FAQ

How does it work?

Solar cooking uses the simple principle of solar concentration. Mirors focus the energy from the Sun at the center of the oven/parabole, or directly onto your pot. 1m² on the ground receive as an average 1kW of energy by sunny day and almost all of it is transfered to the pot.

What can we cook with a solar oven or barbecue?

The barbecues and the solar ovens can cook all types of dishes : grilled, simmered, steamed,.. according to the material used : a cooking pot or a shelf. The main difference with solar cooking is the softness : the food is cooked slowly with a slow rising temperature, like this the nutriments and the texture of the food is preserved. Two tips for a better experience of solar cooking :

- cut the food in small/medium pieces to speed up cooking.

- Don't put too much water (for exemple to cook rice or vegetables) : water is really hard to heat so use "steam" cooking instead.

What are the cooking times?

The pre-heating time for a solar oven or barbecue are idendical to the gas, electric or charcoal ovens/barbecues : from 15 to 20 minutes. The cooking times should be multiplied by 1 to 1.5 : 

  • Grill : 30 minutes for sausages or a piece of meat, vs 15-20 minutes to a classical barbecue
  • Oven : 1h15 for a cake, vs 1h and 45 minutes for fish vs 30 minutes
  • Cooking pot : 30 minutes for rice, vs 15 minutes for a cooker.
Can we cook inside? Through a window?

Solar cooking is mostly done outside. However you can cook inside, through a window, but 10 to 20% of the energy will be lost, so the cooking time will be longer as well.

Can the solar ovens and barbecues cook on a cloudy day?

A full sun is needed for solar cooking. The Sun should not be covered with clouds. However the exterior temperature doesn't influence much the process. The solar cookers can be used on a beautiful sunny winter day. Please pay attention to the wind, which can influence badly. In this case, place the cooker, and especially the barbecues sheltered from the wind.

Are the solar ovens’ temperature adjustable?

All the solar ovens work on the same principle: the rising temperature will be more logarithmic than in a straight line, with a strong temperature increase at the beginning and the closer it gets to its maximum, the slower it heats. To decrease the temperature, you must set up the panels in a wrong manner so the oven doesn’t heat too much. You can choose to make the temperature rise slower or to stick at a temperature by setting up the panels in a wrong manner, that way they will bring fewer energy to the oven.

When can we do solar cooking during the day?

Solar cooking will be more effective when the Sun is high in the sky, that is between 10am to 6pm in summer, and 11am to 3pm in winter. It can vary depending on the country and the latitude.

What are the cooking pots suited to solar cooking?

Your cooking pot should be dark on the outside (ideally matte black), in order to absorb the sunlight. All materials are suitable: stainless steel, iron, ceramic, aluminum… A cast iron saucepan (thicker by nature) will heat more slowly but will retain heat longer periods. In the event of wind or low temperatures (typically in winter), the pan can be placed in a cooking bag (supplied with the EasyCook) to reduce heat loss.

What are the precautions for use?

We recommend using sunglasses to avoid glare. The dishes should be handled with potholders and children should not approach the dishes (no risk on the mirror however).

How to properly run my solar cooker, oven or barbecue?

All our products have been tested and work perfectly. However, as explained on the operating instructions, several conditions must be met when using:

- A black or dark-colored pot must be used (aluminum or a light color will reflect the sun rays and will not heat), prefer also a thin material (the cast iron is to be avoided with the Easycook because it is not powerful enough).
- A weather with a bright sky is necessary, the infrared which carry the heat of the Sun are blocked by the clouds. To indicate the shadows on the ground (of the user or the oven) must be very clear, this means that the Sun is not covered.
- Your solar cooker, oven or barbecue must be oriented facing the Sun. The shade must be behind the solar cooker. Cooking can be done in summer as well as in winter, it does not depend on outside temperatures.
- If it is windy, it is necessary to take shelter because the wind will dissipate and carry with it the heat. Therefore, we recommend the use of a transparent baking bag during cooking (included with the EasyCook). It is enough to enclose the pot or the plancha inside.

Can we leave a solar oven or a solar barbecue outside?

With a weight from 6 to 15kg, our solar ovens and barbecues are easily transportable, so we advise to store them in shelter to extend their life.

Is there a risk of igniting these products?

There is no risk of accidental fire with our products, all is a matter of focal distance. In fact, on a solar oven such as the Easycook, for example, the rays of the sun will be reflected and concentrated on a zone in the center corresponding to the zone where the pan is placed. This zone will be heated, but not "lit" the area. It is a radiant heat, soft and uniform on the pan. I can put my hands all around the pan, I do not burn. On the other hand, obviously, to take the pan, I take potholders, it will be hot. Same for the more powerful parabolic ovens. The rays are concentrated on a calculated area inside the parabola. Precisely this is not craft, we have calculated for you the focal length. There is no risk of the rays being "sent back" too far. For the Suncase, the solar lighter, it is the same principle but with more power: it concentrates all the rays 2mm under the aperture. If the Suncase is properly opened and oriented, then the rays are concentrated on that point, allowing me to ignite what I want. All around this area, I can put my fingers without any risk of burning.

Quelle est la durée de vie d'un four ou d'un barbecue solaire ?

Entre 10 et 20 ans ou plus selon votre bonne utilisation. Il est recommandé de nettoyer votre appareil après chaque utilisation, avec une éponge non abrasive ou un chiffon doux, imprégné d’un peu de liquide vaisselle et d’eau tiède.

Do solar cooking appliances lose their effectiveness over time?

If the solar cookers are handled carefully, they will retain their optical precision and therefore their efficiency. Reflectors (mirrors) may lose slightly in reflectivity as they are cleaned, but this loss will be at most 10%.

How long are the products guaranteed?

All our products are guaranteed 2 years, except the EasyCook, guaranteed one year. Beyond that, we ensure the service on the spare parts. To contact us > infos@idcook.com

What are the benefits of solar cooking?

• No fuel = no pollution in use. A substantial saving of CO2.
• Very little smoke = no discomfort while cooking.
• Free use! - Versatility: more than just a barbecue. We can cook all the food in the solar barbecue, and not only grills: soups, simmered meats, fish, pasta, rice, vegetables, bread, cake etc ...
• It's flexible. Most ovens and barbecue are transportable. They can be used wherever you want: beach, camping, mountain, garden, terrace, ...
• No risk of burns (with respect to coal & gas) / No risk of explosion (with respect to gas) / Little demand for presence (one can attend to his occupations, no danger of fire)
• It's fun! With family, with friends. The assurance of spending a magical time seeing the Sun act.
• Soft cooking: foods cooked to the heart, preserving their juices, texture and nutrients.

Where are the products manufactured?

All our products are assembled in France, with materials from French suppliers. The only exception is the SunTaste 200 and the SunTaste 200 Plus, manufactured in Portugal by our partner SunOK, and the Suncase assembled in China.

How do I pay for my order?

When ordering on our website you can pay by credit card, Paypal, check or bank transfer. For the latter two options, click on "Bank Deposit" at the time of payment and let yourself be guided.

Why does my Suncase not produce a flame?

The Suncase does not produce a flame directly. The Suncase focuses the Sun's rays to concentrate them on a very small area, this allows to heat enough to reach the temperature of self-combustion. With this start of combustion on incense, tobacco, wood, or coal, it is then possible to light a fire by stirring up the embers. It is important to note that incense and tobacco do not need a flame so the Suncase manages to light them directly.

Why my Suncase does not seem to work?

To operate your Suncase, it is first necessary to have sunlight, open the wings to the maximum, push in the object you want to light by 2 mm in the aperture, direct the point of light (focal point) on the object you want to light, and voila! Smoke must appear instantly. It is important to note that the Suncase does not light white materials (example: cotton, white paper ...). The white reflects too much light and you will not get any smoke or embers. But a slight hue of color (newsprint, straw, or other) will be enough to catch the rays to light. Be aware that the darker the color (and thus the more receptive to the rays), the faster the ignition.

Can I can in shape the S-Reflect easily?

In addition to its excellent mirror quality, the S-REFLECT allows easy and safe handling. This mirror film has a certain nervousness that makes it easy to shape. Its thickness of 175 micron gives it rigidity which hides all the defects of a surface if it must be glued against. Its flexibility allows it to match the parabolic curvatures for effective solar concentration. It is ideal for both outdoor and indoor use. In addition, the S-REFLECT mirror film can easily be cut with a cutter or scissors.

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