this beautiful little planet of ours. ☀️🌎

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