Question: Which cookware should I use in a solar cooker?
Answer: The main considerations in deciding which cookware to use are its thermal properties of conductivity, how easily it receives and releases heat, and heat capacity, how much heat it takes to heat it up (which is also related to its size). Some common materials with high conductivity are aluminum and copper, both of which readily transmit heat to foods, but both also react with food so are not safe to cook with regularly unless they are coated so they do not come into contact with the food.
The next best material for high conductivity is cast iron, but it also has a very high heat capacity so, while it takes more energy to heat it up, once it is hot it holds its temperature. Another great benefit of cast iron is that it is black so will readily absorb visible sunlight from the solar oven to raise the temperature. If you can overcome the increased heating time for the large heat capacity of the pan, cast iron is a good choice for solar cooking.
Glass oven pans and stainless steel have relatively low heat conductance, meaning they do not heat the food as well, but their low heat capacity allows them to heat up quickly. While cookware like glass and stainless steel may not be able to achieve as high temperatures, they will do so faster than a cast iron pan.
Other questions related to solar energy:
- How does a satellite get energy in space?
- How does a solar stirling engine work?
- How does a solar cooker work?
- Which cookware should I use in a solar cooker?
- What materials can be used to make a solar cooker?
- What do solar panels power?
- What are safety concerns in space for energy?
- What advantages would solar energy have for making plastic products?