Free Electricity for Cooking

Free electricity for cooking? How would this work? Many people understand the concept of solar energy for heating a home. Fewer realize it can be used for cooking food and sterilizing water.

Cooking with free electricity

A solar oven is pretty much what it sounds like. It is used for cooking food and sterilizing water. Most people do not even know they exist, but they are an effective way to cook from both an economic and efficiency point of view.

The basic idea of solar cooking is to create a box-like structure that the sun heats up dramatically. If you have ever sat in a car in rush hour during the summer, you know that the sun can generate a lot of heat in a closed space. Instead of cooking you in your car in summer, luckily a solar oven focuses on food.

So, how do we cook with this free electricity? The box structure is created with dark panelling and then covered with a clear glass or plastic top after pots with food or water has been put inside the box. The structure is sealed. Much like a car, the sunlight beats through the clear top and heats the interior of the box. As the heat rises, it cooks the food inside. Yes, it produces more than enough heat to do the job. It really is as simple as that.

There are three general types of solar ovens. A solar box works as described in the previous paragraph. A panel oven uses reflective surfaces to focus the sun on a pot to create heat and cook the food inside. A parabolic version is designed to focus the sunlight into the bottom of a concave area upon which sits a pot. There are variations of these three forms, but all solar cooking designs are derived from these basic ideas.

While cooking with the sun using free electricity is a fun and efficient, most people will never apply it in their homes because of obvious design issues. At a cabin or when camping, however, it is a perfect solution.

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