This is the All Season Solar Cooker (ASSC) designed by Jim La Joie of Bonsall, California (it’s in the general area of San Diego). We have been fortunate enough to meet Jim, talk with him one-on-one about his design, and learn to make one of his solar cookers during a class in San Diego. Jim has engineered a great low-cost cooker and you will be hard pressed to find a better solar cooker at any price. The best part of this solar cooker? He has made the complete plans for his solar cooker available online for FREE for you to download. For durability, Jim recommends you make your solar cooker out of coroplast. It’s a corrugated plastic of the type that is used on most of the newer political signs you see blighting the roadsides nowadays. You can actually use those plastic signs to your advantage after election day. Find yourself a large sign on the roadside somewhere, call the candidate listed on the sign and ask them if you can have the sign the day after the election. You may be able to score a large enough piece for a solar cooker FREE! You’ll need a piece at least 48 inches square. It doesn’t matter what color it is, the “working” part of the design is going to be covered in reflective tape. (If you don’t want to go the coroplast route, you can also make a quite serviceable cooker from regular old corrugated cardboard. It may not be as durable, but it will cook just as well.)
Some of the cool features of this design is that you can set the cooker on one side for cooking in the summer and on another for cooking in the winter. The angle of the entire cooker is lower for winter cooking and higher for summer cooking. In addition to that feature, there is a way to further adjust the angles to zero the cooker right into the sun’s rays for the most efficient use of the radiant energy. The plans for this cooker also include a sunsight (shown below) that makes it a snap to find the exact angle you need.
The cooker is very light and folds up to make it easy to pack into your camping supplies. If the reflective surface gets scratched, you just put another piece of reflective tape over the old tape and it’s like new.
(Be aware that Jim is an engineer, not a website designer. If you poke around on his website long enough, you will notice some of the links are dead, but the plans and instructions are still there.)
Here’s a video with Jim telling you all about the cooker and how to assemble it. Look at his other videos, as he has one for the sunsight and more information about the cooker.
The Coroplast Company – You can look up the nearest distributor of coroplast if you want to buy a new sheet for your cooker – or want to know more details about the product.