Solar Cooking in the Snow! GoSun Sport Product Review
Updated: Feb 3
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Hey, friends! I recently purchased a GoSun Sport solar oven (I’ve wanted a sun oven for ages!), so today I’d like to do a quick product review so you can decide if you’d like to get one, too.
Cooking with solar energy (power from the sun) saves electricity and fuel because, well, you don’t need anything more than a partly sunny day to get the job done! Food is less likely to burn in a solar cooker, and natural moisture from the food gets trapped inside the GoSun’s cooking tube, lending itself to the creation of delightfully moist baked goods. You’d have to put a pan of water in your gas or electric range to get the same effect.
I looked at a variety of ovens for solar cooking, including DIY varieties and portable vs. stationary models, but I wanted something that was easy to pack, lightweight, and didn't require heavy pans (like Dutch ovens or casserole dishes). I also wanted the cooker to rely strictly on solar power – no preheating pans or prebaking anything ahead of time.
I decided to get the GoSun Sport Pro solar oven kit. It comes with a sturdy carrying case and all kinds of fun things to use in the cooker. It even has little silicone cupcake liners I can use to bake snack-sized chocolate cakes.
Two food trays were included in the pro pack; each tray holds 5 or 6 cupcake liners, a whole package of hot dogs, or enough food to feed three people. Everything arrived nicely bubble wrapped and securely packaged for safe shipping.
You’ll want to line the food trays with parchment or aluminum foil to reduce the amount of cleaning the trays require. Make sure you don’t overfill the trays, either – you don’t want excess spillage in the glass cooking tube. But if you do need to scrub out the tube, you can use this little green scratchy cleaning brush that fits perfectly inside the oven’s tube. Just screw it onto the end of a food tray, and voila! – the tray turns into a handle for the scrubber.
The pro pack includes a second food tray, so while you have one tube cooking, you can fill another tray to pop into the oven after it cools back off (don’t put cold trays in the hot glass tube … I’ve broken enough glass canning jars to know that’s a no-no).
The GoSun pro pack also came with a small kettle for boiling water (hot cocoa while camping – yes please!) and a user guide with a handy cooking chart that tells you how long different food products take to cook in the sun.
The GoSun has black wire handles that fold all the way around towards the back (behind the parabolic reflector) and become the legs of the oven. Use the legs to position it exactly how you want it, and make sure your solar oven is facing the sun.
Pro tip: stand between your solar cooker and the sun, and make sure your shadow is falling perpendicular to the glass tube. Or pretend you’re making a letter “T”; your shadow will be the stem of the T, and the glass tube will be the part that crosses the top.
To challenge my GoSun, I decided to try it out on a snowy day. An arctic blast passed through this weekend, and today it’s only 27° F. With the below-freezing temperature and partly cloudy skies, I could really put this little oven to the test.
I made chocolate cake batter from a box mix (shortcut) and filled up half a dozen of those little cupcake trays. The tray easily slid into the oven nice and snug. At the top of the seal on the end of the tray nearest the handle, there’s a little V-shaped notch. That notch is your vent, so the steam can escape while your food is cooking. Make sure the vent is facing up.
I left my GoSun sitting outside surrounded by snow on a cloudy day for about an hour and 20 minutes while I went and did some grocery shopping, and when I came back, I opened it up. The tube was cool enough for me to touch, but I burned my hand on the actual food tray – so be smarter than me and make sure you wear oven mitts!
My little snack cakes baked perfectly. They came out moist and fluffy and steaming hot. I was amazed at the amount of heat that collected inside the oven's glass tube, and I have no doubt it could grill meatballs and bake potatoes with the same efficiency – even under a cloudy sky!
I hope that you enjoyed this quick review showing that the GoSun Sport oven really can cook in all different temperatures. All you need is a little bit of sun and something wonderful to cook!
PS – If you want to kick your solar cooking up a notch and use your GoSun grill 24/7, take a look at the GoSun Fusion! It's the best of solar cooking combined with a USB connection that connects to a battery pack for late-night meals when you're on the go.