Imagine if you could cook food using only the sun’s rays for fuel. If you had a solar grill it wouldn’t matter if you were in your own backyard or at the top of the Rockies, you could be a few sunbeams away from a fully cooked and delicious meal for yourself and your friends. All with no need for gas, electricity, or flame.
But you don’t need to imagine it – you can actually cook with the power of the sun and it’s so easy and fun. You might think cooking with a sun grill means staring into glaring light and working with dangerously hot temperatures that are hard to control but this isn’t the case at all. In recent years, there has been an increase in solar-powered products and solar grills are no exception.
Solar cooking is an effective and efficient way of cooking. Solar-powered grills have the same heating capacity as a normal gas or electric grill except all you need is sunlight. There are some of these grills so advanced that the can even work on a cloudy day.
Here are some of the best solar-powered grills available on the market and everything you should know about them.
Emergency Zone SunCore Portable Solar Cooker Oven
GoSun Portable Solar Grill
GoSun Sport Portable Solar Cooker
- 1 Top Solar Grill Reviews of 2020
- 2 How to Choose the Ultimate Solar Grill?
- 3 Advantages & Disadvantages of Solar Grills
Top Solar Grill Reviews of 2020
1. GoSun Portable Solar Grill
For all those who say “go big or go home” here is one recommendation: GoSun portable solar grill. This grill can handle large volumes of food and prepares enough for eight people. The grill cooks quickly and it can reach high temperatures while staying cool to the touch. The GoSun comes with 2 stainless steel cooking pans, a stainless steel steam tray, and drip tray; everything you need to bake, steam, boil, roast, and fry! Don’t let the name fool you, you can use this for more than just grilling meats and steaming vegetables. Use the GoSun to bake bread, make pizzas, soups, and stews.
Set this grill up in just seconds and deal with hardly any cleanup when you’re done. The GoSun portable solar grill is an award winner in design for its conversion of nearly 80% of absorbed light into heat. This makes it easy for you to keep food warm even in at the coldest peaks. Plus, you can feel secure knowing there is a 2-year, “no-questions-asked”, warranty when ordered from Amazon, GoSun, or Brookstone.
This grill’s UV-light collecting tube is so powerful that it doesn’t have to be a sunny day to use the grill; you can even use it in a shade. The advanced design of the grill ensures that the food is cooked evenly without having to stir it. Most importantly, the unit is safe and you don’t have to worry about it being a fire hazard. So, feel free to take it with you camping or boating! Your backyard cooking haven will be complete with a solar-powered grill to make balanced and complete meals for your friends and family.
- Portable, 30lbs, 1’x1’x1’
- Covered by a two-year warranty
- Cooks a large volume of food quickly
- On the expensive side
- Outdoor only
2. GoSun Sport Portable Solar Cooker
For those who were impressed by our previous pick but found it just a bit too expensive for your first solar grill experience, here’s a simple alternative. GoSun Sport Solar Cooker is the little brother of the GoSun grill. While the full-size GoSun grill above is still portable, it’s 30lbs and a bit boxy to transport at 1’x1’x1’. GoSun Sport fixes that with an 8lb version that folds into an easy-to-carry hard case with a handle. So easy to bring up the mountain, load onto the boat, and pack in the back of your vehicle.
It’s one of the simplest yet most effective solar powered grills available on the market. GoSun is the leading solar cooking brand in the United States and has been featured by Top Chef, Discovery Channel, Outside Magazine, and Popular Science.
The GoSun Sport is every bit as capable as his bigger brother of baking, roasting, steaming, frying, boiling, and grilling; it just doesn’t cook as much food at once as the full-size solar grill.
Similar to the standard model, this one also captures UV light effectively so you can use it even when it’s cloudy outside. When the day is bright and sunny, the grill can reach up to 550°F. But perhaps the best part is the insulation technology feature that prevents any burn or fire damage.
- Not affected by outside temperature or wind
- Works even on cloudy days
- Folds up into a lightweight package, only 8 lbs
- Performance is degraded in high humidity
- Cooking time is longer when trying to “sauté” food
3. Emergency Zone SunCore Portable Solar Cooker Oven
Emergency Zone SunCore is a well-thought-out design created by ER-doctor turned entrepreneur who has been turning out emergency preparedness supplies since 2007. Originally creating these tools for their friends and family, Emergency Zone has grown into one of the leading emergency supply companies in the United States. The SunCore portable solar grill is just as impressive as the company that makes it. This model is not only very affordable, but it takes no shortcuts on quality.
A built-in sundial lets you know the optimal direction to face your solar grill for the highest temperatures or fastest cooking times. For slower times and lower temperatures, use the sundial to gauge an indirect position to the sun. The built-in thermometer will allow you to see what temperature your food is cooking at, so you can follow recipes and cook food to safety.
This modern, durable, grill is still very stylish and convenient. It’s made of thick and sturdy panels intended to handle rugged camping trips. The SunCore easily folds up and packs into a compact hard case with a handle for effortless transportation.
Take this grill on adventures through the deserts and tundras, to the rocky peaks, to the sultry everglades, or the snowy tips. Weather conditions and seasons are no matter for the SunCore solar grill. All you need is sunlight and food.
- Compact, portable, lightweight
- Durable and rugged
- Includes Sundial and Thermometer features
- The tube can’t be used for boiling water
- The tray is a bit sticky upon sliding in and ou
4. Sunflair Portable Solar Oven Deluxe
This product is one of the most affordable on the market and allows you to not only grill but bake cookies to pizza and even dry herbs and fruits. The Sunflair solar oven comes with multiple baking trays, baking racks, enamel and silicone pots, and a carrying bag to easily transport everything. Besides the tools it comes with, this grill accommodates most any camping cookware you intend to use.
This unit is lightweight and portable, weighing only 1.2lbs! It can even fold for easier storage and transport. This solar grill is an excellent choice for a newcomer to the world of solar cooking. The unit reaches about 280 degrees F, so take this into account when cooking items that are larger or may require a higher cooking temperature and adjust as necessary.
Buying a sun cooking grill means you’re taking a step toward a greener, healthier, future and your step goes further than you might think. A portion of every purchase is donated to causes that support a greener future domestically and across the globe.
- Very lightweight and highly portable unit
- Comes with plenty of accessories and cooking ware
- An affordable choice for those who want to try solar cooking
- The unit doesn’t reach very high temperatures
- Only to be used in direct sunlight
5. Exclusive All American Sun Oven
If you like the looks of the Sunflair solar-powered grill, but feel like you need something a bit more advanced, then here is the next step for the intermediate solar cooker: All American Sun Oven. This product can reach up to 400°F and will cook almost anything. You can also use it for fast cooking or slow cooking.
The All American Sun Oven is affordable but still comes with tons of power and functionality. This unit comes with the capability to dehydrate, rehydrate, bake, fry, steam, roast, and boil. A built-in thermometer will keep you on point with your cooking temperatures and the unit even features wind-resistant legs that are easily adjustable for your natural, impromptu, surfaces. Dealing with some strong winds? The legs can even be staked into the ground for more durability and support while cooking.
Pasteurize water, make nachos, make jerky! This solar grill and oven can even accommodate and 7-lb roast! The All American Sun grill even includes the unique inside dimple design that automatically bastes your food for you. This necessity is only 23 lbs and folds into a portable suitcase unit for easy transportation. Best part: no danger of a fire and no burning your food!
- Powerful, reaches high temperatures
- Cooks a large volume of food, upto 8 people
- Comes will all necessary utensils and accessories
- Transporting can be a bit heavy and bulky
How to Choose the Ultimate Solar Grill?
With so many solar powered grills (and solar powered ovens or cookers) available on the market, choosing only one seems almost impossible. Luckily, they all have very different features and capabilities. By paying attention to the solar grill’s cooking ability, accessories, portability, and even warranty, you can easily decide which solar cooker suits your needs. (And consider getting one of these solar refrigerators while you’re at it!)
As we already mentioned, these grills have the same cooking abilities as gas or electric grills, as demonstrated by this study in the Journal of Solar Energy. You can adjust the temperature easily and cook the food for as long as you like. However, when it comes to cooking tasks, not all solar grills perform the same. Some can do almost everything, from boiling to baking while others might have limited abilities. Make sure to know in advance what are you going to use the grill for and make your decision based on that. Note that you won’t need a solar firestarter or other open flame.
Majority of solar powered grills (even these DIY solar ovens) come with some classic features such as the cooking surface and solar reflectors. However, some manufacturers go the extra mile and include accessories such as cooking pans, collapsible reflectors, and a built-in thermometer. Keep in mind that these accessories might increase the cost of the product.
Size of the Grill
The size of the grill is one very important factor. The way you’re going to use the grill can help you determine which product is the best for you. If you’re planning to use the grill for cooking and baking on a daily basis, then you should invest in a larger model. However, if you plan to use it only for emergencies or camping, then a smaller size will be good for you.
Last but not least, pay attention to the manufacturer’s warranty. Your grill should be covered by at least a standard one-year warranty. Some manufacturers even offer a 30-day cash back guarantee, so choose wisely.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Solar Grills
Solar cooking seems like an exciting change everyone should try out. However, as with other solar products (like these solar filter sheets or these solar escape hats), it has both advantages and disadvantages. For example, depending on the grill you buy, you may not be able to cook anything if the weather is overcast. However, most solar grills work fine even with a few clouds in the sky. On the other hand, if you plan to use the grill regularly, you can reduce your electricity bill significantly.
Here are some other advantages and disadvantages of using a solar-powered cooker:
- Advantages of Solar Grills:
- Easy and simple to use
- They can reduce your electric or gas bills
- The product is a great solution for emergency situations
- Using solar power is good for the environment
- Go great with these coffee makers powered by the sun
Disadvantages of Solar Grills:
- It might take you some time to get used to cooking
- Quality units tend to be very expensive
- Weather could affect your ability to cook
- Isn’t always convenient
Solar grills are versatile cooking appliances that can be used both as a regular means of cooking and in emergency situations. In addition, they will help you reduce your gas or electricity bills significantly and make cooking more interesting and delicious than ever.