Parabolic solar cooker

Cooking with the sun in the shared gardens! This is made possible by building an eco-constructed parabolic solar cooker or by getting inspired from the video of the course.

The course may even be funded (by professional training fund).



Objectives of the Good practice 

  • Build together a parabolic solar cooker.
  • Create a video of the collective construction activity.
  • Provide shared equipment to shared gardens - that will be useful to these gardens and theirs users.
  • Making this course available to as many people as possible through the use of training funds.

Objectives of the leader who implements this practice with his public

  • Foster cooperation, from each other.
  • Provide the shared gardens with a tool to promote social interaction (intercultural and intergenerational exchanges around the kitchen), development education and sustainable consumption, healthy and balanced diet.

Objectives of the Grundtvig Program of education throughout life to which this activity is connected:

  • Facilitate the development of innovative practices in the field of adult education (directly, during the course of construction) : because solar cooking connects energy and healthy food issues in a fun and innovative way.
  • Helping people from vulnerable social groups (indirectly, by the use of the cooker in the gardens): because empowering beneficiaries (participants and users of solar cookers in shared gardens) contributes to their development.


List of equipment needed for construction:

  • Tools.
  • Parts to be assembled and materials to be shaped. cf. document entitled "Roadmap".
  • Manufacturing Plan to be given to the participants: cf. document entitled "Roadmap".
  •  An electric power source for tools. For an eco designed course (or if the course takes place somewhere that is not connected to the electricity grid), a workshop powered by solar energy can be installed: cf. photos of the “energy independent solar workshop”.
  • In case of injury: first aid kit.

List of equipment cooking and tasting solar meals:

  • Recipes for solar cooking and ingredients to cook with participants.
  • Have already at least one solar cooker (the prototype for example) to cook the meals with participants during the course (using these recipes).


Calling on an expert service provider is recommended for the technical part in order to achieve a professional result (a well prepared course, which is going well, cookers that work perfectly).

Note: when this good practice was tested in France, in Croq’jardin, a call for a service provider (Pole Eco Design - Marseille) was made to:

  • Design the prototype,
  • prepare materials and equipment and
  • technical animation of the course.

Preliminary steps

  • Prototype Design (via service provider).
  • Organization of the course:


Enrollment management (It is recommended to limit the number of trainees to maintain a good technical support, it is also justified if the workshop is powered by solar energy).

Audit needs of trainees (via service provider).

Ordering of materials and cutting (via service provider).

Implementation of the course

  • Informing trainees about solar energy and solar cooking (via service provider). See the document.
  • Sending instructions to the trainees to prepare the course (via the service provider).
  • Installation of the workshop (via service provider).
  • Welcome trainees and presentation of the course:

Overview of the steps, planning and organization of pairs (via the service provider). NB: care must be taken to organize the workshop so that all energy efficient machines are not used at the same time (especially if the workshop is powered by solar energy). See the document "Roadmap" presented to students.

Introduction of eco-construction rules (via the service provider).

Presentation of work pieces and / or parts to assemble and tools including use and safety rules (via the service provider).

  • Start of construction with a permanent technical support (via service provider).
  • During the course: solar cooking and tasting: meals are prepared with the trainees (alternating sub-groups), supervised by a person experienced in solar cooking. The meals are then tasted by all participants, which generates an exchange about the technique, flavor, composition.... (via service provider).

During the construction training : take videos of each step.

Evaluation of the course

  • Collect feedback from the trainees.


  • Number of registered participants and number of parabolic solar cookers built during the training.
  • Atmosphere and mutual assistance during the course.
  • Performance of parabolic solar cookers built (The course can be completed by a shared meal prepared by students who can effectively test all solar cookers).
  • Quality of the video to enable the transfer of experience.
  • Future use of these cookers (they are used by the users of the garden, the workshops, etc.) and impact.
  • Future users of these solar cookers: people of different ages and different cultural backgrounds, people from vulnerable social groups.


Tips to go further:

  • Launch party for the solar cooker.
  • Kitchen workshops: with residents, schools, etc.
  • Initiatives encouraging exchanges: sharing and compilation of recipes, solar cooking festival, etc.
  • This practice may be used to support another good practice : “kitchen in the garden” ; "Brunch in the Garden".

Other kitchen equipment that can be eco-built:

  • Solar oven (box model).
  • Clay-straw wood oven; cf. the elearning page.