- is made of cardboard, lined with aluminium foil
- uses solar energy
- is light-weight (700 grams)
- can be folded (35 x 35 cm)
- is easy to transport in a cotton bag
- is stored inside, hanging in a bag
- is the cheapest solar cooking appliance
- can be produced locally
A CooKit set consists of:
- a cardboard CooKit lined with aluminium foil to reflect sunlight;
- an aluminium pan, maximum 4 L, painted flat black (e.g. blackboard paint);
- two heat resistant plastic bags (e.g. heat resistant polypropylene)
- a piece of string to tie the bag;
- two clothespins;
- three flat stones to place underneath the pan;
- user instructions;
- all these items are stored in a cotton bag together with the CooKit itself.
To be able to cook, the CooKit must be unfolded and secured at the edges with the clothespins.
The food goes into a 4-litre lightweight aluminium pan that has been painted flat black with blackboard paint.
The pan is placed on the three flat stones in the heat resistant bag. This way heat circulates around the pan.
The plastic bag is loosely tied with a piece of string. The ensemble is then placed in the sun. Most meals are ready after 2 to 3 hours. Quality is excellent.
The CooKit can be used for most slowly simmered meals, rice, potatoes, meat, vegetables, soups, sauces, cakes, eggs as well as for the boiling and pasteurisation of water. In Africa, many local dishes can be very well prepared in the CooKit.
Water can be pasteurised with a WAPI
The CooKit is the most often and most efficiently used solar cooking appliance. It is a ‘Panel Cooker’. There are various models, see www.solarcooking.org.
The CooKit’s origin
A French professor, prof. Bernard, developed a type of CooKit as an experiment. When his idea turned out to be a success, Solar Cooking International adopted it for further development. There clearly was a future for the CooKit, made of simple materials appropriate for cooking with solar energy. Subsequently, Solar Cooking International did extensive research (materials and models) until the present model was chosen, suitable for a 4-litre pan in a heat resistant plastic bag.
Other ways of cooking with the sun
There are many other ways to cook with the sun, such as the Solar Box or the Parabolic cooker. In these cookers the food is cooked much faster and larger pans can be used as well. However, these methods are far more expensive. It is our experience that for many women it is very difficult to save enough money for the cooking sets. They are simply not able to pay for the more expensive items. This is why we continue to use the CooKit. Nevertheless we continue, together with others, to look for new, sound and affordable cooking tools.