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Have you ever wanted a grill that you can carry anywhere and it doesn't need fuel? Well, then we present to you the GoSun Grill. This innovative solution to everyone's need for a cool-looking, fuelless, clean portable oven should be a must on every "outdoorsy" person's wishlist. Impress your friends with this device and your personal cooking skills at the beach, in the park or wherever you'd like really.
Let's have a closer look at this solar cooker.
The story of GoSun Grill
GoSun is a young company made up of designers, engineers and what they term "change-makers", who are "intent on serving the world with unparalleled green cooking solutions". They, like all companies, are passionate about their products. They were founded in a small suburban garage (sound familiar?) and quickly grew with the aid and support of loyal customers.
GoSun's flagship product was born when the company's founder, Patrick Sherwin, was disassembling a solar water heating device. He realized that the vacuum tubes he was working on could be used to reheat his lunch. So, as you do, he tried it. The food came out hot and roasted and the product was conceived. Patrick had worked extensively off the grid on solar energy projects all over the world and this seemed to be the next natural step.
Patrick volunteered with non-profit organizations in Haiti and Latin America. His experiences there taught him the vulnerability of energy poverty. He was touched by the resilience and happiness of people living on $2.00 a day! Patrick spent years facilitating technology, energy and social innovations in the developing world.
"These efforts, including many failures to introduce typical solar ovens, led to the realization that his solar hot dog cooker invention could be something more, serving a great need in emerging markets." - GoSun.
A business with a conscience
"In order to bring solar energy solutions to the world, GoSun has two distinct arms of business: GoSun Stove a for-profit enterprise based in the USA, and GoSun Global, our social enterprise arm with the goal of introducing life-changing solar energy technology to emerging markets an accessible price point."
GoSun first trialed their new product in Guatemala with the aid of Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves in 2014. Since then the company has developed many private and public partners in Peru, Bolivia, Nigeria, Ghana, and India. They have larger-scale government-supported pilots scheduled for 2017. GoSun is primed to make a significant impact in the near future.
GoSun also wanted to help make the planet a little bit more green. Apart from the lack of need to chop trees down to fuel it, they also plant 20 trees for every stove bought. Over the last four years, the company has planted over 12,000 trees throughout West Africa.
"We believe our breakthrough solar ovens can help combat global warming by significantly cutting back on the use of fossil fuels." says GoSun.
GoSun Grill: What is it?
The GoSun Grill is a brand new redesign of a common or garden grill. The grill is said to be able to cook faster, boil and fry enough food for eight people without the need for fuel as it works on solar power day or night, with the thermal battery accessory. GoSun has a range of different models to suit all budgets and needs. They range from the Sport, a smaller version, the GoSun Grill and you can now preorder the Dogger model.
As an aside, the "Sport" version has a cooking tray that doubles up as a training sword, ok only joking but we challenge you not think of it as a sword.
There are many benefits to the GoSun Grill and anyone can use it to cook without the risk of burning the food. All you need to do is set the grill up and you are ready to go. Thanks to the fact that the grill cooks without fuel, transporting it around is easy, and so is cleaning up after cooking. The grill cooks the food evenly and at the same time, it keeps in the moisture.
How GoSun Grill works
As there is no fuel involved you can take it anywhere, including the deck, the park or even the beach, it is fully portable. What makes the GoSun Grill stand out above other grills is the fact that the grill is able to retain the heat it takes from the sun during the day allowing people to cook long after the sun has gone down.
The device captures light using a solar vacuum tube, which is a near-perfect insulator. Light is "trapped" and focussed onto the tube using parabolic reflectors to maximize efficiency. This allows the stove to cook food evenly in most challenging conditions. The vacuum tube converts around 80% of the solar energy into useable heat. The heat inside the tube is similar to that of a domestic oven and can build up to around 288 degrees centigrade.
You need to manually alter the pitch of the parabolic array to track the sun but this is relatively simple and easy to do. It would be cool to have this automated in a future accessory or model.
GoSun Grill's Design
The GoSun Grill features a stainless steel insulated lid, steel panels with enamel and an aluminum tray, it also comes with soft-touch rubber grips. It has rubber feet which provide it with great stability, a frame of stainless steel and mirrored aluminum reflectors. It remains cool to the touch so there is no risk of getting burnt.
The stove's design provides the user with a range of benefits. The stove is very versatile and can be used to bake, steam, roast and even fry food without the need for charcoal. You don't need to monitor the stove when in use. This means food isn't burnt and you can just set it up and let it do its thing. As there is no need for fuel you don't get carbon waste. No dirty fuel means carrying it is easy and clean.
The cooked food is delicious and nutritious as well. The device cooks food evenly and retains its moisture which affects the taste. Personally, I like my chicken dry but I have an open mind. The portability of the device is great. It can be used on decking, on a boat, in the park or at the beach or even in your kitchen.
GoSun is also working on future attachments and options that will further improve the stove's useability.
GoSun Grill can work at night
The Thermal Battery add-on pack is claimed to be a breakthrough in innovation as it is this that captures the heat allowing the grill to be used while it’s cloudy and raining or even at night. The idea for the battery came about after working in the rainy season in Guatemala. A pilot study had participants using the grill daily; however, they needed to be able to cook when it was raining. Essentially, it began as a sand-filled battery. After testing for a year a medium was found that was able to hold a large amount of heat along with being able to emit the heat while remaining at an even temperature to ensure optimal cooking.
What can you cook in it?
Well basically, your limit is your imagination and of course, the size of the tube. You may need to chop larger foodstuffs up to fit in but that's a minor issue, right? They even provide a set of useful recipes for you to indulge your inner chef. Good examples include lasagne, chicken pot pie, open-faced omelets and of course, things like casseroles and the awesomely named "Solar-powered Pumpkin Scones". Shut up and take my money!
You can't deny it looks pretty nifty. The fact that the device uses solar energy to cook your food is absolutely fantastic too. With no need to carry heavy solid fuels or raid the local environment is a definite plus. And its lack of combustion means cleaning is a much less laborious task. The fact that the device comes in various sizes is a nice touch. For those who need to reduce weight when en route, this may rule out the flagship model.
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The need to move the solar collector for extended cooking periods could, potentially, be a pain. It's pretty easy to do and given that you don't need "to lug" heavy fuel around means this is a small price to pay. If GoSun could automate this in the future with add-ons or redesigns that would be a definite improvement. The limited capacity of the cooking tray shouldn't create too many issues for most users but for those who want to make a full-on roast chicken dinner you might struggle.
Overall it's a great device and deserves all its current success. The big question is would you buy one? Let's start a conversation.
You can get one here.