A solar cooker uses the power of sunlight to cook food. It’s a simple concept that really works, something you know if you ever fried an ant with a magnifying glass. By using multiple reflective surfaces to concentrate sunlight onto food, typical solar ovens can generate temperatures ranging from 250-350 degrees, which is enough to cook a wide variety of foods and boil liquids. Some nicer models can reach 400-500 degrees.

It is the pinnacle of eco-friendly cooking, and it’s really fun somehow, even though you’re not actually doing anything but waiting for the sun to make you dinner. There are lots of solar cookers to choose from, many fold up or collapse for easy transport. There is even an inflatable model that you can put in your pocket. These make great gifts since they’re so practical and versatile, and many people don’t know they exist.

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