Solar Funnel Cooker

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Solar Funnel Cooker
Originally designed by Professor Steven Jones this homemade cooker takes advantage of the sun to cook food and pasteurize water.
Servings
Servings
Instructions
  1. You can use cardboard with aluminum foil glued to it, aluminized Mylar with shiny side in, or a reflective car sun shade to create the reflector for this cooker. Cut the reflective material into a 40” x 20” rectangle. Then cut a half circle in the center and punch three small holes along the bottom on each side.
  2. Insert one brad in each hole and fasten together so that it creates a funnel. It doesn't matter which way the brads are inserted. The end result should look like a funnel. The funnel pictured is made from an automotive reflective sun shade.
  3. It is important that the bottle have air flow around it on all sides, including underneath for optimal performance. We created this little support using wire mesh and pieces of coat hangers.
  4. The support container must be stable and support the bottle and funnel. It does not get very hot. We used a plastic bowl and placed a piece of reflective material in the center to improve performance.
  5. The base unit is put together by placing the jar support over the reflective material inside the support container.
  6. This design will support a one-quart or two-quart canning jar. Spray paint the outside of the bottle and lid black with barbecue (high-heat) spray paint. Other spray paints will release toxins when heated. Hint: Do not wash in the dishwasher. I washed ours in the dishwasher and ended up with a dishwasher full of black spotted dishes.
  7. Place the food item, or water, inside the black jar and screw on the lid. Place the cooking bag into the funnel. Then place the jar on the wire support and put inside the bag. Blow air inside the bag to make the sides puff up so that the bag is not touching the sides of the jar. Tie the top of the bag with a twist tie. This creates a green house around the jar.
  8. Adjust the funnel to maximize exposure to the sun. Periodic re-positioning may be required to follow the path of the sun. Stabilize the funnel on windy days by tying a string from each of the small holes in the top corners and staking to the ground. Use care when handling because it will get very hot. The cooking bag is reusable. Solar cooking works best when the UV index is 7 or higher. Optimal solar cooking occurs between 10 am and 4 pm.
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Solar Funnel Cooker

Solar funnel cooker uses the power of the sun to cook food and pasteurize water.
Solar funnel cooker uses the power of the sun to cook food and pasteurize water.

This unique design is adapted from Brigham Young University Professor Steven Jones’ solar funnel cooker. It is inexpensive to make and simple to use. The great advantage to this cooker is it uses the sun for energy. It works well for pasteurizing water and making simple meals. The lid on the black canning jar acts like a pressure cooker decreasing the amount of cooking time required. It takes a little practice to learn how to use well and take best advantage of the sun.

Solar cooking works best when the UV index is 7 or higher. Optimal times are between 10 am and 4 pm. Partly cloudy days will require additional cooking time. Foods do not burn when left in a solar cooker like they do in a standard oven.

This device will pasteurize water, cook stews, soups, beans, meat and bake breads. Although I have to admit I don’t like the way the bread turns out. I prefer to use a solar box oven because it is much more convenient. However, knowledge is power. Understanding how to construct and use a basic solar funnel cooker may come in very handy someday.

Basic supplies needed include a canning jarhigh temperature flat black spray paintan oven bag, reflective material such as car sun shade or heavy-duty aluminum foilaluminum foil tape (for ease when working with aluminum foil), a plastic base, and something to keep the bottle off the bottom of the cooker.

Print Recipe
Solar Funnel Cooker
Originally designed by Professor Steven Jones this homemade cooker takes advantage of the sun to cook food and pasteurize water.
Servings
Servings
Instructions
  1. You can use cardboard with aluminum foil glued to it, aluminized Mylar with shiny side in, or a reflective car sun shade to create the reflector for this cooker. Cut the reflective material into a 40” x 20” rectangle. Then cut a half circle in the center and punch three small holes along the bottom on each side.
  2. Insert one brad in each hole and fasten together so that it creates a funnel. It doesn't matter which way the brads are inserted. The end result should look like a funnel. The funnel pictured is made from an automotive reflective sun shade.
  3. It is important that the bottle have air flow around it on all sides, including underneath for optimal performance. We created this little support using wire mesh and pieces of coat hangers.
  4. The support container must be stable and support the bottle and funnel. It does not get very hot. We used a plastic bowl and placed a piece of reflective material in the center to improve performance.
  5. The base unit is put together by placing the jar support over the reflective material inside the support container.
  6. This design will support a one-quart or two-quart canning jar. Spray paint the outside of the bottle and lid black with barbecue (high-heat) spray paint. Other spray paints will release toxins when heated. Hint: Do not wash in the dishwasher. I washed ours in the dishwasher and ended up with a dishwasher full of black spotted dishes.
  7. Place the food item, or water, inside the black jar and screw on the lid. Place the cooking bag into the funnel. Then place the jar on the wire support and put inside the bag. Blow air inside the bag to make the sides puff up so that the bag is not touching the sides of the jar. Tie the top of the bag with a twist tie. This creates a green house around the jar.
  8. Adjust the funnel to maximize exposure to the sun. Periodic re-positioning may be required to follow the path of the sun. Stabilize the funnel on windy days by tying a string from each of the small holes in the top corners and staking to the ground. Use care when handling because it will get very hot. The cooking bag is reusable. Solar cooking works best when the UV index is 7 or higher. Optimal solar cooking occurs between 10 am and 4 pm.
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