How it works
The reflector of the solar cooker is made of polished aluminium sheet with a parabolic shape to optimally focus sun rays. The solar cooker has a strong mechanical frame for placing the cooking pot where concentrated sunlight is strongest. The resulting temperatures may reach 300°C, meaning that you can use your solar cooker much in the same way as a gas range. In contrast to the solar oven, however, the solar cooker can only be used when exposed to direct sunlight – it does not work under cloudy conditions. It is useful to combine the solar cooker with an isolating basket, which allows you to keep meals hot for up to 6-8 hours, and thus to cook when the sunlight is strongest.. If the reflecting surface becomes dirty or dusty, you can wipe it carefully with a clean cloth and a lot of water, so that it does not lose its polish and continues collecting sunlight efficiently. The reflector should be folded close after use. The cooker has two wheels for easy transportation and storage in a safe place.
How you benefit
An important advantage of the solar cooker is that it allows you to stir the food while cooking, as with To for example. With a Butterfly type solar cooker, you can stand very close to the cooking pot. In case of spilling, the food will fall down on the floor and not on the delicate reflective surfaces. It is even possible to grill chicken or a stake directly on a grid, in which case the fat and juice will simply drip down on the floor.
How much it costs
Without accessories, a Butterfly type solar cooker costs around 75,000 CFA (€125), an isolating basket 15,000 CFA (around €25), and a backup gas burner 11,000 CFA (€17).
What we deliver
Solafrique sells stand-alone Butterfly type solar cookers, but also full sets including an isolating basket, a pair of sunglasses, and a small gas burner complete with gas bottle so you can even cook in cloudy weather. A trained specialist of Solafrique will give you an introduction to your solar cooker and explain in details how to make the best practical use of it. A useful addition to the cooker on cloudy days is the “foyer amélioré” („Roumdé“), a highly efficient firewood stove which reduces the consumption of firewood by 50%.
What we need to know
Before making a decision to buy a solar cooker, it is important to determine the amount of food to be cooked, and to make sure that the cooking pot corresponds in size and material to the dimensions and the operation of the solar cooker. Existing models can accommodate cooking pots of up to 6 litres capacity. Our Know-How: Solafrique has a long experience with all forms of solar cooking and will be happy to share it with you.
It is very strongly recommended to wear sunglasses at all times while cooking. You must remember never to carry a baby on your back when near the solar cooker, as a very strong sunlight might affect his eyes without you noticing.