Portable solar oven work by means of the sun UV rays. A solar oven allows the UV light rays in and then convert them to infrared light rays that can be retained. Infrared radiation has the required energy to make fat, protein, and water molecules in food vibrate dynamically and heat up.
What you should know about solar cooking is that it isn’t the sun’s heat that cooks your meals, nor is it the ambient temperatures on the outside, though this can affect the rate at which your food cook, but rather, it’s the sun rays converted to heat energy that cooks your meals. And this heat is then retained by the pan or pot using a lid or covering.
Here are the three main components to best portable solar ovens and how they help in cooking;
- Concentration – The sun rays are often concentrated by petals and reflecting surfaces to a point. These reflecting panels or petals are made of shiny and reflective materials such as aluminum, chromium, and silver. They are made shiny to speed up the process of heat accumulation.
- Absorption – The sun’s energy is absorbed in solar cooking by the darkened surface in oven interiors. The surfaces are usually black. Dark colors absorb heat and transfer food more quickly to the food.
- Retention – This is the final stage in the solar oven cooking. If a solar oven is not well insulated or doesn’t have a lid or cover, then all of the intense heat and absorbed energy would quickly disperse into the air before heating the food. The best portable solar oven must have the means to hold and trap the concentrated heat thereby allowing it concentrate to a level that’s sufficient enough to be able to cook effectively.
Finally, most ovens have transparent reflective material/lid to allow the sun rays to penetrate inside; this helps to accelerate the rate of cooking and also helps in heat retention.