GoSun Sport Solar Stove Cooker Review
Thanks for reading our GoSun Sport Solar Stove Cooker Review!
Over the last few months, I have been trying the GoSun solar stove, the Sport model. The folks at GoSun Stove were thoughtful enough to deliver us this model, and wanted to have our thoughts on it. I readily accepted when Graywolf asked if I wanted to test it out.
GoSun Sport Stove – Solar Cooker Review
The oven is constructed to convert up to 80% of the sunlight into usable heat. And the stove is built of parabolic, metallic reflectors enclosing a glass tube. If you are completely out of energy bars as a food source and you need to cook this is the ultimate stove.
I have utilized a solar oven before; as it was homemade it took hours to cook. The GoSun gloated about being able to cook a) in around an hour or less on sunny days, b) cook even on cloudy days. I gave the GoSun solar stove five various test runs, each with an alternate food that would be available and need another cooking source.
Before I begin my review, I wish to state that I am not a cook. I can follow a recipe, yet putting things together on my own is not my strong point. So my test foods might appear overly simplified. But I did that intentionally. I wanted the results of the tests, be them good or bad, to be an outcome of the stove and not my absence of complex cooking skills.
GoSun Sport Stove – Test #1
My first test was with a few cups of frozen peas with veggies. I have a few bags of frozen vegetables in my freezer and would want to use them rather quickly. Additionally, I was new to using this oven and realized it would be really hard to mess up the frozen peas.
Presently I did not add anything to the peas. I kept it straight from my freezer to the 2.3’ by 24’ tray. The weather that day was about 40 degrees F not very pleasant, and totally cloudy. So I set the oven up and left it alone for a little more than an hour. When I took a look at the peas, they were no longer frozen, and were around 55 degrees as indicated by the thermometer.
Sadly, I was running short on day time, and needed to end the test prematurely. The peas would have continued to cook in the cloudy condition, and it would have taken mostly another hour or so before they were ready.
GoSun Sport Stove – Test #2
A week later we attempted once more. Test #2 comprised of hotdogs. Once more something I could not screw up easily. And although the temperature remained pleasant 40 degrees, this time it was very bright and sunny. I arranged 4 hot dogs in the tube and set up the stove directly facing the sun.
I checked around 45 minutes later. I removed the tray out of the tube, and my father picked up a hot dog and burnt his fingers and rapidly drops it back into the tray. They were very hot, and needed few minutes to cool.
They tasted great with a bun and a little mustard. This test was a gain!
GoSun Sport Stove – Test #3
Test #3 actually came around a month later. The weather here was not helping, as we had a few weeks of continual cloudy skies. However, finally a Sunday arrived that was bright, sunny, and around 75 degrees. Perfect weather to experiment with some frozen burritos.
When I am in a hurry I usually microwave these burritos. I have a bag or two in my freezer. In a situation where the electrical grid is down, much like the peas, they would go bad very quickly for a long period of time. So I added two burritos into the stove, and my brother and I sat back in the sunshine and had a couple of cervezas while they cooked. 75 degree weather is quite uncommon in early February, in my area, so we utilized the most of it.
I checked the burritos around 30 minutes later, and they had already begun to turn a light brown. So I flipped them over and let them sit for another 30 minutes. That must have been a bit too long as one end of the burrito had begun to burn slightly. But they were cooked entirely through and tasted like they had just come out of a conventional oven.
Amid this time, my brother and I noticed how very little odor originated from the oven. I made a mental note of that and we couldn’t easily smell them while they were cooking.
GoSun Sport – Test #4
Test #4 came the next Saturday. With the outside temperature reaching 71 degrees yet bright and a sunny day (Two days later it was 22 degrees and snowy). This time we wanted to try something a little more difficult than hot dogs or frozen burritos. We thought that since we have chickens on our apartment; why not test it on something we would cook in an emergency setting? And we would be eating some from time to time. We decided to try out chicken.
In fact we had two parts to this test. To start with we cooked some chicken legs plain without seasoning or sauce. Thereupon the second batch of legs we added some BBQ sauce.
Normally it would have been appropriate to cut the chicken into pieces, removing the bones to make sure that it cooks instantly. But I was feeling very lazy that day, and stuck the legs in entirely.
I checked the legs frequently, and flipped them every 20 minutes. (The stove is designed to give out heat from all angles; however I’m used to flipping meat on the grill.) After around an hour, the legs seemed to be done. My brother and I each tried one each. My leg was totally cooked through and tasted amazing. (For plain chicken) My brother’s chicken leg was not really cooked all the way through, so we kept it back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes which was just perfect.
We cooked the final three chicken legs in BBQ sauce, with a little over an hour’s worth of sunlight that was remaining. We pulled the legs out as the sun was setting. It probably needed a bit more time (Maybe another 10-15 minutes), but we could tell that they had cooked. So we completed them up in a conventional oven.
My brother and I could barely smell the chicken cooking, during the chicken leg tests. And only when we removed the tray out of the tube to flip the chicken legs, the solar oven contained inside a greater part of the odor. I walked 35-45 feet away and could not smell a thing.
GoSun Sport – Test #5
For test #5, I wanted to check if I could boil water. Or at most if I could heat the up water long enough and high enough to sanitize it for drinking. When I did the water test it was a bright, sunny day and about 55 degrees. To track the water temperature, I used a meat cooking thermometer.
The water temp was around 170 degrees after about 30 minutes. The temperature was a little over 185 degrees when I checked it again after 15 minutes, and (To sanitize the water you can heat it to 185 for 5-10 minutes.) After an hour, it was more than 200 degrees and was starting to steam.
So you can utilize this oven to heat water to sanitize it. The downside is the stove cooking tube will just hold around 2 cups of water at a once.
During the tests, I began to notice some pros and cons with this stove, and I wanted to conclude this review with it, also list my final thoughts.
The greatest pro to me is that this stove doesn’t need energy source other than what Mother Nature gives. You do not need gas, propane, lighter fluid, or even wood and matches. This oven would be amazing in a long term survival situation.
For you campers, this oven would invalidate your need for a camp fire to cook, if there is a “Burn Ban” in your area. Even if there is no “Burn Ban”, you can save your fire wood for things other than cooking.
The first test showed me that this oven would work even in cold, cloudy conditions. (Yet I think it might take a little longer to cook food than what the manufacturer recommends.) Due to scheduling restraints, I needed to conduct all of my tests in the afternoon, and not earlier over the day when I would have had more light. But the peas were cooking in cold, cloudy weather, and would have been cooked completely if I had more time to conduct the cooking test.
I noted from an OPSEC point of view, this little oven would be very helpful. Being able to have your cooking odors is a major plus in a long term grid down the situation. Indeed, you could easily leave the oven inside your house/building, closer to a window, and let it cook. You would never need to step outdoors, as long as it is sunny and you have a window facing the sun.
I mentioned that the burritos and chicken legs took around an hour or longer to cook. But if you cook smaller items or cut the items into smaller pieces, then the cooking process would be much reduced.
None of the things I cooked tasted oily. They didn’t have that “lighter fluid or propane” taste either. The BBQ chicken tasted fresh. The food was cooked completely. There is no doubt that the seasoning would have blended well if I had seasoned the other foods.
The tray moves in and out easily, and the dishwasher is safe. To clean the glass tube they include a brush you can use, but it isn’t as easy as you may think. After cooking the chicken I learned that it would be easier to clean if I cut the food into smaller pieces so that it does not touch the top of the glass tube. This is a pain in the ass to clean. This shortens the amount of time needed to clean the tube.
For others they may not be an issue at all but these are drawbacks for me and my situation.
The main drawback I saw was that the size of the oven. It holds around 53 OZs of food. For 2-3 individuals this is not an issue. But if I am trying to feed few more people, it might take several cooking sessions to get everyone fed.
The dimensions of oven are 2.3” (5.8cm) inside diameter, 2.8” (7.6cm) outside diameter, 24” (61cm) length. So you won’t be cooking a rack of ribs or a pot roast in this oven. This oven is designed to cook small foods which are not really a bad thing just something to keep in mind.
This is not something I would pack into a Bug Out or Go bag. The oven folds up nicely and also has a handle for easy carrying. This oven is neither quiet nor durable long term for hiking through the wilderness as it is made up of metal sheets and glass. Is it totally durable in a day to day setting. I wouldn’t risk it for a long hiking trip or bug out scenario.
Therefore, I have left the oven at my residence. It should last for years if properly cared for/cleaned and stored in a safe location.
GoSun – Hot Survival Conclusion
The price on GoSun’s web page is $269. I thought that is a little steep until I started pricing other solar ovens. I have seen stoves from $69 (using cooking bags) to over $600. So taking all things into account, $269 does not seem all that unreasonable.
At last, I feel I have added yet another reliable cooking source to my general planning. And also that while it may be small, is totally off the grid.