In the race to outpace our diminishing fossil fuel supply, more and more people are looking for alternative ways to power the devices we use every day. From cars that run on electricity and biodiesel to the recycling of “grey” water, we are always happy to see innovative applications for alternative energy.
Enter GoSun, a small start-up that is embracing the power of the sun.
Its flagship product, the GoSun Grill, is a solar-powered cooking device that is both highly efficient and highly portable—ideal for use while hiking, living off the grid, or cooking in your own backyard.
Design & Features
The GoSun Grill has a curved, futuristic aesthetic. The functional parts of the grill are sleek, shiny, and wouldn't look out of place on a Batmobile made out of Adamantium.
There is, however, a practical reason for all that shine. Parabolic mirrors collect solar energy and deflect that heat onto the cooking chamber. The chamber is able to hold onto about 80% of that heat, thanks to a vacuum tube that serves as insulation, allowing it to reach temperatures higher than 430°F. That's hot enough to cook just about anything you could possibly want. An external temperature gauge takes the guesswork out of your cooking.
The cooking chamber itself is trough shaped, slides horizontally in and out of the Grill, and can hold about 5 cups of food. If you'd like to be able to grill at night when the sun isn't out, you can purchase an optional grill mount with solar panels. The panels connect to a lithium iron battery, which can store solar energy for later use.
The grill comes with two stainless steel cook pans, a drip tray, and a steam tray. If the original GoSun's 20 lbs of weight feels a bit too hefty to tote around during hiking or camping trips, the GoSun Sport is a lighter, more compact version.
The first thing to realize about the GoSun Grill is that it is not an identical replacement for the gas or charcoal grill in your backyard. The smaller-capacity, trough-shaped cooking chamber can't fit a mess of burgers, dogs, or corn, and without metal racks, you won't get those classic grill-marks. You also won't get that delicious, smoky flavor that ordinary grills impart in your food, although I was told that the cooking chamber keeps the food moist and juicy.
In fact, we'd be more inclined to call this a cooking device than a grill. That said, there are plenty of recipes that would work beautifully in the GoSun—for example, soups, vegetables, uncut poultry, breads, meatloaf, cakes, eggs, and cookies.
The oven chamber takes about 20-30 minutes to preheat, with cook times taking from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the volume of food and the recipe. When your food is done, it glides easily out of the GoSun.
You won't need to worry about the durability of the vital borosilicate vacuum chamber, as GoSun maintains a lifetime warranty on that part of the grill. To clean the chamber, just use the cylindrical sponge that comes with the device. The stainless steel cooking pans are dishwasher safe.
Long story short, this is a great product that can live safely in your backyard, join you on a hike or tailgate party, or help you live more off the grid. While there is at least one other comparably priced solar grill on the market, the GoSun Grill is built for portability and efficiency, two qualities that also make it an ideal product for developing countries. The GoSun Grill is currently on pre-sale for $600.