A solar cooker is a device which uses the energy of direct sunlight to heat, cook or pasteurize drink and other food materials.
Many solar cookers currently in use are relatively inexpensive, low-tech devices, although some are as powerful or as expensive as traditional stoves, and advanced, large-scale solar cookers can cook for hundreds of people. Solar cookers can be used anywhere with uninterrupted bright sunshine. Countries with moderate to hot summers can use solar cookers effectively. Almost all states of the USA use solar cookers along with many African countries, India, China, Russia during summers. Lack of fuel gas or electricity can be easily overcome by using solar cookers.
On the contrary, solar cookers can help people to improve their lives while, at the same time, protecting their environment. Because there is much less wood required as cooking fuel, there is less pressure on the local vegetation meaning that deforestation, soil degradation, desertification are less likely. Padma Shri Janak McGilligan Palta said, “Before solar cookers, most rural women gathered wood for cooking which meant bearing the smoke of wood and going out deep into forests to forge wooden blocks. Initiating the use of solar cookers Palta with her husband Jimmy McGilligan not only saved the trees from chopped off but also women from being attacked. More than 86000 solar cookers and solar cooking lessons have been imparted at Jimmy McGilligan Center for Sustainable Development for free.”