At Solar Mango, we keep getting queries about the use of solar for residential cooking. And our stock answer has been: Solar cookers are not yet there.

It is true that solar thermal based cooking has been used in countries such as India and a few others for commercial establishments; these are usually based on some kind of concentration of sunlight. The additional advantage these establishments have is that they cook while the sun shines.

But change your focus to the residential sector and you see why solar cookers, as they stand, are a poor choice – many households cook early morning when there is no sun, and are not even present at home while the sun shines. This is especially true of the bottom of pyramid and rural households, because many adults in these households go to work for their livelihood!

This detailed news report from the Guardian once again drives home the point – solar cookers are nice to have, but they are really not solving the problem for small households and residences.

Do let me know what you think about solar cookers.

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