No need of diesel or wood. With solar cookers you can cook with the sunlight

Solar cookers offer an alternative way of cooking using solar energy instead of fire or traditional kitchens.

Solar cookers use more or less simple technology and work on this basic principle: they capture sunlight to warm up a pot that is located in a focal point.


These tools allow to cooking as well as pasteurising food to make it safer for people living in regions where the access to traditional energy sources is lacking or sporadic.


solar cooker
Meals prepared with a solar cooker © Solar Cookers International


In addition, compared to generators that consume expensive fuels or stoves that burn wood, solar cookers use exclusively free renewable energy from the sun: thanks to the reflectors that heat pots without combustion, solar cookers are clean objects that don’t emit harmful smoke and safe solutions in arid and fire-prone areas.


Solar Cookers International
Manageable tools © Solar Cookers International


There are simple, cheap and very effective CooKits made of cardboard panels and reflective alluminium sheets that are also distributed by humanitarian organisations as well as more expensive and sophisticated systems. In any case, solar cookers are very useful , mostly in those countries where the scarcity of economic resources goes hand in hand with the abundance of sun.


emergency kit solar cookers
An emergency kit distributed by the World Food Programme © Gloria Schiavi


The impact of these objects is particularly significant if you consider that generally it’s women who are involved in household economy and firewood collection even away from home, two activities that take them a lot of time and threaten their safety, exposing them to potential assaults and harassment.


solar cookers
Generally, it’s women who collect firewood to cook © Brent Stirton/Getty Images for WWF-Canon


Since 1987, the NGO Solar Cookers International (SCI) has been expanding the use of these powerful solar cooking tools and distributing some three millions of them to populations in need that account for about 11 million people. On the other hand, SCI estimates that there are still three billion people who cook over an open fire every day: solar cookers could be very helpful for them.


SCI makes available online open source instructions to build a solar cooker and compares different models and technical solutions to allow users to choose knowingly, according to their preferences or resources.


build solar cooker
Schemes to build a solar cooker © Solar Cookers International

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