Haines Solar Cookerhaines-solar-panelPerfect for camping, boating, emergency preparedness or keeping the heat out of the kitchen on a hot day. The Haines Solar Cooker is affordable and very portable. It weighs only 1.5 pounds (0.7 kg.) and rolls up like a yoga mat when not in use (the black yoga mat bag is included). No need for charcoal or propane. It cooks like an oven; 210-325 F (99-160 C), but solar-cooked food almost never burns. It is healthy because cooking at a low temperature preserves nutrients. Potatoes and vegetables cook without water. It saves electricity and gas and will pasteurize water. Designed and assembled in the United States, the metalized polyester and polycarbonate materials should last 5 years in the sun.

Haines Dutch Oven

Haines Dutch Oven

The Cooking Sleeve for the Haines Solar Cooker requires a round pot that is black on the outside and has a top rim and no handles.
The 4-quart Haines Dutch Oven is perfect:

  • The glass lid makes cooking visible, and insulates better than metal lids.
  • The silicone handle and rim protect the glass, and will not degrade in the sun.
  • The inside Teflon coating is also black, so it absorbs more heat. Teflon is safe for cooking below 500 degrees F (260 C).
    See this article for more information.
  • This makes it perfect for the Haines Solar Cooker which never exceeds 400 degrees F (204 C).

Cooking with the Haines Solar Cooker

The cooking pot must be BLACK on the outside to absorb the sun’s heat. It must be round with no handles, with a top rim that can rest on the top of the clear plastic cooking sleeve. The lid must also be BLACK on the outside or clear glass.

When the sun is high, the base of the cooker should remain firmly on the ground, with the back slanted backwards, and the  front raised a few inches off the ground, as shown.
When the sun is high, the base of the cooker should remain firmly on the ground, with the back slanted backwards, and the front raised a few inches off the ground, as shown.
When the sun is low, move the cooking pot forward a few inches to tilt the cooker downward so the that front is on the ground, and the back is raised. A brick under the back will insure that the back tilts forward.  This will focus more low sunlight on ​the cooking pot.
When the sun is low, move the cooking pot forward a few inches to tilt the cooker downward so the that front is on the ground, and the back is raised. A brick under the back will insure that the back tilts forward. This will focus more low sunlight on ​the cooking pot.

Aim the open part of the cooker at the sun (so that the shadow is equal on both sides), and turn it a little every few hours to follow the sun during the day.

On windy days, pass a string through the natural holes in the bottom of the cooker, and put a rock on each end of the string. So secured, the cooker can withstand quite strong winds.

WARNING: DO NOT leave an empty pot in the cooker in the sun. It may overheat, and damage the clear sleeve and the reflective material.

Tip: Make your own heat-retaining basket

Heat Retaining Basket

Food cooked during the day can be kept piping hot for the evening meal by placing the pot into an insulated container, such as a basket surrounded by towels, aluminum foil or other insulating materials.