Different types of solar cookers

The work group “Solar Cookers Sliedrecht” has chosen to promote the Dierkx type Box Cooker.

In general we distinguish three types of solar cookers: the Parabole Cooker, the Cookit and the Box Cooker.

The SK14 is the best-known of the parabole cookers. It got this name because its diameter is 1.4 metres.

Advantages of the Parabole Cooker:

~ The parabole cooker reaches a high temperature very quickly (comparable with an electric cooker of 700 Watts). 2 litres of water will boil in 18 minutes.
~ In combination with a box of hay the parabole cooker can be used by several families.
~ The parabole cooker can already be used as early as one hour after sunrise.
~ If maintained properly the high-gloss aluminium strips will last 15 years.

Disadvantages of the Parabole Cooker:

~ Each quarter of an hour the parabole cooker has to be directed to the sun.
~ The parabole cooker is more expensive than other systems.
~ The food can get burned, so someone must be watching.
~ When not used properly the parabole cooker may be harmful to the eyes.

Advantages of the Cookit:

~ The Cookit is the cheapest system.
~ The Cookit can be folded and be carried along.

Disadvantages of the Cookit:

~ The Cookit is effected by the wind and lacks insulation. Thus the cooking takes longer.
~ The Cookit does not last long. The duration of the UV resistant plastic bag is limited.

Advantages of the Box Cooker:

~ The food in the box cooker cannot get burned and cooks unattended.
~ Because of the simple materials the box cooker can be constructed in almost every country.
~ The box cooker is relatively cheap and quite durable.
~ The box cooker can be installed and programmed in such a way that the food is ready when the people come home.

Disadvantages of the Box Cooker:

~ The box cooker takes between 2 and 4 hours to cook the food.
~ The box cooker is only suited for dishes in a pan.
~ The box cooker cannot fry or stew food.
~ The box cooker requires a change of cooking methods and therefore people need to be instructed.