Parabolic Solar Cooker Troubleshooting
“A part is missing or broken, so the solar cooker is impossible to assemble correctly.”
See the Part Inventory for guidance and complete outline of components.
Find the broken part from the list or take the broken part to a hardware store and match it exactly with a replacement.
“The base of the solar cooker is loose, unstable, or broken apart completely.”
The bolt is loose and needs to be tightened with a 14mm socket wrench. Be sure to not tighten the bolt too tight and strip the threads. See Assembling Parabolic Solar Cooker Tripod Base Stand for more information.
The bolt thread is stipped and needs to be replaced with a new 14mm bolt. If the new bolt does not work, re-tapping the hole is necessary.
A bolt on one of the tripod legs snapped causing a tripod leg to fall off. Tighten a new 14mm screw using a socket wrench.
The solar cooker can have stability issues if not properly assembled. Be sure the ground beneath is hard enough to support a heavy load without deforming. Also, be sure that the tripod feet are flat against level ground.
The center plate has been bent or broken causing the tripod legs to not be connected correctly. Replace the part or bend it back to a usable condition.
“Solar Cooker is dangerously hot, causing parts to overheat”
The metal parts and bolts can overheat if the focal point of the energy reflected from the sun is in the improper place. Adjust your dish to the correct position to heat the cooker flat.
The energy from the sun reflects and focuses on the plastic adjustment star knob causing it to smoke and melt. Adjust your dish to the correct position to heat the cooker flat.
Most solar cookers retain a lot of heat. You should only use it in an area that is clear of flammable debris. Clear a three-foot radius and keep unattended children and pets away from the solar cooker.
“Food is undercooked, not cooked at all, or strange tasting.”
The food might not be properly prepared, resulting in an irregular taste. Be sure the pot is clean of debris and it is suitable for very high temperatures.
Check to see if there are any objects blocking the sun: tree, cloud, etc. Also, be sure the parabola is pointed directly at the sun for maximum efficiency. Using the sun when it is low on the horizon will also work as long as the dish is angled correctly.