The Sport may look like a plain black box, but looks can be deceiving. Years of engineering experience and testing went into designing the Sport’s base, boosting its functionality on multiple levels.
Thanks to its rectangular footprint, the Sport is one of the only solar ovens large enough to hold two pots at once, a boon for cooks across cultures.
The broad footprint and low center of gravity make it aerodynamically and physically stable, preventing tip-over due to high winds or rambunctious kids.
The Sport is designed to cook at a 30-degree slant for direct, overhead summertime sun. When placed on its side, the angle increases to 60 degrees for capturing lower-angled winter sun.
The base’s trapezoidal shape allows multiple ovens to be stacked. Up to 2,000 units fit into a standard 40-foot container, maximizing shipping efficiency and potential impact overseas in developing countries, where the Sport is most needed.
The Solavore™ Sport was purpose-built by solar-cooking experts for maximum efficiency, durability, and ease of use. Weighing 9 pounds and measuring 12 ¼” high by 27 ¼” long by 17” wide, the Sport is lightweight and portable. Oven temperatures typically range from 210º – 260º F, maxing out at 300º F. In other words, hot enough for slow-cooked goodness (food cooks starting at 180º F) but not hot enough to burn dinner. It simmers like a crock pot and bakes like an oven.
The Sport comes with a pair of 9-inch covered, black, graniteware cooking pots and optional reflectors for concentrating sunlight under less-than-ideal solar conditions, such as when trees or clouds partially block the sun. As a rule of thumb, cooking time is twice as long as conventional methods, with an additional half hour for the solar oven to preheat.
Designed to be lightweight and durable, the Sport’s one-piece base is made from injection-molded resin under 1,000 tons of pressure. It has been reinforced with glass fibers to prevent heat degradation and crushing. A black, powder-coated aluminum liner soaks up sunlight, converting it to heat energy for cooking.
Heat retention is critical for performance. With an R-value of 6.5, the Sport leads the solar-oven market in insulation. Its one-inch-thick layer of rigid foam, sandwiched between liner and base, is impervious to water, thanks to thousands of tiny, sealed, air holes—a key design feature since solar cooking generates steam and humidity.
A clear, double-layer insulated lid helps the oven retain heat while letting in maximum sunlight. Made from a durable vacuum-formed polymer, it features a snug-fitting lip (held fast by metal clips) and a layer of solar film to create the one-inch insulating air layer.
What can be cooked in a Solavore™ Sport solar oven?
You will be amazed by the possibilities! Most things you can cook in a conventional oven or on the stovetop can be cooked in a Solavore Sport. Slow cooker recipes are fantastic in a solar oven. You can bake cookies, cakes and breads. A whole chicken. It’s great for basics like rice and other grains. Our user manual comes with starter recipes and our recipe section on the website is frequently updated with new ideas for using the Sport.
How can I convert a slow cooker recipe to a solar oven recipe?
Easy! Follow the slow cooker recipe but because our solar oven is sealed, no steam escapes during cooking so you can reduce the amount of liquid called for. As for the cooking time, a slow cooker on LOW is about 200ºF. A slow cooker on HIGH is about 300ºF, so adjust your cooking time based on the temperature you usually reach in your solar oven.
Do I have to use the special pots that come with the Sport?
Not at all. Dark pots, like those included with the Sport, are ideal because they absorb the light rays and heat up nicely. Shiny pots will reflect the light rays and reduce the efficiency of the oven. So if you want to use shiny pots and lids, just cover them with a dark dish towel to eliminate the reflectivity and you’re good to go. If you think you might encounter some passing clouds during your cooking, you might want to use a thicker pot such as a Dutch oven or cast iron. These pots take longer to heat up but will retain their temperature much longer if clouds pass by or you begin to lose the sun at the end of the day.
Am I limited to using just two pots?
Nope. Because the entire oven is heated to an even temperature, you can stack pots on top of each other or stack cookie sheets/loaf pans when you are baking if you want to increase the quantity. Just remember that the more you fill the oven, the longer the cooking time will be.
What is the cooking temperature range?
The Solavore Sport generally cooks between 200ºF and 300ºF. Food cooks at 180ºF, so you have plenty of cooking power. Your solar oven temperature will vary based on the season and angle of the sun, your latitude (closer/further from the equator), time of day, whether you use reflectors or not and how often you re-aim your oven to the moving sun’s rays. After a couple of times using your oven, you’ll know exactly what to expect.
How do I know which way to aim the Solavore™ Sport?
Don’t over-think it, just line it up with its own shadow. In other words, point the oven so that it faces the sun. Then, standing directly in front of the oven, glance on either side to see that the oven is centered in its own shadow, adjusting one way or the other as needed. After awhile you can come back out and readjust using those same guidelines. If you plan to be away, simply rotate the oven slightly toward the direction the sun will be moving over the course of the day.
The oven is meant to be on the ground, will it get knocked over by kids, wind, animals, etc.?
No, the Sport has a low center of gravity and is very stable.
Can I cook with the Solavore™ Sport in the winter?
Yes. The most important factor is the brightness of the sun, not the outside air temperature. Optional reflectors can improve heating of the oven in the winter. On a bright sunny winter day, the Sport can maintain a cooking temperature of 250ºF even when the air temperature is below zero.
Can it be used on cloudy days?
Solar cooking does require sunshine, so we do not recommend using the oven on cloudy days.
Can I cook at night?
No, solar cooking requires sunshine. We recommend planning ahead and using your oven during the day. Food should be refrigerated and then reheated if you are not going to eat it right away.
How do I store my Solavore™ Sport?
In general, when the oven is not in use, you’ll want to store it on its edge, leaning up against a wall. This will allow any condensation that has accumulated during the cooking process to drain out. [The Solavore Sport’s insulation is closed cell foam so moisture will not hurt it, but it’s a good idea anyway to let it drain.] In this position you can leave the lid clipped on, it’s a good safe way to store the lid too.
- Indoors or outdoors? With the oven stored in the position above, it can be stored inside or outside. Indoors is best if you have lots of rain or snow.
Where are the Solavore™ Sport solar ovens manufactured?
All components of our ovens are proudly made in the USA and shipped from our warehouse in St. Paul, Minnesota.