Harness the free energy from the sun to bake, broil, steam, dehydrate and even more. The idea of using the sun to cook our food is not a new one, in fact, it’s ages old and successfully used with many variations. Today you can find solar cookers in all shapes, sizes, design, price ranges and employing a wide variety of materials.
The Global Sun Oven takes the age-old method, introduces improved, effective (made in the USA!) materials to create an extremely efficient solar cooker and oven. The tempered glass lid, combined with the gasket surrounding the well-insulated cooking chamber creates an actual “oven” environment that other solar cookers do not achieve. The Global Sun Oven can achieve higher and longer sustained temperatures which is essential to successful solar cooking and allows this solar oven to be effective even during the Winter – as long as there is sunshine.
Made in the U.S.A!
Weight: 21 pounds
Dimensions: 19 x 19 inches, average depth of 11 inches
Lightweight, portable, folds up, includes carrying handle
One piece, attached folding metal reflectors
Spillproof “levelator” – a removable shelf mounted inside the cooking chamber that levels food to prevent spillage
Multi-position leveling leg, adjusts to nine positions to better focus the power of the sun, slides up inside the Sun Oven for storage
Includes thermometer mounted in cooking chamber
Reaches temperatures of 360° – 400° + temperatures, but will not flame
Maintains temperature for hours when kept closed
Will reach cooking temperatures even in the Winter, in cold outside temperatures when clear sun is present
Pasteurizes water (WPI – Water Pasteurization Indicator is available)
Unpacking the Global Sun Oven, the immediate reaction was how sturdy and extremely well-made this unit is compared to others we have been reviewing.
The instructions are clear and understandable, a big bonus. Following the directions, we “seasoned” the Sun Oven to remove any manufacturing or packing coatings and to ensure we would not have any off smells or flavors in our food. We actually performed the steps twice, to be cautious.
The attached reflectors were easy to open and set and directed the sun’s power right to the Sun Oven cooking chamber.
The Sun Oven performed extremely well in all our tests, even baking whole grain yeast breads and whole grain quickbreads. Meats, vegetables, soups and stews were cooked quickly and completely, without losing any moisture when re-focusing the Sun Oven. When we chose the slow cook option, (not re-focusing the Sun Oven), our foods were cooked beautifully, without using our slow cooker.
The removable leveling shelf kept our foods from spilling when we moved the oven. This came in handy several times (see Side by Side Testing below).
The clean up was easy (thanks again to the leveling shelf) and consisting of wiping down the inside and glass lid and allowing the Sun Oven to cool, then folding it up and bringing it back into the house for storage.
We tested the Global Sun oven at different times of the day, different months of the year, different positions around our home, with and without the leveling leg and with and without the leveling shelf. We tested a wide variety of foods, cooking times and cooking containers including covered and uncovered, black lid and clear lid and even clear glass canning jars (yes, these are wonderful as cooking containers in the Sun Oven).
Testing the Global Sun Oven side by side with another solar cooker had some surprising results.
The Sun Oven reached optimum temperatures more quickly and maintained them longer.
We were able to perform several batches of cooking (taking one food batch out when finished and starting a new one cooking to completion) each time we used the Sun Oven due to the insulation of the cooking chamber. We were not able to consistently to achieve this with our other solar cooker.
We tested the accuracy of the Sun Oven thermometer (mounted in the top of the oven) against another cooker with the thermometer placed down next to the cooking pot and both thermometers read the same. This was done to ensure our readings were comparable.
The Sun Oven employs several options not included in other solar cookers such as the gasket surrounding the cooking chamber which seals in and maintains the temperature and allows “stacking” within the cooking chamber, exactly like an oven. The Sun Oven also includes the unique mounted leveling shelf, the retractable leveling leg and the tempered glass lid.
In one test, our other solar cooker created a huge mess when we went to reposition it towards the sun’s strongest rays (also known as “re-focusing.”) The pot of homemade chili slid inside the cooker, spilling everywhere, even into the holes in the cooker (The Sun Oven has no holes in the cooking chamber) and concerning us that the liquid had seeped in between the loosely-laid inner material and the insulation. The Sun Oven did not spill our foods, even when re-focusing and adjusting the leveling leg.
The Sun Oven’s tempered glass lid will not warp, bubble, tear or come in contact with the food and it creates a cooking chamber with excellent heat retention. The side by side solar oven we used has a plastic lid that does warp
The Sun Oven’s gasket surrounds the cooking chamber, again, creating a seal and cooking environment most like an oven, maintaining heat and allowing foods to be stacked and still cook evenly, even when using a lid. The gasket will never warp. The other cooker we used does not have a gasket, but uses a plastic “collar” surrounding the cooking chamber which (according to their user material) will warp if temperatures get too high when using the reflectors. We had ours warp on our first use. The manufacturer we spoke with instructed us not to use the optional reflectors.
The Global Sun Oven exceeded our expectations and out-performed the other solar cooker in every side-by-side test, as well as a comparison of materials, workmanship and longevity.
The Global Sun Oven is our #1 recommendation of solar cookers available.
The Global Sun Oven accessories include:
WAPI (Water Pasteurization Indicator)
Pots and pans
Disclaimer: Vickilynn Haycraft is an independent Product Reviewer. She does not sell products or accept payment for reviews. The products reviewed are either purchased by Vickilynn Haycraft or provided for review and all reviews are unbiased regardless of how the item was obtained. The product sample of the the Global Sun Oven was provided for testing and review.
© 2008-2012 Vickilynn Haycraft and Real Food Living. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this review may be copied, stored or transmitted in any medium, for any reason without prior written permission of the author.