Emergency preparedness from a Counterintelligence Agent

GoSun Sport Solar Stove Cooker Review

gosun sport solar cooker reviewOver the past few months, I have been testing the Go Sun solar stove, the Sport model. The folks at Go Sun Stove were kind enough to send us that model, and wanted to know our thoughts on it. Graywolf asked if I wanted to test it out and I readily accepted.

The stove is made of parabolic, metallic reflectors surrounding a glass tube. The oven is designed to convert up to 80% of all sunlight into usable heat.

I have used a solar oven in the past, but it was homemade and took hours to cook. The Go Sun boasted about being able to cook a) in about an hour or less on sunny days, b) cook even on overcast days.

I gave the Go Sun solar stove five different test runs, each with a different food that I would have available should I lose power and need an alternate cooking source.

Now before I begin my review, I need to state that I am NOT a cook. I can follow a recipe, but putting things together on my own is not my forte. So my test foods might seem overly simplistic. But I did that on purpose. I wanted the outcomes of the tests, be them good or bad, to be a result of the stove and not my lack of complex cooking skills.

My first test was a few cups of frozen peas. I have several bags of frozen vegetables in my freezer and would want to use them fairly quickly should I lose power. Also, I was brand new to using this oven and figured it would be really hard to screw up frozen peas.

Now I did not add anything to the peas. They went straight from my freezer to the 2.3’ by 24’ tray. The weather that day was not very pleasant, about 40 degrees F and completely overcast. So I set the oven up and left it alone for a little over an hour. When I checked on the peas, they were no longer frozen, and were around 55 degrees according to the thermometer.

Unfortunately, I was running out of day time, and had to end the test prematurely. The peas would have continued to cook in the overcast condition, but it would have taken probably another hour or so before they were ready.

A week later we tried again. Test #2 consisted of hotdogs. Again…something I could not screw up easily. And while the temperature remained a balmy 40 degrees, this time it was very bright and sunny. I placed 4 hot dogs in the tube and positioned the stove directly facing the sun.

I checked about 45 minutes later. I pulled the tray out of the tube, and my father picked up a hot dog only to burn his fingers and immediately drop it back in the tray. They were exceedingly HOT, and needed several minutes to cool.

With a bun and a little mustard they tasted great. This test was a success!

Test #3 actually came almost a month later. The weather here was NOT cooperating, as we had a few weeks of continual overcast skies. But finally a Sunday arrived that was bright, sunny, and almost 75 degrees. Perfect weather to try out some frozen burritos.

gosun solar cooker with burritosI normally microwave these burritos when I am in a hurry. I have a bag or two in my freezer. Much like the peas, they would go bad fairly quickly in a situation where the electrical grid is down for an extended period of time. So I popped two burritos into the stove, and my brother and I sat back in the sunshine and had a few cervezas while they cooked. 75 degree weather in early February in my area is quite uncommon, so we made the most of it.

I checked the burritos after about 30 minutes, and they were already starting to turn a light brown. So I flipped themgosun solar cooker stove with beer over and let them sit another 30 minutes. That may have been a bit too long as one end of the burrito had started to burn just slightly. But they were cooked all the way through, tasting like they had just come out of a conventional oven.

During this time, my brother and I noted how very little odor emanated from the oven. We couldn’t really smell them while they were cooking, and I made a mental note of that.

Test 4 came the following Saturday. Another bright, sunny day with the outside temperature reaching 71 degrees. (Two days later it is 22 degrees and snowy. Go figure.) This time we decided to try something a bit more difficult than hot dogs or frozen burritos. We decided we wanted to try chicken. We thought that since we have chickens on our homestead, we would be eating some from time to time. Why not test it on something we would cook in an emergency setting?

We actually had two parts to this test. First we cooked some chicken legs plain. No seasoning or sauce. Then on the second batch of legs we added some BBQ sauce.

Now normally it would have been advisable to cut the chicken into pieces, removing the bones to ensure that it cooks more quickly. But I was feeling kinda lazy that day, and stuck the legs in whole.

gosun solar stove cooking chicken wingsI checked the legs regularly, and flipped them about every 20 minutes. (The stove is designed to produce heat from all angles, but I’m used to flipping meat on the grill…old habits die hard.) After about an hour, the legs appeared done. My brother and I each tried one. My leg was completely cooked through and tasted great. (For plain chicken.) My brother’s chicken leg was not quite cooked all the way through, so we put it back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes. Perfect!

With a little over an hour’s worth of sunlight remaining, we cooked the final three chicken legs in BBQ sauce. As the sun was setting, we pulled the legs out. We could tell that they had cooked, but probably needed a bit more time. (Maybe another 10-15 minutes) So we finished them up in a conventional oven.

During the chicken leg tests, my brother and I could smell the chicken cooking, but just barely. And only when we slid the tray out of the tube to flip the chicken legs. The solar oven contained internally almost all of the odor. I walked about 35-45 feet away…could not smell a thing.

For test #5, I wanted to see if I could boil water. Or at least if I could heat the water up high enough and long enough to sanitize it for drinking. It was a bright, sunny day and about 55 degrees when I did the water test. I used a meat cooking thermometer to track the water temperature. After about 30 minutes, the water temp was around 170 degrees. I checked it again 15 minutes later, and the temp was a little over 185 degrees. (You can heat water to 185 for 5-10 minutes to sanitize it.) After an hour, it was well over 200 degrees and was beginning to steam.

So you can use this oven to heat water to sanitize it. The drawback is the stove cooking tube will only hold about 2 cups of water at a time.

During the tests, I began to notice some pros and some cons with this stove, and I decided to conclude this review with those, as well as list my final thoughts.


The biggest pro to me is that this stove needs NO energy source other than what Mother Nature provides. You don’t need gas, lighter fluid, propane, or even wood and matches. In a long term survival situation, this oven would be amazing.

For you campers, if there is a “Burn Ban” in your area, this oven would negate your need for a camp fire to cook. Even without a “Burn Ban”, you could save your fire wood for things other than cooking.

The first test showed me that even in cold, overcast conditions this oven would work. (Though I think it might take a bit longer to cook food than what the manufacture suggests.) Due to scheduling constraints, I had to conduct all of my tests in the afternoon, and not earlier in the day when I would have had more light. But the peas were cooking in cold, overcast weather, and would have been cooked all the way had I had more time to conduct the cooking test.

I noted from an OPSEC standpoint, this little oven would be very handy. Being able to contain your cooking odors is a big plus in a long term grid down scenario. In fact, you could easily leave the oven inside your house/building, next to a window, and let it cook. As long as it is sunny and you have a window facing the sun, you would never need to step outdoors.

I stated that the burritos and chicken legs took about an hour or longer to cook. But if you were to cook smaller items or cut the items you cook into smaller pieces, then the cooking process would be much shorter.

None of the items I cooked tasted greasy. They didn’t have that “propane or lighter fluid” taste either. The food was cooked all the way through. The BBQ chicken tasted fresh. Had I seasoned the other foods, there is no doubt that the seasoning would have blended well.

The tray slides in and out easily, and is dishwasher safe. (I unscrewed the handle first.) They include a brush you can use to clean the glass tube, but it isn’t as easy as you might think. I learned after cooking the chicken that it would be easier to clean if I cut the food into smaller pieces so it does not touch the top of the glass tube. (A pain in the ass to clean.) This reduces the amount of time needed to clean the tube.


These are drawbacks for me and my situation, but for others they may not be an issue at all.

The only real drawback I saw was that the size of the oven. It holds about 53 OZs of food. For 2-3 people this is not a problem. But if I’m trying to feed several people, it might take several cooking sessions to get everyone fed.

The oven dimensions are 2.8” (7.6cm) outside diameter, 2.3” (5.8cm) inside diameter , 24” (61cm) length. So you won’t be cooking a pot roast or a rack of ribs in this oven. This oven is designed to cook small foods. Not necessarily a bad thing….just something to keep in mind.

I also want to note that this is not something I would pack into a Bug Out or Go bag. The oven folds up nicely and has a handle for easy carrying. But this oven is metal sheets and glass, which would be neither quiet nor durable long term if hiking through the wilderness. Is it durable in a day to day setting? Absolutely. Rugged enough for a long hiking trip or bug out scenario? I wouldn’t risk it.

As a result, I have left the oven at my homestead. If properly cared for/cleaned and stored in a safe location it should last for years.

The list price on Go Sun’s web page is $269. I thought that a bit steep….until I starting pricing other solar ovens. I have seen stoves from $69 (using cooking bags) all the way to well over $600. So all things considered, $269 does not seem all that unreasonable.

In the end, I feel I have added yet another reliable cooking source to my overall preparedness planning. And one, that while it may be small, is completely off the grid.

If you have questions or comments, you can email me planandprepared@gmail.com

About James L

A police officer in Oklahoma, James is a gun enthusiast and certified police instructor. In his off time, he is a single father who enjoys playing with his kids and watching football.

Come visit his Preparedness site at Plan and Prepared


  1. I like reading your post. It’s good how you tested the item. Most blogs are not worth their salt and just post about an item to resell it. I too write articles about solar power, but I try my best to research the topics heavily. This summed it up to “NO energy source other than what Mother Nature provides”.


  2. What is the lowest temperature you can cook with this stove at?

    • Not sure what you’re asking. Your food will cook at whatever temperature you want it to but obviously it needs to be above some kind of sous vide temp. The temp inside the cooker will depend on sunlight as well as outside temp.

    • I was wondering that, too. We can have pretty mean winters up here. Do you think the oven would work below freezing point ? We never go above -5 Celsius from November through March, and it usually sits more between -10 and -20.

  3. Thanks for an honest review, in varied conditions, with various foods. Exactly what I wanted to know. I do cook, and can extrapolate from what you’ve experimented with and the details you provided. Really useful information!

  4. I know more than an hour to cook chicken in the GoSun is not typical of my experience. Did you ever point the stove at the Sun? It also seems like the legs were never hooked so I’m guessing not. Seems like they should have sent you instructions 🙂

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