I took my cooking outside with the GoSun solar cooker.
This one is described as a fast, portable and practical solar cooker, which is ideal for the outdoor enthusiast who enjoys entertaining, camping, tailgating and delicious food hot off the grill.
Well, that fits me because I love food right off the grill and if this one will eliminate the never-ending tasking for refilling my propane tanks, I'm all for it.
My quest was to grill a few hamburgers and I did it with great success, ease and free of propane and charcoal. They took a lot longer than your typical grilled burgers and it's designed to work in sunlight and even overcast days. You place your food in a steel tube; I managed to get hamburgers and a few hot dogs to fit.
The design has two foldable parabolic reflectors that absorb up to 80 percent of the sunlight, which is converted into useable heat for cooking.
The tube is made with a Pyrex-like borosilicate glass, which absorbs the light and creates the oven-like atmosphere to cook your food. How long it takes depends on what you're cooking.
In full sun, meat is cooked in 40 minutes, a
hot dog in 10 minutes. A full chart is on the company site ranging from meat to muffins to 8-egg omelets.
The vacuum tube's exterior stays cool, while the inside is cooking hot and according to the website it can get as hot as 550 degrees, so use with caution.
It's ideal for camping with a compact size of 24-by-8-by-5-inches closed and 24-by-16-by-12-inches when open.
I had my doubts on this one, but my lunch was great.
Available at gosunstove.com for $279.
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The Gourmia immersion cooker confused me, so much that I actually had to look up what it does.
On the Gourmia website, it lists the name as the "Gourmia GSV130 Digital Sous Vide Pod Immersion Circulator Precision Cooker," which didn't help.
But a video by Beth the Chef explained things and got me going to cook my dinner with vegetables in a pot of water.
The website stated, "The sous vide pod will heat and circulate water with ingenuous (sic) precision, uniformly cooking food so the interior and exterior are completely identical in incredible flavor and texture."
It's pretty simple: get a 3-to 5-gallon pot of water, connect the sous vide pod (4-by-5-by-14.5-inches) to the side and set the temperature on the top-facing LCD and press start.
It uses an active control thermostat to keep your selected temperature within plus or minus .01 degrees and the powerful and very quiet pump circulates up to 1.5 gallons of water per minute to keep that selected temperature.
I dropped in a vacuum-sealed bag of frozen salmon and then a bag of broccoli, and both were cooked to perfection and most importantly with ease.
Available at gourmia.com for $139.99.
Gregg Ellman, gadget guru, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @greggellman.